International Writing Program

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The International Writing Program (IWP) conducts a unique fall residency program for established writers from outside the United States, and a summer writing program for American and international high school students. During the spring semester, IWP may offer courses related to the program's general mission, including collaborative distance learning courses for writing students overseas.

Residency Program

Each fall the International Writing Program assembles a community of poets, fiction writers, essayists, playwrights, and journalists for a 10-week residency on campus. Participants range from emerging talents to writers who are among their countries' leading literary figures and writers of world stature. For most, their time in the program is their first, or their first extended, stay in the United States.

At the University of Iowa, they live and interact with each other while working on writing and translation projects and participating in public events. Throughout their residency, they present their work in IWP:3191 International Literature Today and IWP:5205 International Translation Workshop, and participate as guests in many other courses on campus. They also meet with the public through readings, panel discussions, a film series, and other presentations.

Since 1967 over 1,600 writers from over 160 countries have participated in the program.

International Writing Program participants are supported by the U.S. Department of State, through bilateral agreements with many countries, by grants from cultural institutions and governments abroad, and by private funds. The program does not provide grants for writers.

For more information, contact the International Writing Program.

Summer Program

Between the Lines

Between the Lines is a creative writing and cultural exchange summer program for American and international high school students. Students explore creative writing and world literature in a multilingual, multicultural environment, attend writing workshops, and participate in a literature seminar and a series of master classes.

Between the Lines offers two sessions for participants who are 15–18 years old:

  • Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience brings together young writers from the U.S. and select countries along the historic Silk Road land route for a two-week creative writing residency. The program is supported by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
  • Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging is sponsored through grant funds provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for the Islamic Art (DDFIA) Building Bridges Program. The two-week session, free for all participants, brings together Americans who are Muslims and Americans who are non-Muslims. Those who are first- or second-generation immigrants, from refugee communities, low-income households, or marginalized positions are particularly encouraged to apply.

International students are nominated for Peace and the Writing Experience by embassies in their home countries. American students may apply directly to IWP for both sessions; candidates must complete an online application, submit samples of their creative work and a statement of purpose, and respond to two writing prompts. Contact Between the Lines for more information.