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 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 1,500 writers from over 150 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, or visit its website.

International Writing Program writers involved in a conversation.

Summer Programs

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, a statement of purpose, and respond to two writing prompts. Contact Between the Lines for more information.

Summer Institute

The Summer Institute is a summer program that brings together U.S., Indian, and Pakistani college-age students (18-22 years old) for two weeks in July to focus on creative writing and the power of narrative. Summer Institute attendees take part in master classes in the craft of writing and the history and culture of South Asia, in collaborative workshops, and in activities designed to forge a community of writers. The program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, is free for selected participants.

Students from the three countries apply online. Contact the Summer Institute for more information.

International Writing Program Courses

IWP:1009 Undergraduate Internship arr.

Professional experience for students interested in arts management and international literature. Requirements: undergraduate standing, minimum of 36 s.h. of coursework, and consultation with IWP director.

IWP:1102 On Campus Independent Study arr.

Independent study arranged in collaboration with instructor.

IWP:3191 International Literature Today 1,3 s.h.

English majors and English and Creative Writing majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Transnational Literature and Postcolonial Studies. PERIOD: 20th/21st-Century Literature. Same as ENGL:3595, TRNS:3191, WLLC:3191.

IWP:3201 Writing and Publishing for the Literary Web arr.

Technical aspects of web publishing, including step-by-step instruction on using content management systems (Drupal and Wordpress); specific stylistic and editorial protocols associated with contributing to literary websites; utilize and navigate a content management system; create a contributor portfolio of online work, including media items, reviews, interviews, and blog posts.

IWP:3210 Comparative Arts 3 s.h.

Cultural and aesthetic issues arising from side-by-side investigation of several art forms, including literature, cinema, painting, music, opera, architecture; periods, schools, styles, and their theories. Taught in English. Same as ASIA:3210, FREN:3210, SPAN:3211, WLLC:3210.

IWP:5205 International Translation Workshop 1,3 s.h.

International writers pair with University of Iowa translators to write new works of poetry and fiction in English; second-language fluency not required for international writers. Same as TRNS:5210.

IWP:5230 Writing Across Genres: A Workshop arr.

Writing across genres; exploration of modes and voices different from chosen genres (i.e., poets may test the waters of playwriting, nonfiction writers of translation, translators of fiction); rotations by guest faculty; workshop includes students from Writing University M.F.A. programs and International Writing Program residents.

IWP:6635 Crossing Borders Seminar 2-3 s.h.

Taught in English. Same as AFAM:6635, ANTH:6635, COMM:6635, ENGL:6635, FREN:6142, GEOG:6635, GRMN:6635, HIST:6135, POLI:6635, SPAN:6904.

IWP:7460 Translation Workshop 3 s.h.

Requirements: at least one foreign language. Same as TRNS:7460.