Magid Center for Writing

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.

Undergraduate certificate: writing



The Magid Center for Writing takes seriously its mission to offer all undergraduate and nondegree-seeking students at the University of Iowa (regardless of major or area of study) the unique opportunity to enhance their academic, creative, and professional communication skills by focusing on the written word. In addition to sponsoring the Certificate in Writing, the center also publishes the student literary magazines Ink Lit Mag and Earthwords; advises and coordinates the publication of Fools Magazine, Boundless, Snapshots, and Wilder Things; supports the Iowa Writers Living Learning Community (in association with University Housing and Dining); and is home to the Iowa Youth Writing Project (a nonprofit K–12 literacy outreach endeavor), the Iowa Young Writers' Studio (a selective summer camp for aspiring high school writers), and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival (a noncredit, open enrollment creative writing program for adult learners).

The Magid Center for Writing was established in 2011 through a gift from Marilyn Y. Magid and family, in the name of the late Frank Magid, who believed that writing was a key component of a liberal arts and sciences education and a successful career.

The Certificate in Writing is administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Learn more about the university's wealth of writing resources by visiting the Writing University website, and read about the university's central role in Iowa City's designation as a UNESCO City of Literature.

College Program

Certificate in Writing

The Certificate in Writing (offered on campus and online) enables all undergraduate and nondegree-seeking students the opportunity to benefit from the university's wide-ranging writing programs and resources by pursuing a concentration in writing related to their academic success, career goals, or personal interests.

Precollege Program

Iowa Young Writers' Studio


The Iowa Young Writers' Studio is a creative writing program for high school students at the University of Iowa, housed in the Magid Center for Writing. The Summer Residential Program, offered in-person on the UI campus, gives promising high school–age creative writers the opportunity to spend two weeks studying fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, TV writing, or playwriting with teachers and counselors from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and other renowned UI writing programs.

Students in the Summer Residential Program share their writing with teachers and peers, receive constructive critique, participate in writing exercises and activities, and attend readings and literary events. The Iowa Young Writers' Studio operates under the philosophy that the study of creative writing is essential not only to students who want to pursue writing as a career, but to any student hoping to function effectively in a writing-centric world. The studio encourages students to explore different genres and approaches, and to express themselves freely, without censorship. Students are taught to be generous, respectful critics.

Students who have completed grades 10, 11, or 12 are eligible to attend the Summer Residential Program. Those interested submit an application, a creative writing sample, a statement of purpose, a high school transcript, and a letter of recommendation. Applications are taken online during the first week of February for the following summer.

The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio also offers six-week online creative writing courses for high school students. These courses are offered in January–February and in late June–early August. The courses are asynchronous, so students can complete the assignments and participate in the discussions on their own schedules. The courses offer students the chance to study creative writing with graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and other UI writing programs, and to connect with other high school-age writers around the country and the world. Students who complete the course and meet all the requirements will receive a certificate of completion. Applicants must be enrolled in high school and have a grade-point average of 3.00 or higher. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, a teacher statement of support, a parental permission form, and a transcript. Applications are taken online in the fall (for January–February courses) and in the spring (for June–August courses).

Visit the Iowa Young Writers' Studio website for detailed information about the summer program and online courses.

K–12 Opportunities

Iowa Youth Writing Project


The Iowa Youth Writing Project (IYWP) is an arts outreach organization based at the University of Iowa that empowers, inspires, and engages K–12 youth throughout the state using language arts and creative thinking. Every year, the IYWP works with over 100 undergraduate volunteers and interns to lead ongoing/weekly programming and to help with the execution of special events. The IYWP hosts weekly writing workshops, free of cost to participants, in numerous K–12 schools and community centers throughout Eastern Iowa, publishing the work of every young person involved. Collaborations with campus and community partners such as Hancher Auditorium, United Action for Youth (UAY), FilmScene, and the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature foster an exciting selection of both annual and one-time events that bring K–12 students in contact with emerging and established writers in the region.

For more information or to get involved, contact the Iowa Youth Writing Project.

Adult Opportunities

Iowa Summer Writing Festival


The Iowa Summer Writing Festival is a noncredit creative writing program for adults. The festival brings some 1,200 writers to the University of Iowa campus each summer to participate in weeklong, two-week, and weekend workshops across the genres, as well as online workshops offered throughout the year. Writers at all levels are welcome.

Participants choose from more than 140 workshops in novel writing, short fiction, hybrid forms, poetry, memoirs, essays, playwriting, screenwriting, travel writing, humor, writing for children, and more. Festival classes are conducted as workshops, where the primary texts are participants’ own creative work.

Weeklong workshops meet for three hours each day, Monday through Friday, and include individual student/instructor conferences. Weeklong sessions feature a daily lecture series on aspects of literary craft, as well as evening readings and other events. Weekend sessions meet for eight hours over two days. Visit the Iowa Summer Writing Festival website for information about workshops, schedules, and registration. Program information for the coming summer is posted in mid-January.