Summer writing workshop – “Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience”

The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP) invites young Russian writers to apply to participate in a two-week summer cultural exchange program called Between the Lines (BTL). In 2020, three young writers from Russia will join 30 other students from all over the world for a residency and workshop program in Iowa City in July.  All program activities will be in English and will include writing workshops, group and individual writing assignments, world literature seminars, cultural visits, and other local events. Upon the completion of the program, IWP will publish the students’ writings as an anthology.

The program will cover the cost of travel, per diem, and other expenses associated with the students’ stay in the United States. Funds may also be available to support in-country travel for visa interviews.

Ideal candidates are talented young writers who show promise to become future literary figures in Russia. Students must be:

  • 18 years old at the time of the program (July 11-25, 2020);
  • proficient in English (reading, writing, and speaking);
  • able to participate effectively in intercultural exchange.

The final selection of participants is to be determined by Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and IWP.

Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible to apply:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of a participating country;
  • Alumni of U.S. Government-funded programs;
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State; employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State employees; family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment.

Student applications must include the following items:

  • A creative writing sample of 6–8 pages of prose (creative nonfiction) and/or poetry in English.  Critical essays (book reports, academic reports, and so forth) will not be accepted.
  • An essay, in English, of no more than three pages in response to the writing prompt.
  • A brief statement of purpose (no more than 250 words), in English, describing why writing is important to the applicant’s life, and what he/she hopes to learn at BTL.
  • A brief response (no longer than 300 words) to the writing prompt.
2020 application season is now open.

If you want to apply for the program, please send an e-mail to, and we will send you the application materials.