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

2021 application season is now open. Please apply now!

The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP) invites young Russian writers to apply to participate in a two-week online program called “Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience (BTL)”. 

In 2021, four young writers from Russia will join 40 other students from all over the world for a two-week online program from July 10 to July 24, 2021.  All program activities will be in English and will include synchronized writing workshops, world literature seminars, special literary events, and social opportunities for cultural exchange, as well as group and individual writing assignments outside of class. Upon the completion of the program, each participant will receive a certificate (PDF) and IWP will digitally publish the students’ writing as an anthology.

BTL alumni may also be eligible to apply for BTL follow-on microgrants. These funds will support new work that promotes creative writing and literature, youth leadership skills, professional development, community engagement, and community transformation through collaborative literary projects.

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 10-24, 2021);
  • citizens of the Russian Federation living and studying in Russia;
  • 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 writing sample of 6–8 pages of prose (creative fiction/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.
  • 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.
  • brief response (no longer than 300 words) to the writing prompt.

Please find BTL Program Application HERE (DOCX, 123KB)

Please see for additional program information.

IWP will host an informational webinar on February 21, 2021 for prospective applicants to learn more about this year’s virtual BTL program.  The webinar will be an opportunity for young writers who are interested in the BTL program to join IWP staff, and BTL faculty and alumni for writing activities and a Q&A session about the program and the application/nomination process:

BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience Informational Webinar and Mini Workshop
When: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30 PM Central Time (21:00 – 22:30 Moscow Time)

Register in advance:

Applications with attachments should be sent to no later than March 15, 2021, 23:59 p.m. Moscow time. 

Please write in the subject line of the message: BTL-2021 [Last Name, First Name]