Between the Lines International Writing Program for Aspiring Writers 2018 (Fully Funded)

Deadline: March 15, 2018


In the summer of 2018, BTL will once again host its combined session, which unites students from Russia, Arabic-speaking countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and the United States. Focusing on Peace and the Writing Experience, the session will bring together young writers from diverse backgrounds to explore distinct histories, languages, and cultures while also approaching world literatures and writing as a dialogue that leads to empathy and a shared understanding of the human condition.

For two exciting weeks, participants learn from one another through creative writing workshops, global literature seminars, and special events featuring international authors, guest speakers, and cultural exchange activities. BTL is a small, structured program run by experienced staff of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature and home to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Participants live in university dorms with trained counselors—themselves writers—and are taught by a faculty of prize-winning poets and writers from the U.S. and abroad. By the end of each session, participants will have grown not only as writers but also as citizens of the world, becoming part of a tight-knit international network.



Because international students accepted into BTL have all expenses paid for by grants from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, international applicants will apply to the participating U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country. You must then go through a process of nomination. As we learn individual country deadlines and links to the application process, we will post them here. The current list of eligible countries for the Russian/Arabic session includes: Russia, Sudan, and Near Eastern Affairs countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).


  • International Student Application Form
  • Copy of Passport, if available
  • 6-8 pages of creative work in English. Essays or other forms of nonfiction will not be accepted. All submitted materials must be unique, untranslated; select samples that best represent your abilities as a writer. Students do NOT need to submit creative work in their native language.
  • The 2018 Between the Lines session will include discussion of identity as it relates to creative writing, and the life of a writer. Please include 2-4 pages in personal statement/response to the following:

In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of (or seen as a member of) a particular group? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader?

  • A statement of purpose (250 words maximum, in English) describing why creative writing is important in your life, and what you hope to learn at our program in Iowa.


Learn More and Apply HERE.

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