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The IWP's massive open online courses (MOOCs) offer opportunities for interactive learning in creative writing and literature to unlimited numbers of participants around the world. MOOCs offer prerecorded video lectures provided by contributing authors, including IWP Fall Residents and University of Iowa professors; live and asynchronous discussion-based instruction provided by highly qualified teaching teams; reading and writing assignments; and inclusive community-based feedback. Supported by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the University of Iowa, each IWP MOOC is designed to provide global access to creative writing education and cultural exchange. The IWP's MOOCs have enrolled over 47,000 participants from 197 countries.

DIgital learning mooc-pack library

In order to support access to education for all, every time we create a MOOC, we also create a MOOC-Pack. A MOOC-Pack provides a MOOC’s core content, packaged with a how-to guide and extra instructional materials. Using a MOOC-Pack, anyone can lead a writing class or a study group.

The course materials for the following MOOCs are available for free for self-guided use (or browse the MOOC-Packs through our Digital Learning MOOC-Pack Library website):

MOOC – Hidden Meanings: Creative Fiction, Non-Fiction & Facts

MOOC – Stories of Place: Writing and the Natural World (Nov. 2018)

MOOC – Moving the Margins: Fiction and Inclusion (Sept. 2018)

MOOC in Spanish: Cómo los escritores escriben ficción: Mujeres en la narración (a translation from How Writers Write Fiction: Storied Women, MOOC in English from Fall 2016)

MOOC – Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction (May 2017)

MOOC – Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays (July 2017)

MOOC – #Flashwrite Teen Poetry MOOC (Spring 2016)

MOOC – Whitman's Civil War: Writing and Imaging Loss, Death, and Disaster (Summer 2016)

MOOC – How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women (Fall 2016)

MOOC – How Writers Write Poetry 2015 (Spring 2015)

MOOC – How Writers Write Fiction 2015 (Fall 2015)

MOOC – Every Atom: Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" (Spring 2014)

MOOC – How Writers Write Poetry 2014 (Summer 2014)

MOOC – How Writers Write Fiction 2014 (Fall 2014)

Past MOOC course materials are available for free at:

No MOOCs are planned for 2021, but when offered through the IWP, MOOCs are available free of charge; there are no registration fees or application requirements. An entirely *optional* Certificate of Completion may be purchased at the end of the course for 60 USD, if desired. To join our mailing list to receive notifications regarding future opportunities, please fill out the sign-up form here.

For inquiries about our MOOCs or other online programming, please email us by selecting "Digital Learning courses"  from the drop-down menu on our contact form here >

Happening Now

  • Just completed: “Sense of Belonging,” a bilingual Iowa City + Paris-based podcast series commissioned by Walid Rachedi and produced by NFW grad students in both cities, with support of the US Embassy in Paris.

  • Word has just reached us of the sudden death, in his hometown Gdańsk, of the novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright Paweł Huelle. RIP.

  • “I regret that poems can’t serve as witnesses in military tribunals; they can only testify in the court of history,” writes Iya Kiva in an essay for the project “War Is… Ukrainian Writers on Living Through Catastrophe.”

  • Congratulations to novelists Mansoura Ez-Eldin and Taleb Al-Refai for placing on the 2023 finalist list of the prestigious Prix de la littérature arabe.


  • Samuel Kolawole’s first novel, The Road to the Salt Sea, is announced for a July 2024 release.

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