Introduction to Creative Writing (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Course Description

In partnership with SAAS (Slavic Anglo American School) Marina in St. Petersburg, Russia, IWP Distance Learning (DL) will create an introductory creative writing course, sampling both American poetry and short fiction, for 7th – 10th grade high school students enrolled at the school. The course will run from March 13 through April 17, 2013. Iowa Writers’ Worskhop alum and fellow Sara Akant will lead five, hour-long sessions, which are scheduled over the course of six weeks. Sessions will be conducted via Skype and Blue Jeans Network, a program that facilitates multiple video users. The course website Lore will be used in conjunction with the live sessions to post reading and writing assignments. Structurally, the course includes two sessions on fiction, one session on multi-genre literature (prose poems) and two sessions on poetry. During class, students will discuss the assigned reading with the instructor and will complete multiple in-class writing exercises based on the reading. Akant will provide individual feedback on writing assignments via email. The intent of the course is to offer students the chance to discuss literature and write their own prose and poetry in English.


Sara AKANT received her MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Iowa as the Postgraduate Provost Fellow in Poetry. Her work has appeared in Super Arrow, Petri Press, and Wag’s Revue, among others.

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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