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

  • To mark PEN International’s centennial, Words Without Borders has published a sampler of works by writers committed to freedom of expression. Algerian novelist and scholar Med MAGANI is among them.

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

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