Applying to Between the Lines - International (Non-U.S.-Based) Students

Please note that the application period for Between the Lines 2024 has now concluded. This page remains public so that potential students can see what kind of process to expect in 2025.

Between the Lines is paid for by funds from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Therefore, international applicants will apply to the Cultural Affairs Office at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their country. If you are interested in Between the Lines, please check with your U.S. embassy on or after February 2, 2024, for more information on their application process; you will need to prepare the materials listed below when you apply. If your U.S. embassy agrees to nominate you, they will apply to IWP on your behalf.

U.S. embassies/consulates in the following countries are invited to nominate young writers for the 2024 BTL in-person program: Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroun, France, Hungary, India, Laos, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, UAE, and Vietnam.

Individuals not from these countries (or the U.S.) are unfortunately not eligible to participate in 2024. 

Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience will take place from June 9 through June 22, 2024, and Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging will take place from June 30 through July 14, 2024. The application deadline for both sessions was March 15, 2024.


If the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country agrees to nominate you, you will need to provide them with the materials outlined below. These include your original creative writing in English, your responses to the two written prompts, and a statement of purpose. More details below: 

  • Original creative prose (fiction and/or nonfiction) and/or poetry in English (6-8 pages). Book reports and other academic writing will not be accepted. You may submit one piece or several pieces of creative work to make the 6-8 page requirement. Poems may be single-spaced with multiple poems per page.

  • A 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/they hope to learn at BTL. 

  • A brief response (no longer than 300 words) to the following: “An essential component of Between the Lines is encouraging participants to explore the unfamiliar and unknown in a safe and supportive setting. Please describe a time in your past when you had to engage with a new situation, person, or idea that initially felt uncomfortable or strange. How did you proceed? If you had the chance, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently?” 

If you have more questions, please see the FAQ by clicking here


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact IWP in advance at

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