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

BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience 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 as soon as possible 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 2023 BTL virtual program: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. 

Individuals not from these countries (or the U.S.) are unfortunately not eligible to participate in 2023. 

Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience will take place July 8 through July 21, 2023. The application deadline for this program is April 21st. 


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. 

  • Prompt #1: How does literature help us understand who we are and where we belong? In this essay, explore how writing can help us discover and express our identities, and how being part of a community or culture can influence our writing. You might consider how reading books and hearing other people's stories can help us understand ourselves and others. Think about how our need to connect with others shapes our sense of belonging, and how feeling connected or disconnected can impact our writing. Use examples from your own life or from books you've read to support your ideas (3-page maximum).

  • Prompt #2: An essential component of Between the Lines is encouraging participants to be vulnerable and explore the unfamiliar and unknown in a safe and supportive setting. At many points, whether in workshop or interpersonally, participants may feel out of their comfort zone. Please respond to the following:  
    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? (400 words maximum)  

  • Write a statement of purpose describing why creative writing is important in your life, and what you hope to learn through our BTL program (250 words maximum).

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

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