What is the IWP Fall Residency?
The IWP is a 10-week residency program for 30-35 writers and literary professionals from all over the world, typically running between the end of August and mid-November. Refer to This Year's Program for a full description.
Is the IWP seeking residents for 2021?
Selections for the 2021 Fall Residency have already been made. You may still, at any time, nominate yourself for a future residency, by submitting a complete online nomination form. But we must ask for your patience. Starting again in 2022, the IWP will connect highly qualified writers with potential funding sources. Please see below under "Funding" for what makes a writer qualified for the Fall Residency.
How does the IWP differ from other writing residencies?
The IWP is the world's oldest and largest residency for international writers. For over fifty years, the program has brought some of the brightest writing talent to Iowa City – home also to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the Playwrights' Workshop, and the Spanish Language Creative Writing Program. Our goal is to provide visiting writers with the time and space to write. Participants complete projects and begin new ones. In addition, they forge productive relationships with colleagues and translators, and take part in the vibrant social and academic lives of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and the American literary scene.
What is the difference between the International Writing Program and the Iowa Writers' Workshop?
Because both programs are based at the University of Iowa, and because both are the oldest and most widely recognized programs of their kind, they are often confused. The IWP is a non-degree-granting 10-week residency designed for early- to mid-career international writers; it also does not offer academic credit for participation. The Iowa Writers' Workshop is a 2-year MFA-granting graduate program for students of creative writing enrolled at the University of Iowa.
How often does the Residency take place?
The IWP's Fall Residency is held annually during the fall semester only, from the end of August through mid-November. The rest of the calendar year features IWP programming such as Lines & Spaces Overseas Reading Tours, Digital Learning courses, youth Between the Lines programs, and college-level Summer Institute.
Does the IWP have regular publications?
The online journal 91st Meridian
A series with Autumn Hill Books
Periscope, which focuses on alumni interviews
Video interviews on IWP's YouTube channel
Origins: The International Writing Program Podcast (not a current project, but a relatively recent archive)
Where is the IWP located?
The IWP is centrally located on the University of Iowa campus at:
430 North Clinton Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Participants are primarily early- to mid-career international writers of fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, drama, or screenplays. Literary translators and journalists have also participated, but only with a comparable track record in one of the creative genres. Writers must have at least one published volume alongside works that have appeared in significant publications (anthologies, journals, literary magazines) over the last two years. Refer to How To Nominate a Writer for more information on eligibility requirements. Refer to Fall Residency for biographies of our most recent visiting writers.
How are writers selected for the program?
Space at the IWP Fall Residency is limited. The IWP does not have in-house funding for the writers who participate; rather, the program directs the most qualified candidates to potential funding sources. These outside funding sources conduct their own selection processes, each of which is highly competitive and independent of direct IWP influence. Overall, the IWP's goal is to host a diverse group of writers who would benefit from and contribute to a dynamic exchange.
If you are a qualified writer (see "Who is eligible to attend the Fall Residency," immediately above) and would like to nominate yourself, or know of a writer we should consider, please submit an online nomination form. As mentioned above, the IWP will direct the most qualified nominees towards potential funding sources.
If you represent a cultural agency, institution, or other literary organization, and know of a qualified writer (see "Who is eligible to attend the Fall Residency," immediately above) whom you wish to nominate and would be willing to fund, submit a complete online nomination form and please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a 10-week budget covering the estimated costs of the program.
Does the IWP provide financial support for participants?
The IWP does not fund individual residencies. Rather, the program works with external funding, through grants with other arts agencies worldwide. (See "How are writers selected for the program?" immediately above.)
Can the IWP help me find a funding agency that might sponsor my participation?
(See "How are writers selected for the program?" above.) A review of the annual reports or writer biographies from recent years will illustrate the funders with whom the IWP has most recently worked. These agencies divide roughly into three groups:
- U.S. State Department/Embassies: A worldwide competition for a limited number of funded spots is annually conducted by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, through its network of U.S. Embassies. To participate, it is necessary to be nominated by the U.S. Embassy or diplomatic post in your country. Some embassies conduct their own searches, some do not make nominations at all, and still others are amenable to writers requesting to be nominated. The U.S. State Department competition is contingent on grant funding and is typically determined in the early part of each calendar year.
- Cultural and arts agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere: These agencies typically conduct their own searches and select nominees internally. We are always interested in exploring new partnerships with cultural agencies.
- Grants available in the writer's own country: Some writers apply for grants internally in their countries, through a national agency or a university, or through a combination of means. The IWP deals with these opportunities on a case-by-case basis.
Each funding agency works on its own timeline, usually throughout the spring. All selections are finalized, and invitations issued, by June 1.
How can my organization fund a writer to attend the Fall Residency?
The IWP is interested in exploring new partnerships with arts organizations in the U.S. and around the world. If your organization would like to fund a writer's attendance at the Fall Residency, please email email@example.com for a 10-week budget covering the estimated costs of the program.
Can I pay to attend the Fall Residency?
The IWP does not allow self-funding. Writers must secure funding from an appropriate funding agency.
Traveling to/from/within the United States
What type of visa will I need to participate in the Fall Residency?
Participating writers must enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa. Depending on your funding source, IWP staff may be able to help you throughout the application process. Visa interviews should be arranged with your local U.S. embassy or diplomatic post no later than three months in advance of expected travel.
How will my flights be arranged to and from the IWP?
Most funding sources deposit grant funds directly to the IWP for international round-trip airfare. The program will work with you on all itineraries and reservations.
What are the travel periods?
Participants will travel to additional U.S. cities during the course of the Residency. These educationally-focused IWP staff-led trips offer the chance to encounter other distinct American literary communities.
What form of transportation does the IWP provide throughout the Residency?
The University of Iowa campus surrounds downtown Iowa City, so IWP Residents walk to and from most daily events. There is also a university-sponsored bus with numerous routes that the Residents may use. The IWP will provide transportation for IWP-sponsored events out of town.
Can I take trips outside of Iowa City by myself during the Residency?
Professional visits to universities and organizations outside of Iowa City are welcome – writers will need to arrange these on their own and notify the IWP ahead of time. Any trip outside of IWP programming will require full contact information for where you will be staying. J-1 visas have a 30-day grace period on either side of the Residency. Personal travel is ideally taken at that time. Non-Residency-related personal travel during the Residency is discouraged, and if days are taken away from the Residency for personal travel, they will not have per diem coverage.
Life at the Residency
- IWP writers will stay at The Iowa House Hotel. Each room has a private bathroom, wireless internet, a mini-fridge, coffee pot, and microwave. Other amenities include an iron and ironing board, HDTV, iPod docking system, and complimentary access to UI exercise facilities and pool.
- Residents will receive 'per diem' checks on the first business day of each month to cover the basic monthly cost of food and incidentals, at a rate as set by the University of Iowa. Individuals may wish to supplement this amount with their own funds.
- IWP staff will arrange for each writer to acquire a Social Security Number (SSN), essential for any payments received during your time in the U.S.
- Fall Residency grants do not include the funds to insure personal items.
- The weather in Iowa City during the Residency will range from 35 Celsius (95 F) when you arrive, down to 2 Celsius (35 F) or below near the end of the Residency.
What types of events will I participate in?
The Fall Residency calendar of events includes public readings, class visits, panel discussions, film screenings, dinner and party invitations out into the community, museum visits, trips to various Iowa landmarks, and other cultural outings. Though attendance to a number of these will be encouraged, the only events you will be required to attend are those at which you've previously agreed to appear, as well as a few IWP-sponsored highlight events. Visit This Year’s Program for more information about these events.
Should I bring copies of my books with me to the IWP?
Please do! Both the IWP's Shambaugh House library and the main University of Iowa library have extensive collections of IWP participants' work. You may also want to bring a few copies for personal readings and presentations.
Can the IWP help me with contacting U.S. publishers?
U.S. book publishing works primarily through literary agents, and the IWP is not a literary agency. The IWP will share with Residents what it knows about journals, MFA programs, small presses, and the big publishing houses, but the IWP does not have a “pipeline” to any presses or literary agencies.
Can I get paid for a class visit and/or appearance at a university?
Invitations to appear at various universities and organizations often arise during the course of the Fall Residency. Some of these are paid, and others are volunteer efforts. IWP staff will facilitate invitations for these arrangements, but each writer is responsible for negotiating any payments directly with the inviting organization.
Can I take or visit a class at the University of Iowa?
Taking (or auditing) a UI course is subject to approval by the course instructor. Because IWP participants are not on campus for the full semester, taking courses for credit is unlikely. The UI's course listing site contains a complete list of courses offered each semester.
Can I take or visit a class at the Iowa Writers' Workshop?
Participation in classes at the Writers' Workshop is subject to the approval of the course instructor. Arrangements are usually difficult to make, as the program's workshops are highly selective and work-intense.
How can I locate additional information about particular writers who have previously attended the program?
How can I sign up for the IWP email list?
Please sign up for our email list here.
- Go to the contact form on this site.
- Enter your name and e-mail address in the fields provided.
- From the "Category" drop-down list, select "Add me to mailing list."
- Click "Send message."
Please send further inquiries to:
International Writing Program
430 N. Clinton Street
Iowa City, IA 52242-2020
Phone: (319) 335-0128
Fax: (319) 335-3843