Between the Lines

Students sitting and talking under trees by the Iowa River in the beautiful light of magic hour.
If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you:
I am here to live out loud.
—Emile Zola
The new deadline for Between the Lines (both sessions) U.S. applicants is April 10th!
Applications for non-U.S. students are now closed.
Follow Between the Lines on Instagram @btl_uiiwpFacebook and sign up for our email list to be in the loop about future opportunities here>.

Topic: BTL 2022 Information and Q&A Session with IWP staff and BTL alumni
Time: Feb 20, 2022 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Where: Zoom (students and families welcome!)
To join us for this event on Zoom register here>.

BTL session for U.S.-based students only
Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging 2022 (June 18-July 2, 2022) is planned to be held in-person on the University of Iowa campus and is free of cost for all participants. The session will convert to a virtual format if deemed necessary. Due to the University of Iowa’s current policies, we cannot require vaccines, testing, or masks for program staff, volunteers, or participants. We do encourage and recommend vaccines and testing and masking as laid out here: Further details on BTL’s in-person Covid-related policies are here >

BTL session for international (non-U.S.) and U.S.-based students: 
Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience 2022 (July 15-30) will be virtual and free of cost for all participants

From BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience participant, Luka (Georgia, BTL '21): 
“The most important knowledge I have gathered… is that writing is a big force to unite people. It is an umbrella, that can guard all of us from the despairing droplets.”

2022 session dates:

  • Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging: June 18 – July 2, 2022 (planned as in-person, for students from the U.S. only) 
  • Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience: July 15 – July 30, 2022 (virtual, for students from the U.S. and select countries that change year to year – eligible countries for 2022 are listed on our Between the Lines Sessions page)

Since 2008, Between the Lines (BTL) has hosted young writers at the University of Iowa for a cultural exchange program that focuses on the art and craft of creative writing. Participants ages 15-18 come together in Iowa City or online for an intensive two-week session. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our sessions went virtual in 2020 and 2021—and were a huge success! 

From a participant in the  BTL: Identity and Belonging virtual session: 
“I would definitely recommend this program to a friend... I have never been in a group where I felt I could share my thoughts and beliefs free of any judgment [before this experience in BTL]—and I believe everyone should have a chance to experience that.”

Whether online or in-person, BTL 2022 will transcend social distances by offering an intensive creative writing program combined with the exciting discoveries of intercultural exchange. Through honing their craft together and engaging in open-hearted discussions, a new community of young writers will connect the dots between their home cultures, sparking friendships throughout the U.S. and around the globe.  

From a participant in the BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience virtual session: 
“My interactions and connections with my international peers have definitely exceeded my expectations—I was worried that I would feel disconnected from them because we weren't together in person, but talking with them over Zoom and Zoom chat made me feel so close to them in a way that I've been missing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

BTL writers will spend time together daily in creative writing workshops and global literature seminars. Each step is designed to broaden their literary horizons and deepen their empathy for and understanding of one another’s identities and stories. 

From a participant in the BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience virtual session: 
“These past two weeks studying/learning with my international peers has been life-changing... I never thought I'd find such a vibrant, cool community of writers, and even though it was online I feel like I know these people well enough to hug them in real life.”  

Both sessions will be led by a faculty of prize-winning poets and writers from the U.S. and abroad, who are also experienced creative writing teachers. Guest artists will bring focus to special craft topics, participants will perform in an open mic, and a faculty reading will be hosted by Iowa City’s iconic bookstore, Prairie Lights. Plenty of fun social and cultural activities encourage dialogue and strengthen the bonds we build into a vibrant BTL community. At the program’s end, everyone’s new work will be published in the annual camp anthology and each participant will receive a graduation certificate.  

BTL offers two, two-week summer sessions—Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging (for students from the U.S. only) & Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience (for students from the U.S. and 20 select countries that change year to year). Learn more about the sessions here > 

Follow Between the Lines on Instagram @btl_uiiwpFacebook.

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