Between the Lines

Two BTL participants hug in the foreground while participating in a group activity.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
- Stephen King

Between the Lines is no longer accepting applications for its 2024 program. The extended application deadline for U.S.-based students was April 15, 2024. The application deadline for international students was March 15, 2024. Applications for international students are now closed.
  • If you are a U.S.-based student who would like to know more about the now-concluded 2024 application process, click here.

  • If you are an international student who would like to know more about the now-concluded 2024 application process, click here.

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, and for the first time since 2019, BTL will be in-person, and there will be two sessions: Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience, which will run from June 9-22, 2024, and Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging, which will run from June 30-July 14, 2024.

Each session will bring together 20 international (non-U.S.) and 10 U.S.-based students, ages 15–18, for two weeks of intensive BTL summer programming hosted by IWP and the University of Iowa. U.S. Embassies/Consulates in the following countries, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, France, Hungary, India, Laos, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, UAE, and Vietnam are invited to nominate students for the 2024 BTL Peace and the Writing Experience program, and the 2024 BTL Identity and Belonging program.

For students wishing to apply from the U.S, the cost of attending each BTL program will be $2000. This fee includes room and board, and access to all extracurricular summer program activities.

Both sessions of BTL 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.  

With award-winning U.S. and international faculty as their mentors, participants will spend 2–4 hours a day in creative writing workshops, world literature seminars, literary readings and Q&As with visiting authors, plus social opportunities for cultural exchange, group and individual writing assignments outside of class, and more. All programming will be conducted in English.

Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience, and Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging are sponsored through a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Programming partners include the University of Iowa and Prairie Lights Bookstore.


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

Follow Between the Lines on Instagram @btl_uiiwp and Facebook, and sign up for our email list to be in the loop about future opportunities.

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


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