Between the Lines Alumni Writing Contest

Deadline August 31, 2018

Past participants in the International Writing Program’s (IWP) Between the Lines (BTL) sessions are invited to submit their prose or poems for a chance at publication on the IWP website and the opportunity to travel and participate in upcoming IWP events! This contest is supported by funds from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

The top five submissions will be published on the IWP/BTL website. Of these five, one top American winner and one top international winner will be chosen. Both the American winner and the international winner will join the Fall Residency trip to Washington, D.C., taking place November 1-3, 2018; travel, lodging, and meals will be paid for by the IWP in collaboration with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The top two winners will also give a virtual presentation on their writing contest experiences at the following summer’s (2019) BTL session. 

Contest Guidelines:

  • Who: 2008-2018 Alumni of Between the Lines (excludes participants in 2016 BTL “Silk Routes” and 2017 BTL “Identity and Belonging” – if uncertain of eligibility, please email:  btlalumni-contest@uiowa.edu)
  • What: Works of prose or poetry – no longer than 10 pages total
  • Deadline: August 31, 2018
  • Format: Double-spaced, 12-point font, as a PDF or Word document, with name and contact email at the top of your submission
  • Submit: By email to btlalumni-contest@uiowa.edu


Please also answer the following in a separate document, with name and contact email at the top, and email it along with your writing submission:

  1. What Between the Lines session did you participate in, and what year?
  2. Have you pursued creative writing since BTL, and if so, in what ways? (100 words max)
  3. How has BTL impacted your writing and literary life? (250-500 words)
  4. How has BTL impacted the way you think about your identity, and how you interact with others in the world? (250-500 words)


Submitting work to the Between the Lines Alumni Writing Contest grants International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa permission to use these materials for IWP and BTL social media, publicity, and grant reporting.

Winners will be announced via email the week of September 17, 2018.

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