Summer Institute

The Summer Institute is an immersive two-week creative writing and cultural exchange program held in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S., a UNESCO City of Literature, for participants age 18-22 from Pakistan, India, and the U.S. Students from all disciplines – the arts, humanities, sciences, and everything in between – are welcome to apply! This program is free for accepted applicants, and will focus on creative writing and the power of narrative. Attendees take part in master classes in the craft of writing, in collaborative workshops focused on their creative work, and in activities designed to forge new lines of understanding and shared purpose among its community of writers. The Summer Institute is an opportunity to see writing as a form of action – a personally-empowering skill that can be employed for social change.

The Summer Institute is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

2020 Session – Pakistan/India/U.S.:  4-18 July

During Summer Institute morning sessions, our faculty will lead master classes on an array of topics; while afternoons will be reserved primarily for generative writing sessions led by our writing experts. Additional panels will foster discussion of identity and culture, and allow participants to explore collaboration and team-building. Evenings will feature arts programming, such as literary readings, open mic nights, movies, and special workshops (on topics such as slam poetry or screenwriting), as well as free time to write and socialize. The weekend may include additional arts programming, as well as a relaxing afternoon picnic at Lake Macbride State Park, a great place for swimming and walking in the woods.

2020 application details >


An introduction to writing at The University of Iowa:

An introduction to Iowa City:

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Happening Now

  • Kristian Sendon CORDERO (IWP '17) co-edited a special issue of Words Without Borders on writing in the Philippines. Its range of poetry in the country's many languages includes Filipino work of Genevieve ASENJO (IWP '12).

  • Muhamed "Nabo" ABDELNABI (Egypt, IWP '13) has been awarded France's 2019 Prix de la littérature arabe for his 2016 novel, published last year in the UK as In the Spider's Room .

  • Over on  Asymptote, in English and Cantonese, the long poem " The Man Who Lost HIs Shadow,"  by Hong Kong poet and editor Stuart LAU (IWP '17).

  • On fish-paste English and cheddar-English: a long interview at LARB (Los Angeles Review of Books) about language, politics, and language politics with Burmese poet and worker KO KO THETT (IWP '16).

  • Behind the 2018+ 2019 Nobel Prizes for Literature given to novelists Peter Handke  and Olga Tokarczuk are translators--one key among them Jennifer CROFT, novelist as well as translator from the Polish, Ukrainian, and  Spanish. Congratulations!

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