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Distance Learning Course Draws Record Number of Applicants

387 writers from 49 countries applied for the fall 2013 Advanced Fiction Seminar.
387 writers from 49 countries applied for the fall 2013 Advanced Fiction Seminar.
Fifteen writers have been selected to participate in IWP’s fall Advanced Fiction Seminar, a free seven-session online fiction-writing course offered through IWP Distance Learning. The course drew a record number of applicants; by the time the call for applications closed on September 6th, 387 writers had applied for the seminar, more than twice the number of applications Distance Learning received for previous online courses. Applicants hailed from 49 countries (the largest number in Distance Learning history) and every continent except Antarctica.

Applicants by Region (Click to Enlarge)
Applicants by Region (Click to Enlarge)
About half of the applications came from within the United States (213 applicants). After North America, Asia and Africa had the greatest number of applicants. Each writer who applied for the free seminar submitted a resume, a letter of intent, and a five-page writing sample. Applications were judged on the quality of the writing sample, but with so many applications coming from all over the world, fewer than 4% of those who applied were accepted, an acceptance rate comparable to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Applicants by Country (Click to Enlarge)
Applicants by Country (Click to Enlarge)
“In order to maintain a high quality of instruction and ensure that participants have the opportunity to engage with the instructor and with each other, we have to limit the course to fifteen students,” says Distance Learning Coordinator Susannah Shive.  “Unfortunately, that means turning away a number of talented writers. Distance Learning intends to offer more courses in the future. Later this fall, we’ll also be announcing a MOOC (a massively open online course) centered around the Whitman Web multimedia gallery and translation project.”

 

15 writers from Costa Rica, Egypt, England, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, US were selected.
15 writers from Costa Rica, Egypt, England, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, US were selected.
The fifteen writers selected to participate in this fall’s Advanced Fiction Seminar hail from Costa Rica, Egypt, England, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Instructor Nate Brown will conduct the first session of the seminar this Saturday, using Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom software to bring the participants face to face, across thousands of miles and more than ten time zones. This diverse, vibrant, and talented group of writers will surely learn and share much wisdom about writing, literature, and their respective corners of the world in the weeks to come.

Stay tuned to IWP’s Distance Learning webpage for more information about upcoming courses.

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