International Writing Program (IWP) Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience

International Writing Program (IWP) Between the Lines 2020: Peace and the Writing Experience


The submission deadline for the applications is 18:00 (local Georgian time) on February 20, 2020.


The U.S Embassy in Tbilisi is pleased to announce the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa titled “Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience.”  This program will bring together young international writers and their U.S. peers for a two-week creative writing residency in Iowa City on July 11-25, 2020.

This year’s version of Between the Lines (BTL) will bring together 30 writers, aged 15-18, from Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Uzbekistan, along with 10-14 U.S. peers.

With professional U.S. and international writers as their teachers, participants will broaden their literary horizons, deepen their empathy and their understanding of one another’s cultures, and improve their communication skills. All programming will be conducted in English.

Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department. Programming partners include the University of Iowa, Prairie Lights Bookstore, and other local groups and university departments.

Ideal candidates are talented young writers who show promise to become future literary or media figures in their respective countries.  Candidates must be between the ages of 15-18 as of July 11, 2020, proficient in English (reading, writing, and speaking), and able to participate effectively in intercultural exchange.

The application package includes:

  1. Completed application
  2. Original creative prose and/or poetry in English (6-8 pages).
  3. Prompt #1: Personal statement (3 pages maximum) about how your identity influences you as a creative writer and reader.
  4. Prompt #2: An essay describing a time in your past when you had to engage with a new situation, person, or idea that initially felt uncomfortable or strange. (300 words maximum).
  5. Statement of purpose describing why creative writing is important in your life, and what you hope to learn at our program in Iowa. (250 words maximum).

NOTE: The following formatting standards are required for all submitted documents. If not followed, applications may not be considered.

Format:         Typed (Microsoft Word document preferred but not required)
Font type:     Times New Roman
Font size:      12 point
Spacing:        Double
Margins:        1 inch on all sides
Header:         Include your name, name of the piece (creative work, Prompt #1, Prompt #2, Statement of Purpose)
Footer:           Include page numbers
Citations:      If using other people’s words/content, always give them credit.

Please send an application package in one email with a subject line “Between the Lines 2020: Peace and the Writing Experience” to