Between the Lines International Writing Program 2017 for Young Aspiring Writers – Iowa, USA (Fully Funded)

Between the Lines International Writing Program

Application Deadline: April 1st 2017

In the summer of 2017 BTL will once again host its combined session, which unites students from Russia, Arabic-speaking countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and the United States. Focusing on Peace and the Writing Experience, the session will bring together young writers from diverse backgrounds to explore distinct histories, languages, and cultures while also approaching world literatures and writing as a dialogue that leads to empathy and a shared understanding of the human condition.

For two exciting weeks, participants learn from one another through creative writing workshops, global literature seminars, and special events featuring international authors, guest speakers, and cultural exchange activities.

BTL is a small, structured program run by experienced staff of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature and home to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Participants live in university dorms with trained counselors—themselves writers—and are taught by a faculty of prize-winning poets and writers from the U.S. and abroad. By the end of each session, participants will have grown not only as writers but also as citizens of the world, becoming part of a tight-knit international network.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be between 16-19 years old by the start of the program.
  • International students travel to the U.S. with an adult chaperone. If you are between the ages of 25-40 and interested in being a chaperone, please read the Chaperone Application Form listed under « Additional Resources » on the BTL 2017 page.
  • Chaperones are typically teachers and/or writers in eligible countries with an interest in learning about writing pedagogy and improving their own craft of creative writing.

Eligible Countries:

BTL Russian/Arabic session: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emerites, and Yemen.

BTL Sessions:

  • BTL Russian/Arabic: July 1-15
  • BTL Identity & Belonging: July 22-29


  • Because international students accepted into BTL have all expenses paid for by grants from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, international applicants will apply to the participating U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.
  • You must then go through a process of nomination.

Application Documents:

  • International Student Application Form
  • Copy of Passport, if available
  • 6-8 pages of creative work (fiction and/or poetry) in your native language. Essays or other forms of nonfiction will not be accepted.
  • 6-8 pages of creative work in English. Essays or other forms of nonfiction will not be accepted. All submitted materials must be unique, untranslated; select samples that best represent your abilities as a writer
  • The 2017 Between the Lines session will include discussion of identity as it relates to creative writing, and the life of a writer. Please include 3-5 pages in personal statement/response to the following:Family, friends, region, tribe, religious denomination, ethnic groups, class, gender, race,work, neighborhood, country, political parties—in our daily lives we navigate between different markers, adjusting our speech patterns and behavior to the demands of each encounter, narrating to ourselves stories about how and why we come to occupy a particular place in the scheme of things. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member (or be seen as a member) of particular identity groups? In what way does your identity influence your creative writing?
  • A statement of purpose (250 words maximum, in English) describing why creative writing is important in your life, and what you hope to learn at our program in Iowa.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Between the Lines International Writing Program 2017



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