IWP Between the Lines/ How to Apply (Benefits: Travel + more)
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IWP Between the Lines/ How to Apply (Benefits: Travel + more)

The International Writing Program is an organization dedicated to promoting “mutual understanding by providing writers from every part of the world the necessary space, physical or imaginative, for creative work and collaboration in an intercultural setting.” One of the ways they are making this not just a statement is the Between the Lines program.

The Between the Lines program themed “Peace and the Writing Experience” is a summer writing program that brings 30 students from 28 countries from around the world and joins them to 10-14 U.S.-based students for a two-week program at the University of Iowa. The program will take place between July 11—July 25, 2020. The deadline for application is March 1, 2020.

Who is Eligible for the Between the Lines Program:

  • Applicants must be between 15 and 18 years of age.
  • And they must be from one of these countries: 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.
  • There is no application fee.
  • But each applicant must have an international passport at the time of application.

How to Apply (for International Students):

  • To apply you must reach out to the U.S. Embassy in your home country to ask that they nominate you. Your application will be sent to them; then they will send it to IWP on your behalf.
  • Requirements: Submit a piece of original creative prose (fiction or nonfiction, or both), or poems. Either should be between 6 and 8 pages.
  • Prompt #1: The 2020 Between the Lines session will include discussion of identity as it relates to creative writing and the life of a writer. Please include your personal response to the following:

In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of (or seen as a member of) a particular group? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader? (3 pages maximum)

  • Prompt #2: An essential component of Between the Lines is encouraging participants to be vulnerable and explore the unfamiliar and unknown in a safe and supportive setting. At many points, whether in workshop or interpersonally, participants may feel out of their comfort zone. Please respond to the following:

Describe a time in your past when you had to engage with a new situation, person, or idea that initially felt uncomfortable or strange. How did you proceed? If you had the chance, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently? (400 words maximum)

  • Write a 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)
  • These documents should be formatted as Microsoft Docs, Times New Roman, 12 pt., and double-spaced, with a margin of 1 inch on all sides.
  • In the header include your name, name of piece (creative work, Prompt #1, Prompt 2#…) In the footer include page numbers.
  • If you cite other writers or people in your pieces, make sure to give them credit.
  • The submission closes by March 1, 2020.
  • Visit the their website here.


  • Travel expenses to the University of Iowa, U.S. for two weeks, will be covered.
  • Students get to meet and interact with peers who are just as brilliant as they are.
  • They get to learn more about creative writing and other cultures in those weeks.

Good luck.

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