University of Iowa




Note: It is possible to take a weeklong and weekend workshop in succession, and participants routinely do so. They do not overlap.

Weeklong and Two-Week Workshop Schedule:


Weeklong and two-week workshops begin Sunday evening with a light dinner, orientation, and the first class meeting. For the rest of the week, workshops meet each afternoon, Monday through Friday, from 2:00-5:00. Mornings are reserved for The Eleventh Hour Lecture Series, and for writing, revising, and annotating manuscripts in preparation for your workshop. Your conference with your instructor may be scheduled in this time, too.


6:30–7:30 p.m.

Registration and light dinner

7:30 p.m.

Orientation and welcome

8:00 p.m.

First class meeting



7:30–11:00 a.m.

Coffee and conversation downtown

Time to write, read, critique manuscripts, confer with instructors

11:00 a.m.

The Eleventh Hour Lecture Series:

Presentations on topics of interest to writers

2:00–5:00 p.m.

Meet in workshop


Weeklong and two-week workshops include the following evening events:


5:30 p.m.

Festival reception


7:00 p.m.

Open Mic: Readings by participants


6:00 p.m.

All-Festival dinner


Weeklong and two-week workshops conclude at the end of your final workshop, Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Weekend Workshop Schedule:



8:30–9:30 a.m.

Registration and light breakfast

9:30 a.m.

Orientation and welcome

10:00 a.m.

Meet in workshop

12:00 Noon–2:00 p.m.

Lunch on your own; read, write, critique manuscripts

2:00–4:00 p.m.

Meet in workshop



Break for dinner on your own


7:00 p.m.

Open Mic: Readings by participants



9:00 a.m.–11:00

Meet in workshop

11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Lunch on your own; read, write, critique manuscripts

1:00–3:00 p.m.

Meet in workshop


Weekend workshops conclude at the end of your final workshop, Sunday at 3:00 p.m.


Goings-On/Your Time at the Festival


Apart from the dedicated time and space to devote to your own writing, one of the gifts you give yourself as a writer when you come to the Festival is the opportunity to meet and commune with others who are kindred.


While the week is intense, we hope you’ll take time to step away from the page and experience the energy and ambiance of our community in summer. Festival writers enjoy getting together in the mornings for coffee and conversation, as well as the reception after our first full workshop Monday evening. Open Mic night is your opportunity to share your work with members of other workshops; the Thursday night dinner gives us a chance to come together and decompress as we approach the end of the week.


Iowa City is extraordinarily friendly to writers. Readings by outstanding contemporary voices, hosted nearly every evening by Prairie Lights Books, are a favorite among locals and Festival participants alike. You’ll want to take time to lose yourself in Iowa City’s bookstores and literary haunts, to lollygag by the Iowa River, and to enjoy theater, film, and music downtown.


We post announcements of coming events throughout the summer on our webpage and on the Iowa Summer Writing Festival Facebook page— Another terrific site to visit for events in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area is Little Village.