University of Iowa

Schedules, 11th Hour, Goings-On

Click HERE for a map that features the locations (with annotations) of Festival venues and events, updated as needed.



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 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.

Sunday: Hotel Vetro/Lehman Ballroom, 2nd Floor

6:30–7:30 p.m.

Registration and light dinner

7:30 p.m.

Orientation and welcome

8:00 p.m.

First class meeting (Schaeffer & Maclean Halls)


7:30-11:00 a.m.

Coffee & conversation downtown (Bread Garden Market)

Time to write, read, critique manuscripts, and confer

11:00 a.m.

The Eleventh Hour Lecture Series (100 Phillips Hall)

Presentations on topics of interest to writers

2:00-5:00 p.m.

Meet in workshop (Schaeffer & Maclean Halls)


Weeklong and two-week sessions include the following events:


5:30 p.m.

Festival reception


7:00 p.m.

Open Mic  (Beadology)


6:00 p.m.

All-Festival dinner (Iowa Memorial Union)



Saturday: Schaeffer Hall (Registration for the July 13-14 Weekend is in Biology Building East, corner of Dubuque St. and Iowa Ave.)

8:30–9:30 a.m.

Registration and light breakfast

9:30 a.m.

Orientation and welcome

10:00 a.m.

Meet in workshop (Schaeffer Hall)

12:00 Noon–2:00 p.m.

Lunch on your own; read, write, critique manuscripts

2:00–4:00 p.m.

Meet in workshop (Schaeffer Hall)


Break for dinner on your own

7:00 p.m.

Open Mic (Prairie Lights Books)


9:00 a.m.–11:00

Meet in workshop (Schaeffer Hall)

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 (Schaeffer Hall)


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


The Eleventh Hour Lecture Series

The Eleventh Hour Series is comprised of hour-long presentations at 11:00 a.m. each weekday of the Festival. The series features issues of special interest to writers, including aspects of craft, process, the writing life, and publishing. Recent talks have included “The Writer as Witness,” “Me, Myself, and I: The Transformative Power of Reflection in Nonfiction,” “Writing as Correspondence,” “Edit Like a Zen Master,” “Sending Work to Literary Magazines,” “The Video Essay,” and “How Poets See the World: The Art of Description.”

The Eleventh Hour features a different presenter each day. Specific descriptions are posted on our website when the Festival opens in June. The Eleventh Hour is free and open to the public as well as Festival participants.

Time: 11:00-12:00 noon

Place: 100 Phillips Hall, corner of Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street

To listen to podcasts of past lectures, visit The Writing University at



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 here 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 continually throughout the summer on the Iowa Summer Writing Festival Facebook page—