University of Iowa

Schedules, 11th Hour, Goings-On

Weeklong and Two-Week 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 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.

Large-group 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, and confer

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 sessions include the following events:


5:30 p.m.

Festival reception


7:00 p.m.

Open Mike: Readings by participants


6:00 p.m.

All-Festival dinner


Weekend Schedule


8:30–9:30 a.m.

Registration and light breakfast

9:30 a.m.

Large-group 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 Mike: 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


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.

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—