The University of Iowa


Dear Writer,

Greetings from Iowa City!

While we have an eager eye toward coming together on campus again, currently we’re busy planning--and launching--new online workshops every month that explore the genres in their reaches. These include workshops in the novel, short story, essay, memoir, short poems, prose poems, hybrid forms, writing the body, writing the family, writing humor, travel writing, and writing the creative community.

Since 1987, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival has welcomed to The University of Iowa writers from 18 to 98 years of age, from all 50 states, and from every continent. Most of us come to the workshop table from other areas of expertise, other lives. These include the armed forces, business, diplomacy, education, farming, homemaking, journalism, law, law enforcement, medicine, parenting, pastoral care, the performing arts, social services, and more. We come together across the genres, the generations, and at every level of literary practice in a common enterprise. We come as writers. This is the only assumption we make about each other, whether we arrive here with the third draft of our novel, a message in a bottle, or merely a bee in our bonnet.

In 2019 the Festival joined the Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing in The University of Iowa’s Division of Interdisciplinary Programs. As part of the Magid Center, we link arms with the Certificate in Writing, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, and the Iowa Youth Writing Project—a multi-generational, cross-disciplinary citizenry in love with the written word, from kindergartners to retirees. We’re thrilled to keep such kindred company.

As a writing program, the Festival is proud to belong to Iowa City—a UNESCO City of Literature in the Creative Cities Network. Iowa City has long been a haven for writers, and The University of Iowa our ancestral home. The rich literary legacy that belongs to this place abides today in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the Playwrights Workshop, the International Writing Program, the Spanish Creative Writing Program, the Translation Workshop, the Carver College of Medicine’s Writing and Humanities Program, the undergraduate Major in English and Creative Writing, Between the Lines: The Writing Experience, the Irish Writing Program, the Iowa Center for the Book, The University of Iowa Press, The Iowa Review, and The Examined Life Journal. Some years ago, Iowa City dedicated the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk, which celebrates in bronze relief panels some of the singular voices that have come together here, from Flannery O’Connor and Kurt Vonnegut to John Irving and James Tate. Everything here is closely observe--now, even the sidewalks.

The Iowa Summer Writing Festival is an opportunity for you to share your work in a community that wishes it well.

Get your coffee and pull up a chair. Summer is all year!


Amy Margolis' Signature

Amy Margolis