July 7-26, 2019

Students in grades 9-12 (current academic year) may apply for the Summer Writing Residency (SWR), an immersive 3–week residency at The University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center. Learn from world-class faculty on one of the premier arts campuses in the US. Participate in classes, workshops, evening tours, lectures, and events that will stretch you as a writer. The residency concludes with an art and reading showcase. Priority will be given to students who have participated in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

You may only attend SWR once.


The Summer Writing Residency (SWR) is a unique opportunity to work with world-class faculty in The Writing University. SWR consists of reading and writing fiction, poetry, and personal narrative in an intensive multi-genre seminar workshop. The art of creative writing will be taught through a combination of seminar discussions and critiques of class members' work. The creative writing produced by the students will be in response to the literature and techniques discussed in class. You may choose from poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.



The Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, under the Direction of Robyn Schiff, is partnering with the Belin-Blank Center to provide an exciting program designed for talented high school writers from across the country. Instructors include University of Iowa faculty, graduates, and graduate students from the English Department, the Writers Workshop, and special visiting authors.

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Monica Bergers, Fiction Instructor

Monica Bergers graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with an MFA in Fiction, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow and awarded a Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship. She also studied at the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned an MA in English Literature. Her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two Best New American Voices prizes, and has been published in New South, Five Chapters, and The Chariton Review, among others. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and currently teaches fiction workshops at the Indiana Writers Center.

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Mary Hickman, Poetry Instructor

Mary Hickman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the author of two books of poetry, This Is the Homeland (Ahsahta Press, 2015) and Rayfish (Omnidawn Publications, 2017), which won the 2016 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and two chapbooks, Ecce Animot (Projective Industries, 2012) and How to Be Healthy and Heal (Cosa Nostra Editions, 2011). Her work has been featured as a Boston Review Poet's Sampler and in the PEN America Poetry Series. Her poems and essays have also appeared in numerous journals, including Colorado Review, Fourteen Hills, jubilat, and Sonora Review. She recently read in Turkey and Armenia with the US Department of State's American Writers on Tour program. A recipient of the Elizabeth Dietz Best Essay Prize, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, and two Iowa Arts Council Awards, she is currently finishing a dissertation on 20th century US poetry and the artist's book.

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Isabel Henderson, Fiction Instructor

Isabel Henderson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, where she received Truman Capote and Rydson fellowships. She earned a BA at Princeton University, where her creative thesis was advised by Joyce Carol Oates and Darcey Steinke. She has worked for The Atlantic, Granta, and The American Reader; her work has appeared in The Atlantic, and is upcoming in Prairie Schooner.

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David Ehmcke, Teaching Assistant

David Ehmcke was born in Sioux City, Iowa. The recipient of the 2018 Van Rensselaer Prize from Columbia University and a Gold Medal for Essay from the American Council for Teachers of Russian, his poetry, short stories, and essays have been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and are published or forthcoming in Euphony Journal, 4x4 Magazine, and Tabula Rasa Magazine, among others. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of The Columbia Review. David lives in New York and studies English and Slavic Studies at Columbia University.