Join us from home and let us bring the Writing University and our UNESCO City of Literature to your living room! Challenge yourself by exploring form, discussing creative writing fundamentals, and completing stimulating assignments. Receive individual feedback on your work from world-class faculty and graduates of the University of Iowa's famed writing programs. Learn how to give and receive artist-centered feedback with your peers and enjoy the benefits of building a community with other inspired young writers. Check out this digital anthology for examples of our students’ quality of work. Connect with us in the Writers' Room to make your writing stand out from the crowd!

About the Program

Class: Young Writers | Exploration of Form

  • Students in grades 6-9 at the course start date
  • M/W evenings 6:30-8:00 CST, September 14-November 18
  • Program Events
    • Welcome Sunday, September 13, 4:00 CST
    • Closing Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 CST

Class: Creative Writing | Generative Approaches

  • Students in grades 9-12 at the course start date
  • T/Th evenings 6:30-8:00 CST, September 15-November 19
  • Program Events
    • Welcome Sunday, September 13, 4:00 CST
    • Closing Thursday, November 19, 7:30 CST

Class: Young Writers | Exploration of Form

This course will explore five forms of creative writing: poetry, personal essay, fiction, screenwriting, and humor. We will dedicate two weeks to each form. In the first week, the instructor will introduce the form, review and discuss examples, and give a specific writing assignment. In the second week, every student will read their work aloud and receive individualized feedback from the instructor and their classmates. At the end of the course, every student will have two pages of writing in each form and the tools to move forward in all of them.

Class: Creative Writing | Generative Approaches

This course will explore generative approaches to creative writing applicable to all forms, including fiction, personal essay, memoir, poetry, and screenwriting, among others. Each week the instructor will introduce a new generative technique, and students will incorporate their writing into a larger work or use it to start a new piece. We will hear everyone's new work out loud. Students will receive individual feedback from the instructor and their peers using Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process. At the end of the course, every student will have approximately ten new pages of work.

Nina Morrison

Nina Morrison is a playwright, director, and teaching artist. She is the Provost's Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Playwriting 2019-2020 at the University of Iowa. Select recent credits include: Nina's play Féminaal was presented in Minneapolis by The Grumble Theater; her play Ibsanity was presented in the mainstage season at Fordham University, NYC; she directed Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men at Riverside Theatre. She was a finalist for New Dramatists in 2018 and 2019, and a 2019 finalist for the Jerome. Nina is currently based in Iowa City. Before Iowa, she was based in New York City for 17 years. Her work as a playwright and director was presented at Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, The HOT! Festival, the Little Theatre series, the NYC International Fringe Festival, Upright Citizens Brigade, The Peoples' Improv Theater, and the Yardmeter series, among others. Nina was a Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence, and she was an LMCC WORKSPACE Writer-in-Residence, a residency program of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She holds an MFA in Directing and an MFA in Playwriting both from the University of Iowa.

I've never had the chance to do anything like this before in school or in another setting. It has opened my mind to different types of writing that I haven't worked with before, and now I have a bunch of starters for pieces that I can use.

How to Apply

While the application process is straightforward, preparation is essential. We're here to help with all the information you will need to complete the application.

Eligibility

Any student in grades 6-12 on the course start date is eligible to apply. (Please note which classes correspond to your grade.) Students are not required to be in a talented and gifted program. Qualified students will show a high level of interest in writing, motivation to learn, and positively contribute to an online classroom environment.

Application Process

We review applications and admit students on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the more likely we will still have spots available! The application includes:

  • One essay on what inspires you as a writer
  • One sample of your writing

Selection

A selection committee composed of faculty and staff from the University of Iowa will review completed applications. We will notify selected students on a rolling basis.

Classes

Young Writers | Exploration of Form

Grades 6-9

September 14 - November 18, 2020

In this course we will explore five forms of creative writing – poetry, the personal essay, fiction, screenwriting and humor. Two weeks will be dedicated to each form. In the first week the instructor will introduce the form, review and discuss examples, and give a specific writing assignment. In the second week every student will read their work out loud and receive individualized feedback from the instructor and from their classmates. At the end of the course every student will have two pages of writing in each form and the tools to move forward in all of them.

Creative Writing | Generative Approaches

Grades 9-12

September 15 - November 19, 2020

In this course we will explore generative approaches to creative writing applicable to all forms including fiction, personal essay, memoir, poetry, and screenwriting, among others. Each week the instructor will introduce a new generative technique, and students will incorporate their writing into a larger work or use it to start a new piece. We will hear everyone’s new work out loud, and students will receive individual feedback from the instructor as well as from their peers using Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process. At the end of the course every student will have approximately 10 new pages of work.

After You're Accepted

Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of a Writers’ Room class is $1,095. We know that times are hard for many students and their families right now. Fortunately, the Iowa way is to support one another, so financial aid and payment plans are available to families who qualify. Additionally, the Belin-Blank Center will provide an automatic scholarship of $200 to every student accepted to the program, bringing the total for families to $895.

Payment Options

There are three options for payment of program fees:

  • Pay the entire amount on a credit card.
  • Pay in three equal monthly installments using a credit card.
  • Set up an individualized payment plan. Payment plans are available by contacting the Belin-Blank Center at belinblank@uiowa.edu.

Financial Aid

You may receive financial aid for up to half the cost of the program. Awards are offered on a first-come-first-served basis, while funds are available. Qualification for free or reduced-price lunch typically determines eligibility. After reviewing your information, we will send you an email regarding the amount of your award if you qualify. Aid will be applied directly to your program fees.

Technology

Students will be using the University of Iowa's digital learning platform UI Learn to manage course discussions, materials, and assignments. The University also uses Zoom for in-person conversations. Please make sure that that you are comfortable with these platforms, and the device you plan to use is compatible with them.

Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel, please email the Belin-Blank Center at students@belinblank.org as soon as possible to decline the acceptance so that a student on the waiting list may attend. Please note that we will retain your non-refundable down payment for all cancellations. We may not refund cancellations made after September 5.

Contact Us