The University of Iowa claims among its faculty and graduates winners of virtually every major literary award, including the Nobel Prize in Literature, Pulitzer Prize, six recent U.S. Poets Laureate, and numerous winners of the National Book Award, MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and other major honors.

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Choose from the various programs and departments below to support our creative writing mission.

International Writing Program

Founded in 1967 by Paul Engle and Hualing Nieh Engle, the International Writing Program (IWP) was the first writers residency to reach out across national borders, and remains unique in the world of letters. Established writers from across the globe gather every fall to spend three months in Iowa City, the first UNESCO City of Literature in the United States.

Iowa Writers' Workshop

The Iowa Writers' Workshop is a two-year residency program which culminates in the submission of a creative thesis (a novel, a collection of stories, or a book of poetry) and the awarding of a Master of Fine Arts degree. The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop was the first creative writing degree program in the United States.

Department of English | Undergraduate Creative Writing Major

The English Department offers an English and Creative Writing major for undergraduates, along with its major in English. The writing major builds from traditions of literary analysis and artistic practice that have distinguished the university.

Iowa Playwrights Workshop

The Iowa Playwrights Workshop—The University of Iowa's MFA Program in Playwriting—is an intensive three-year program dedicated to educating playwrights for the professional theatre.

Nonfiction Writing Program

The Nonfiction Writing Program is a three-year residency program which culminates in the submission of a creative nonfiction thesis and the awarding of a Master of Fine Arts degree. It was the first creative writing program in the United States dedicated to the study of the literary essay.

Iowa Summer Writing Festival

Since 1987, the Festival has welcomed to the campus of The University of Iowa writers from 18 to 97 years of age, from all 50 states, and from every continent. Most of the participants come to the workshop table from other areas of expertise, other lives.

Iowa Young Writers' Studio

At the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, 144 high school-age writers from across the country come together every summer to share their work, practice craft, and improve their writing. Students choose a single course of study-- Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Writing.

Translation Workshop

Beginning with the country's first translation workshop over fifty years ago, literary translation has long been an integral part of the conversation about writing at the University of Iowa. The MFA program in Literary Translation combines creative practice, international literature in-the-making, with training in world languages.

Spanish Creative Writing MFA

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers coursework in Spanish-language creative writing. The Master of Fine Arts in Spanish Creative Writing will allow graduate students to develop their talent as writers in Spanish while working with established writers from the Spanish-speaking world.

Magid Center | Undergraduate Certificate in Writing

Nestled in the only American town honored with the designation of being a UNESCO City of Literature, the UI has recently added to its rich literary tradition by offering a brand new Undergraduate Certificate in Writing Program, enabling students in all majors to benefit from the wide-ranging writing programs and resources available on campus.

Screenwriting Arts

The major in screenwriting arts draws on the long and historic creative writing tradition at the University of Iowa by expanding undergraduate offerings to include a program in screenwriting. Students are instructed on practical skills and knowledge needed to become successful members of the screenwriting industry.