Iowa Writers

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Did you know that Iowa is nationally known as “The Writing University”? If you are a first year student interested in a career in writing, this community is for you! You will explore and connect with writing resources available at Iowa to prepare you for success, participate in contests, produce your own literary magazines twice a year, and attend local readings.

This community is ideal for students interested in any number of different styles and applications of writing, including:

  • literary writing (poetry, short stories, novels)
  • nonfiction writing (essays, memoirs, science writing, technical writing)
  • translation
  • drama and film
  • graphic novels
  • comic books
  • public relations
  • the teaching of writing

The community (IWLLC) is located close to the Dey House, home of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Programming for Iowa Writers

Programming may vary from year to year. Past programs in this community have included:

  • Intro to Ink Lit Mag: Spend time hearing about the origins of the Ink Lit Mag and how you can get involved
  • Piece for a Piece: Write a piece and get a piece of pizza
  • Night of the Writing Dead: Dress as your favorite literary character and win the scary story napkin contest 
  • Denis Johnson Reading and intimate talk with IWLLC Members 
  • The Next Step Writing Panel: Visit with a panel of professionals who have made writing a part of their career  


Writing Commons: A Community of Writers 

As writers, we often fear the blank page. We recoil from its possibility, from the openness it takes to present what we create with a group of peers, and we don’t always know what to do once we've actually written something we like. Although these creative roadblocks may stall our productivity, all writers (regardless of age or experience) have the same moments of doubt. What matters most, then, is how we learn to successfully leap beyond the terror. With that in mind, this Writing Commons class will focus on The Writer's Life. Through three unit assignments (ranging from personal reflection to hybrid projects), students will participate in workshops to help generate new and inventive writing, share/revise their work, and learn general publishing guidelines by submitting their pieces to local and national magazines. The goal of this class is not to get published. Rather—through close analysis of our individual writing processes, as well as the editorial work needed to meet the guidelines of the journals and newspapers we love—we will explore the communities of writing present around us, taking time to realize that to live as a writer one must allow themselves to bring their voice to the larger literary conversation. 

Who Lives Here

This community is open to all students.

For More Information

Please contact Daniel Khalastchi at, 319-384-1328.

Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing