Teachers and counselors at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio are chosen, with rare exceptions, from among the students and graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, founded in 1936, was the first graduate creative writing program in the United States and is still regarded as the most prestigious. The Iowa Writers’ Workshop typically accepts 25 fiction writers and 25 poets every year from an application pool of over 1,500. Teachers and counselors for the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio are thus by default not only extraordinarily accomplished writers in the early stages of their careers, but have had the opportunity to acquire extensive teaching experience while studying at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, in many cases teaching creative writing to undergraduates. It is for their teaching experience, enthusiasm, and expertise that we hire them to work at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. In short, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio offers young, passionate, high school-age creative writers the opportunity to study with some of the finest writers and teachers in the country.
Riley Johnson (online courses) was born and raised in Montana. Whether he knows it or not, all his fiction is set there, which can be confusing sometimes. For example, the lilacs in his stories bloom in June, regardless of latitude. He spent much of his childhood alone in the attic of a Victorian house. He has been writing stories since he was five or six years old, and has never really considered doing anything else with his life, except maybe writing poetry, or writing nonfiction. In a better world, he might have been a beekeeper. He graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2014. He has taught fiction writing to undergraduates at the University of Iowa and to high school students at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. He used to enjoy reading books in his spare time, but now feels obliged to read books, and consequently has no spare time. Fortunately, he still enjoys reading books. Riley lives in Iowa City, Iowa.
Margaret Reges (online courses) is from Michigan. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her honors include a 2015 “Discovery”/Boston Review prize, the 2012 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets from the Michigan Quarterly Review, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, the MacDowell Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems have appeared in The Boston Review, The Iowa Review, jubilat, B O D Y, Michigan Quarterly Review, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere.