How to Apply: Summer Residential Program

Students hanging out at Prairie Lights Books

The Iowa Young Writers' Studio is open to any academically motivated and socially mature student who will have completed at least their sophomore year in high school by June 2019. Nearly all students who attend the Studio have just completed their sophomore, junior, or senior years. In very rare cases, if there is space, we will admit an exceptionally talented and mature 9th grader. We accept applications from students outside the United States.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications to the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio will be accepted via Submittable, an online submissions manager, during a one-week Application Period in February, 2019. We will begin accepting application materials via Submittable at 12:01 AM (Central Time) Monday, January 28, 2019 and stop accepting application materials at midnight (Central Time) Friday, February 8, 2019. Application materials will not be accepted before or after the Application Period.

What do I have to submit?

To apply to the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio you must submit the following 4 items:

Creative writing sample

The sample should consist of not more than ten pages of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction/essay, or any combination of the three. We are looking for writing that is clear, concise, vivid and interesting. For fiction, the sample may consist of a short story, part of a short story, several very short stories/pieces, or part of something longer (i.e. a novel or novella). The same applies for poetry and creative non-fiction/essay -- whole works or parts of works are acceptable. (Bear in mind, however, that parts of works should not be so small, fragmentary and/or isolated as to be incoherent. Meaning: please don't send ten pages of fragments of sonnets). Writing samples do not have to be in the same genre as the course you want to take, though we recommend that you apply with your strongest work, whether that be fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or some combination of the three. The writing sample should be typed and double-spaced (poems do not need to be double-spaced, and multiple poems can appear on a page) and should be submitted as either a Microsoft Word or PDF file.

Statement of purpose

In 1-2 pages, tell us why you want to participate in the Studio and what you hope to accomplish here. You may want to discuss your writing sample or talk about writers that you admire. This is a chance for us to get to know you a little bit from your own words. The statement of purpose should be typed and double-spaced and should be submitted as either a Microsoft Word or PDF file.

Letter of recommendation

Your letter of recommendation should be from an English teacher or other instructor who is familiar with your writing. Guidelines for recommenders can be found here. The letter of recommendation should be submitted as either a read-only Microsoft Word or PDF file.

Transcript

You must submit a transcript from your high school (an unofficial transcript is fine if an official transcript cannot be uploaded or emailed).

How do I submit?

During the Application Period, you must complete these 3 steps:

STEP 1:

Register free at Submittable and enter your basic information. The application page will not be available until the Application Period begins. You will be taken to the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio application. You will be asked a few more questions and have the opportunity to upload your writing sample and statement of purpose (Microsoft Word document or PDF only). Please upload your creative writing sample and statement of purpose as separate files. You will also be given the chance to choose your session preference. Session preferences do not influence acceptance decisions.

STEP 2:

Ask your recommender to upload his or her letter of recommendation (Microsoft Word read-only document or PDF). The letter upload page will not be available until the Application Period begins. Your recommender will have to register (free) at Submittable in order to upload the letter. After your recommender uploads the letter, only your recommender will receive a confirmation in Submittable. You, the applicant, will not be able to see the letter of recommendation in your Submittable profile. If you have any doubt as to whether your letter of recommendation has been uploaded, please check with your recommender before contacting the Studio.

STEP 3:

Have your high school upload your transcript (Microsoft Word read-only document or PDF). The transcript upload page will not be available until the Application Period begins. Your high school administrator will have to register (free) at Submittable in order to upload the transcript. After your high school uploads the transcript, only your high school will receive a confirmation in Submittable. You, the applicant, will not be able to see your transcript in your Submittable profile. If you have any doubt as to whether your transcript has been uploaded, please check with your high school before contacting the Studio.

Is there a cost to apply?

There is a $10 reading fee to apply to the Summer Residential Program. The fee can be paid in Submittable during the application process. The reading fee goes directly to the highly-qualified writers--students and graduates of the Iowa Writers' Workshop--who read and evaluate the writing samples. These writers read with great attention and care, and we believe in compensating them for their work. However, we do not want the fee to be an impediment to any applicant, and are happy to waive the fee without penalty for students who are unable to pay. The online application will give you the option of bypassing the fee.

What if my recommender or high school cannot upload my letter or transcript into Submittable?

If absolutely necessary, letters of recommendation and transcripts can be e-mailed to the Studio at iyws@uiowa.edu. Please write LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION or TRANSCRIPT in the subject line.

When will I find out whether or not I’ve been accepted?

Decisions will be e-mailed to all applicants on April 1, 2019.

What happens if I’m accepted?

Accepted students must reserve their place at the Studio with a $200 deposit. The balance of the tuition is due on June 1. In the event that a student accepted into the Studio chooses not to attend, the position will be filled from a list of alternates.

What if I have questions about applying?

Please direct all questions about the application process to iyws@uiowa.edu or 319-335-4209.

We look forward to reading your work!