Between the Lines

Between the Lines (BTL) is a summer creative writing program that brings together young writers from the Near Eastern Affairs Countries (NEA) and American students for cultural exchange and enrichment.  The backdrop of the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City – the only UNESCO Creative City of Literature in North America – serves as inspiration for students to grow as writers and provides them with the opportunity to explore cross-cultural dialogues on creative writing and literature. Participants attend courses designed to both increase awareness of world literature and improve their craft, including an English-language literature seminar and a language-specific writing workshop (Arabic or English). Classes are led by teachers who are respected writers in their own right. Extracurricular events and nightly activities allow students to deepen their understanding of each other’s culture through their interactions with each other and with the larger community. The program will take place July 14-28, 2018. During the session, participants live in a residence hall supervised by live-in, trained counselors. Travel, lodging, and meals for program participants will be paid for.  More program information is available on the IWP website at:

To be eligible to apply, you must be:

  • 15‐18 years old as of July 14, 2018;
  • A native Arabic speaker capable of writing, reading, and speaking in English;

Please submit the following to the email address: no later than Sunday, March 4, 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

a) A writing sample of 6-8 pages of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction) and/or poetry in English. Critical Essays will not be accepted.  Please provide a simple synopsis.

b) A writing sample of no more than 3 pages in response to the following:

In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, gender, and country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of the community in relation to the above mentioned categories? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader?

c) A brief statement of purpose (no more than 250 words), written in English describing why writing is important to the applicant’s life, and what he/she hopes to learn at BTL.

All writing samples must be sent in 12-point font and have one-inch margins all around.

d) Copy of passport

e) Curriculum vitae