Iowa Creative Writing Program

Iowa Creative Writing Program-17
Success in creative writing is by no means a pure meritocracy, there are many brilliant writers who barely publish, or when they do publish, are hardly read, but it is hard to achieve success absent at least some merit.

Success in creative writing is by no means a pure meritocracy, there are many brilliant writers who barely publish, or when they do publish, are hardly read, but it is hard to achieve success absent at least some merit.Due to an age discrimination complaint from 68-year-old Dan Thompson against the University of Iowa over his failure to gain admittance to the Workshop, the rest of us get a glimpse behind the curtain to see how elite the elite really are.

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I didn’t feel qualified to make that call, and even with considerably more experience, I have no wish to make that call.

I assigned the grade that was "deserved” according to the criteria I'd been asked to use, but no matter the grade, I was more than willing to validate their desire to at least make the attempt or in some cases, remake the attempt after not passing the first time. A grade does not tell a full or particularly interesting story. I worry, though, that many students have internalized an ethos where those grade judgments are dispositive.

In response to the complaint, Iowa provided data on applications and admissions.

From 2013-2017, 5061 people applied to the Workshop and 135 (2.7%) were admitted.

The Fall Residency is a component of the International Writing Program (IWP) and is the oldest and largest multicultural writing residency in the world.

Iowa Creative Writing Program

The Fall Residency brings outstanding authors from every continent to the University of Iowa.There is a myth that writing is a solitary endeavor.While it's true that no one but the author can put words to paper, writing is certainly not a solitary practice, especially for students in creative writing workshops at some of the most prestigious writing programs in the U. There, writers work with other students and professors to hone their creative works through intensive writing workshops.In comparison, Harvard admitted just over 5% of its applicants for the class of 2021.Seeing those odds should perhaps salve the wound of my own rejection by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1994.The goal of the Fall Residency is to provide authors with the setting for cultural exchange and also with the time and space to write, read, translate, study, and to become part of the vibrant literary and academic community at the University of Iowa. MOOCs provide participants the opportunity to learn from IWP Fall Residents and University of Iowa professors through video lectures, discussion-based instruction, and reading and writing assignments.The Fall Residency is an unique experience for rising stars and established writers who have achieved literary distinction in their own countries, as well as demonstrated literary talent, broad appeal, and an interest in contributing to the creative writing culture in their home countries. I knew the odds were long when I applied, but with the naïveté of youth, I nonetheless sent my application off with some measure of hope.Unlike undergraduate applications where one could look at one’s GPA (never lived up to his potential) and test scores (quite good, but not…you know…super good), admission to creative writing programs hinges almost entirely on the quality of the writing sample, and I guess I thought maybe, possibly, there was a chance I was good? Time and experience has revealed that my hopeful naïveté approached the delusional, but even so, the rejection stung.To my students, I was undeniably, “elite” in the sense I possessed something they desired and had the power to stop them from attaining it.I did my best, which was probably not all that good given me lack of preparation and experience.

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