ART SPARKS: A Benefit for the IYWP

Iowa City’s Hudson River Gallery is proud to host ART SPARKS, a gallery show and silent auction to benefit the Iowa Youth Writing Project.

The show, a collaborative effort between the IYWP and Prompt Press, will hang from August 23-26 and will feature visual art by 26 Iowa artists, along with corresponding creative responses generated by children and teens from the Iowa Youth Writing Project’s summer camps. In addition to being included in the art show, participating teens will be featured on the Prompt Press website.

Join us as we celebrate local art and the people who make it: bid on a piece, enjoy light refreshments,  and meet some of the talented painters, printers, sculptors and photographers (youth and adult) featured in ART SPARKS. All proceeds go to the Iowa Youth Writing Project!

**reception + silent auction | august 26th, 2016 | 6pm | 538 s. gilbert st.**

want to have a look at the art before bidding? check it out here:


Join Us this Summer at Crafting the Essay!

A Brand-New Summer Workshop for Teens by Essayist Brittany Borghi!

EssayPosterforWeb JPEG

Read more and sign up here!


Summer Registration Now Open!


Registration is now open for the IYWP’s **FREE** Summer Writing and Art Camps! We’re offering camps for all ages in a variety of genres, everything from playwriting to comics to writing gone wild. Parents can contact with questions.

Click here to register now!


Volunteer Appreciation Pizza Party!


This Thursday from 5:00pm – 6:30pm the IYWP will be hosting a volunteer appreciation party at Forbidden Planet to celebrate a year of work well done! We’ll eat, drink, reflect, and honor some of the folks who have made this academic year our best one yet! The fun starts at 5 and the volunteer award ceremony begins at 6.


RSVP here at the event page on Facebook. Can’t wait to see you there!


Intern with the IYWP!


The Iowa Youth Writing Project is looking for interns! Our internships provide a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience in nonprofit management and community organizing as part of an active and enthusiastic team. Whether you’re interested in learning how to write grants, develop a marketing plan, engage with the literary community, or work with kids, we offer internships that are useful, meaningful, and fun. And we’ll never ask you to get coffee or make copies. We promise.

Interested? Email with a cover letter and CV by May 20. Feel free to be in touch with questions. We are happy to interview over phone or Skype, if applicants have left town.



IYWP Dance Party!


Come celebrate another successful year with the IYWP at our end of the year dance party this Thursday at the Mill! Bring your best moves, your song requests, your sense of humor, and your moneymaker (for shaking purposes only). The event is totally FREE and there will be a ton of pizza and killer dance moves! Bring a friend or eight!

Dance Party

RSVP here at the event page on Facebook. Can’t wait to see you there!


Volunteer Voices Workshop


Join the IYWP this Friday at Public Space One as we culminate National Volunteer Week with a generative writing workshop and open mic! Meet up with your fellow volunteers for an evening of inspiring writing prompts, delicious snacks, and quality time spent with your IYWP fam. Pieces generated in this workshop will be eligible for inclusion in our Volunteer Voices Anthology. There will be music. There will be merriment. Let’s celebrate a year of work well done!

RSVP here at the event page on Facebook!


The IYWP Attends AWP Conference


The IYWP is excited to attend the Association of Writers and Writers Programs (AWP) this week in Los Angeles! Mallory Hellman and Lisa Roberts will be participating in a panel entitled “Keeping the Change: Volunteer Recruitment and Retention in Community-Based Writing Programs” on Thursday, March 31st from 1:30 -2:45pm. Make sure you follow us on twitter to keep up with live tweets from the conference!


Volunteers are essential to a nonprofit’s survival, but passion and talent rarely come for free. How do community-based writing programs attract driven volunteers and keep them committed? Join these panelists from diverse literary outreach organizations—both new and established—as they share successes, discuss challenges, and offer best practices for volunteer recruitment and retention, from identifying potential volunteer pools to recognizing excellent work and rewarding it…all on a nonprofit budget.

KRUI Interview with the IYWP!


In the first of a series of interviews with KRUI 89.7 FM, our Communications and Marketing interns Hannah Soyer and Ally Cassity speak about volunteering with the IYWP.

Click the following link to listen!


Junior High Writing Jam!


Our thanks go out to all the amazing Junior High or Middle School writers who rocked the Jam on Saturday, February 27th! They mashed up genres and bent the space-time continuum to create some of the freshest writing around — then even got up and joyfully shared their new creations at Open Mic. All this, sparked by the writerly insights of our exciting featured authors, Delia Ray and Christian Schoon. A big THANK YOU to these acclaimed writers for inspiring us all!

Special thanks also go to Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature who co-sponsored the event with us. We’re grateful to City of Lit for being such a great friend to the IYWP!

Junior High Writing Jam Poster



December Student Showcase


Check out our December student showcase on the blog now! Click here to read Benji’s own spin on Greek mythology in her story “Day of Night”!


Youth Workshop with Rosemary Wells!

Want to write stories with an internationally renowned author?

Share an hour with brilliant children’s book author Rosemary Wells! Find out how the author of the beloved Max & Ruby series gets inspiration for her stories and then help her write one!

Rosemary Wells

WHEN:  Sunday, December 6, 12:30-1:30 pm
WHERE:  Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A
WHO:  Kids who LOVE to read and write!
HOW:  Registration required at:

**Space is limited, so sign up today!**

All participants in the workshop are invited to attend Rosemary’s reading and book signing at 2pm on Sunday in ICPL Meeting Room A.


The IYWP Student Reading

Do you love to hear students share their original written work?

Join us at Prairie Lights on Sunday, November 7th at 2:00 PM for the Iowa Youth Writing Project Student Reading! K-12 students will share pieces they’ve written during an IYWP program this semester. A small reception will follow the reading. We look forward to seeing you there!

Youth Reading event


October Student Showcase

Read this month’s featured story The Staff by Colton Nicks

Every month, we’ll be posting a student’s work on the blog as part of our new student showcase series. Click here to check out the first post and read Colton’s story!


National Day on Writing at the ICPL!

Come celebrate with an afternoon of writing activities and the chance read your stories for TV!

Stop into the Storytelling Room any time between 3:00 and 6:00pm on October 20th to celebrate National Day on Writing with the IYWP! You can draw your own comic strip, compose poetry on the cork-board wall, make word-related arts & crafts, or write a story to read on TV! Register here or at the door!

National Writing Day



Enroll in Writers in the Community

Space is filling up fast! Make sure you check out our blog to read 

There are still openings in the second session of the Fall 2015 Writers in the Community course! This six week course offers the exciting opportunity of volunteering in Iowa City schools and community centers for one credit hour. Sign up on ISIS!

Writers in the Community-poster-print


Mystery Writing Workshop for Teens

Do you love reading mysteries? Would you love to write them, too?

Long-running female detective story author Sara Paretsky of Chicago poses for pictures under train tracks in Hyde Park, Thursday, January 12, 2012. (Alex Garcia/ Chicago Tribune) B581820299Z.1 ....OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, NEW YORK TIMES OUT, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...

WHEN:  Friday, October 2, 4:00-5:00pm
WHERE:  Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room D
WHO:  Teens who love to read and write mysteries!
HOW:  Registration required at:

Register now for a Mystery Writing Workshop for teens with acclaimed mystery writer Sara Paretsky! In this small workshop sponsored by the Iowa City Book Festival and the Iowa Youth Writing Project, you’ll learn how Sara crafts her characters and plots, and then have the chance to begin writing your own mystery novel from Sara’s mysterious prompt!

                    Iowa City Book Festival

Fall 2015 IYWP Classes at UI!

Undergraduates at the University of Iowa have the unique opportunity to enroll in one of two IYWP-affiliated classes, Writing With Purpose and Writers in the Community. Both allow students to get credit for working with kids, writing lesson plans, and cultivating creativity!

WWP 2015 PosterWIC 2015 Poster










Collaborative Songwriting Workshop Follow-Up

Listen to the absolutely amazing song written by IYWP and Dream Center kids during our Collaborative Songwriting Workshop with the talented and oh-so-generous Monte Selby! And special thanks to David Gould and his filmmaking team who put together this wonderful documentary about the day. Dream on!

Interested in volunteering but want more info before you sign up? Please fill out our Volunteer Application, and we’ll be in touch!