2021-22 Programming

2021-22 Programming
The IYWP is proud to host an innovative series of online writing workshops and modules that engage students with the creative process even when we can't be together in the classroom.

In lieu of our weekly in-person writing clubs, the IYWP is thrilled to offer an exciting set of digital writing enrichments for elementary students and teens to enjoy.

Presented as a series of themed, expert-led modules, these writing enrichments are intended to engage students with their creative process, impart the writing skills and techniques usually discussed during our in-person workshops, and provide students with an outlet for self-expression and publication during the pandemic and beyond.

Browse our list below to discover the possibilities!

High School / Teen Programs

Anne Frank Sapling Workshop
Anne Frank Sapling Workshop: Winter Edition!
Ages: 11-18
Place: ZOOM
January 16, 23, and 30 - 1:30-3:00pm CST

Join the Iowa Youth Writing Project for this powerful workshop series, designed to honor a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Thanks to the work of University of Iowa German professor Kirsten Kumpf Baele, the University will receive, in spring 2022, one of a handful of saplings grown from the beloved chestnut tree described in Anne Frank's diary. The IYWP, along with the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and students from Dr. Kumpf Baele's Anne Frank class, will be hosting a three-part workshop series for junior high students in which we will welcome the sapling through reflective reading, writing, and discussion. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate! Together, we will contemplate the legacy of Anne Frank, write creative work inspired by her diary, and draw parallels between her struggle and the manifold challenges we face today. Students will also be encouraged to enter an essay contest whose winners will be published in a printed anthology and may be invited to give a public reading at the planting of the sapling in April 2022.

This workshop, originally offered in Summer 2021, is back by popular demand! While the instructors and some of the content will be different, some will be the same. If you took the workshop last summer and choose to re-join, prepare for some repeated material.

Find out more about our pop-up digital teen workshops!
Pop-Up Digital Workshops for Teens!
Ages: 12-17
Place: ZOOM
December 13th & 14th, 5:30-6:30pm CST

Calling all teen writers! Are you looking for a creative and low-key way to break up your school week? Look no further! Since August, the IYWP has been working with Honors students at the University of Iowa who have a passion for teaching writing. All semester, these students have been perfecting their activities and lesson plans, just for writers like you. Initially, they were going to bring these prompts and activities to select groups of students in person, but because the pandemic rages on, they've conveniently moved everything online. This means that YOU--no matter who you are or where you live--can enjoy these workshops with us! As with all IYWP programming, these sessions are completely free.

Workshops will take place in real time, on ZOOM, from 5:30-6:30pm CST on December 13th and 14th. Please pick only ONE session to attend, as several of the prompts will be repeated. 

Curious about what you're getting into? Here are just a few of the topics our students plan to teach: 

  • What can Over the Garden Wall teach us about storytelling? (No experience with the show necessary!)
  • How to Conquer the Writing Workshop
  • The Power of You (memoir / personal narrative)
  • Screenwriting

Intrigued? Sign up to find out more!

Anne Frank at her writing desk
WRITING CONTEST: Anne Frank Sapling Prize
Ages: Junior High and High School
Contest deadline February 27, 2022

TEEN WRITERS: Poetry & Essay Contest Inspired by Anne Frank

The Iowa Youth Writing Project, the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and the University of Iowa German Department are proud to present a writing contest for junior high and high school students inspired by Anne Frank and her legacy.

Thanks to the work of University of Iowa German professor Kirsten Kumpf Baele, the University will receive, in spring 2022, one of only a handful of saplings grown from the beloved chestnut tree described in Anne Frank's diary. Over the summer, the IYWP, Dr. Kumpf Baele, and students from her class hosted a three-part workshop series for junior high students in which the group considered Anne Frank's diary and its relevance to contemporary sociopolitical issues.*

From that workshop came a question, which evolved into the prompt for this essay contest.

IYWP teen participants
Digital Fall Enrichment for Teens
Available September 15 - December 31

SO much has changed in the last year. Looking for the time and space to keep up your creative process as your schedule gets busier? The IYWP has your back with enriching creative writing modules that you can complete any time, at any pace. Sign up for our fall module series to dust off your writing practice and keep creating through the cooler months. Learn how to write a ghazal, deepen your skills in worldbuilding, or write a compelling conspiracy theory. Taught by IYWP interns, honors students, and staff, our modules cover fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and more.

New activity modules are uploaded to our site 3-5 times per week. Move through them at your own pace, and in whatever order you'd like. Once they're uploaded, all activity modules will be available through December 2021.

Memoir workshop with Storm Large
IN-PERSON: Memoir Workshop With Storm Large!
Ages: Ages 12-18
Place: Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City
TEEN: Wednesday, December 2 - 5:00-6:30pm CST. ADULT: Wednesday, December 2 from 7:30-9pm

Writing yourself as a character isn't easy. The art of personal narrative comes with a host of considerations, many of which you, dear writer, already know well. Should I make this a full-length autobiography or a memoir of a specific time period? Should it be lighthearted or serious? What about the people in my life who might be included in the story? And, of course, that ever-present memoirist's bugbear: Who will find the details of my life interesting? 

If you're writing about the self in any genre--essay, poetry, screenplay, song--this is the workshop for you. Join the brilliant and *hilarious* singer/songwriter Storm Large as she discusses her process of writing a memoir and shares tips and tricks for writers of personal narrative, regardless of their preferred genre. Storm's memoir, Crazy Enough, details her and her mother's struggles with mental health challenges. Taking a topic that, in other hands, might come off simply as melancholy, Storm whisks readers through a riveting tale of anxiety, fear, tenderness, and humor that mirrors her experience of living with the gift and prophecy that is a lifelong diagnosis. This workshop will include both ample discussion time and writing time.

BONUS: Before writing with you, Storm would like to get to know you! All workshop participants are invited to a(n optional) dinner with Storm Large at 5:30pm on Wednesday, December 1.

DOUBLE BONUS: We will be choosing two students to read their work on the Hancher stage with Storm Large during her show the evening of Saturday, December 4. Registrants will have the option of putting their name in the running for this cool perk!

**This workshop and all related events will take place in-person at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City. Details, including COVID-19 precautions, will be sent to all registrants prior to the event(s).**

Elementary Programs

IYWP youth author reading at Prairie Lights bookstore
Digital Fall Enrichment for Elementary Students
Ages: Ages 5-11
Available September 15 - December 31

Fall into creativity with the IYWP! Join us for a series of creative writing activities and prompts designed to stimulate your brain, tickle your funny bone, and work your creative muscles. Led by our interns, our staff, and the talented undergraduate students in our Writing and Community Outreach class, these 45-minute activity modules will challenge you, make you laugh, and offer you a TON of creative projects to keep you cozy as the leaves turn, the temperature drops, and the year draws to a close. Will this be the year you write a whole play? Draft that comic you've had kicking around in your mind since you were five? Compose a song? Join us to find out!

New activity modules are uploaded to our site 3-5 times per week. Move through them at your own pace, and in whatever order you'd like. Once they're uploaded, all activity modules will be available through December 2021.

Horn Elementary/ West High WAC Writing Club
ARCHIVE: Horn Elementary Writing Club
Ages: High school students teaching elementary school students
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!

Each week high school students at West High School work along side IYWP staff to lead workshops at Horn Elementary. West High students learn to write lesson plans and lead workshops, while also getting the silling fun of volunteering with Horn students. Horn Writing Club members, in grades 2-6, enjoy the mentorship of high school students who invite them to write and draw from mind-bending prompts.

If you're a student at West High who would like to volunteer at Horn Writing Club, please contact site coordinator Jane Huffman, jane-huffman@uiowa.edu.

Exterior of Lucas Elementary with trees in fall
ARCHIVE: Lucas Elementary
Ages: 2-6
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!

These high-energy kiddos love creating stories that they can act out for their classmates. Keep plenty of good ideas in your back pocket when writing with this rambunctious group! 

ARCHIVE: Liberty High Spoken Word Club | IC Speaks
Ages: Grades 9-12
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!

Students in Liberty High's Spoken Word Club write spoken word poetry with IC Speaks.

ARCHIVE: City High Spoken Word Club | IC Speaks
Ages: Grades 9-12
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!

Students at City High's Spoken Word Club write spoken word poetry with IC Speaks.

Student performs her poetry on stage.
ARCHIVE: West High Spoken Word Club | IC Speaks
Ages: Grades 9-12
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!

This is the IYWP's first-ever spoken word club! Led by local spoken word artist Caleb Rainey with IC Speaks, students use the space to explore their truth, experiment with spoken word techniques, discover the work of renowned spoken word artists, and learn about opportunities for local performances!

ARCHIVE: Grant Wood Elementary Club
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!
ARCHIVE: Longfellow Elementary Club
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!
Tate Spoken Word Club | IC Speaks
ARCHIVE: Tate High Spoken Word Club | IC Speaks
Ages: Grades 9-12
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!

Tate is an alternative high school, meaning that it provides shorter periods, career counseling, and special guidance for students living complicated lives. Students in IC Speaks Spoken Word Club elect to spend their lunch hour writing and discussing poetry. Be prepared for some brilliance: these students are expressive, emotionally intelligent, and fierce. 

 

ARCHIVE: Alexander Elementary
In-person programming will resume in 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned!