The University of Iowa ranks among the top universities in the U.S. for undergraduate writing across the curriculum.

The Undergraduate Creative Writing Major

The English Department houses the undergraduate major in English and Creative Writing, with a growing faculty that has counted multiple Writers' Workshop alumni among its ranks. The Magid Center for Writing, established in 2011 with the support of a generous donor, offers undergraduates the opportunity to integrate writing into other disciplines and bring a love for the written word to projects like student literary magazines and hosting workshops at local schools.

The Writers' Workshop offers a range of classes for both majors an non-majors taught by a diverse group of graduate students and recent graduates, all terrific up-and-coming writers in their own right. We host undergraduate events in the Frank Conroy Reading Room and organize a reading series that brings some of today's most distinguished writers to campus.

Writers' Workshop Undergraduate Courses

CW:1800 Creative Writing Studio Workshop

CW:2100 Creative Writing

CW:2870 Fiction Writing

CW:2875 Poetry Writing

Introductory classes are designed to give students the experience of thinking as writers. Students will engage with writing exercise and with published literary works, then try their hand at longer pieces of writing. These classes are open to writers of all levels and serve as an introduction to one or more genres and forms.

CW:2600 Special Topic Workshops

CW:3002 Writing and Reading Young Adult Fiction

CW:3003 Writing and Reading Science Fiction

CW:3004 Writing and Reading Fantasy Fiction

CW:3107 Creative Writing for the Health Professions

CW:3400 Working Writers in Conversation

CW:4751 Creative Writing for the Musician

Topic-specific creative writing classes introduce and develop foundational writing skills in a more specific context or genre. Students can expect to do writing exercise and produce longer creative works, while getting a lens into a more specific branch of writing.

CW:3215 Creative Writing and Popular Culture

CW:3218 Creative Writing for New Media

CW:4745 The Sentence: Strategies for Writing

CW:4760 The Art of Revision: Writing for Clarity

These creative writing classes approach writing from the point of view of form, whether focusing on the meaty parts of sentences, zeroing in on areas for improvement, or thinking about media and audiences. Students can expect to produce and revise work through the additional lens of technical skill and media format.

CW:4870 Undergraduate Writers' Workshop: Fiction

CW:4875 Undergraduate Writers' Workshop: Poetry

Undergraduate Writers' Workshops in Fiction and Poetry are smaller classes for writers with some experience. Students are admitted on the merit of their manuscripts and the class strives to create as much as possible the experience of a graduate-level workshop. Students can expect to receive feedback from the instructor and to read and engage deeply with both published work and the work of their peers.

Create your academic path

Learn more about the English and Creative Writing major academic requirements and possible course plans

View General Catalog

Explore the Writing University

The Writing University gives an overview of the many writing resources at the University of Iowa as well as some of its literary history.

View Current Courses

Upcoming Events

Live from Prairie Lights | Mario Duarte - My Father Called Us Monkeys promotional image

Live from Prairie Lights | Mario Duarte - My Father Called Us Monkeys

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Books
Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Mario Duarte will read from his new book published by Ice Cube Press, My Father Called Us Monkeys. “Mario Duarte juxtaposes innocent voices against tragic and tender moments while giving us a moving snapshot of a young Mexican American boy growing up in the Midwest. Duarte’s eye for scenic landscape and his ear for captivating dialogue stand out in this debut short story collection.”—Jose B. Gonzalez Mario Duarte is a Mexican American poet and fiction writer whose...

Live from Prairie Lights | Margaret Yapp & Katie Berta- poetry

Friday, April 26, 2024 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Books
Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum, Margaret Yapp will read from Green for Luck: Poems To subscribe to a weekly emailing list of Writers' Workshop events, please fill in the linked form or email with “Events Mailing List Subscribe” in the subject line.

Jane Smiley at the Iowa City Public Library in conversation with IPR's Charity Nebbe

Sunday, April 28, 2024 2:00pm
Iowa City Public Library
Please join us at the Iowa City Public Library for a special afternoon event with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley, who will read from her new novel, Lucky. She will be joined in conversation by Iowa Public Radio's Charity Nebbe. Lucky is a soaring, soulful novel about a folk musician who rises to fame across our changing times. "Before Jodie Rattler became a star, she was a girl growing up in St. Louis. One day in 1955, when she was just six years old, her Uncle Drew took her to the...