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

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.

Upcoming Events

100-Word Microstory Contest promotional image

100-Word Microstory Contest

Sunday, July 21 to Friday, July 26, 2024 (all day)
Mark your calendar for our 100-Word Microstory Contest — a free online writing competition for a variety of age groups. You don’t have to be an Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad — or even have participated in a flash writing contest before — to join in the fun. Just create a story in 100 words or less that uses one of two specific writing prompts. We will announce the writing prompts here on Monday, July 15, 2024, at 9 a.m. CDT.
100-Word Microstory Contest promotional image

100-Word Microstory Contest

Monday, July 22 to Friday, July 26, 2024 (all day)
Mark your calendar for our 100-Word Microstory Contest — a free online writing competition for a variety of age groups. You don’t have to be an Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad — or even have participated in a flash writing contest before — to join in the fun. Just create a story in 100 words or less that uses one of two specific writing prompts. We will announce the writing prompts here on Monday, July 15, 2024, at 9 a.m. CDT.
Small Press Publishing Roundtable with Daniel Khalastchi, Madeline McDonnell, and Caryl Pagel promotional image

Small Press Publishing Roundtable with Daniel Khalastchi, Madeline McDonnell, and Caryl Pagel

Monday, July 22, 2024 11:00am to 12:00pm
Phillips Hall
Daniel Khalastchi, Madeline McDonnell, and Caryl Pagel present a Small Press Publishing Roundtable for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival's Eleventh Hour Lecture Series. Free and open to the public; all are welcome.