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

Joe Fassler reading - 'The Sky Was Ours'

Thursday, June 20, 2024 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Books
Writers' Workshop alum Joe Fassler will read from his new novel, The Sky Was Ours. "The Sky Was Ours is an immersive fever dream of a novel, beautifully written and boldly imagined. It's a dark fairy tale with a gripping human pulse; attuned to global crisis but also rooted deeply in the psyches of its characters, animated by their grief and most of all by their longing--longing for wonder, escape, transcendence, hope for our profit-rotted world; a longing that soars through these pages with an...

Claire Lombardo - 'Same As It Ever Was' reading

Thursday, June 27, 2024 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Books
New York Times Best-selling author and Writers' Workshop alum Claire Lombardo will read from her highly anticipated second novel, Same As It Ever Was. She will be joined in conversation by Doubleday Executive Editor Lee Boudreaux. "Witty and insightful ... a powerful exploration of marriage, motherhood, and self." —Bonnie Garmus Claire Lombardo is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel The Most Fun We Ever Had, which has been optioned for television by Reese Witherspoon. She lives...
Art & Write Night promotional image

Art & Write Night

Friday, July 5, 2024 6:00pm to 8:00pm
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Join the long, rich, historical tradition of artists creating in our spaces. Professional, aspiring, and amateur artists alike, make our museum your muse. The return of this popular program series welcomes guests into the Museum of Natural History's magical gallery spaces after-hours to work on sketching or writing projects with other campus and community artists. Tell a friend, grab a notebook, and join us on the first Friday of each month. We'll provide a new inspo prompt for each session...