Applications for Prestigious Iowa International Writing Program Due April 7

The International Writing Program (IWP) is set to be held at the University of Iowa again this fall. Many prominent Arab authors have participated in past IWPs,  including Palestinian poet and Beirut39 laureate Najwan Darwish, Egyptian novelist and blogger Ghada Abdel-Aal, Egyptian novelist Khaled al-Berry (shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction), Kuwaiti author Taleb al-Refai, celebrated Syrian novelist Nihad Sirees, and Saudi Beirut39 laureate Abdullah Thabit:

iwp-main-logoYou could go to the next IWP: It’s scheduled to take place at the University of Iowa this year from August 24 – Nov 12, and is for established and emerging creative writers who have published at least one book or whose work has appeared in significant publications over the past two years. They also must possess sufficient proficiency in English to benefit from the experience.

The 2013 program will feature increased opportunities for writers to participate in cross-discipline collaborative projects, including with theater and dance. Further details about the program are available on the IWP website.
Eligibility Requirements
– Poets, fiction writers, dramatists, and screenwriters, literary translators and writers whose publications and
careers focus on creative non-fiction (feature journalism, cultural commentary, biography, and memoirs)
– Candidates should have at least one published volume of work, or works that have appeared in significant
publications over a period of at least two years.
– Candidates should be fluent in English.
These application instructions are Egypt-specific, but I imagine, in other countries, it’s much the same?
Completed applications must include:
– The application form (to download the application, please visit:
– A curriculum vitae (C.V.) – 10-15 page writing sample in English or English translation. – Copy of Egyptian National ID and/or passport
– One page statement of interest (in English) addressing the following:
1) Why are you interested in participating in the program?
2) What do you anticipate to gain from the experience and how would it contribute to the fulfillment of your
professional plans?
3) How might you share this experience with others in Egypt both in your work and community?
Egyptians can submit applications to:  with a subject line of: 2013 Iowa Writer’s Program.


  1. On some other article you’ve posted (about your favorite, the Arabic Booker), you’ve responded to a commenter going by the name of “S” – you did not “ask” for his full name. So in such a case, I can assume that you only ask for the name of the commenter when his opinion opposes yours? never mind answering that.

    I’ve taken a tour in your blog reading the bits that you write about prizes, trying to find some basis to your argument of objectivity and sincerity, yet what I have found was the opposite. It was clear that you have a “thing” for the Arabic Booker, you write with passion about it, and you are suspiciously too objective (for a self-claimed “independent” blogger writing her own opinions) even when writing about the Arabic Booker mishaps; you even have a special section dedicated to it on your blog.

    And there are those other prizes of no “personal” interest to you, which you write about, perhaps tastelessly, just stating the news as they are published in the press release.

    But on the other extreme, there comes SZBA, which evidently you bear a grudge against. In each and every article you write about Sheikh Zayed Book Award, you insist on highlighting the plagiarism incident which took place like more than two years ago, and choose to put forward a negative argument against it rather than objectively reporting – like underlining in your article headline and introduction the fact that the literature category was withheld, and almost completely ignoring the announcement of SEVEN other winners which is mentioned on the side of your “main dish”.

    bottom line: your criticism is NOT sincere as you would like to think; it is optional, directed at some entities but not others.

    There is no doubt that you are NOT an independent blogger; your articles are tainted with personal interests, writing in favor of some entities and against others, unlike what you claim of objectivity and sincerty.

    It is a shame to quote you, but i suppose truly on this blog “anything goes”.

    1. A., I’m sorry to have to do this, but I’m going to have to create a “comments” policy that states, in part, that comments must pertain to the post in question. For instance, this should be about the U of I International Writers Program.

      And indeed, your anonymity is and will be preserved until you decide otherwise; I have not stated your name publicly, nor anyone else’s, even when they are logged within the WordPress system.

Comments are closed.