Each year, the US State Department, which funds the University of Iowa’s “Between the Lines” program, determines which countries are invited to submit nominees. This year it’s Tunisia:
Between the Lines is a part of the University of Iowa’s globally known International Writing Program (IWP) which brings teen writers, aged 16-19, to Iowa for creative-writing study and cultural events. All applicants to the Arabic program must be able to write both in English and in Arabic, which leaves it open to a relatively narrow band on Tunisians.
This year’s Arab instructor is Egyptian playwright and novelist Karim Alrawi, author of two children’s books, The Mouse Who Saved Egypt (2011) and The Girl Who Lost Her Smile (2000) and, most recently, of the novel Book of Sands (2015), which won the HarperCollins Canada UBC Best New Fiction Prize. Last year’s instructor was Lebanese novelist Iman Humadan Younes, who was not altogether impressed with students’ Arabic skills.
Accepted students will have their costs covered by the program. Those who want to want to apply should do so through the US Embassy in Tunisia. More details on required writing samples can be found on the embassy website.
This year’s theme is “Peace and the Writing Experience.”
In 2016, Between the Lines will feature countries along the “Silk Routes.”