Nonfiction Writing Program

Our Students

Even though we’re situated in the middle of the country, the Nonfiction Writing Program has a distinctly international flavor. The program is home to students from Poland, New Zealand, Cuba, Turkey, The Philippines, Guam, Russia, France, India, Canada, and the U.K., as well as Kansas, New Mexico, Minnesota, New York, Los Angeles, Alabama, and Washington, DC.

Sometimes our students come to the program right out of college, and sometimes they’ve had careers in other fields for a number of years, such as journalism, law, education, and science.  We aim to bring in as diverse a group of students with as many different life experiences as possible. We think it helps enrich our discussions in and out of the classroom.

If you’d like to chat with some of our students about their experiences in the program, feel free to write to these folks who have volunteered to field your questions.

egregeEthan Madore is a second-year student who came to the Nonfiction Writing Program from Vassar College after serving as a guide on the Appalachian Trail. He currently serves as the program's Student Ambassador and as the Co-Editor of The Essay Review.



tjthjySpenser Mestel is a third-year student who came to the Nonfiction Writing Program from Dartmouth College. He has recently published essays in Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and Harper's, and also competed in the current season of "American Ninja Warrior."




'Bernice Santiago graduated from the Nonfiction Writing Program last year, after having graduated from the University of California at Berkley and working for McSweeney's. Upon graduation from the program, Bernice received our prestigious Lloyd-Jones Fellowship, which is allowing her to remain at the University of Iowa for a fourth year in order to help her complete her first book, a personal meditation and political examination of Guam, her home.