The Nonfiction Writing Program is one of the oldest—and boldest—nonfiction programs in the nation, located in America's most cherished literary city.

Our faculty are outstanding mentors because they are published working writers, nationally recognized scholars, and pedagogical pathbreakers. Through small workshop-style classes, they will help you hone your creative talent and empower you to tell your stories through essays, memoir, literary journalism, travelogue, biography, and other genres. And you'll have unique opportunities to immerse yourself in writing, from attending readings to editing journals to selecting winners of national awards. 

For the past forty years, the Nonfiction Writing Program has encouraged students to explore new approaches to creative nonfiction while also developing an appreciation for the deep history of the genre.

In small, aesthetically diverse courses such as Forms of the Essay, Readings in Nonfiction, Radio Essays, Literary Journalism, Memoir, Travelogues, and A History of the Essay, the Nonfiction Writing Program strives to create an atmosphere that’s both supportive and challenging, generating discussions and debates in a dynamic community.

During the program’s three years of study, our students receive funding through fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching positions as instructors in writing and literature. They're also eligible for an additional $50,000 in research grants every year to help them pursue their own writing projects.

Occasionally our students travel abroad in a series of overseas writing workshops that are led by the program's faculty, and while on campus they help judge the Iowa Prize in Literary Nonfiction and the annual Krause Essay Prize for innovative essays.

Outside of the classroom, students in the NWP help run a variety of literary organizations, including two highly popular reading series for graduate students, Anthology and Speakeasy. They help read submissions for the national literary magazine The Iowa Review and also edit their own journal The Essay Review.  And finally, they give back, volunteering their time as writing instructors in the Lloyd-Jones Institute for Outreach, through which we offer free and immersive classes in creative writing to people throughout Iowa and beyond.

Krause Essay Prize

Founded in 2006, the Krause Essay Prize is awarded each year to the work that best exemplifies the art of essaying.

Recent NWP News

NWP Student Sarah Khatry

NWP Student Sarah Khatry Addresses NWP Dedication Crowd

Thursday, October 12, 2023
NWP student Sarah Khatry (NWP 2024) speaks at the Sept. 22 dedication of the new Nonfiction Writing House.
University of Iowa President Barbara Wilson

UI President Wilson Speaks at Nonfiction Writing House Dedication

Monday, October 9, 2023
President Wilson and other campus luminaries spoke at the dedication of the new Nonfiction Writing House.
Ribbon cutting ceremony for University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing House

Associate Dean Roland Racevskis Welcomes the NWP House to Writers' Row at Dedication Ceremony

Friday, October 6, 2023
Associate Dean Roland Racevskis speaks at the Sept 22 Nonfiction Writing House dedication ceremony.
writer Tisa Bryant

NWP MFA Student Aaron Pang and Prof. Tisa Bryant to Participate in Hancher's Infinite Dream Festival

Thursday, October 5, 2023
NWP MFA student Aaron Pang and Prof. Tisa Bryant will participate in the Hancher's Infinite Dream Festival in October.
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NWP Student Heidie Senseman Wins Herodotus Award

Thursday, September 28, 2023
UI Nonfiction Writing Program building, photo by Jason Smith

Fact: UI Nonfiction Writing Program is a destination

Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Richard Lloyd-Jones book edited by Hesse and Julier

New Book Celebrates Nonfiction and the Teaching of Richard Lloyd-Jones

Wednesday, August 30, 2023
NWP alumni Douglas Hesse (MA 1980, PhD 1986) and Laura Julier (PhD 1988) have put together a new book both celebrating nonfiction and honoring esteemed professor, and long-time chair of the University of Iowa's English Department, Richard Lloyd-Jones. 
book cover of To Name the Bigger Lie by Sarah Viren

NWP Alumni Updates - August 2023

Thursday, August 24, 2023
A round-up of Nonfiction Writing Program alumni publications, awards, and other successes.

Recent Publications by NWP Alumni

Recent Publications by NWP Alumni