The 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.


Ethan MadoreEthan Madore graduated from the Nonfiction Writing Program in 2017, and now serves as the program's Provost Visiting Writer, a position that is providing him with a fourth year of funding. Ethan came to Iowa from Vassar College, after working as a guide on the Appalachian Trail. As a student he was elected Student Ambassador and Co-Editor of The Essay Review.





lucy schiller Lucy Schiller is a third-year student who came to the Nonfiction Writing Program from Grinnell College after working as a freelance writer in San Francisco and New York. Since joining the NWP, she has served as the Co-Editor of the Essay Review, and has published numerous essays in places like the Rumpus, New Republic, and the New Yorker





Photo of Bernice SantiagoBernice Santiago graduated from the Nonfiction Writing Program in 2015, after having graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and working for McSweeney's. Upon graduation from the NWP, Bernice received our prestigious Lloyd-Jones Fellowship, which allowed her to remain at the University of Iowa for a fourth and fifth year while developing a new outreach writing program. She's now back home in Guam, where she's at work on her first book, a personal meditation and political examination of the island.