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Creative Writing Seminars

Applying for Admission to the English & Creative Writing Seminars

Applicants must have declared the English & Creative Writing major and they must have reached sophomore standing, with at least 24 hours completed at the University of Iowa. Transfer students who fall under this amount should consult with an English advisor.

Submit your portfolio during the one-week window, by way of the online portal. Information about steps to take for this webform application process is available below.

Spring 2021 Seminars in creative writing will be

ENGL 4011 Honors Seminar in Creative Writing - Nonfiction taught by Prof. Inara Verzemnieks (currently thinking hybrid, mostly online with possibility to be in person if it seems safe/appropriate)

ENGL 4012: Honors Seminar in Fiction taught by Prof. Bennett Sims (online)

ENGL:4013 Honors Seminar in Poetry: Confession and Intimacies by Donika Kelly (online)

In this intensive poetry writing workshop and seminar, we will investigate strategies for creating the affect of vulnerability and intimacy in lyric poetry. Together we will consider the function of confession, and how the lyric “I,” as a poetic mode, creates space for poets to interrogate race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation from their own perspective. Students will produce approximately 15-paages of new work over the course of the semester and will submit a small grouping of poems for workshop. Course requirements include a presentation and final poetry portfolio.  

Possible authors include Sharon Olds, Natasha Trethewey, Sam Sax, Lucille Clifton, and Ada Limón. 


Submission Guidelines for Honors Seminars in Fiction – SPRING 2021

1) Submissions are accepted for ONE WEEK ONLY: October 5-12 through this webform ( Submissions received outside that period may not be considered.

2) We are offering three Honors courses in Creative Writing in Spring 2021. You may only submit to one course. Under Submission Type, please select one of the following: NONFICTION (Verzemnieks), FICTION (Sims), or POETRY (Kelly).

3) Upload, as a single file, up to 15 pages of NONFICTION for the nonfiction seminar; up to 15 pages of FICTION for the fiction seminar; or up to 15 pages of POETRY for the poetry seminar.

  • FICTION and NONFICTION submissions may be one piece, multiple short pieces, or part of a larger project, as long as the document does not exceed 15 pages in length (double-spaced). For FICTION and NONFICTION submissions, please use standard manuscript format (double-spaced, 12-point type, margins of at least one inch, pages numbered, name on first page).
  • POETRY submissions should be 5 poems of any length, not to exceed 15 pages total. Submissions above 15 pages may be disqualified.

4) Again, you may only submit to one of the three courses. Multiple submissions may be disqualified



Application period: Monday, October 5 - Monday, October 12

Report-back date: by Friday, November 6

Early registration: Monday, November 9