Peace and the Writing Experience Cultural Exchange Program 2019 in USA
  • July 13 - 20, 2019
  • Fully Funded
  • Iowa City
Since 2008, Between the Lines (BTL) has hosted young writers at the University of Iowa for a cultural exchange program that focuses on the art and craft of creative writing. Participants, aged 15-18, come together in Iowa City for an intensive two-week session. During session, they live in campus dorms and spend their days in creative writing workshops and global literature seminars designed to broaden their literary horizons and deepen their empathy for and understanding of one another’s identities and stories.

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Evenings and weekends are spent on assorted adventures—attending literary and cultural events in Iowa City, swimming and hiking in nearby Lake MacBride State Park, and exploring each other’s cultures through open-mic nights and collaborative filmmaking. At the program’s end, participants have the opportunity to publish their work in the annual camp anthology. Each session is led by a faculty of prize-winning poets and writers from the U.S. and abroad, who are also experienced creative writing teachers.
Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience is sponsored through a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US State Department. Alongside 10-12 American peers, 30 international participants come together for two weeks of rigorous BTL summer programming at the University of Iowa.


United States


  • For American Students:
    • Tuition for American students accepted to BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience is $1,800. This includes room and board, materials, instructor fees, printing and photocopying, and van transportation during the program. Upon acceptance, a deposit of $150 is required to secure a place in the program. The balance is due May 31.
  • The IWP will give $10,000 in full and partial need-based scholarships to participants accepted to BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience. This may include funding for travel. Students may apply for a scholarship after they are accepted into the program.
  • For international students:
    • For accepted international students, all fees, including travel, lodging, and meals, are waived – participation is free of charge. As required by the U.S. State Department, students will travel with an adult chaperone, hired by the International Writing Program, on the transcontinental flight to and from the United States.


  • They want applicants who are passionate about creative writing. In the writing samples we want to see what best represents you as a writer today. Given our belief that in order to write, you have to read, we expect you to be an avid reader as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to have straight As, or that you have to be able to quote classic literature from memory. Read with your heart open and your mind curious.
  • Since you will be spending a lot of time with fellow students, teachers, and staff from different countries and cultures, it’s very important that you be open to learning about the many different ways people live in the world and willing to share your own life experiences and unique point of view. Our ultimate goal is to create a community of friends that will continue to support each other in their creative efforts long after they have all gone home.
  • For all BTL sessions this summer, students must be between 15-18 years old by the time of the camp.
  • All students, both American and international, are required to be proficient in English in all forms (reading, writing, and speaking). Knowledge of another language – Russian, Arabic, or any other – is not required, but it is a definite plus, particularly if you are currently studying another language, or if you grew up in a home or community where different languages are regularly used. There will be a lot of cross-translation going on!
Eligible Regions: Multiple Region based on Eligibilites

Application Process

  • International students
    • Because international students accepted into BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience have all expenses paid for by funds from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, international applicants will apply to the participating U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.
    • Eligible countries include Russia and those along the historic Silk Road land route.
    • Posts in the following countries are invited to nominate students for the 2019 BTL program:
      • Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
      • Please contact the U.S. Embassy in your home country for more information on their application process; you will need to prepare the materials listed below when you apply.
      • You must then go through a process of nomination with your U.S. Embassy. After your U.S. Embassy agrees to nominate you, you will work with them to fill out the Between the Lines 2019: Peace and the Writing Experience Application.
    • The deadline for applying to BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience for international students is March 29th, 2019
  • American students
    • American students apply directly through the International Writing Program. The deadline for BTL: Peace and the Writing Experience is  April 14, 2019, and applications can be submitted from the Apply Now link.

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Application Deadline: March 29, 2019

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

Please email the program coordinator at [email protected] 
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