Thanks for visiting!

This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

Advance a Young Writer

Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
95 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 08, at 11:55 PM CST
Project Owners

Advance a Young Writer

Do you believe that more young writers from low-income and underserved communities should have the opportunity to attend the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, the University of Iowa’s summer, residential creative writing program for high school students? Do you believe these students should have access to the full experience of our courses and community without the prohibitive factor of cost?


We do, but we need your help! Young writers from underserved communities need to be brought into environments more conducive to creative expression and encouraged to write freely about their experiences; taught to express themselves in their writing with more clarity and power; and heard by larger audiences. With this campaign, we hope to raise $6,000 for tuition and travel expenses, which will allow two students to attend the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio residential program in the summer of 2018. We believe this is an attainable goal, and one we can meet with small donations from writers and supporters of writing like you. If you donate, you’ll advance an ambitious and deserving student on a path toward becoming a better writer and prepared adult. You’ll also be making an important investment in our literary future. (Please note that we are forgoing donor incentives at the various giving levels to ensure that every dollar goes directly to help a student attend our program).


The Iowa Young Writers' Studio is a creative writing program for high school students at The University of Iowa, housed in The Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing. The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio offers a summer residential program as well as online classes. The Studio was formed in 1999 to give promising high school-age creative writers the opportunity to spend two weeks studying writing at The University of Iowa, in the thriving literary community of Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, with teachers and counselors from the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Students at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio share their writing with teachers and peers, receive constructive critique, participate in writing exercises and activities, and attend readings and literary events. The Studio operates under the philosophy that the study of creative writing is essential not only to students who want to pursue writing as a career but to any student hoping to function effectively in a writing-centric world, and to any adolescent who seeks to understand his or her identity and experience.


We're grateful to Jill Tobin for producing our video, and to the former students and staff of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio who contributed testimonials.


NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.

Choose a giving level



“The thing is not to write what no one else could have written, but to write what only you could have written.” —Nam Le, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and author of the story collection “The Boat.”



"Writers are readers first; indeed our love of reading is what unites us above all else.” —Eleanor Catton, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and author of the novel “The Luminaries.”



“Writing became a safe haven for me, a place where I wasn’t accented, or my face didn’t determine how someone thought of me.” —Jenny Zhang, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and author of the story collection “Sour Heart.”



“I think that a good deal of poetry and art gives us some sense of access to another’s voice, perception, texture of thought, imagination. Sometimes it gives us better access to the strangeness in ourselves.” —Mary Szybist, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and National Book Award winner in poetry.



“…Most days of my own transient childhood, I felt unknowable and unseeable, and the only solace I could find from that feeling was within the pages of books.” —Yaa Gyasi, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and author of the novel “Homegoing.”



“Poetry offers itself to us as a way of talking about the things we can’t talk about. No one invented it. It was given…Great poems are smarter than great poets. The language is smarter than anyone who uses it.” —James Galvin, Professor of Poetry, Iowa Writer’s Workshop.



“Certainly literature is not solving things, but the stories we tell are how we come to understand what this planet is to us. For the people who read poetry, I think it’s profound. Paying attention teaches us how to be…I think I’ll just end the sentence there; how to be.” —Robyn Schiff, Director, Undergraduate Program in Creative Writing, University of Iowa



“Given the opportunity to offer one piece of advice to an emerging writer, I would highlight the urgency of holding onto an inner life… Hold onto that part of you that first compelled you to start writing…The single essential survival skill for anybody interested in creating art is to learn to defend this inner life from the world.” —Lan Samantha Chang, Director, Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Our Crowdfunding Groups