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April 6, 2023

Call for Applications: International Writing Program (Virtual) For Zimbabwean Young Writers (15 – 18 Years)

You are invited to nominate young writers between the ages of 15 and 18 to participate in the 2023 virtual International Writing Program (IWP) Between the Lines:  Peace and the Writing Experience program (BTL). For the BTL Program, the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa will bring together young writers from select countries and the U.S. for a two-week, online creative writing program from July 8–July 21, 2023.  The deadline for applications is April 14, 2023.


Picture Credit: Eye for Ebony

Program Description: 

IWP will design and implement this dynamic program for 30 international writers, ages 15–18, from selected countries and 10 U.S. peers. All program activities will be in English and will include synchronized writing workshops, world literature seminars, special literary events, and social opportunities for cultural exchange, as well as group and individual writing assignments outside of class.

Upon the completion of the program, each participant will receive a certificate (in PDF format) and IWP will digitally publish the students’ writing as an anthology.  2023 BTL Program participants may also apply for follow-on microgrants. These grants will support virtual and/or in-person projects that promote emerging voices, creative writing and literature, youth leadership skills, professional development, community engagement, and/or community transformation through literary collaborations.  



The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) grant funds will cover all international participants’ program costs for this virtual cultural exchange. These requirements are daily access to high-speed internet and a computer or device equipped with a camera, and microphone. 

Nomination Details:  

The program is designed for talented students who show promise to become future literary or media figures in their respective countries and in their own native languages. Candidates must be between the ages of 15 and 18 as of July 8, 2023, proficient in English (reading, writing, and speaking) and able to participate effectively in online intercultural exchange. The U.S. Embassy will strive for gender, geographic, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. The final selection of participants will be determined by ECA and IWP.

Application Process: 

Send the below information to NyathiB@state.gov by April 14, 2023:

 a) Nominee’s full name (as it appears on your passport); 

b) City and country of birth (as it appears on your passport); 

c) Nominee’s gender (as it appears on your passport; 

d) City of residency; 

e) Country of residency; 

f) Country of citizenship; 

g) Nominee’s date of birth; 

h) Nominee’s email address. 


Also send the below information to NyathiB@state.gov by April 14, 2023: 

a) A writing sample of 6–8 pages of prose (creative fiction/ nonfiction) and/or poetry in English. Critical essays (book reports, academic reports, and so forth) will not be accepted. Document types accepted: PDF, DOC, DOCX. All writing samples must be sent in 12-point font, double-spaced, and have one-inch margins. 

b) An essay, in English, of no more than three pages in response to the following prompt: “In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each role.  What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of (or seen as a member of) a particular group? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader?” 

c) A brief statement of purpose (no more than 250 words), in English, describing why writing is important to the applicant’s life, and what he/she hopes to learn by participating in BTL. 

 d) A brief response (no longer than 300 words) to the following: “An essential component of Between the Lines is encouraging participants to explore the unfamiliar and unknown in a safe and supportive setting. Please describe a time in your past when you had to engage with a new situation, person, or idea that initially felt uncomfortable or strange. How did you proceed? If you had the chance, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently?” 

Language Skills Requirement:  

All participants must have the ability to read, write, and converse in English. During the two-week program, students will take a writing-focused literature seminar—in English—with their American and international counterparts. They will also participate in a writing workshop with BTL faculty. Active discussion is an essential element of instruction.