Starting in May, Iowa’s acclaimed International Writing Program is offering two new free online courses. Both will explore writing about identities, communities, and social issues.
The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is a “unique conduit for the world’s literatures, connecting well-established writers from around the globe”, Its principal program is its Fall Residency; since 1967 over fourteen hundred writers from more than 150 countries have participated.
In 2014 the International Writing Program offered its first MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). These courses, funded by the University of Iowa and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, welcome all participants; no application is required and there is no charge for enrollment. In its first year alone, 15,789 readers and writers from around the world participated in these online courses.
In the Summer of 2017 the International Writing Program is offering two new online courses. Both are free and open to all.
Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction
15 May 2017 – 15 July 2017
This creative writing MOOC will focus on writing about identities, communities, and social issues in fiction and nonfiction. Participants will be encouraged to explore the intersections of individual, community, and global identities and to write both fiction and nonfiction. The course will be taught by Professor Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program and by Venise Berry, an Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication and the author of four novels.
Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays
17 July 2017 – 5 September 2017
The second course to offered in 2017 will also explore the intersections of individual, community, and global identities, as well as the principles of writing poetry and plays. The course is again co-led by Professor Christopher Merrill. He will be joined by Lisa Schlesinger, an Associate Professor at the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Both courses will be supported by a teaching team made up of alumni of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. This team will be available at different times of day and night to allow students from anywhere in the world and in any time zone to actively participate in the courses.
For the courses’ duration, a new set of teaching videos, readings, writing assignments and discussions will be launched each Thursday. Participants can respond by completing and posting a writing assignment, adding their thoughts and questions to the discussions, giving feedback on writing assignments, and receiving feedback on their own assignments.
Students are welcome to enrol in one or both courses. For further information visit the University of Iowa website.