Take time to lose yourself in Iowa City’s bookstores and literary haunts, to lollygag by the Iowa River, and to enjoy theater, film, and music downtown. 

Apart from the dedicated time and space to devote to your own writing, one of the gifts you give yourself as a writer when you come here is the opportunity to meet and commune with others who are kindred.

Festival writers enjoy getting together in the mornings for coffee and conversation, as well as the reception after our first full workshop Monday evening. Open Mic night is your opportunity to share your work with members of other workshops; the Thursday night dinner gives us a chance to come together and decompress as we approach the end of the week.

Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, is extraordinarily friendly to writers.  Readings by outstanding contemporary voices, hosted nearly every evening by Prairie Lights Books, are a favorite among locals and Festival participants alike. The city boasts a vibrant community, with regular summer festivals, community events, parks and recreation centers, a world-class farmer's market, culinary delights, faith centers, a thriving film/art/music/theater scene, mental health resources, and more. It's a beautiful place to spend the summer.