The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa launches Prison Writing Project

The University of Iowa, the Iowa Review and the Writing University launch the Prison Writing Project (PWP), which publishes work by people who are currently incarcerated in the state of Iowa and beyond.

We are delighted to announce the University of Iowa Prison Writing Project (PWP). The Prison Writing Project, a collaboration between the University of Iowa’s award-winning literary magazine The Iowa Review and the Writing University, connects the writing community on campus with prison writing communities in Iowa and beyond. The project seeks to foster and support the writing and self-expression of incarcerated individuals and is grounded in the belief that these voices offer unique contributions to the literary landscape.  


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During September and October 2018, the PWP invited submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from writers who are incarcerated in the state of Iowa. Submissions were considered by a team of faculty, staff, students, and alumni from the University of Iowa’s writing programs and publications. Selected work from the fall reading period is in the process of being showcased on the University of Iowa’s Writing University. Authors will be sent printed-out copies of their published work. 

The PWP plans to host another open reading period in the coming fall and will contact prison administrators when the dates are announced; please also check the PWP website for updates. Anyone incarcerated in the state of Iowa will be eligible to enter. All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter with the author’s name, identification number, and complete mailing address. Submissions received outside of the reading period will not be considered. Authors may not submit more than one entry per reading period. Only unpublished manuscripts will be considered, with the exception of pieces that have appeared in prison-only publications. Handwritten submissions are accepted. There is no entry fee.  

For more information contact Kate Conlow or Izzy Casey at


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