The Iowa Writers’ Workshop holds a pretty spectacular reputation when it comes to writing. It’s been referred to as the best writing program in the United States, citing almost twenty pulitzer prize winners and eight U.S. Poets Laureate among its graduates. It also boasts an extremely competitive acceptance rate — roughly around 2.7% of applicants are admitted to the prestigious program per last released estimates.
While we can’t exactly tell you the secret to getting accepted into IWP, we’ve got some other good news. If you’ve ever been interested in taking a writing course through IWP, there’s a not-super-secret corner of the internet where IWP stores their previously delivered massively open online writing courses (MOOCs). In short, IWP offers high-quality writing courses to the public for free, and they’re available for anyone to access, anytime, right here.
We're not paid, supported, or heck, probably even known by IWP, but we're preaching their praises because we're former students of several of these courses. When they're offered in real-time, each course is designed to be completed in six weeks, and the assignments and discussion boards are peer-supported and peer-critiqued. This is great news if you decide to take the archived versions offered here, as these are perfectly primed to complete with a small group of your best writer friends, your critique partners, or your writing group.
In fact, IWP states this on their website: "In order to support access to education for all, every time we create a MOOC, we also create a MOOC-Pack. A MOOC-Pack provides a MOOC’s core content, packaged with a how-to guide and extra instructional materials. Using a MOOC-Pack, anyone can lead a writing class or a study group."
Have we piqued your curiosity? Here's a sampling of some of the available high-level courses for you to dig into:
Within each course pack, you'll find a treasure trove of craft talks, reading assignments, writing assignments, discussion topics, and more. Each week builds on the previous week. Options exist for multiple types of writing within a given course. These classes are versatile for beginner and advanced writers. The weeks look something like this:
Tell us, do you have a favorite course? Hidden gem of internet writing help? We'd love to hear! Leave it in the comments below!
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