Comptetion for the Between the Lines: Peace and The Writing Experience for Young English and Arabic writers is now open!

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv is pleased to announce the opening of applications for “Between the Lines: Peace and The Writing Experience for Young English and Arabic writers, July 1 to July 15, 2017

Program overview: 

“Between the Lines: Peace and The Writing Experience” (BTL), a two-week cultural exchange program, will host 10 writers ages 16-19 from Russia, 10 students of similar age from Arabic-speaking countries and 12 Americans.  Their residency at the University of Iowa will run from July 1 to July 15, 2017

The University of Iowa at Iowa City will host the program, serving as inspiration for the students to grow as writers and providing them with the opportunity to explore cross-cultural dialogues on creative writing and literature. The program is fully sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State.

These young writers will be immersed in the premier creative writing culture of the United States as part of an exchange that will broaden and sharpen their writing skills and build bridges with young American and Arabic-speaking writers who will participate in creative writing classes alongside the Russian participants. Program activities will include writing workshops in English, Russian, and Arabic, seminars on literary topics, cultural visits, and other local events.  At the culmination of the on-site program, the students’ writings (in English, Russian, and Arabic) will be collected into a printed booklet to be used for educational purposes.

Time Frame, Cost and Travel: 

The program will be held from July 1 to July 15, 2017 in Iowa. All expenses including flight and accommodation are covered by the US Government / US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Participants will travel to and from the United States in the company of adult chaperones. Students will live in a residence hall and will be supervised by live-in, trained counselors. The chaperones and counselors will work together to help create a lively, supportive writing community.

Student Eligibility: 

  • Age 16-19 as of as of July 1, 2017
  • Able to demonstrate proficiency in English and Arabic (reading, writing, and speaking);
  • Able to engage and thrive in an atmosphere that brings together different kinds of people and views;
  • Talented, curious, enthusiastic young writers of fiction and/or poetry.

Student application requirements: 

All nominees must supply the following:

  1.  A writing sample of 6-8 pages of fiction and/or poetry in Arabic. Essays and other nonfiction writing will not be accepted.
  2.  A writing sample of 6-8 pages of fiction and/or poetry in English. Essays and other nonfiction writing will not be accepted.
  1. A writing sample of 3-5 in either language in response to  the following:

 Family, friends, region, tribe, religious denomination, ethnic groups, class, gender, race, work, neighborhood, country, political parties—in our daily lives we navigate between different markers, adjusting our speech patterns and behavior to the demands of each encounter, narrating to ourselves stories about how and why we come to occupy a particular place in the scheme of things.  What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member (or be seen as a member) of particular identity groups? In what way does your identity influence your creative writing?

  1.  A brief statement of purpose (no more than 250 words), written in English describing why writing is important to the applicant’s life, and what he/she hopes to learn at BTL.
  2.  A copy of the student’s most recent transcript.
  3.  A letter of recommendation from a teacher or other individual who knows the student’s work.
  4. All writing samples must be sent in 12-point font and have one -inch margins all around. 

Chaperone application requirements: 

Serve as Arabic-speaking liaisons between the students and the International Writing Program (hosted by the University of Iowa) staff. Chaperones will also work with the International Writing Program on BTL-related projects.

  •  Be between the ages of 25-40 as of as of July 1, 2017
  •  Demonstrate proficiency in English (reading, writing, and speaking).
  •  Ideally be a teacher from the students’ school who is interested in creative writing and has not had previous exposure to the United States.
  •  Willing to fully participate in a formal English language program on creative writing teaching methods that will also include American teachers.
  •  Be reliable, mature, and willing and able to take on the dual responsibilities of their own program and the overall duties of overseeing the students.
  •  Each nominee must submit a resume/CV and a brief statement of purpose (both in English) describing his or her goals for the program and how his or her participation will benefit the program.

Application Deadline and inquiries:

Please submit your application by March1, 2017.  PLEASE NOTE – Deadline Extended until March 7th

Interviews for invited applicants will be held on March 10th in Tel Aviv

Email completed application packages to this EMAIL

The U.S. Embassy will conduct personal interviews for selected candidates. Participants travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa to be facilitated by the Embassy upon acceptance. Due to the high volume of application, only successful applicants will be notified.

For more info on the Between the Lines Program please click HERE and for more info on Iowa University please click HERE.