The BIWF is the state’s first fully funded residency for emerging writers who are immigrant, first-, or second-generation Iowans. It provides education, support, and resources in the renowned UNESCO City of Literature—Iowa City, and offers space and time for writers to explore their multilayered identities. Each fellow gets the opportunity of a lifetime to study and grow in their writing and ultimately to have their work published and supported by the Iowa Writers’ House.

Today more than ever, we need to hear stories from all corners of society. We believe that the owners of the stories need to be the voices that share them. The writing and publishing industry is one of the most difficult to break into—as it stands, it is incredibly difficult for marginalized voices to find their way into the American reader’s hands. This program seeks to remove all barriers to publication and enable new voices to find their way to the minds and hearts of readers. Ultimately we seek to create books that write a new chapter of our state—one that includes a thriving bicultural and immigrant presence. We the Interwoven is helping Iowans better understand and discuss challenging issues, and find ways toward a more connected tomorrow.

Each year we chose our fellows and writers based on both the public value of the stories they have to tell and the potential they show toward the written word.
We work with our fellows to help them learn writing skills and develop their stories on their own, and where they need help with story arc or prose, we provide mentorship and assistance. We are dedicated to providing this platform for the stories that the writers wish to tell and assisting in ways that best meet their needs.

We hope that We the Interwoven finds its way into communities across Iowa. Currently over 60 libraries carry Volume 1. We also have book resources and discussion guides available for students and adults. We would welcome the opportunity to present at your school or organization or to collectively seek funding to create a new program together.

Each year we open the fellowship for applications during the month of October. Anyone who identifies with more than one culture can apply. Fellows are announced in November. We look forward to continuing to publishing and representing writers of varying cultures, voices, and regions of Iowa.

The BIWF program received funding from the Iowa Arts Council in years one and two. As our program and the opportunity for greater impact grow, we continue to need new sources of support. We welcome all suggestions for ways to support and extend the program.