31st Annual Creative Writing Workshop for Social Workers


The University of Iowa is known nationally as “The Writing University,” and our institution boasts a rich tradition of great writing and an early and enduring commitment to the creative arts. Iowa’s tradition of writing has been guided by the principle that, though writing is a solitary practice, it’s one significantly enriched by interaction with other writers. There has also been a growing focus in recent years on how writing and language are critical in so many other professions and pursuits beyond the purely literary. It’s fitting, then, that we continue to offer an annual opportunity for social workers and other helping professionals to gather in a workshop space for an intensive experience to work on their writing craft and learn how it can be leveraged, both in practice and in reflective self-care.

31st Annual Creative Writing Workshop for Social Workers
July 15-18, 2022

Enrollment is limited to 12 participants. If registration is full, please email jen-knights@uiowa.edu to be added to the wait list.

Learning Objectives
The learning objectives are:

>Improve creative writing skill in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, blogs etc.
>Understand how writing can be used as a professional tool in human services work by counselors, educators, advocates, researchers and practitioners.

The Process
The seminar will meet over the course of 4 days. Each day includes asynchronous elements (assignments completed on your own time) and interaction in real time with the instructor and fellow participants. Activities include a mixture of presentations from invited guests, writing instruction and practice, and peer critiques of participants’ work. Several hours are reserved for individual coaching sessions with the lead instructor. Participants may be beginners or experienced–and sometimes even published–writers. Most participants have not previously attended a writing workshop, or even thought of themselves as writers. Diversity of experience, and an active interest and curiosity about the possibilities inherent in creative writing, are the essential ingredients for a fresh and exciting workshop experience.

Cost & CEUs
$525 / 24 CEU hours — Participants who complete the workshop are eligible to enroll in future sessions of our Master Class in Creative Writing for Social Workers.

About the Presenter
Ellen Szabo, M.Ed. is the primary writing instructor for the course. She is the founder of Szabo Creative Consulting, promoting the use of creative writing for personal investigation, enrichment and social change. She earned her B.A. from Harvard College, with a concentration in English and American Literature, and her M.Ed. from Columbia University Teacher’s College, in Counseling Psychology. She writes and teaches with focus on how innovation and creativity can illuminate, inspire and advocate compassionate transformation. Guest speakers will share experiences with projects related to creative writing for social change, journaling for personal growth, and/or the written word as a tool for enhancing social justice.