March 16th & 17th, 2022 | Atlanta, GA



Following the 2016 presidential election, students of color met with the Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Lan Samantha Chang, to discuss the need for a more intentional approach to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. Drawing on the personal connections of Workshop students to Howard University, a partnership was developed between the Workshop, Howard University Alumni Association, and Dr. Patricia Elam Walker, an Assistant Professor in English at Howard. 

On September 28th, 2017, a group of students, faculty, and alumni from the Workshop visited Howard’s campus as well as George Washington University for a series of conversations about MFA programs, the writing life, and the literary landscape. Students from the Workshop visited creative writing classrooms at Howard and held lively Q&A sessions. That evening, at Howard’s Founders Library, a program featuring Workshop students and faculty, along with Howard students and faculty, held a panel discussion and readings that was open to the public.

The event was successful in building relationships between the participating institutions and people. An attendee from that event went on to attend the Workshop the following year and faculty from Howard have been guest presenters at several Workshop events.

Based on the model developed at Howard, the outreach efforts developed into a multiday symposium where students, faculty, and alumni of the Workshop will lead a series of classroom visits, seminars, panels, and readings that are centered on our mission to increase the diversity of voices represented in the literary landscape.

We hope to plan events at more Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the future. 

2017 event Participants

  • Jamel Brinkley, University of Iowa
  • Tameka Cage Conley, University of Iowa
  • Lan Samantha Chang, University of Iowa
  • Angela Flournoy, University of Iowa
  • Jade Jones, University of Iowa
  • Afabwaje Kurian, University of Iowa 
  • Ayana Mathis, University of Iowa
  • Melissa Mogollon, University of Iowa
  • Derek Nnuro, University of Iowa
  • Patricia Elam Walker, Howard University
  • Dawnie Walton, Novelist and University of Iowa
  • Monica West, Novelist and University of Iowa


Creative Panel

Creative writing Classroom Visits

Participating Institutions

  • Howard University, a culturally diverse, comprehensive, research intensive and historically Black private university, provides an educational experience of exceptional quality at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels to students of high academic standing and potential, with particular emphasis upon educational opportunities for Black students. Excellence, leadership, service, and truth are its core values. Howard’s aim is to forward the development of scholars and professionals who drive change, and engage in scholarship that provides solutions to contemporary global problems, particularly ones impacting the African Diaspora.
  • Howard University Alumni Association, promotes the continued excellence, leadership, service and truth that are central to the mission of Howard University. The Howard University Alumni Association partners aims to boost engagement and foster connectivity with Alumni and the broader Howard University community. The goals are to increase opportunities for the Bison Community to engage with the University, students and fellow alumni to promote the Howard brand and to provide a friction-less path towards involvement and fundraising for the University and its students.

  • University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the first creative writing degree program in the United States, and since its founding in 1936, the program has been home to thousands of remarkable writers. The program claims among its graduates winners of virtually every major literary award, including seventeen winners of the Pulitzer, six recent U.S. Poets Laureate, and numerous winners of the National Book Award, MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and other major honors.

sponsorship & Support

The first Writers’ Workshop outreach event was made possible through the generous support of several organizations. 

  • Howard University
  • Howard University Alumni Association
  • Howard University Department of English
  • George Washington University
  • George Washington University Department of English
  • Iowa Writers’ Workshop
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Iowa Department of English





covid-19 policies

Visitors must adhere to all current and applicable AUCC COVID-19 health and safety protocols at the time of their visit, including proof of a negative COVID-19 test, face-covering requirements, symptom checking, and recommended hygiene practices.

 A visitor to the AUC Woodruff Library is a person who does not have a valid ID card from Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College or Spelman College.  All visitors must bring proof of negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours of the event, or send in advance to Naylah Daniels – – no earlier than Monday, March 14, 2022.

Visitors who refuse to or cannot comply with campus protocols will not be allowed to enter the library.

For additional information please reference the AUCC Visitor Policy.