Submit to Hot Tin Roof


Hot Tin Roof is a program to showcase current literary work produced in Iowa City. Each month, a selected piece under 1,000 words is published in Little Village, and the author receives a $100 honorarium.

The series takes its name from a famous play and movie by former Iowa City resident Tennessee Williams, who graduated from the University of Iowa in 1938. He was chosen as the patron saint of this series because his artistic life refused to be confined to work in any one genre. Moreover, it seemed right, given the many acclaimed writers to have lived and worked in Iowa City, to honor one who, at the time, was a relatively obscure undergraduate.

Dec. 31 marks the last day to submit for Hot Tin Roof’s Spring 2015 season.

Poetry in Public 2015


Now in its 11th year, Iowa City’s Poetry in Public project is accepting poetry submissions from writers of all ages. Published and unpublished poets in Johnson County are invited to submit their poems for consideration. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

Poetry in Public celebrates Iowa City’s rich literary tradition and local writing talent by displaying poems by writers of all ages in City buses, downtown kiosks, Iowa City Recreation buildings and other public facilities from April (National Poetry Month) through the fall.

Click here for more information.

Prague, Heidelberg, Granada and Dunedin named Cities of Literature

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network has grown to 69 cities with the addition of 28 new cities across the seven thematic areas. Of those 28, four are new Cities of Literature:

Prague, Czech Republic
Heidelberg, Germany
Granada, Spain
Dunedin, New Zealand

They join existing Cities of Literature Edinburgh, Scotland; Melbourne, Australia; Iowa City; Dublin, Ireland; Norwich, England; and Krakow Poland.

Other cities newly named to the network are:

Design: Bilbao (Spain), Curitiba (Brazil), Dundee (UK), Helsinki (Finland), Turin (Italy)
Film: Busan (Republic of Korea), Galway (Ireland), Sofia (Bulgaria)
Media Arts: Dakar (Senegal), Gwangju (Republic of Korea), Linz (Austria), Tel Aviv-Yafo (Israel), York (UK)
Gastronomy: Florianopolis (Brazil), Shunde (China), Tsuruoka (Japan)
Music: Hamamatsu (Japan), Hanover (Germany), Mannheim (Germany)
Crafts & Folk Arts: Jacmel (Haiti), Jingdezhen (China), Nassau (Bahamas), Pekalongan (Indonesia), Suzhou (China)

Iowa City; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Paducah, Kentucky, remain the only Creative Cities Network members in the United States.

“The UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a tremendous tool for cooperation, it reflects our commitment to support an amazing creative and innovative potential to broaden the avenues of sustainable development,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.

By joining the Network, cities commit to collaborate and develop partnerships with a view to promoting creativity and cultural industries, to share best practices, to strengthen participation in cultural life, and to integrate culture in economic and social development plans.

The Network covers seven thematic areas: Craft and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music. It aims to promote international cooperation and encourage the sharing of experiences and resources in order to promote local development through culture and creativity.

Booksellers’ Holiday Gift Recommendations


In the City of Literature, we are fortunate to be surrounded by so many world-class independent bookstores. This year we invited our local booksellers to share their top picks for holiday gifts.

Among the Stacks

224 1st St SW, Mount Vernon

123 S. Linn St.

Give used books a new life by shopping at The Book End this holiday season. Find out-of-print treasures, gently used adult and children’s books, audiobooks, movies, music, artwork and more. When you buy a holiday gift at The Book End, it keeps on giving – all proceeds benefit the popular Children’s and Teens Summer Reading Programs at the Iowa City Public Library.

The Book Shop

608 S. Dubuque St.

  • Whatever interests you’d like to encourage, there’s a book for that!
  •  It is a kindness to share the secret that reading is a great source of enjoyment.

1650 Sycamore St.

219 N Gilbert St.

  • Wish Certificates
  • Toys for Early Readers – Visual pattern recognition games and Reading Buddies
  • Three Wishes Recommendation Service – Tell us three things about the person on your gift list and we’ll find the perfect gift.

8 S Clinton St.

New Bo Books

1105 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids

15 South Dubuque St.

201 S Clinton St.

730 S Dubuque St.

Booksellers’ Holiday Gift Guide

Gift Guide post 2014

The City of Literature organization is partnering with several area bookstores to host the City of Literature Booksellers’ Holiday Gift Guide. Local booksellers will gather at 7 p.m. Monday Nov 24, at the Iowa City Public Library to present and talk about their top suggestions for holiday gifts.  This is an opportunity to ask for an expert’s recommendations and get a jumpstart on holiday shopping.

“We are fortunate to live in a community with so many world-class independent bookstores. These booksellers are experts on what writers and readers want, and they have fantastic gift ideas for all ages,” said Rachael Carlson, operations manager at the City of Literature.

Participating stores include: Among the Stacks, The Book End, The Book Shop, Defunct Books, The Haunted Bookshop, Iowa Book, New Bo Books, Prairie Lights Books, University Bookstore, and Uptown Bill’s.

The City of Literature Bookseller’s Holiday Gift Guide will take place in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library on Nov 24 at 7 p.m. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. The event is free and open to the public.