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2020 Writer in Residence Program


DEADLINE EXTENDED!!! Applications will now be accepted until April 6, for the Friends of Lakeside Lab 2020 Writer in Residence program. Designed for students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate writing program, the deadline for this exciting opportunity has been extended to April 6, 2020. For a flyer and more information, please click here.


2019 Writer in Residence Program

Please stay tuned for updates from the three writers selected in 2019: Mike Robbins, Keygan Sands, and Tiffany Tucker.

2018 Writer in Residence Program

Please stay tuned for updates from the two writers selected in 2018: Kartika Budhwar and Anna Polonyi.

2017 Fall Writer in Residence

"Having spent the last four years in Iowa City, I had only really experienced one very small part of Iowa, and coming to Lakeside Lab as the Autumn Writer in Residence has shown me a whole new side of the state. The landscape, the wildlife, the community: all have given me a fresh set of eyes on life in Iowa, and that has gone directly into my work. In addition to the invaluable time and solitude this residency has given me to pour myself into my poetry, it's the subtler stuff of daily life here at Lakeside Lab that makes into the writing: the comings and goings of the family of wild turkeys around Tamisiea, the way sunlight plays across the lake differently at every hour of the day. I'm eternally grateful to the Friends of Lakeside Lab for this gift of time, space, and perspective, and my writing is undoubtedly better for it." — Andy Axel, 2017 Fall Writer in Residence












2017 Summer Writer in Residence

"My residency at Lakeside Lab was incredible for my professional career as a writer. Not only did I secure a freelancing job and launch my own personal website during my time here, but I finished a short story that I read aloud to the Iowan public. I wrote over 100,000 words in just over a month, adding chapters to a novel and writing drafts to a few shorter pieces. The Lab is truly a blessing for unfettered creativity and productivity. I am indebted to the Lakeside Writer-in-Residence program for propelling me forward in my writing career and giving me the tools and motivation to continue forward in this profession. Thank you very much."
— Mariah Manoylov, 2017 Lakeside Summer Writer in Residence

2016 Fall Writer in Residence

My residency at Lakeside Lab gave me the time and space I needed to make significant progress on my current novel. With only the natural beauty of northwestern Iowa to distract me, I completed several new chapters and revised over 100 pages of old material. I also gained valuable experience as an educator through my public outreach project, a series of environmental writing workshops on themes such as the ethics of anthropomorphism and the preservation of extinct species in human memory. I urge any eco-conscious young writer in need of creative freedom or professional development to apply to the Writer-in-Residence program.
— Corrina Carter, 2016 Fall Writer in Residence











2016 Writer in Residence Program

Diatom Class

"My residency at Lakeside Lab gifted me not only the time and space to write, but also the new experiences I craved to inspire and invigorate my work. During my residency, I cored lake sediment with the diatoms class, collected water samples with CLAMP volunteers on East Okoboji, and caught sight of a Prothonotary Warbler perched among the cottonwood trees of Lakeside’s waterfront. I found birding with Professor Bernstein’s ornithology class especially inspiring, as I am currently working on a short story inspired by mist netting.

This residency also gave me the opportunity to work on my audio storytelling skills. I interviewed and chatted with a whole troop of pleasant and knowledgeable students and instructors about their experiences at Lakeside Lab. As someone interested in podcasting, I appreciated the freedom to experiment and learn how to shape these narratives.

I am grateful to the Friends of Lakeside for supporting and valuing writers and their work. It’s an important and gracious thing that you do here. Thank you again!" — Jenna Mertz, 2016 Lakeside Summer Writer in Residence

Writer in Residence Program

“My residency at the Iowa Lakeside Lab was such an incredible gift of time and inspiration. The landscape and wildlife, the lake and sky, all found their way into my writing, expanding my language and moving me to new perspectives and ideas. Furthermore, the opportunity to talk to students and faculty, to accompany classes into the field and witness the research happening all around me, was truly invaluable.”
— Samantha Collier, 2015 Summer Writer in Residence


"While staying at Lakeside Lab, I gathered algae samples, participated in an archaeological dig, visited a fish hatchery, collected live animals, kayaked canals, and cooked with our very own Dianna Isder. These experiences directly inspired my own creative work, as I am currently developing a young adult novel about Iowa’s agricultural system. With the help of staff and students, I collected a bounty of fascinating factoids about the surrounding landscape—so much so that my novel now deals heavily with water quality issues. I am amazed by Lakeside’s beauty and its continued commitment to research. Thanks again to the Friends of Lakeside for supporting this invaluable opportunity to grow as a young artist."
— Adam Wright, 2015 Summer Writer in Residence



2015 Summer Writers in Residence

The Friends of Lakeside are pleased to announce that two writers were selected for this 2015's Summer Writer in Residence program at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory; Adam Wright, a dual-degree graduate student at Iowa State University pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment and an MS in Sustainable Agriculture, and Samantha Collier, an MFA candidate in playwriting at University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Both writers spent three weeks respectively at Lakeside Lab courtesy of the Friends of Lakeside Lab and the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and Regents Resource Center. From leading writing sessions at the Lab's Wild Wednesdays and summer nature camps to performing live readings of their work, both Adam and Samantha immersed themselves in all things "Lakeside." The Friends were delighted to have writers of such caliber on campus.

  • Upcoming

    • The Friends will be extending the series of "Passport to Nature" Family Packets starting June 12 at Lakeside Lab. Please check out details to the left. Questions? Contact Lisa Roti, Friends Executive Director, at 712-337-3669 Ext. 1 or at friendsoflakesidelab@gmail.com.
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