Cornell College

Distinguished Visiting Writer

The Cornell College Center for the Literary Arts seeks a Distinguished Visiting Writer to teach a topics-based course in Writing or Publishing for Social Change. Course topics related to journalism, editing, feature writing, spoken word, or docudrama are especially welcome. The visiting writer will teach one three-and-a-half-week term in the academic year 2020–21; exact term schedule will be negotiated. (Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, near the UNESCO City of Literature, Iowa City; please see the college website for more information about its unique academic calendar under which faculty teach and students enroll in one course at a time in three-and-a-half-week-long terms:

During the teaching term, the visiting writer will also give a public reading at the Center for the Literary Arts. The stipend is $5,000, and on-campus housing can be provided. Past Distinguished Visiting Writers have included Angie Estes, Ross Gay, Michael Martone and Mylène Dressler. Descriptions of previous Distinguished Visiting Writer courses can be found at Please contact Becca Klaver at for additional information, including sample syllabi.

Cornell College, a deeply student-focused selective liberal arts college, is distinguished by its One Course At A Time curriculum, a philosophy which allows students more opportunities for off-campus study, full-time internships, and research blocks. Academic immersion and unparalleled flexibility, thanks to the One Course Calendar, attract an ambitious student body from nearly all 50 US states and territories and many foreign countries. External endorsements include selection as one of the Colleges That Change Lives, a U.S. News Top 100 liberal arts college, and a Fiske Guide to Colleges Best Buy. Founded in 1853, Cornell's picturesque hilltop campus contains a mix of historic and modern facilities, ranging from the majestic King Chapel to the newly constructed Russell Science Center. It is located in Mount Vernon, Iowa; an urban fringe community recognized by Frommer's as one of "America's Coolest Small Towns" and located in the heart of the ICR Iowa region. 

Cornell College is committed to fostering a faculty and staff community that reflects its diverse student body.  We encourage applications from candidates who share our vision for a campus that embraces differing backgrounds, viewpoints, and identities.  We believe in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion that serve to enrich and strengthen our campus community.

To apply, upload as a single pdf a letter of application with a detailed course proposal and discussion of teaching experience, your curriculum vitae with contact information for two references, and a short relevant work sample to by December 13, 2019. Previous teaching experience and graduate degree required.

For more information about the Center for the Literary Arts, please visit

Cornell is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from underrepresented groups.  Cornell complies with Iowa's smoke free air act. Cornell utilizes E-Verify and requires satisfactory completion of a background check.

Contact Information

Becca Klaver, Robert P. Dana Director of the Center for the Literary Arts
Cornell College
600 First St. SW
Mount Vernon
Contact Phone: 
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