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Iowa Woman Endeavors Inc. records

Identifier: IWA0109

Scope and Contents

The Iowa Woman Endeavors records date from 1979 to 1995 and measure 7.2 linear feet. The records are arranged in two major series: Administration and Publication, separating the business aspects of producing Iowa Woman from the creative process. These records of Iowa Woman illustrate the process and challenge of independent publishing.

The Administration series contains the following subseries: Organization, Promotional materials, Advertising, Newspaper clippings, Grant applications, Financial accounts, Correspondence, and Conferences and events. The Organization subseries (1980-1990) includes the formal documents required for establishing the magazine, minutes of meetings, information on personnel, subscription lists and a 1986 subscriber survey. The Promotional subseries (1982-1992) includes samples of materials distributed to potential subscribers, miscellaneous press releases, flyers and announcements.

Guidelines and forms for advertising in Iowa Woman appear in the Advertising subseries (undated) and newspaper clippings about the magazine in the Newspaper clippings subseries (1987-1991). Two applications for grants from the Council for Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and several miscellaneous grant applications comprise the Grant application subseries (1991). Bank statements and invoices are found in the Financial accounts subseries (1980-1990). Invoices from the Julin Printing Company, advertising and marketing accounts, and summary data from 1989, 1990 and 1991 complete the subseries.

The bulk of materials in the Correspondence subseries (1980-1990) covers the years 1986 to 1991, with only a small amount from the early years. Much of the correspondence comes from subscribers and interested writers. This subseries includes internal memoranda. On October 7, 1989 the magazine sponsored a conference, "Our Sense, Our Place: Visions by Midwestern Women," supported by a grant from the Iowa Humanities Board. The event was held at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines. The correspondence, program and planning materials for this conference are part of the Conferences and events subseries (1989-1991). Also included in this subseries are conference plans for a tenth anniversary celebration and details of public events held in 1991, including an audiocassette of a reading, "Voices of the Present,", April 4, 1991, at the Hearst Center in Cedar Falls.

The Publication series focuses on the contents of Iowa Woman and consists of subseries on Contests, Production process, Photographs, Critique sheets, and Manuscripts. The Contests subseries (1986-1991) includes correspondence for the 1986 and 1990 contests and cover sheets for the 1990 and 1991 entries.

The Publication process subseries (1986, 1988, 1991) consists of the materials for the publication of vol. 6, no.1-2, vol. 8, no. 1-2, and vol. 11, no. 4. The Photographs subseries (undated) includes materials from the publication and miscellaneous snapshots. Most are not identified. The Critique sheets subseries (1990-1993) consists of the evaluations of submissions to the magazine by a panel of readers. These materials span the years 1990 to 1993 and include correspondence accompanying the submissions as well as biographical data. Edited Manuscripts (1988-1991) from eight issues are included in the subseries of that title. (vol. 8, no. 4; vol. 9, no. 2-4; vol. 10, no.4; vol. 11, no. 1-3) A number of miscellaneous submissions, many with attached correspondence, complete the subseries.

The 1996 accession updates the records of Iowa Woman. The materials are arranged in the same format as the original collection.

Iowa Woman is shelved separately. Not included are issues for the year 1985, when it was not published, and the Summer 1982 issue.


  • 1979-1995


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been retained by Iowa Woman Endeavors, Inc. and the individual authors and artists. Permission to quote from the records must be obtained from the president of Iowa Woman Endeavors, Inc. Copyright of works published in Iowa Woman reverts to the creator upon publication; permission to quote must be obtained from the creator and Iowa Woman must be cited as the source of publication.

Biographical / Historical

Since 1980 Iowa Woman Endeavors, Inc., has published Iowa Woman, a quarterly literary journal which promotes the creative works of women. The magazine publishes fiction, essays, poetry, feature articles and interviews by nationally respected and emerging writers. Starting as a thirty-two page bimonthly publication, the magazine in 1982 became a forty-eight page quarterly. In 1991 twenty-two hundred copies of each issue were published and distributed, half to subscribers and the remainder through newsstand sales. Grants and contributions supplement the income from sales and are crucial to the magazine's existence. Valerie Staats, the founding editor, guided the magazine until 1984, returning in 1986 to publish a double issue, Between Mountain and Sea. In the interim Mary Nilsen served as the editor, succeeded by Carolyn Hardesty from 1986 to 1990 and Marianne Abel from 1991 to 1995. In 1990 a volunteer editorial collective of ten women helped produce the magazine under the editor's direction. The collective has grown to include eighteen women volunteers who meet monthly in members' homes. Since 1990 grants and income have increased so that now the editor, managing editor and business manager are paid for their part-time work. A board of directors oversees the general management of the organization and is responsible for long-range planning, fundraising and educational program development. Since 1986 Iowa Woman Endeavors has sponsored an annual international writing contest, awarding first and second place cash prizes in fiction, essay/creative nonfiction, and poetry. The works of the winning writers are published in the summer edition of the magazine. Prominent women writers known for their writing in each category are invited to serve as judges. Iowa Woman Endeavors has received numerous grants from the Iowa Arts Council, the Iowa Humanities Board, the Gannett Foundation, and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, among other honors. The organization sponsors workshops, readings, and other outreach events, including the "Writing Your Life" workshops held throughout the state since 1993. In 1994 and 1995 this workshop series was partially supported by an Iowa Community Cultural Grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, enabling the organization to hire a part-time coordinator. Iowa Woman News, sent to magazine subscribers, is a quarterly newsletter of recent origin informing supporters of the activities of Iowa Woman Endeavors, Inc. An important concern is increasing awareness of the magazine and expanding the financial support for this grassroots enterprise.


7.20 linear feet

1 audiocassette [AC216] other_unmapped

Language of Materials



Literary magazine founded in 1979 to promote the artistic works and opinions of women in the Midwest.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 171) were donated by Iowa Woman Endeavors, Inc. in 1993 and succeeding years.

Other Descriptive Information
Natalie S. Brody, 1994 and 1996.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)