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Writing Chicago: Northwestern University Summer Writers' Conference

Conference Schedule: August 17-19, 2017

Writing Chicago: Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference

  Thursday, August 17 Friday, August 18 Saturday, August 19

9:00 a.m. –

10:00 a.m.

Coffee and Check-In Coffee and Check-In Coffee and Check-In

Writing Workshops

10:00 a.m. -

11:30 a.m.

Workshop A - CLOSED

Keep It Moving: A Toolkit for Sharpening Your Plots

with James Tadd Adcox

Workshop A - CLOSED

Persons of Interest: the Development of Fictional Characters

with Eric Charles May

Workshop A 

Top 10 Things I Learned at a Prestigious MFA (and how you can use them right now from the comfort of your living room)

with Adrienne Gunn

Workshop B

Asking and Answering Questions in Fiction Writing

with Fred Shafer

Workshop B

Specificity and Clarity as Tools for Articulating Ambiguity and Mystery

with Alex Higley

Workshop B

Finding the Right Words

with Lynn Sloan

Workshop C

Understanding Movie and TV Endings from a Screenwriter's Perspective

with David E. Tolchinsky

Workshop C

I, You, and All of Them: The Power of Point of View

with Jarrett Neal

Workshop C

Building Tension and Suspense in Fiction

with Susanna Calkins

Workshop D

Agent Queries and the Publishing Process

with Crystal Hana Kim

Workshop D

"Hey I thought this was supposed to be fun"

with S. L. Wisenberg

Workshop D

This Branding Workshop Will Change Your Life: Story, Saturation and Selling Books in the Age of Social Media

with Ben Tanzer

Workshop E

Journey (Not the Destination): Travel Writing Basics

with Gretchen Kalwinski

Workshop E - CLOSED

Enhancing the Creative in Creative Nonfiction

with Michele Weldon

Workshop E

Live Lit: Using Our Voices for Good

with Jeremy Owens

Workshop F

How a Flash Essay is like a Baby Elephant: Translating the Big Moment into Small Spaces

with Paula Carter

Workshop F

Let's Talk About Sex: The Art of Writing the Intimate

with Billy Lombardo

Workshop F

Form as Inspiration: How to Write (and Break the Rules of) a Sonnet in 2017

with Vincent Francone

Workshop G

Telling Your Story to Children

with Esther Hershenhorn

Workshop G

A Beautiful Mess: Writing & Publishing Cross-Genre Work

with Tara Stringfellow

Workshop G

Haunting: Mining Memory to Add Depth and Intrique

with Jac Jemc

Lunch and Keynotes

11:45 a.m. 

1:30 p.m.

Keynote Speaker

with Stuart Dybek

Keynote Discussion

with Ines Bellina, Lindsay Hunter, Parneshia Jones, Fawzia Mirza, and Megan Stielstra

Keynote Performance

live lit storytelling show hosted by Jeremy Owens

Writing Workshops

1:45 p.m. –

3:15 p.m.

Workshop A - CLOSED

Tear it Down

with Rebeca Makkai

Workshop A - CLOSED

Trusting POV and Experience of Your Origins

with J-L Deher-Lesaint

Workshop A - CLOSED

Grab Them By the Throat: How to Keep Your Audience Reading Past the First Sentence

with Dana Norris

Workshop B 

Torqueing Images: Why You Should Write Unlikeable Characters

with Goldie Goldbloom

Workshop B

Why We Tell Stories

with Vu Tran

Workshop B

Ear Training for Writers

with Gint Aras

Workshop C

Show Don't Tell: How to Build Scenes and Bring Your Story to Life

with Renee Rosen

Workshop C

Life as War, War as Life

with Ross Ritchell

Workshop C

Creative Journal Writing

with Mary Wisniewski

Workshop D

Turn Your Personal Experience Into History

with Ethan Michaeli

Workshop D

Creating a Working Plot Map: What's the Shape of Your YA or Middle Grade Novel

with Laurie Lawlor

Workshop D

Writing Page-Turning Family Stories

with Sara Connell

Workshop E

Fast Talk: Four Easy Ways to Make Dialogue Pop

with Juan Martinez

Workshop E

Serious Is the Rubber Chicken: Introduction to the (Dubious) Art of Humor Writing

with Ian Belknap

Workshop E

Thinking with Metaphors

with Ozge Samanci

Workshop F

Writing About Spiritual or Religious Matters

with Henry Carrigan

Workshop F

Curses, Blessings, Invocations, and Spells: Magic and Language in Trying Times

with Marty McConnell

Workshop F

The Fantastic Mongrel: Getting Started on Prose Poetry

with Kathleen Rooney

Workshop G

Insta-Poetics: Exercises to Generate Lyrical Images and Inventive Language

with C. Russell Price

Workshop G

Longform Journalism: How to find, pitch, report and write great ideas

with Brian Hieggelke

Workshop G

The Poetics of Place. On writing and representing the city you are from

with Kevin Coval

3:15 p.m. –

3:30 p.m.




Faculty Panels

3:30 p.m. –

4:30 p.m.

Panel A

Digital Storytelling: New Tools for Telling Your Stories

with Suzanne Clores, Jill Hopkins, Jonathan Messinger, Aram Mrjoian (moderator)

Panel A

Keeping Print Relevant in a Digital World

with Michael Arndt, Brian Hieggelke, Susanna Homan

Panel A

Indie Presses: Creating New Communities

with Lynn Sloan, Marylee MacDonald

Panel B

Finding Fellowships, Residencies, Grants, and Contests

with Ignatius Aloysius, Jeremy T. Wilson, J. Preston Witt

Panel B

Journey from a Manuscript to a Published Book

with Mike Levine, Doug Seibold, Christine Sneed

Panel B

Traveling the World and Within

with Ines Bellina, Toni Nealie, Ozge Samanci, Betsy Haberl (moderator)


4:30 p.m. –

5:30 p.m.

Cocktail Reception

Networking Reception 

Networking Reception 


5:30 p.m. –

6:30 p.m.

Literary Reading 

hosted by Northwestern University's MA/MFA in Creative Writing

Literary Reading

hosted by TriQuarterly Magazine

Literary Reading

A People's History of Chicago Event featuring Kevin Coval and guest artists