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Northwestern University Summer Writers' Conference

Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule

Register Today!

Registration ends on August 5.
  Thursday, August 9 Friday, August 10 Saturday, August 11

9:00 a.m. –

9:30 a.m.

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

Writing Workshops

9:30 a.m. –

11:00 a.m.

Workshop A

First-Lines Critiques: Poem Titles and First Stanzas Workshop

with Kenyatta Rogers

Workshop A

First-Lines Critiques: Poetry and Fiction

with Ruben Quesada

Workshop A

First-Lines Critiques: Fiction and Nonfiction

with Billy Lombardo and Frank Tempone

Workshop B - CLOSED

Take Me There: Establishing A Sense of Place in Fiction and Nonfiction

with Michele Weldon

Workshop B - CLOSED

Backstory: Seamless Weaving

with Eileen Favorite

Workshop B - CLOSED

Making a Scene

with Rebecca Makkai

Workshop C

To Tell or Not to Tell: Showing vs. Telling Revisited

with Fred Shafer

Workshop C

The Tao of the Classic Short Story

with Christine Rice

Workshop C

The Magic and Mechanics of Imagery

with Rachel Swearingen

Workshop D

This Happens, Which Causes This to Happen, Which Causes This to Happen, and So On: Cohesive Plot and Story

with Eric Charles May

Workshop D

Writing Without Fear

with Amin Ahmad

Workshop D

Smelling is Believing: Writing Using Your Other Senses

with Beth Finke

Workshop E

Dirty Tricks

with Juan Martinez

Workshop E

Writing a Page Turner

with Charles Finch

Workshop E

Writing Life

with Ross Ritchell

Workshop F

Writing Images and Generating Ideas

with Vincent Francone

Workshop F

Harvesting Trauma

with Gint Aras

Workshop F

Everything You Ever Need to Know about Storytelling in Chicago

with Jeremy Owens

Workshop G

8 Rules to Getting the Right Agent

with Renee Rosen

Workshop G

Personal Branding and Storytelling

with Ben Tanzer

Workshop G

21 Ways to Get Published

with Sara Connell

Morning Panel

11:15 a.m. – 
12:15 p.m.

Panel

Awards, Contests, Fellowships, & Residencies

with Ignatius Valentine Aloysius, Amina Gautier, Jonathan Winston Jones, and Devin O'Shea (moderator)

Panel

The Working Writer

with J-L Deher-Lesaint, Adam Morgan, Mare Swallow, and Barbara Egel (moderator)

Panel

Using Research to Inform & Enrich Writing

with Robert K. Elder, Karen Schreck, Donna Seaman, and Patricia Crisafulli (moderator)

Lunch and Keynotes

12:15 p.m. 

1:45 p.m.

Keynote Reading and Discussion

Embracing the Midwest: Five Writers Discuss the Nuance, Contradictions, & Beauty of the Region

with Martha Bayne, Shannon Cason, Christine Rice, Jeremy T. Wilson, and Paul Durica (moderator)

Keynote Speaker

The Uses of Memory

with Roger Reeves

Keynote Reading and Discussion

From Singular to Shared: the Combined Mind of Collaborative Writing

with Anne-Marie Akin, Laura Jones, Simone Muench, Christine Pacyk, and Virginia Smith Rice 

Writing Workshops

2:00 p.m. –

3:30 p.m.

Workshop A

Form (Noun):  the Manner or Style of Arranging and Coordinating Parts for a Pleasing or Effective Result

with Jeremy T. Wilson

Workshop A - CLOSED

Deepening Voice and Character

with Susanna Calkins

Workshop A - CLOSED

We Need to Talk

with Rebecca Makkai

Workshop B 

Short Story Structure

with Christine Sneed

 

Workshop B

The Toggle: Switching Between Immersion and Reflection in Personal Narrative

with Ian Belknap

Workshop B

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

with Jarrett Neal

Workshop C

Writing the Body: Capturing the Human Pulse Across Genres

with Kathleen Rooney

Workshop C - CLOSED

Novel Structure

with Christine Sneed

Workshop C

Writing the Monster

with Riva Lehrer

Workshop D

Your Facts, Your Fiction

with Eric Charles May

Workshop D

Writing for the Ear

with Julianne Hill

Workshop D

The End of the World

with Roger Reeves

Workshop E

Make It New: Five Revision Shortcuts

with Juan Martinez

Workshop E

From Idea to Publication: the Process of Conceiving, Researching and Writing a Nonfiction Book

with Kevin Davis and Miles Harvey

Workshop E

Conducting Literary Interviews (or "In Conversation with Writers")

with Donna Seaman

Workshop F

Creative Journaling: An Eye on the Everyday

with Mary Wisniewski

Workshop F

What Movies Can Teach Us As Writers

with Vu Tran

Workshop F

From Page to Stage: Telling Your Story in Front of an Audience

with Adrienne Gunn

Workshop G

Reviewing Books for Fun and Profit

with Henry Carrigan

Workshop G

Snapping the Spine of the Poem: Using Non-Linear, Collective, and Disruptive Techniques to Generate New Writing and Radicalize Revision

with Marty McConnell

Workshop G

Briefly Told: A Short-Short Introduction to Flash Fiction

with Betsy Finesilver Haberl

Afternoon Panels

3:45 p.m. –

4:45 p.m.

Panel

Q&A with Publishers

with Gerald Brennan, Kathleen Rooney, Emily Victorson, and Joshua Bohnsack (moderator)

Panel

Q&A with Agents

with Marcy Posner, Abby Saul, and Jim Davis (moderator)

Panel

Q&A with Literary Editors

with Mike Levine, Toni Nealie, Zoe Zolbrod, and Eric Grawe (moderator)

Readings and Receptions

4:45 p.m. –

5:30 p.m.

Networking Reception

Networking Reception 

Literary Reading

hosted by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame

Readings and Receptions

5:30 p.m. –

6:30 p.m.

Literary Reading 

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

Literary Reading

hosted by TriQuarterly Magazine

 Networking Reception

Please note: schedule is subject to change.

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