Summer Writers' Conference

The Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference will return in Summer 2021!

In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be hosting the Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference in 2020. We thank you for your patience and support as we all navigate these challenging times. We look forward to coming together next year for a wonderful event. Until then, please stay well and keep writing!

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About the Northwestern University Summer Writers' Conference

Join a community of writers at Northwestern University for a three-day institute on writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The program, which is now in its 15th year, includes a diverse array of workshops, panels, keynote speakers, networking events, and literary readings.

Learn how to escalate your plot, write a gut wrenching story, motivate your characters, and turn your nonfiction into narrative. Hear keynote presentations from award-winning authors, including Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers). Get advice from publishers, agents, literary editors, critics, and published authors in all genres. You can also schedule an individual manuscript consultation with conference faculty.

Writers at all levels of experience are welcome, as are writers of all genres and backgrounds. Come seek a fuller understanding of the craft—and business—of writing.

The conference is hosted by the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies MA in Writing and  MFA in Prose and Poetry programs.

About the Summer Writers' Conference

Each day at the conference includes:

Workshops: Addressing a variety of genres and topics in writing, students will have the opportunity to participate in two workshops each day. Students will engage in writing exercises and focus on brainstorming and experimentation.

Keynotes: Acclaimed Chicago writers will read from their own work, discuss the writer's craft, and converse about the process of writing and publishing.

Panel Discussions: Writing professionals and enthusiasts come together to discuss topics of interest to writers of all levels and genres.

Literary Readings: Each day at the conference ends with a networking reception and literary reading.

Manuscript Consultations: For an additional fee, conference participants may meet individually with an instructor or panelist to discuss work sent in advance. More information can be found here.

Community: Join writers in a supportive community to share work and ideas with others who understand the passion for writing. Participants will receive constructive critique and encouragement from faculty and peers. This conference will help students gain inspiration, build confidence, and provide many networking opportunities.

About the Summer Writers' Conference

Conference Location

Northwestern University - Chicago Campus
Wieboldt Hall
339 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Conference Schedule

Check out the Summer Writers' Conference Schedule.

Workshops and Panels

Read detailed descriptions of Summer Writers' Conference Workshops and Panels.

Keynotes and Literary Readings

Each day at the conference includes a lunchtime keynote and an afternoon networking reception and literary reading. Find out more about the Summer Writers' Conference Keynotes and Readings and Receptions.

Faculty Bios

Read bios of Summer Writers' Conference Faculty.

Manuscript Consultations

Learn more about Summer Writers' Conference Manuscript Consultations.

Tuition and Registration

Learn more about the Summer Writers' Conference Tuition and Registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to Summer Writers' Conference Frequently Asked Questions, including information about parking and accommodations.

Contact the Summer Writers' Conference

Summer Writers’ Conference
phone: 847-491-3458

Find out more about the Summer Writers' Conference

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