The Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference is back! This year, the conference is entirely online again so you can join us from anywhere in the world. Details are forthcoming. In the meantime, please save the dates!
July 9th, 2022 11:00am – noon CST
The Origins of the Original
Featuring Rebecca Makkai
For writing to succeed, it must be both well-executed and original. But when we sit down to write, the first words, scenes, characters, conflicts, and settings we come up with are often the least original ones of which we’re capable. Digging past the obvious, the stock (and even the products of the collective unconscious), we might finally arrive at stories that are strikingly new and memorable. In this class we’ll cover some key elements of originality — specificity, idiosyncrasy, complexity, repetition, and change — and talk about accessing them in both drafting and revision. While originality might seem intuitive, or even a product of the writer’s personality, it’s in fact a skill that can be sharpened. That’s what we’ll be doing.