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Northwestern Summer Writers’ Conference: The Origins of The Original

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!

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

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.

on July 9 2022· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Porch: The Origins of the Original with Visiting Writer Rebecca Makkai

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 both in drafting and revision.

For writing to succeed, it must be both well-executed and original. 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.

Online Workshop Via Zoom

Saturday, April 30th, 2022 | 2:00pm – 4:00pm CT

$68 for members

$75 for non members

on April 30 2022· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Speakeasy Workshop: This Will Be Character-Building

Join Rebecca Makkai for an intimate workshop designed to help you write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft: backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution. This event has four sessions.

E. M. Forster wrote that “incident springs out of character, and having occurred it alters that character.” How do we create characters who will both cause interesting things to happen and be changed by their world? How do we get a whole lifetime across without an awkward backstory dump? What differences should we consider when crafting characters for novels versus short stories? How can a memoirist get real-life characters onto the page?

This workshop is designed to help participants write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. Participants will work on their projects outside of the workshop sessions.

In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft. (In our four sessions, we’ll focus on backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution.) There will be discussion of what we’re writing and what we’re reading, but sessions will primarily focus on Rebecca’s craft lessons. Because you won’t be workshopping each other, this class will be a friendly and challenging learning environment for writers at all levels of education and experience.

?After the fourth session, participants will submit their projects (no more than 12 pages) to Rebecca, and she will provide feedback to each person in the form of a marked-up manuscript and a brief feedback letter.

Details
Mondays: April 5 – April 26, 2021
5pm PT / 8pm ET – 90 min
Limited to 15 participants
$500.00 for all four sessions

Code of Conduct

We look forward to building an inclusive, supportive community of writers during our workshop and will not tolerate racist, sexist, or homophobic views. By signing up for this workshop, you’re agreeing to uphold these norms. Though we don’t expect this to happen, if someone violates these norms, they will be removed from the workshop without a refund.

Written feedback from Rebecca is contingent on the writing sample you submit being coherent. You don’t need to be an experienced (or published!) writer by any means, nor do you need to have perfect command of all aspects of English grammar, but your writing should be comprehensible.

on April 26 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Speakeasy Workshop: This Will Be Character-Building

Join Rebecca Makkai for an intimate workshop designed to help you write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft: backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution. This event has four sessions.

E. M. Forster wrote that “incident springs out of character, and having occurred it alters that character.” How do we create characters who will both cause interesting things to happen and be changed by their world? How do we get a whole lifetime across without an awkward backstory dump? What differences should we consider when crafting characters for novels versus short stories? How can a memoirist get real-life characters onto the page?

This workshop is designed to help participants write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. Participants will work on their projects outside of the workshop sessions.

In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft. (In our four sessions, we’ll focus on backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution.) There will be discussion of what we’re writing and what we’re reading, but sessions will primarily focus on Rebecca’s craft lessons. Because you won’t be workshopping each other, this class will be a friendly and challenging learning environment for writers at all levels of education and experience.

?After the fourth session, participants will submit their projects (no more than 12 pages) to Rebecca, and she will provide feedback to each person in the form of a marked-up manuscript and a brief feedback letter.

Details
Mondays: April 5 – April 26, 2021
5pm PT / 8pm ET – 90 min
Limited to 15 participants
$500.00 for all four sessions

Code of Conduct

We look forward to building an inclusive, supportive community of writers during our workshop and will not tolerate racist, sexist, or homophobic views. By signing up for this workshop, you’re agreeing to uphold these norms. Though we don’t expect this to happen, if someone violates these norms, they will be removed from the workshop without a refund.

Written feedback from Rebecca is contingent on the writing sample you submit being coherent. You don’t need to be an experienced (or published!) writer by any means, nor do you need to have perfect command of all aspects of English grammar, but your writing should be comprehensible.

on April 19 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Speakeasy Workshop: This Will Be Character Building

Join Rebecca Makkai for an intimate workshop designed to help you write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft: backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution. This event has four sessions.

E. M. Forster wrote that “incident springs out of character, and having occurred it alters that character.” How do we create characters who will both cause interesting things to happen and be changed by their world? How do we get a whole lifetime across without an awkward backstory dump? What differences should we consider when crafting characters for novels versus short stories? How can a memoirist get real-life characters onto the page?

This workshop is designed to help participants write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. Participants will work on their projects outside of the workshop sessions.

In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft. (In our four sessions, we’ll focus on backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution.) There will be discussion of what we’re writing and what we’re reading, but sessions will primarily focus on Rebecca’s craft lessons. Because you won’t be workshopping each other, this class will be a friendly and challenging learning environment for writers at all levels of education and experience.

?After the fourth session, participants will submit their projects (no more than 12 pages) to Rebecca, and she will provide feedback to each person in the form of a marked-up manuscript and a brief feedback letter.

Details
Mondays: April 5 – April 26, 2021
5pm PT / 8pm ET – 90 min
Limited to 15 participants
$500.00 for all four sessions

Code of Conduct

We look forward to building an inclusive, supportive community of writers during our workshop and will not tolerate racist, sexist, or homophobic views. By signing up for this workshop, you’re agreeing to uphold these norms. Though we don’t expect this to happen, if someone violates these norms, they will be removed from the workshop without a refund.

Written feedback from Rebecca is contingent on the writing sample you submit being coherent. You don’t need to be an experienced (or published!) writer by any means, nor do you need to have perfect command of all aspects of English grammar, but your writing should be comprehensible.

on April 12 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Speakeasy Workshop: This Will Be Character-Building

Join Rebecca Makkai for an intimate workshop designed to help you write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft: backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution. This event has four sessions.

E. M. Forster wrote that “incident springs out of character, and having occurred it alters that character.” How do we create characters who will both cause interesting things to happen and be changed by their world? How do we get a whole lifetime across without an awkward backstory dump? What differences should we consider when crafting characters for novels versus short stories? How can a memoirist get real-life characters onto the page?

This workshop is designed to help participants write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel or memoir — or to continue work on one in progress. Participants will work on their projects outside of the workshop sessions.

In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft. (In our four sessions, we’ll focus on backstory, motivation, dialogue, and character evolution.) There will be discussion of what we’re writing and what we’re reading, but sessions will primarily focus on Rebecca’s craft lessons. Because you won’t be workshopping each other, this class will be a friendly and challenging learning environment for writers at all levels of education and experience.

?After the fourth session, participants will submit their projects (no more than 12 pages) to Rebecca, and she will provide feedback to each person in the form of a marked-up manuscript and a brief feedback letter.

Details
Mondays: April 5 – April 26, 2021
5pm PT / 8pm ET – 90 min
Limited to 15 participants
$500.00 for all four sessions

Code of Conduct

We look forward to building an inclusive, supportive community of writers during our workshop and will not tolerate racist, sexist, or homophobic views. By signing up for this workshop, you’re agreeing to uphold these norms. Though we don’t expect this to happen, if someone violates these norms, they will be removed from the workshop without a refund.

Written feedback from Rebecca is contingent on the writing sample you submit being coherent. You don’t need to be an experienced (or published!) writer by any means, nor do you need to have perfect command of all aspects of English grammar, but your writing should be comprehensible.

on April 5 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , ,

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