by Kelly Jarosz
Occasionally, writers abroad need to return home for inspiration and education. Or, if your home country is not the United States, this is a great chance to live the writer abroad dream.Art and Craft: the Northwestern Summer Writers’ Conference will be held August 4-6, 2010, at the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago.
This smorgasbord-style conference offers panel discussions and workshop sessions on fiction, non-fiction, memoir, travel writing and writing for children, lead by award-winning writers, teachers, editors and publishers from the Chicago area. Topics cover the gauntlet of the writing process, from brainstorming and character development through scene writing to publication and building an online platform. Each evening offers a reception and readings. Manuscript consultation with a faculty member is available for an additional fee.
I attended the 2009 conference, when I was first dipping a non-committal toe into the creative writing pool. I appreciated the variety of topics and the enthusiasm of the instructors. The freelancing workshop was especially productive, as the instructors led participants through the steps of developing a magazine article, from idea generation to submission. I received the guidance and encouragement I needed from the instructors to further develop my initial idea after the conference. The resulting article was published in a Swiss expat magazine nine months later.
More information, including the 2010 conference program, is available online. If you are new to creative writing or are looking for exercises to strengthen your writing, I recommend this conference.
Kelly Jarosz is an American writer living in Zurich. She spends her time seeing, eating, drinking and writing about as much of Switzerland and Europe as she can. She is writing her first novel and blogs about her expat adventures here.