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Summertime Writing In The City

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 29, 2010 9:00PM

The StoryStudio Chicago Writer's Retreat takes place here, at Ragdale.
Writing the next great American novel during the summer can be tricky. We’ll admit our own writing regimen has already suffered due to all the awesometown events, festivals and outdoor drinking happening left and right. If you think it might be challenging to keep your laptop open over the next few months, we don’t recommend missing all the fun. But you can at least try to dedicate a few days to focus on writing. Here are a few events that might help you do that.

StoryStudio Chicago’s Writers Retreat at Ragdale: Every year, StoryStudio takes a group of writers to a retreat center in Lake Forest to spend the weekend writing and workshopping. The weekend is divided between classes, group discussions, private writing time and peer reviews. All meals are included in the fee, and there’s also a day-tripper option.
July 16 - 18, $595 members/$575 non-members, register online via StoryStudio Chicago

DePaul Summer Writing Conference: This three-day conference brings together writers, editors and publishers for classes, lectures, panel discussions, readings, and networking. There are events for a wide range of genres including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting and writing for children and teens. The conference takes place at various locations in the Loop, Harold Washington Library, DePaul Center and Blackie's. We’re impressed by the list of topics, particularly “How to start your own small press” (isn’t that expensive?) “Careers for creative Writers” (we didn’t know those existed), and “Why writers should blog” (hear, hear!).
July 16 - 18, $260 for the weekend or $110 for one day, register online via Depaul University

Chicago Writer’s Workshop One-Day Seminars: We couldn’t find descriptions for these seminars, but the titles are pretty self explanatory. All courses are $60 and take place at the Evanston location at 1326 1/2 Judson Ave., and you can register online via the Chicago Writer’s Workshop site.
July 3: Intro to Memoir, July 3: Intro to Novel Writing, July 17: Writing Children's Books and Getting Them Published, August 7: Getting Published

Art and Craft: the Northwestern Summer Writers' Conference: This three-day conference is geared towards writers of all levels. Each day includes faculty panels, workshops, community events and a few special events. We think “The Best Part First: Finding the Perfect Opening for your YA Novel” and “A Lot Less: Writing Very Short Stories” could be worthwhile workshops.
August 4 -6, $675 for the weekend or $250 for one day, register in person or by mail. Download the registration form and instructions on the Northwestern University site.