Northbrook Writes Logo


The Northbrook Library is offering free writing workshops led by a variety of talented instructors. Enhance your writing skills by learning from these acclaimed authors and professors. 
Workshops are held in the Pollak Room on the 1st floor. Seating is limited, and registration is required for each individual event.
Click on the title of the workshop to be directed to its registration page.


Monthly Writing Critique Group

Saturday, March 18th, 1-3pm (this group meets in the Civic Room - no registration required - meets every third Saturday)
Award-winning novelist Jessie Foley moderates this monthly workshop where writers share selections from their manuscript and receive constructive feedback from their peers.
Northbrook Writes workshops will return in the fall of 2017!


Novel Structure with Christine Sneed
Thursday, September 22nd, 7-8pm
Award-winning novelist and short story writer, Christine Sneed, a graduate fiction professor at Northwestern University, and on the fiction faculty of the Regis University MFA program will offer tips on story structure and strategies for getting started with your novel.
Modulating Tension with Valerie Laken
Saturday, October 1st, 1-2pm
Valerie Laken, author and Creative Writing professor at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, discusses the many types of tension — anticipation, pain, romance, comedy, contrast, wonder, fear - and the techniques for controlling it on the page.
Beginning Your Story with Emily Gray Tedrowe
Saturday, October 8th, 1-2pm
Award winning author and Creative Writing teacher at DePaul University, Emily Gray Tedrowe shares tips on how to craft a gripping beginning to your story, and strategies for making your readers want to keep reading.
Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or pencil and paper for writing exercises.
Keys to Writing Dialogue with Rebecca Makkai
Sunday, October 9th, 2-3pm
Rebecca Makkai, who has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Tin House, StoryStudio Chicago, and Northwestern University, and was a winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s Novel of the Year award and a recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, shares her expertise for writing effective and engaging dialogue.
Creating the Setting with Charles Finch
Sunday, October 16th, 2-3pm
How does the setting influence the characters, events, and overall mood of your story?  Charles Finch, literary critic for The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, and author of the Victorian-era Charles Lenox mystery series, will provide guidance on constructing vivid worlds within your novel.
Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or pencil and paper for writing exercises.
Getting the Most from NaNoWriMo with A. Catherine Noon
Saturday, October 22nd, 1-2pm
A. Catherine Noon, Municipal Liaison for the Chicago NaNoWriMo chapter, will prepare you to succeed at writing your novel in November.
Character Development with Eric Charles May
Saturday, October 29th, 1-2pm
Author, associate professor in  Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago, and former reporter for The Washington Post, Eric Charles May will discuss how to develop rich, engaging, and unforgettable characters.
The 10 Secrets to Getting Your Book Successfully Published
Saturday, February 4th, 1-3pm
National bestselling author Bret Nicholaus and literary agent/acquisitions editor Joseph Durepos carefully walk you through today’s highly competitive publishing industry and explain, in detail, what you must do to successfully publish your book.  Whether you are a ready-to-publish author or are just beginning to think about your first book, this program is an absolute must for every writer!
Editing Your Novel with James Tadd Adcox
Saturday, February 25th, 1-2pm
You've written the first draft of your novel. Congratulations! Now what do you do with it?
In this workshop, author James Tadd Adcox will discuss moving from the first draft to the second - and beyond! Learn strategies for revising and shaping your novel, plus tools and techniques to help you keep it all organized.
Participants are strongly encouraged to bring sample pages of their book/novel to this program

Search for free course videos like "Writing Fundamentals," "eBook Publishing Fundamentals," and/or "Self Publishing" by access with your Library card.
Learn more about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
Find these books and many more at the Library: