CWA Events

You can find more writing events around campus on the Center's calendar too. For a listing of past CWA events, visit the events archive page. 

To get directions and maps on how to get to our various events CLICK HERE for our MAP PAGE.

Books by CWA speakers can usually be purchased at the events, or beforehand from Northwestern's Norris Bookstore.

All CWA events are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 Noon-1pm
University Hall, Room 201- 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL

seth stein

Disaster Deferred
How New Science is Changing our View of Earthquake Hazards in the Midwest 

Seth Stein clearly explains in his new book, Disaster Deferred,the techniques seismologists use to study Midwestern quakes and estimate their danger. Detailing how limited scientific knowledge, bureaucratic instincts, and the media's love of a good story have exaggerated these hazards, Stein calmly debunks the hype surrounding such predictions and encourages the formulation of more sensible, less costly policy. Powered by insider knowledge and an engaging style, Disaster Deferred shows how new geological ideas and data, including those from the Global Positioning System, are painting a very different-and much less frightening-picture of the future. 

In the winter of 1811-12, a series of large earthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone-often incorrectly described as the biggest ever to hit the United States-shook the Midwest. Today the federal government ranks the hazard in the Midwest as high as California's and is pressuring communities to undertake expensive preparations for disaster. Coinciding with the two-hundredth anniversary of the New Madrid earthquakes, Disaster Deferred revisits these earthquakes, the legends that have grown around them, and the predictions of doom that have followed in their wake. 

Seth Stein is Deering Professor of Geological Sciences at Northwestern University. He has received the James B. Macelwane Medal of the American Geophysical Union, the George P. Woollard Award of the Geological Society of America, and the Stephan Mueller Medal of the European Geosciences Union. He has also been elected a foreign member of the Academy of Europe and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Geological Society of America. His research interests are in plate tectonics, earthquake seismology, earthquake hazards, and space geodesy. He was one of the organizers of EarthScope, a national initiative to dramatically advance our knowledge of the structure and evolution of North America, served as scientific director of the consortium of universities using GPS for earth science, and has been visiting senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He is a coauthor of a widely used seismology textbook, a former editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, and the founder of Northwestern's Environmental Science program.

*Refreshments will be offered. Pizza, cookies, and beverages will be available.

Monday, February 14, 2011 Noon- 1pm
Fisk Hall 111-1845 Sheridan Road Evanston, IL
lily koppel


Lily Koppel is the author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal, and and contributor to theHuffington Post and the New York Times.

Please join us for this very special event which is part of our Literature of Fact series sponsored by the Center for the Writing Arts, Medill, Communications Residential College,  and The Alumnae of NU.

Q&A session will follow, plus a book signing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 5:30-6:30 pm
University Hall, Room 201- 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL

alex kotlowitz


ALEX KOTLOWITZ is the CWA Writer in Residence for Winter Quarter 2011. He is the award-winning author of There Are No Children HereThe Other Side of the River, and Never a City So Real.  He is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and public radio’s This American Life, Alex Kotlowitz is renowned for his narratives of particular individuals whose concrete life experiences illuminate broad aspects of our nation’s social and political landscape.

Elizabeth Taylor is Literary Editor of the Chicago Tribune. She joined the Tribune in 1996, after spending 13 years as a Correspondent withTime magazine, based in New York, then Chicago. She served as Editor of the Sunday Magazine from 1998 until it ceased publication in 2009. Elizabeth has been President of the National Book Critics Circle, and continues to serve on its Board of Directors. She has served on three Pulitzer juries, chairing both the Biography and Fiction juries. She has served the Harold Washington Literary Prize committee, including two stints as chairman. With Adam Cohen, she is the co-author of "American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation," named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times.

After his reading there will Q&A, plus a book signing. 

Monday, February 21, 2011 Noon-1pm
Fisk Hall 111-1845 Sheridan Road Evanston, IL


Virginia Heffernan is the television critic for the New York Times, screen-writer of Matthew's Murder and former staffer and writer at the New YorkerHarper'sTalk and Slate magazines 

Please join us for this very special event which is part of our Literature of Fact series sponsored by the Center for the Writing Arts, Medill, Communications Residential College, and The Alumnae of NU.