"The Northwestern experience shaped and profoundly affected the arc of my life."
"The basis of any dramatist's work is the established principles of drama, going back to the Greeks and Shakespeare. I learned a lot of this at Northwestern because the school is so strongly focused on classical drama."
"I believe wholeheartedly in the NU network. Every job I've had since graduation can somehow be traced to a Northwestern connection."
"With only twelve students, the learning environment was built for extended conversation and critique. The fact that I worked with the same twelve people over a two year period not only provided a great sense of consistency, but also gave us the opportunity to watch each other grow as writers."
"The thing that really stands out to me to this day was a letter I received from David Ives…about the play I had written while in the program. I'm still kind of in awe of that letter and valued his feedback so much because he is such an accomplished professional."
"There's no other program I can think of that blends learning stagecraft with the tools of screenwriting. Learning how to write a play helped me add organic characters to my screenplay and learning how to write a movie helped add a visual sense to my plays. And considering that most successful writers of plays will probably end up working in other medias, it only makes sense to teach them in unity."
"I believe that one of the most important skills any creative can learn is the ability to take criticism. Giving helpful criticism is also important, but I believe receiving criticism well is even more crucial. Through a painful process of trial by fire, we can all learn to recognize the positive aspects of quality feedback.”
"…media writing at NU is a limit-busting, envelope-pushing, front-line endeavor. It is the natural place for a serious screen/stage writer to pursue an advanced degree, as it the hub of a vast network of professional writers who infuse the program with their energy and expertise and provide a direct, invaluable link between the academy and the industry.”
"Attending Northwestern is not simply about going to a great school - it's like joining a family. My career has been shaped not only by the relationships I made at school, but also by being able to make new relationships in the entertainment field simply from having Northwestern on my resume.”
"Chicago is a great city in itself, but its cultural richness is a goldmine for creativity. Art, architecture, theater, and live music is readily at your fingertips.”
"…the faculty and students alike share an understanding that while it is critical for a writer to understand the formulas and trends underlying and driving the business of stage and screen, there is no substitute for the power of a unique vision.”
"Since the group was made up of 12 people who were together for two years, we got to know each other and that helped us to develop a sense of trust and openness with our work. The size of the group also allowed for us to really talk to our professors. This individualized attention helped me to gain confidence in my work and also to take risks.”
"The precise arithmetic of TV writing sharpens my punchlines as well as my dramatic reveals, reversals, and timing. And playwriting keeps me focused on the characters and building organic moment-by-moment scenes. If you put it all together—compelling characters, sharp and well-timed dialogue, and compelling visuals- you have an excellent script in any medium.”
"Playwriting class was the beginning of my love of playwriting and a pivotal course for me.”
"Chicago is really a writers paradise. I find inspiration every day in the clash of cultures, the politics, the weather, and the thriving arts scene, I am originally from Southern California, and I find that Chicago's rich texture and history make it the perfect place to write.”
"Originally coming from the East Coast, I was immediately aware of the openness and friendly attitude from everyone upon my arrival at Northwestern.”
"I got a lot of traction out of a few of the samples I wrote in the program.”
"[Northwestern] got me in contact with people in the business who know what works out in the market. On the artistic side, we're far enough removed from the carnivorous markets of New York and LA, that pure market value wasn't always the focus. Developing our voices was.”
"Learning to write for television, film, and plays opened me up as writer. By realizing the limitations and boundaries of each format, it expanded my understanding of creative writing and made me a better storyteller.”
"The students and faculty represent the coming together of many different ideas, energies and world views. This variety of experience open to the writer is crucial to developing a great voice."
"Studying writing at Northwestern is like going to the best baseball Spring Training Camp in the world for several years in a row. There's constant attention to fundamentals and shaping your understanding of the game as a whole and the pressure of being directly in a real game situation is completely removed. Substitute "professional writing" for "game" and you'll be able to understand what I really mean. I came out of Northwestern feeling completely prepared to tackle the daunting prospect of writing in LA and I owe it all to the writing program at NU. "