Creative Journaling: An Introduction | Newberry

Creative Journaling: An Introduction

Led by Mary Wisniewski. Eight sessions, 6 - 7:30 pm.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Wednesdays, February 14 - April 4

6 - 7:30 pm

This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $210
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $231

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

This seminar is full. Please call (312) 255-3700 to be on the wait list.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

A personal journal can be many things—a confessional, an historic record, as well as a practice field to try out new ideas and ways of writing. It’s also a way to maintain a sense of privacy and introspection in a chaotic, tweet-filled world. This seminar will provide exercises and inspiration to develop and maintain a creative journaling habit and will include readings from famous diarists such as Thomas Merton, Samuel Pepys, and Virginia Woolf. Eight sessions.

A life-long diarist, Mary Wisniewski is an award-winning reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune. She is the author of Algren: A Life, a highly-praised biography of Nelson Algren, described by Chicago Magazine as “a captivating book that reads like a novel.” She also teaches creative writing.

Materials List


One of the following in paperback version:

  • Richard Wright, Black Boy.
  • George Orwell, 1984.
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary.
  • Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Participants will be asked to keep a handwritten diary, to distinguish it from the types of writing they do for their jobs or social media. The seminar instructor will offer plain, blank sketchbooks at cost in the first class, or participants can bring their own.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.