The Chicago Authors of the Federal Writers’ Projects | Newberry

The Chicago Authors of the Federal Writers’ Projects

Led by Donald G. Evans
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Six sessions, Tuesdays, February 16 - March 23

6 - 7:30 pm (Central Time)

Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to

Seminar Description

When Saul Bellow started with the Writers’ Project, his job was to inventory Illinois periodicals at the Newberry Library. Later, he wrote profiles of writers like John Dos Passos, Sherwood Anderson, and James T. Farrell. For Bellow and many other Chicago writers, such as Nelson Algren, Arna Bontemps, Jack Conroy, Studs Terkel, Margaret Walker, and Richard Wright, these jobs provided steady income, training, and access to great stories. In this seminar, we will read and discuss the history of the project and its Chicago writers and explore how it impacted their careers.

Six sessions. Registration – $210

Donald G. Evans is the author of a novel and short story collection, as well as editor of an anthology. He founded and runs the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. He’s a Newcity Lit 50 Hall of Famer and recipient of the Chicago Writers Association’s lifetime achievement award.

Materials List


  • A selection of shorter materials distributed by the instructor.

First Reading:

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 13th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 7 at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.