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‘Game of Thrones’ Novelist Supports Future Storytellers

Northwestern alum George R.R. Martin is establishing a professorship and writing workshop at Medill.

George RR Martin
Medill alum George R.R. Martin, pictured here with Medill students and Dean Charles Whitaker.Image: Jenna Braunstein Photography

Winter 2023

George R.R. Martin ’70, ’71 MS, ’21 H, author of the acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire novels and co-executive producer of the Emmy Award–winning Game of Thrones series, is sharing his love of storytelling through two gifts to Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.  

One gift will establish the George R.R. Martin Summer Intensive Writing Workshop, which will provide instruction for journalism professionals seeking to embark on careers in creative writing. Launching in 2024, the workshop will enroll six to eight writers and authors each summer and afford budding fiction writers, screenwriters and playwrights the time, space and guidance to develop their projects. 

A second gift will establish an endowed professorship, the George R.R. Martin Chair in Storytelling. The professor who is named to this position will lead the George R.R. Martin Summer Intensive Writing Workshop, as well as teach undergraduate and graduate courses across a breadth of genres, from narrative nonfiction to creative writing. 

“These initiatives will help aspiring writers across myriad literary genres to make their mark on the world.” — Charles Whitaker

Medill helps students in its journalism and integrated marketing communications degree programs learn how to tell compelling stories, whether they are based on reporting or data. Martin’s investment will bolster Medill’s teaching in long-form narrative and storytelling and make the school a destination for up-and-coming writers who specialize in fiction and in screen and stage. 

“The George R.R. Martin Chair in Storytelling and the Summer Intensive Writing Workshop will enable us to recruit, retain and host recognized authors and storytellers for the benefit of  Northwestern students and writers from around the country,” says Charles Whitaker ’80, ’81 MS, dean of Medill. “These initiatives will help aspiring writers across myriad literary genres to make their mark on the world, as George has done.” 

Through collaboration with faculty in the School of Communication and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Martin Chair also will convene panels and conferences on writing for students, the greater Northwestern community and the public and be a liaison to industries related to long-form narrative and storytelling. 

George R.R. Martin is a novelist and short story writer who is best known for A Song of Ice and Fire, an international bestselling series of epic fantasy novels that HBO adapted into the acclaimed dramatic series Game of Thrones — HBO’s biggest hit of all time since its conclusion in 2019. Martin also is the author of Fire & Blood, the basis for HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, which drew nearly 10 million viewers with its premiere episode in 2022. His books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into 47 languages. 

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