We’re excited to announce the 2021 Festival! The dates are October 2 – 3, 2021, located at the StoryStudio Studio in Ravenswood. Space is limited to 30 attendees. Registration is first come, first served! Tickets available July 14, 2021 at 10am CT.

It’s been a long, strange year of zoom events, social distance, and uncertainty. Through it all, StoryStudio continued bringing writers together, even when we had to stay apart. But the world is opening up again, and 2021 is all about reconnecting, to your community, to your writing, to yourself.

Curated by Artistic Director Rebecca Makkai, the two day Festival will offer classes, panels, and conversations to help writers explore and develop their work. Writers will be placed in one of two cohorts (Fiction or Creative Nonfiction, 15 attendees in each) for an intensive study on their chosen work. For those ready for feedback, the Festival offers one-on-one Manuscript Reviews from award-winning authors.

We’ll round it all out with daily write-in’s, roundtable lunch conversations, and a Saturday after-party.



T Kira Mahealani Madden is a Chinese, Kānaka Maoli writer, photographer, and amateur magician. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Tin House, MacDowell, and Yaddo—where she was awarded the Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award—she serves as the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art. She is the author of the 2019 New York Times Editors’ Choice memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, which is now being developed as a feature film. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award John Leonard Prize, and the winner of the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz LAMBDA Literary Award, she has facilitated writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals, and will join the Department of English at College of Charleston in Fall 2021.

2021 Ticket Details

Registration will open July 14, 2021 at 10am Central.

Limited space: 30 tickets available. First come, first served.

Full schedule, session descriptions, bios, and more.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to the limited number of seats available, and due to the nature of the event, we will not be able to refund your purchase after September 11. Prior to September 11, refunds will be given minus a 25% cancellation fee.

Festival Pricing

Festival Pass – $395

Full access to Festival sessions (Fiction or Creative Nonfiction cohort)
Saturday & Sunday Lunch Roundtables
Slack channel to connect with fellow Fest writers
10-pack of visits to the Writers Room
Friday Kick-Off Party
Saturday After-Party


The Festival will take place Saturday, October 2nd & Sunday, October 3rd at StoryStudio Chicago (4043 N. Ravenswood Ave #222)

Vaccination Requirements 

Festival attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to attend the StoryStudio Writers Festival. Information on our full vaccine policy can be found here.

You can find the latest COVID-19 information on the CDC’s COVID-19 website and the City of Chicago Emergency Travel Order.

*Covid-19 precautions are subject to change based on CDC guidelines and City of Chicago mandates. 

Festival Cohorts

Writers will be able to choose between 2 cohorts (Fiction or Creative Nonfiction) when purchasing a ticket. The cohorts will stay together throughout the weekend. This is an opportunity to focus on your craft and build strong relationships with other writers.

*Please note: space in each cohort is very limited! Sign up early to secure your spot.


StoryStudio Writers Festival is an ideal venue for honing your craft of writing by learning from writers who have achieved a level of success. It is a well-orchestrated compilation of professionals, educators, and peers who share new and proven insights and provide case studies on the best ways to move your work forward.


Kudos to StoryStudio for creating a casual yet extremely informative event where all kinds of writers can hang out together while learning how to improve our craft and better manage the affliction of being a writer!

Loved every bit

This year’s StoryStudio Writers Festival was worth every minute and every penny. The sessions offered were useful for writers at any stage in their career–from beginning to advanced. I am definitely going next year! 

See photos from our 2019 Festival below…