George R.R. Martin has always been very generous, and as his success as grown, so too as his generosity. Wildlife recues, film and television training programs, writing scholarships... and now the latest example, as he donates $5 million to his alma mater of Northwestern University to establish a new writing workshop for journalism professionals to explore creative writing, as well as to endow the new George R.R. Martin Chair of Storytelling.
For more details, see the press release from Northwestern below:
EVANSTON, Ill.—- 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 totaling $5 million to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
A $3 million gift will establish the George R.R. Martin Summer Intensive Writing Workshop, which will provide instruction for journalism professionals seeking to launch 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 $2 million 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 courses across a breadth of genres, from narrative nonfiction to creative writing, to both undergraduate and graduate students.
“George R.R. Martin is a prolific and iconic author with an international audience,” Northwestern President Michael H. Schill said. “We are so grateful for his generosity to his alma mater, which will inspire and equip the next generation of storytellers at Northwestern.”
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 writers seeking to hone their craft and launch their careers in fiction and writing for the 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,” said 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.