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The Next Big Thing: Turning Op-Eds, Essays, and Ideas into Books

July 30 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm

(from the organizer’s website)

The Next Big Thing: Turning Op-Eds, Essays, and Ideas into Books

Op-eds and essays are big ideas in-and-of themselves; but sometimes, those ideas need bigger packages–more words, more space, more room to grow. Drawing on their prolific experience as columnists, essayists, editors, and authors, Michele Weldon and Megan Stielstra–OpEd Project leaders and good friends–will discuss the path, process, and strategies of expanding shortform pieces into longform manuscripts. Using Michele’s forthcoming collection The Time We Have: Essays on Pandemic Living (NUP 2024) as a jumping-off point, they’ll dig deep into the developmental process of creating a book from multiple op-eds and essays, tackling both research-based journalistic work and personal narrative storytelling.

The event will take place on Tuesday, July 30 at 7 pm ET.

This 60-minute virtual live event + Q&A is part of The OpEd Project’s series of Expert Talks exploring aspects of voice, identity, and how ideas come to change the world.



PAY WHAT YOU CAN: This event is open to everyone, regardless of means. To help us estimate attendance and sustain our social justice model, we offer a sliding scale. Please pay what you can afford.

ALL ARE WELCOME: If the lowest tier on the scale is a hardship, please email info@theopedproject.org for a full scholarship.

JOIN VIA ZOOM: After you register, you will receive a confirmation email that includes the Zoom link to join the talk.

RECORDING: This is a live event. A recording will be made available the day after the talk to everyone who registered, accessible for one week only.



Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: Everyone Remain Calm, Once I Was Cool, and The Wrong Way to Save Your Life. Her work appears in the Best American Essays, New York Times, The Believer, Poets & Writers, Tin House, and elsewhere. A longtime company member with 2nd Story, she has told stories for National Public Radio, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and theatres, festivals, and classrooms across the country. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University and is an editor with Northwestern University Press.

Michele Weldon is an award-winning author, journalist, TEDx speaker and emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University, where she taught for 18 years. An editor and writer for more than four decades, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Time, The Guardian and many more. Her books include I Closed My Eyes; Writing To Save Your Life; Everyman News; and Act Like You’re Having A Good Time. Her seventh book, The Time We Have, is out in July 2024. She has published in anthologies and the forthcoming, Gifted-Ish: Essays on Untangling Intelligence and Identity. Michele has been a Senior Leader with The OpEd Project since 2011.



The OpEd Project is a global thought leadership project that accelerates the ideas and impact of underrepresented voices, especially women of all backgrounds. We believe the best ideas, regardless of where they come from, should have a chance to be heard and change the world. We also believe the world is more intelligent when it is more inclusive.

We are a community of journalists, commentary writers, thought leaders and change-agents who actively share knowledge, resources and connections across color, creed, class, sexuality, gender, age, ability and beyond. We have been featured in most major media. We have stunning results. Learn more and join us at www.theopedproject.org.



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