Medill alumna Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan to serve as inaugural George R.R. Martin Chair in storytelling


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Mana has been involved in journalism and democracy for 35 years.

Samantha Powers, Assistant Campus Editor

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (Medill ’97), a journalist, author and teacher, will start as the inaugural George R.R. Martin Chair in storytelling at Medill in September, Northwestern announced April 27. 

Tan will teach undergraduate and graduate students, organize writing panels and conferences for the greater NU community and lead the new George R.R. Martin Summer Intensive Writing Workshop. The workshop, set to launch in summer of 2024, will provide guidance to a small cohort of journalism professionals seeking to launch creative writing careers.

“I am thrilled to be leading this unique program that will help journalists make that leap from news narratives to creative writing,” Tan said in a University news release.

Her professorship and the workshop are endowed by Martin’s recent $5 million donation to Medill. Martin (Medill ’70, ’71) is the author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels and the co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning “Game of Thrones” television series. 

Tan has published two internationally recognized books and worked for The Wall Street Journal, InStyle, The Baltimore Sun and other major news outlets as a news and fashion reporter.

“​​Storytelling is at the foundation of our school, and Cheryl’s expertise in telling her own stories and helping others tell their stories will allow Medill to build on its tradition of excellence in this area,” Medill Dean Charles Whitaker said in the release. “We are grateful to George R.R. Martin for his generous gift, and delighted to welcome Cheryl back to Medill.”

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Twitter: @sqpowers04 

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