Without the sturdy scaffolding of metaphor, our attempts to construct abstract thought (to think or talk about purpose or meaning, about sin or grace, about life and death, about the ultimate abstraction—God), would fail, leaving our impressions formless. Without that scaffolding, when we use even the most common words (love, freedom, joy, sin), we have no way of shaping what we are communicating, what our readers are assuming, what our listeners are comprehending.
This week we explore that scaffolding—where images come from, how they work consciously and subconsciously, and how these images can best be used to give power and clarity to our prose. Four artful ways of using metaphor will be practiced—controlling metaphor, complete metaphor, braided metaphor and extended metaphor—and participants will daily generate new material to be workshopped by the group.
This workshop is geared toward active pastors, chaplains, pastoral associates, and all others interested in writing for the life of faith.
The Collegeville Institute will cover travel expenses to and from the workshop, all workshop fees, and room and board. Those who join the workshop will be expected to reside at the Collegeville Institute throughout the entire week. Participants may share apartment space, though each person will be assigned a private bedroom. The program is limited to 12 participants.
Leading the workshop is Mary Ylvisaker Nilsen (M.A.W., The University of Iowa; M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School). Mary has taught creative writing courses since 1982, first at The University of Iowa and then week-long courses in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and a number of seminaries. She also owns a small company that offers publishing services to writers. Her complete publishing resume can be found on her website: www.zionpublishing.org.
Mary is very insightful, can spot writing difficulties very quickly, and is always ready with creative and practical suggestions. Her book has been very helpful! I feel that this workshop has had a major impact on my writing.
—participant in “Words that Sing 1: A Week with Mary Nilsen,” Summer 2015
The application deadline for this workshop has passed.