The Collegeville Institute is piloting a new 13-month mentorship program (April 2020 – May 2021) for emerging writers who want to address matters of faith, religion, and belief (or lack thereof) in their work. The Emerging Writers Mentorship Program gives four participants the chance to work closely with writing coach Michael N. McGregor, as well as the opportunity to publish regularly on Bearings Online.
The program began in April 2020 when participants met individually with writing mentor Michael N. McGregor over Zoom to discuss essay ideas. In June 2020, the emerging writers attended a five-day virtual writing workshop. The writing workshop involved formal seminars, individual mentorship and goal setting, peer-to-peer work, and time for participants to develop, write, and polish their first article. Following the workshop, mentor Michael N. McGregor is now working with participants to develop a series of articles and/or essays to be published in Bearings Online. This includes direct feedback on writing, Zoom sessions, and instruction on specific writing techniques.
The following writers are participants in the 2020-21 Emerging Writers Mentorship program. The pilot year of this program was open only to applications from writers who attended a Collegeville Institute writing workshop in 2017, 2018, or 2019.
Catherine Hervey has an MFA in fiction from the Sewanee School of Letters. She has written for Books and Culture and The Curator and is currently a contributor for Ruminate. She attended the 2018 Collegeville Institute Writing Spirit, Writing Faith writing workshop.
Duncan Hilton is Priest-in-Charge at St John’s Episcopal Church in Walpole, New Hampshire, and lives in South Londonderry, Vermont. He attended the 2019 Collegeville workshop Mapping the Geography of Grace taught by Robert Benson in Mississippi.
J. Jioni Palmer is the founder of Thinking Good, a digital media community that helps men be their better selves. A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, Palmer is a former journalist, Congressional staffer, and Obama administration appointee. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, two sons and two cats. He attended the 2019 summer workshop A Part, and Yet Apart, with Michael McGregor.
Dr. Lea F. Schweitz is a writer, nature educator, co-founder of Nature120, and Director of Christian Education at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church. Her vocational call is to teach folks to love the wild in the movement of the Holy Spirit and the seasons of Midwest living. She lives in Oak Park, IL with her musician/composer spouse, Kurt, and her two wildly inspiring kids. She blogs at wildsparrows.com and participated in the 2017 summer writing workshop, Writing Beyond the Academy, at the Collegeville Institute.
Essays by Emerging Writers
As we "run the race" to win, as Paul encouraged the Corinthians, what "deliberate practice" will help shape us as Christian disciples?Read more »
First there is the fear, constructed by years of being told there are safe boundaries for white people. Second there is the shame of recognizing those stories are racist lies, and of realizing that invisibility is not a virtue.Read more »
"Almost as much as the church, the barbershop as an institution helped shape who I’ve become. That Saturday morning I witnessed my son beginning to mold his own identity."Read more »
"You are afraid to value yourself," God told me. He wondered what would happen if I did, and I told him I was afraid of going too far, that I would much rather undervalue myself just to make sure.Read more »
Catherine Hervey writes of her encounter with a Ugandan family: "They were offering belonging, a rootedness in this new place I hadn’t imagined possible."Read more »
As Duncan Hilton and his fiancee move to a rural family farm in Vermont, he considers how to maintain a practice of racial justice.Read more »
The bees taught me a new way to be in time. I knew how to march in time, but the honeybees showed me how to dance to the rhythms of nature in the city.Read more »
The Jesus I knew did not teach, preach, and heal from a lofty perch but rather engaged in a ministry that actively engaged those who live on the margins.Read more »