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 N. 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
For Christians incarcerated for first degree murder in Illinois, their faith can be a source of reconciliation and hope.Read more »
For Black filmmakers, the horror genre illuminates the evil and terror often underlying mundane encounters in a racist society.Read more »
What happens when we adjust our theology to see humans as part of creation rather than at the top of it?Read more »
When I one day meet God face-to-face, will I be able to look him in the eye and say, “I heard your call. I heeded you”?Read more »
How do we answer children's fears about the ongoing climate crisis? Maybe the best we can do is engaging them with living soil.Read more »
For J. Jioni Palmer, reggae often loosens up emotions, providing an opportunity for spiritual lament in a genre known for its optimism and uplift.Read more »
"The Lenten practice of looking with complexity continues to sustain our beautiful, terrible lives, to ground our hope in the pockets of possibilities for the world as it could be, and to make possible the art of living faith in stereo."Read more »
Tweak your sermon. Update the church website. Dust your divinity school diploma. Do more self-care. And most of all, get serious.Read more »
Being the Black father of Black boys in America today means more than giving "the talk." The threat of gun violence from many sources brought this father to a heartbreaking decision.Read more »
"My skill as a dancer began to fuse with my faith ... until the administration told us it was distracting and we needed to go behind the stage curtain."Read more »