“I never really know what I think about anything unless I’ve written about it. So although I sometimes sort through happenings in my spiritual life in conversation, I more often sort through them on paper. In my book, “Still,” for example, I have a chapter examining my coming to a place in life where I couldn’t or wouldn’t pray. I didn’t really understand why that had happened—why I had stopped praying—until I had written about it and rewritten. I came into real understanding well after 10 drafts of that chapter. Similarly, I never get very far with Scripture if I’m just reading it or hearing it read aloud. I get further if I am writing about a passage of Scripture.” – Lauren Winner
In this workshop, we will explore the genre of spiritual writing at the level of craft and technique, as well as inspiration and publication. We will examine the question of what makes for compelling spiritual writing – writing that opens up the ordinary, yet sometimes dramatic tensions between spiritual faith and human life.
We will ask questions such as: How do I write about spirituality without preaching or falling into dogma? How do I share stories that lift-up people? How do my words deepen beliefs or offer guidance? How do I help people pray or give them peace? How do I tap into topics that make delightful connections? How do I help readers wrestle with God?
The mornings will be reserved for writing time. In the afternoons, we will meet as a group to workshop one another’s prose, discuss sterling examples of spiritual writing, and explore writing exercises designed to improve craft.
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 Institute throughout the entire week. Participants will share apartment space, though each person will be assigned a private bedroom. The program is limited to 12 participants.
Lauren was an excellent workshop leader – she is a gifted and knowledgeable facilitator with a clear heart for writing and supporting other writers.
–participant in “Deepening Words,” Summer 2013
(Application deadline has passed. We are no longer accepting applications for this workshop.)
NOTE: There may be some advance preparation for this workshop, which may include both reading and writing. Complete applications include three pieces:
- Application Form
- Current resume or c.v.
- Writing sample (2,000 words or less)
After the workshop concludes, each participant is encouraged to submit an original 500-word essay on a topic of his/her choice, intended for a general audience. Participants’ essays may be used as blog entries on the Collegeville Institute’s website or featured in other Collegeville Institute publications. Workshop participants should submit their essays to the Collegeville Institute within three months after the conclusion of the writing workshop.