Diane Glancy once wrote: “I think in terms of revision because I have been revised. As a Christian, I feel I have started over and over, continuing one development after another. ….Writing is in the rewriting. It is in the revised. …[W]hen I write, there usually emerges both a death and a resurrection….I write if I can tolerate the snarl and gnarl of the writing process.”
In this workshop, we plunge into the fabulous work of revising. What is revision? How and why might one undertake revision? 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 people up? 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? We will also consider how to shape a long piece of writing, asking What distinguishes a book from a long magazine article? What is the shape of a book?
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.
This workshop is intended primarily for people who want to work on revising a long essay or two, a substantial portion of a book, or an entire book manuscript. We will have a bit of pieces for new pieces, but our primary focus will be on the revision process, and on the architecture of a 40,000-80,000 word piece (that is, a book).
The Collegeville Institute will cover travel expenses to and from the workshop within the continental United States, all workshop fees, and room and board. International travel costs, and travel from Hawaii and Alaska may be shared between the Collegeville Institute and the workshop participant. 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.
Lauren is fantastic. She’s wise. Her tips were very helpful. Her craft advice was great. Her organization was great.
—participant in “Women Writing: A Week with Lauren Winner,” Summer 2015
The application deadline for this workshop has passed.