In June 2021, four writers completed the Collegeville Institute’s pilot Emerging Writers Mentorship Program led by writing coach and mentor Michael N. McGregor. Lea F. Schwietz, J. Jioni Palmer, Catherine Hervey, and Duncan Hilton worked closely with McGregor for over a year and published regular essays on Bearings Online. Participants gathered on zoom for a writing workshop in June 2020, met individually with McGregor on a regular basis throughout the year, and connected virtually as a cohort bimonthly for continued workshopping and conversation.
“The Emerging Writers Mentorship Program has reinforced and reminded me of the true gift of Christian community for sustaining creative spiritual practices, like writing,” reflected Schwietz. “In this context, there was space to explore the boundaries of what it means to be a Christian writer – and to try to push them.”
“Being part of the inaugural Emerging Writers Mentorship Program cohort has been an amazing, transformative, and growth experience for me as a writer,” said Palmer. “The unique combination of working one-on-one with a highly skilled and competent writing coach and workshopping my essays (while reviewing others) has given me invaluable insights and feedback on my work which used me to dig deeper to find the spiritual strength to express with words what was stirring inside me.”
The Collegeville Institute launched its second Emerging Writers Mentorship Program cohort last month with six participants, led by McGregor and new writing mentor Sophfronia Scott.