Monthly drop-in sessions led by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew focus on different aspects of writing spiritual memoir: themes that commonly arise, craft techniques, challenges and joys of the writing process, and practices for opening our work to the spirit’s movement. Sessions include writing exercises, examples from leading and emerging writers, lecture, and small group conversation. To support individual writers and writing groups in the ever-deepening practice of writing spiritual memoir, time is included for participant questions.
February: Dreams, Our Most Intimate Scripture
The feelings, images, and stories that come to us at night seep into our days and play an active role in our spiritual journeys. How can we write about them effectively?
March: Writing as Exercising Forgiveness
“I can’t write the book I want to write,” says Ann Patchett, “but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.” We’ll explore how forgiveness is a fundamental part of living and writing well.
April: Characters: Real People in Two Dimensions
*This session is facilitated by Carolyn Holbrook (see bio below)
Our spiritual stories are peopled with family, teachers, friends, lovers, and enemies. How can we recreate them on the page in a manner that is respectful, multidimensional, and engaging—or, as Diane Glancy says, that moves us “from an objectifying relationship into a relationship with a Sacred Other”?
“How can I use dialogue if I don’t remember what was said?” you might ask. Come find out! We’ll learn to represent past conversations accurately and honestly within our stories, and practice using memoir writing itself as a dialogue with Mystery.
June: Adding by Subtraction
Something must die before something new can be born—this is what pastor-writer Nadia Bolz-Weber calls spiritual physics. We’ll exercise our “letting go” muscle on the page, directly experiencing death and release as a part of creation.
Writing instructor and spiritual director Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew is the author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir; Living Revision: Opening the Writer’s Art; and many other books, essays, and short memoirs. Her work explores intersections between spiritual growth and the creative process.
Carolyn Holbrook, is founder and former Executive/Artistic Director of SASE: The Write Place, is a widely published writer whose essays are included in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. She teaches Creative Writing at Hamline University. Carolyn is the facilitator of the April session.
This Program’s Calendar Entries
Click on the day you’re interested in attending to access the “Add to Calendar” feature. Or if you plan on attending all these events, use the “Subscribe to filtered calendar” button at the bottom of this event list.