Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir

Saturday Introductory Workshop
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Spiritual memoir is the practice of listening deeply to our life experiences through the creation of artful, true stories.  We come more alive when we accept how our experiences have formed us and when we form something from what we’ve experienced.  By writing memories with intention, we can find holiness in the details, patterns that unify our sense of self, and deep personal healing.  By crafting our stories to engage the inner life of readers, we can participate in transforming our world.

Join Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew for an introduction to the art and spiritual practice of writing memoir.  What is memoir, and how is it different from autobiography?  What makes memoir spiritual?  How can the practice of writing memoir, whether for an audience or no audience, support spiritual growth?  We will start with the basics, using writing exercises, readings from master writers, and conversation.  

When: Saturday, February 6, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Cost: $35.00 (introductory course is now closed for registration)

Writing the Sacred Journey: Monthly Writing Sessions | Fourth Fridays
Fridays, January 22, February 26, March 25, April 22, May 27, and June 24, 2016
1:30 - 3:30 pm

Monthly drop-in classes 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.  Because they are meant to support individual writers and writing groups in the ever-deepening practice of writing spiritual memoir, these sessions will include time for participants’ questions.

January 22: The Wisdom of Childhood
Our spiritual journeys find their source and direction in our youngest years, when our first experiences indelibly marked us.  How can we explore early memories with compassion, curiosity, and humility?  

February 26: Epiphany
We’ll look at how the conversion narrative has traditionally shaped spiritual memoir and how contemporary memoirists use it today.  Working with the literary term “epiphany,” we’ll explore the spiritual dimensions of transformation.

March 25: The Blessed Body
Our bodies are a trustworthy source of wisdom and memory.  Together we’ll write from our bodies and attend to sensory description as an effective literary technique.  How can we better embody the spirit in our stories? 

April 22: Describing the Indescribable
So much of the spiritual life is indescribable! How can we possibly write about it?  We’ll look at literary examples of enlightenment, emptiness, pain, ecstasy, and unconsciousness, and use literary tools to wrap language around the ineffable.

May 27: Perspective and Insight
All memoir is a dialogue between past and present, between the “character” you were then and the “narrator” you are today.  We’ll practice using the reflective voice in memoir as a way to invite perspective and insight.

New! June 24: Unearthing the Truth
Memory always holds important truths—about identity, history, and what gives life meaning.  Using questions, speculation, and multiple perspectives, we’ll move beyond the facts to the truthful essence of our stories.

Cost: $25.00 per individual session

*Introductory workshop is not a prerequisite for the monthly writing sessions*

Photo Credit: Kabeya Pictures

Writing instructor and spiritual director Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew is the author of the novel, Hannah, Delivered; Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir; and many other books, essays, and short memoirs.  Her work most often explores intersections between spiritual growth and the creative process.  Learn more at www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com.

Saturday introductory workshop: Saturday, February 6, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Monthly writing sessions: Fridays, January 22, February 26, March 25, April 22, May 27, and June 24, 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Saturday introductory workshop: $35.00 (introductory course is now closed for registration)
Monthly writing sessions: $100.00 for the series, $25.00 per session

*Introductory workshop is not a prerequisite for the monthly writing sessions*