Monthly online drop-in sessions facilitated 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.
Each online session will be facilitated by Elizabeth via Zoom. Elizabeth will reflect on the day’s theme and provide readings, writing prompts and handouts with craft advice. The sessions will allow time for small group breakout discussion as well as large group discussion and questions.
January: Tending the Well: Writing During the Pandemic
Our January session will be dedicated to exercises and practices that ground us, connect us to our sacred Source, and remind us of what matters most. We’ll return to trustworthy activities like journaling, chronicling, reflecting on events, and letter writing, finding sustenance in the present and creating records for future memoirs.
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? How can writing support our dreams to do their healing work?
March: Writing Through and About Grief
Writers cavalierly say there’s no such thing as a bad experience; there’s only good material. When we revisit memories of loss and hardship on the page, we may not alleviate our suffering but we do make something from it. How can we tend both self and reader as we write hard memories? When in the midst of grief, as we all are now, what is the best way to nurture our creativity?
April: Writing About Others
Our stories are crowded with people. How can we write about them with compassion? How can we represent them on the page in a way that’s respectful, multidimensional, and engaging—moving us, as Diane Glancy says, “from an objectifying relationship into a relationship with a Sacred Other”?
May: Writing as Mindfulness
To write well, we bring our full attention to our experience, awakening our senses and receiving the present moment without judgment. In other words, we are mindful. Poet Michael Kiesow Moore and fiction writer Roseanne Pereira will join us to discuss how mindfulness practices strengthen and bring heart to our writing and how a writing practice deepens our mindfulness.
June: Re-seeing Revision
The roots of the words “revision” and “respect” both mean “see again.” A rough draft is one dimension of a story; when we revise, we honor ourselves and our stories by seeing multiple dimensions. We’ll explore revision as a way to gain respect—and reverence—for our experiences.
COST: $120.00 for the series (Feb – June), $30.00 per session.
If you plan to attend the January session, please register for this session separately. The series rate runs from February – June.
Each session will be held via Zoom and has a total contact time of two hours.
Register for Writing the Sacred Journey: Introductory Workshop
(The Introductory Workshop is not a prerequisite for the Monthly Drop-In Sessions)
Online Course Expectations + Details:
- After registering and approximately 24 hours prior to each monthly writing session, you will receive an email from Wisdom Ways with the Zoom link and other information.
- Register as individuals.
- Have the technology and internet connection that allow for stable video and audio connection through a computer or a hand-held device (e.g., tablet or smart phone).
- Each Zoom session will include a facilitator from Wisdom Ways who will help navigate the small groups, and the questions and comments that are shared through the chat function.
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: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice; and many other books, essays, and short memoirs. Her work explores intersections between spiritual growth and the creative process.
Roseanne Pereira holds a B.A. in Literature with distinction from Yale University and is currently a grad student in fiction in The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She has served as a Kroc Fellow at National Public Radio and an Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellow at The Center for Victims of Torture. She has worked as a journalist, cheesemonger, and cook. Her writing has appeared in print and on the air in a variety of outlets.
Michael Kiesow Moore is the author of the poetry collections What to Pray For and The Song Castle. His work has appeared in many journals such as Poetry City and Water~Stone Review, anthologies like Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience and A Loving Testimony: Losing Loved Ones Lost to AIDS, as well as “The Writer’s Almanac.” He is the founder of the Birchbark Books Reading Series, and he teaches writing and mindfulness classes.
This Program’s Calendar Entries
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