CCFW Audience

Speaker Policy


The Festival of Faith & Writing celebrates excellent writing that takes faith seriously. For people who are passionate about the often solitary pleasures of great literature, the Festival is a friendly community of diverse perspectives on religion and creative expression, bound together by a shared, celebratory event.

Selection Process

The roster for each Festival of Faith & Writing includes scores of writers and storytellers working in mediums including books, music, films, stage, radio, and more. The Festival Planning Committee—comprised of Calvin Center for Faith & Writing (CCFW) staff and rotating CCFW Faculty Fellows—actively researches these contemporary writers whose work intersects with matters of faith. Based on this research (which also includes hundreds of nominations from Festival attendees, publishers, campus faculty and students, teachers and readers from around the country and, literally, the world), the committee builds a roster of featured speakers for each Festival that aims to reflect the diversity of the literary arts—across genre, age, culture, and creed—when it comes to exploring faith with creativity and insight.

In order to give ample time and attention to the many writers doing compelling work at the intersection of faith and literature, speakers are infrequently featured more than once across Festivals. When we do repeat an invitation, we normally allow a minimum of two Festivals to pass between appearances.

In general, speakers are discovered through committee research, suggestions from Festivalgoers and others mentioned above, and the advocacy of publishers and publicists who understand our unique event. While we don't strictly forbid it, we discourage writers from contacting the Festival Planning Committee directly to recommend themselves as speakers. Instead, please have your publisher send us review copies of any available books along with a note that expresses your interest in our event.

Speaker consideration for Festival 2020 is now closed, but we will begin welcoming speaker nominations for Festival 2022 in September of 2020. Nominations received in the intervening time period will not be reviewed.

Workshops & Festival Circles

In addition to sessions that feature invited speakers and panelists, the Festival of Faith & Writing hosts an optional day of pre-conference workshops for interested participants. Topics range from publishing, craft, and the writing life, to specialty areas like spiritual development, chapbook construction, and the Enneagram. The selection process for workshops is the same as the speaker selection process outlined above, and the majority of workshop faculty are also Festival speakers.

Festival Circles are a chance to shrink the Festival experience, gathering a small group of attendees for two guided meetings around a shared topic of interest. Anyone who can commit to attending the three days of Festival can apply to be a Festival Circle leader. Applications are reviewed by the Festival Planning Committee in the fall preceding each Festival, and selected leaders are provided with a free registration. For more information and to apply, visit our Festival Circles page.