Workshop Participant

Workshops


Taking place on Wednesday, April 15, the day before Festival begins, Workshop Wednesday is an optional day to focus on your writing and personal development, or to try something new.

This is a chance for readers & writers to work directly with Festival speakers and other expert faculty for a generative, pre-conference experience. Participants are not required to attend Festival in the days that follow (April 16-18), but all registered workshop participants are eligible for the discounted Festival Group Rate. Details will be included with your Workshop Wednesday confirmation.

Workshop registration is now open, and tuition ranges from $75-$150 per workshop. Remember that you may choose no more than one workshop per time block, and, due to overlapping time blocks, you may register for a maximum of three workshops. You will receive a separate receipt for each individual workshop registration.

2020 WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE

Full Day Specialty Workshop - 9am-5pm - $150
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Suzanne Stabile enneagram

Know Your Number: Join Enneagram Master Suzanne Stabile as she guides you through discerning your particular personality type within the wisdom of this ancient spiritual tool. Know Your Number is a foundational course and is the first step in working with the Enneagram. In this workshop, Suzanne introduces the nine Enneagram Types:

Challenger,  Peacemaker, Perfectionist,

Helper,  Performer,  Romantic,  

Investigator,  Loyalist, Enthusiast.

Each personality type is reviewed in detail, including an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Types, and the likely interpersonal challenges that may be involved in an unhealthy expression of the Type.

This workshop is intended for those who want to discover their Enneagram number or are still unsure about their Enneagram number.

Please note that cost and participant cap are different for this event due to its all-day format and Suzanne's preferred teaching approach.

 

Morning Craft Workshops - 9am-12pm - $100
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Brian Allain marketing & pr
The Business of Being a Spiritual Writer, Part 1: In “the old days” an author could write a manuscript and “throw it over the wall” to the publisher who would take care of the rest. That is no longer the case. The best quote I’ve heard from a publishing house CEO: “Fifteen years ago all I cared about was the quality of the writing. Now I don’t even look at the writing unless they have a platform.” Not only does an author need a platform, they must enter the market very strategically in order to make that platform, and that book, happen. They must operate like an entrepreneur – agile, flexible, and creative in their business.

Part 1 of this two-part seminar provides an overview of the publishing industry, a review of the primary paths to getting published, and more detailed examination of why DIY publishing is increasingly attractive. Then we address strategic market entry, including thoughts on potential audience niche segments, and why you should care about this. (Note: while Part 2 is offered in an afternoon time slot, participants are not required to take both sessions and can still benefit from taking either Part 1 or Part 2.)

Hugh Cook fiction

Short Story Lab: Festivalgoers registered for this workshop will submit an unpublished short story that will be critiqued and discussed by the instructor and the workshop participants. Participants will receive each other’s stories before the Festival in order to prepare. Stories (max 4,500 words) must be submitted by March 15. Details with registration confirmation.

S. J. Dahlman nonfiction

At the Corner of Where and Who: This workshop will explore the intersections of place, history, and personal histories. All stories are situated in places—places where we live and work, places we visit, places where we pause or hurry through. Whether historical, personal, or ephemeral, these physical locations have significance and can strongly affect the stories we tell. This workshop is designed to help writers become more intentionally aware of the settings of our stories and how to incorporate them in our writing, whether working in memoir, history, essay, or narrative journalism. Participants will be asked to read selected excerpts of nonfiction in advance. They are also encouraged to bring a draft of their own writing to work on, if possible.

Kristina Marie Darling multimedia

Writing Spirituality in the Digital Realm: This workshop will begin with a discussion of recently published poetry films, text and image projects, sound poetry, documentary projects, and more.  In-class screenings will include new work by Emily Anderson & Jen Morris, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Allison Titus, & others as determined by student interest.  This workshop will culminate in a how-to segment for practicing writers who are interested in experimenting with multimedia components in their own writing.

Caitlin Horrocks fiction

It Lives! Revision and Re-vision: Sometimes a reader will suggest you revise by simply doing X or Y, like adding salt to a dish; more often, readers chat about the many ways in which your story tasted kind of “off,” but can’t or won’t put a finger on the missing ingredient. How do we develop and trust our own palate, and what are the similarities and differences between “fixing” fiction and fixing a soup? 

This class will present and then put into practice techniques for successful fiction revision on three levels: from ruthless line-editing; to moderate alterations, additions, deletions; to wholesale re-envisioning of stalled or stale stories. We’ll use readings, discussion, and a variety of exercises to add to our revision toolboxes. Participants are encouraged to bring two pieces of their own writing: one that’s ready for fine-tuning, and one that might be in need of more serious intervention.

Kathleen Kerr editing & publishing

The Seven Deadly Sins of the Spiritual Writer: You’re a writer, and you’ve got a call to tell a story. Now what? In this insider look at the writing and publishing process, an experienced acquisitions editor shares what it takes to get a book from your head to the printed page. Along the way, we’ll discuss common pitfalls and share methods of turning them into opportunities. You’ll leave equipped for the next step on your publishing journey.

Paige Lewis poetry

Collaborative Poetry Writing: This workshop will explore different approaches to collaborative writing in poetry. The first half of the workshop will be focused on classroom participants collaborating on poems and also sharing their collaborations with the class. The second half of workshop will open with a discussion of poetic erasure with examples from Chase Berggrun, Tom Phillips, Solmaz Sharif, and others. Workshop participants will then “collaborate” with provided published work through the act of poetic erasure.

Beth Peterson nonfiction

The Lyric Essay: Harnessing the Powers of Poetry in Nonfiction Writing: For many years, writers have defined nonfiction by what it isn’t: it’s not fiction. Recently, though, there’s been a move towards wondering what else nonfiction can do. In this workshop, we’ll consider what happens when nonfiction veers away from fictional techniques (scene, character, and setting in memoir; reflection and telling in essays) and towards borrowing what’s usually considered the “stuff” of poetry: gaps and silences, interesting structures, and lyrical language. Alongside discussing how the poetic can be used in nonfiction, participants in this workshop will have a chance to craft their own lyric essays.

James Schaap nonfiction/ journalism

The Memorable Past: Helping Readers—and Listeners—Find Themselves in History: What do you have in common with General Ulysses S. Grant, with Sitting Bull or Teddy Roosevelt? What do we share with any historical figure from the past? How can we, as writers, take readers into history in a sharp and memorable way? This workshop focus on how fertile the past is for non-fiction writing, feature journalism, and podcasting, and will be a space for us to discuss these questions as well as research strategies and other best practices.

Margot Starbuck manuscripts & book proposals

How to Pitch Your Book: Want to discover what delights the hearts of agents and publishers when they’re reading a book proposal? Learn the most effective ways to communicate what you will deliver: a concept that’s unique, a growing platform, and a well-structured book with sentences that are beautifully written. We’ll cover the nuts and bolts of what every proposal needs as well as identifying creative ways to make yours shine. And you’ll have the opportunity to hone, workshop, and share your elevator pitch!

Daniel Taylor fiction

Flash Fiction Workshop: Seeing a World in a Grain of Sand: At the opposite end of the epic is the single breath. The challenge of the very, very short short story—known by many names, from “flash fiction” to “twitterature”—is to embody all the essential elements of story in very few words. Doing so hones one’s skills and sensibility for much longer works of fiction. This workshop will explore this story-telling form, including the writing of such stories together, to deepen both our understanding of fiction and our ability to tell stories well.

 

Afternoon Craft Workshops - 1:30-4:30pm - $100
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Kaveh Akbar poetry

Mining the Poetic Unconscious: If, as Vijay Seshadri says, the purpose of poetry is “to deal with unprecedented experience,” then it’s what’s inside the poet’s mind, what (or who) is hooting or singing or moaning or gagging inside the poet’s own totally unique psychic ecosystem that allows the poet access to a singular voice. In this workshop we’ll try various methods of popping under our own hoods and exploring our cognitive machinery (using things like meditation and bibliomancy), mining our discoveries for poetic language and imagery and more. Leaving the workshop, we’ll have generated drafts, jumping off points for new poems, and hopefully, if all goes well, better relationships with the little voices in our heads.

Brian Allain marketing & pr
The Business of Being a Spiritual Writer, Part 2: In “the old days” an author could write a manuscript and “throw it over the wall” to the publisher who would take care of the rest.  That is no longer the case.  The best quote I’ve heard from a publishing house CEO: “Fifteen years ago all I cared about was the quality of the writing. Now I don’t even look at the writing unless they have a platform.” Not only does an author need a platform, they must enter the market very strategically in order to make that platform, and that book, happen. They must operate like an entrepreneur – agile, flexible, and creative in their business.

Part 2 of this two-part seminar focuses on marketing (platform development and accelerating the growth of your following) and entrepreneurship (how to think and work like an entrepreneur). 

(Note: while Part 1 is offered in a morning time slot, participants are not required to take both sessions and can still benefit from taking either Part 1 or Part 2.)
Hugh Cook fiction

Short Story Lab: Festivalgoers registered for this workshop will submit an unpublished short story that will be critiqued and discussed by the instructor and the workshop participants. Participants will receive each other’s stories before the Festival in order to prepare. Stories (max 4,500 words) must be submitted by March 15. Details with registration confirmation.

Adam Day poetry The Power of the Short Poem: How do you combine explosiveness and brevity? Students will have the opportunity to experiment with the intersection of belief and the outside world. Participants will read with the eye of a writer to explore how a work is constructed and how the elements of craft come together to create a successful whole.
Margaret Feinberg & Jonathan Merritt audience

Discover the Who in Your Whoville: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding Your Audience: In every form of communication, what you say is deeply formed by who you are speaking to. And yet, many aspiring and accomplished writers have never created a personal and comprehensive profile of their target audience at their own peril. As critically-acclaimed authors Margaret Feinberg and Jonathan Merritt say, "If you fail to define your audience, you'll end up without one." In this workshop, these veteran writing coaches will lead participants in a unique process to create individualized audience profiles, hone their writing voice, and communicate with empathy, compassion, and authority.

Diane Glancy voice

Mentioned but Not Heard: Writing the Marginalized Voice: What historical character have you wanted to hear from?  What Biblical characters could you bring to life? Native American voices and Biblical women are two disconnected areas from which I write, though there are many similarities. I like to give voice to those that have been bypassed by history.  I want to find the erased voices and explore what they could have said. The workshop gives a perusal of the tools needed to give voice to those who did not have a chance to speak. 

Terry Glaspey arts

The Transforming Power of the Arts: This workshop will explore how we can help transform society and transform ourselves through the arts—writing, visual art, music, and filmmaking. We’ll take a close look at the work of great creatives both past and present to see how they have moved the discussion forward on social justice, as well as examine how the arts can be used as tools for spiritual formation and growth. And we’ll discuss ways that we might address such issues more effectively in our own work. Terry Glaspey is the author of the multiple award-winning 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know, The Prayers of Jane Austen, Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis, and numerous other books. He has lectured in Britain, Taiwan, and all over the U.S. on topics related to faith and art.

Jennifer Grant memoir

A Story Only You Can Tell: On Writing Memoir: A memoir is an invitation, welcoming readers to come along on a personal journey with the author. In this 3-hour workshop, author Jennifer Grant will provide a brief review of memoir basics (How is memoir different than autobiography? What does "theme" mean in memoir? Can I take liberties with names or other details? Do I have to tell my story chronologically?) before digging deeper and providing examples, exercises, and instruction on identifying why you're writing a memoir, finding your voice, recognizing your readers' felt needs, telling the truth (without betraying or antagonizing the people closest to you), choosing which parts of your story to tell, structuring your memoir, and crafting a writing schedule and setting deadlines that you will keep…and more. Jennifer has taught memoir workshops at conferences and retreat centers all over the U.S. and loves not only the genre, but the chance to encourage other writers in their craft.

Caitlin Horrocks fiction

It Lives! Revision and Re-vision: Sometimes a reader will suggest you revise by simply doing X or Y, like adding salt to a dish; more often, readers chat about the many ways in which your story tasted kind of “off,” but can’t or won’t put a finger on the missing ingredient. How do we develop and trust our own palate, and what are the similarities and differences between “fixing” fiction and fixing a soup? 

This class will present and then put into practice techniques for successful fiction revision on three levels: from ruthless line-editing; to moderate alterations, additions, deletions; to wholesale re-envisioning of stalled or stale stories. We’ll use readings, discussion, and a variety of exercises to add to our revision toolboxes. Participants are encouraged to bring two pieces of their own writing: one that’s ready for fine-tuning, and one that might be in need of more serious intervention.

Dean Nelson journalism

Talking to Strangers: Why Interviewing Matters to Writers, and How Writers Can Get (Almost) Anyone to Talk To Them: Virtually every line of work depends on getting input and insight from others. Writers in particular need to be able to get good information from experts, explainers and eyewitnesses. Interviewing is not just for the bold. Anyone can do it. Dean Nelson has a new book on the subject and a lifetime of experience as a journalist writing for The New York Times, the Boston Globe and many magazines. His interview series, the Writer's Symposium By The Sea, is in its 25th year. He'll get into the secrets of conducting great interviews, how to interview the reluctant and the too eager, as well as how to interview those you love and those you loathe. In this workshop he'll address these questions and more:

  • whom to interview and why
  • how to get them to say yes
  • how to preparehow to craft good questions
  • how to ask the difficult questions
  • how to avoid the same questions everyone else asks
  • how to protect yourself legally
Meghan O'Gieblyn nonfiction

From the Personal to the Universal: The power of personal essays and memoir derives from the glimpse they provide into the writer's interior life: the private drama of thoughts and emotions, beliefs and doubts, joys and fears. In this workshop, we'll discuss how to transform our personal, subjective experience into a story that appeals to a wider readership. We'll read and discuss each other's work and explore some writers who successfully transcend the particulars of their lives so that their stories make a larger point. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of the current writing market and tips for how to craft personal stories that are capable of finding a wider audience. Participants will submit a personal narrative of no more than 5,000 words to the instructor no later than March 15.

Beth Peterson nonfiction

The Art of Activism: Writing for Social Change: Near the beginning of his book, Desert Solitaire, environmental writer Edward Abbey describes his own view on art. “This is not a travel guide,” he writes, “but an elegy.  A memorial. You’re holding a tombstone in your hands. A bloody rock.  Don’t drop it on your foot—throw it at something big and glassy.”  A tombstone, an elegy, a weapon: are these the best categories for thinking about activist art?  And what does it mean for art to be activist?  Or, as many 19th Century writers and poets put it, is art only art when it’s “l’art pour l’art,” art for art’s sake alone?  In this workshop, we’ll consider the history, theory, challenges, and opportunities of activist writing.  Participants will also leave having tried out some new strategies for activist work, on the page. 

Daniel Taylor travel writing

Spirited Travel Writing: A Workshop: Pilgrimage can be described as physical travel for spiritual purposes. Writing about such experiences, a specialized form of travel writing, offers rich possibilities for simultaneously exploring the inner and outer world—in search of a connection between the two. This workshop explores travel writing in general, but focuses on personal travel that has changed how you think and feel, whether in overtly spiritual terms or more indirectly.

Liz Vice songwriting

​​Songwriting: This is an opportunity to focus on your personal work, a space to write with no agenda, with the expertise of gospel artist Liz Vice and your fellow attendees for collaboration, brainstorming, and sharing.​

Paul Willis nature writing

Walking and Writing in the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Nature Gardens: Hike-ku, anyone?  A feet-on-the-ground writing workshop for lovers of nature in all literary genres.  We will meet in the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve behind the Prince Conference Center and venture into the nature preserve as weather allows.

 

Afternoon Specialty Workshops - 3-5:30pm - $75
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Jill Baumgaertner poetry & publishing Acceptance and Rejection: How a Poetry Editor Decides and What the Poet Can do About It: A workshop led by a poetry editor on how she makes her decisions and on what it takes for a poem to be accepted for publication. We will consider how to discern the successful poem from the not-so-successful, using examples from both published and rejected poems, making workshop members newly ordained editors⁠—and also include tips on how to edit/revise one’s own poems. Bring a poem still in the revising stages, not necessarily to share but to revise further.  
Bob Hudson chapbooks

Chapbook Construction for Poets, Essayists, and Short Story Writers: Learn the art of making your own well-crafted small books at home, with minimal materials and minimal expense. Discover the joy of being able to share your writing without depending on traditional publishers. All materials will be provided, and everyone will help make their own copy of a chapbook. 

Irene Kraegel mindfulness

Christian Mindfulness: Interested in learning more about the practice of mindfulness within a Christian framework? Based on key concepts from The Mindful Christian: Cultivating a Life of Intentionality, Openness, and Faith, author and psychologist Irene Kraegel will provide an overview of Christian mindfulness that is both theoretical and experiential. Participants will leave with an understanding of how, when, and where mindfulness can be practiced in the life of a Christian – as well as with an experience of mindfulness meditation to help usher them into this year’s Festival of Faith & Writing.

 

Afterschool Specialty Workshop - 3:30-6pm - $75
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Gwen & Rylan Vogelzang writing with kids
Storytelling as a Tool for Student Engagement: How do we use the art of storytelling to reach students, create classroom community, and become more fully ourselves? Join us, a mother/son author team, as we guide you through our journey of publishing our first book and learn tools and methods for celebrating all students' journeys and gifts through storytelling, art & collaboration.

 

Evening Craft Workshops - 6-9pm - $100
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Bryan Bliss children's / YA Plot: Not Just A Four Letter Word: Unfortunately, all young adult novels require beginnings, middles, and endings. It's the readers⁠—they're pesky that way. Yet, despite wailing and teeth-gnashing from generations of novelists, setting up a story effectively, carrying the urgency through the middle, and then giving the reader an emotional payoff at the end is not impossible. In fact, anyone can learn how to structure a compelling plot, no matter if you write high fantasy or quiet literary fiction. If you want to think deeply about your current novel's structure, are looking for a strategy to start a new project, or ever thought "plot" was a four-letter word, this workshop is for you.

(And, yeah-yeah, plot IS a four-letter word. But if you're looking at this workshop, you know what I mean. Oh, you know.)
Gayle Boss nature writing

Pique the Mind, Sing to the Soul: Nature Writing Made Whole: The best nature essays are more than mystical rhapsodies on the wild. They’re chock-full of information. Reading them, we learn a lot about turtles, oak trees, glaciers, tuna. And, we’re moved to wonder, love, grief, joy, hope. How do the best nature writers translate the precise, emotion-free language of scientific papers into prose that piques our minds and sings to our souls? How do we do that?

Drawing on examples from Mary Oliver, Scott Russell Sanders, Kathleen Dean Moore, and Carl Safina, as well as my own experience writing All Creation Waits (November 2016, Paraclete Press) and Wild Hope (January 2020, Paraclete Press), I’ll offer workshop participants translation tools. I’ll show how paragraphs of scientific reportage can be translated into language that arouses both curiosity and love—and therefore transforms.

Kenneth Kraegel children's Children's Books: In this workshop, Kenneth will explain his process for writing and illustrating books for children, give a primer on how publishing books for children works, and discuss common pitfalls (artistic, emotional and professional). Bring your questions. If you have a work-in-progress that you would be comfortable being discussed in front of the group - bring it! This will be a fun, relaxed discussion about all that goes into making picture books.
John Wilson book reviews The Making of Book Reviews: Like the book itself, the book review is a great human invention and, at its best, a source of instruction and delight. It is also a job of work, typically underpaid and said to be near extinction. In this workshop, we’ll cover the full range of the subject, from the metaphysical to the mundane (pitching reviews, working with editors, and much more). Suggested reading: (1) George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Confessions of a Book Reviewer,” in Vol. 4 of his Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters; (2) an interview with John Wilson, “The Freedom of the Book Review.”

 

Evening Specialty Workshops - 6:30-9pm - $75
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FACULTY TOPIC WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Daniel Bowman Jr. neurodiversity

Neurodiversity and Creative Writing: Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge professor and director of the university’s Autism Research Centre, recently said in The Guardian that, “…we already encourage [diversity] with gender and ethnicity, but the next frontier is neurodiversity.”

What is neurodiversity? What does the autism spectrum look like from the inside? How is neurodiversity being written about in new novels, memoirs, and other literary works? What should you consider if you’re writing an autistic character? Should you write about your autistic/neurodivergent child? Join us for a robust discussion of these issues and more.

Using a variety of examples from recently published works, autistic writer Daniel Bowman Jr. will lead a workshop on how neurodiversity is being represented in literature for adults and children, and how we can work toward equity and justice. While autistic/neurodivergent participants are happily welcomed, this workshop is for everyone with an interest in the topic!

Sharon Garlough Brown spiritual formation Spiritual Formation Mini-Retreat: The author of the Sensible Shoes book series and Shades of Light, who is also a spiritual director, will offer a spiritual formation mini-retreat. Full description forthcoming.
Callie Feyen & Michelle Kuo teaching & writing Reading & Writing in Community: This workshop is designed for (1) writers of all levels, and (2) teachers who aim to create classrooms where reading and writing are experienced with joy and a sense of connection with others. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, two teacher-writers, the authors of The Teacher Diaries: Romeo and Juliet and Reading with Patrick, will model different ways to generate writing and respond to literature. They will draw upon a range of genres, including picture books, poetry, letters, creative nonfiction, and fiction. For teachers, this workshop will equip them with methods that they can implement immediately in their classrooms. These methods will help teachers reach all learners, and create a sense of community, freedom, and empathy. For writers, this workshop will include in-class exercises designed to plant seeds for new writing and stimulate new ideas. For everyone, it will offer multiple ways in to explore both the stories we read, and the stories we will write.

  

Participant Cap
The number of participants for each workshop is limited to ensure a valuable, personal workshop experience. Workshop spaces are allotted on a first come, first served basis with payment; if your selected workshop is full, you will be automatically waitlisted and notified if a spot opens up.

Festival Schedule​
All workshops in 2020 will take place on Wednesday, April 15, and do not conflict with any Festival events. Workshop participants are not required to attend Festival in the days that follow (April 16-18); however, workshop participants do qualify for the reduced Festival registration Group Rate. For more information about registration rates and to register for Festival 2020, click here. To view the schedule for the 2020 Festival of Faith & Writing, click here.