Upcoming Classes & Retreats

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

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.

September 8: Courage and Truth-telling.  “Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth,” Audre Lorde wrote, “and that is not speaking.”  Memoir writing is essentially truth-telling.  We’ll learn techniques to facilitate courageous honesty on the page—and in life.

October 13: Mysticism.  Mystical experiences confound us.  We’ll explore literary tricks that help us receive, integrate, recreate, and see the broader context of these encounters with the Ultimate Other.

November 10: Holy Sexuality.  We’ll venture into the realm of sexuality—desire, identity, energy, relationship, pain, pleasure—as a holy, life-giving source.  What do sexual experiences teach us about divine movement?  How can we write these with gentleness, honesty, and reverence?

December 8: The World Boiled Down to a Drop.  Zora Neale Hurston wrote of one character,“She was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.”  We’ll explore the holographic nature of memoir:  Our small stories contain big truths. How can we reconstitute memories on the page so they hold both the vast universe and our beloved particulars?

Cost: $150.00 for the series; $30.00 for single session

Register: Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality

Second Fridays | 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Ongoing:  Book Binders Salon

What purpose binds your book to the wider world? As writers, we participate in public discourse; we are, or want to be, the story-makers and spokespeople of our times. What does this mean? What responsibilities does it entail? How can we take on this mantle with care and intention? How can we honor the deeply private impulses that drive us to write, and create stories that address our society’s tremendous needs?

Join Elizabeth for a monthly collegial gathering to discuss how our private, creative work might more effectively bring about cultural change. Our two hours together will include a bit of social time, wine, cheese, and tea, and a facilitated conversation on a topic such as:

  • What’s the connection between your creative process and personal growth?  What might this teach us about change-making in society?
  • How does our writing contribute to the ethical formation of our times?
  • What role does love play in your writing process?  In the relationship between your work and the reader?  What role does or should love play in literature?

Elizabeth will post the topic and quotations for reflection a week prior. This salon is for writers of any genre with an established writing practice and a book or project well underway, with the intention of publication.  We will not “workshop” writing.  Our time together is meant to provide the community support and collegial rigor writers need to discover their work’s larger purpose.

When:  7-9 p.m., first Tuesday of the month.
Where:  4500 Bloomington Ave. S., #102, Minneapolis.
Cost:  $22 per evening; $120 for six evenings.
To Register:  Contact Elizabeth.

Alone Together: Living Revision
Writing retreat at the Madeline Island School of the Arts.

In the messy middle of a project, writers need three things:  tools for getting perspective, support from peers, and time to write.  This retreat for creative prose writers offers all three—as well as a beautiful, focused space.

Each day we’ll spend 2 ½ hours together learning a life-giving relationship to revision and using exercises to gain clarity and direction for our projects.  We’ll have a chance to connect informally with other serious writers during lunches and small-group conversations.  Participants can choose to meet one-on-one with Elizabeth regarding up to 40 pages of their project.  The bulk of our days will be given to independent writing.

This intensive is for writers of creative prose (fiction and creative nonfiction—that is, memoir, personal essay, travel writing, nature writing, and literary journalism) who are experienced with long stretches of solitary writing time.  If you’re uncertain whether your project qualifies as creative prose, please contact Elizabeth.  Participants must have experience in creative writing classes, have already learned the basics of creating scenes and developing characters (showing vs. telling), have some experience giving and receiving feedback, and be committed to moving their project through multiple revisions.

When: October 2-6, 2017
Register: Alone Together: Revision Revolution

Save the date: September 24-28, 2018