Classes

Upcoming Classes & Retreats


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

Monthly drop-in sessions led 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.

April: Characters: Real People in Two Dimensions
*This session is facilitated by Carolyn Holbrook
Our spiritual stories are peopled with family, teachers, friends, lovers, and enemies.  How can we recreate them on the page in a manner that is respectful, multidimensional, and engaging—or, as Diane Glancy says, that moves us “from an objectifying relationship into a relationship with a Sacred Other”?

May: Dialogue
“How can I use dialogue if I don’t remember what was said?” you might ask.  Come find out!  We’ll learn to represent past conversations accurately and honestly within our stories, and practice using memoir writing itself as a dialogue with Mystery.

June: Adding by Subtraction
Something must die before something new can be born—this is what pastor-writer Nadia Bolz-Weber calls spiritual physics. We’ll exercise our “letting go” muscle on the page, directly experiencing death and release as a part of creation.

Register: Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality

Second Fridays | 1:30-3:30 p.m.


Living Revision:  A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice, September 24-28, 2018
Writing retreat at the Madeline Island School of the Arts.

Revision is a practice of transformation—of seeing text, and therefore the world, with new eyes.  Done well, revision returns us to our original love.  This week-long immersion, based on Elizabeth’s latest book, Living Revision, will reframe writing as a spiritual practice.  “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader,” Robert Frost wrote.  How can we continue to open our hearts to surprise through revision?

This retreat will provide writers with three things they need in the messy middle of a project:  tools for seeing with new eyes, support from peers, and time to write.

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 connect informally with one other during lunches and small-group conversations.  The bulk of our days will be given to independent writing. An hour-long one-on-one consultation with Elizabeth is included.  If you would like Elizabeth to review up to 40 pages of your project in anticipation of this consultation, please contact her at Elizabeth (at) spiritualmemoir (dot) com by August 27th.

This retreat is for writers of creative prose (fiction and creative nonfiction—that is, memoir, personal essay, travel writing, nature writing, and literary journalism) who are comfortable with long stretches of solitary writing time.  If you’re uncertain whether your project qualifies as creative prose, please contact Elizabeth. Participants must be committed to moving their project through multiple revisions.

When: September 24-28, 2018
Register: Living Revision