Writing for Your Life is hosting informal online panel conversations with authors of faith on second Tuesdays. I’m participating April 14 & May 12 at 7 p.m. CT; feel free to hop on! You can submit your questions ahead of time. I’ll also appear in their series, Reading Hope in Trying Times, conversations with authors about writing through the pandemic, but I’m not sure yet when. It’s worth checking out regardless.

If you’re hunkering down for the duration of the coronavirus, why not reframe this crisis as an opportunity?  I post weekly spiritual memoir writing prompts on my Facebook page and website to get you going.  I’ve also just started a Facebook group for spiritual memoir writers and readers where we’re sharing great titles, dimensions of our writing practice, struggles, celebrations… You’re most welcome to leap in.

Second Fridays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Writing the Sacred Journey: Monthly Sessions at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality
January 10, February 14, March 13, April 10, May 8, and June 12, 2020

Monthly drop-in sessions 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.

March: Writing Trauma, with guest author Susan Power

April: Holy Play

May: Writing about Others

June: Compassion and Revision

Writing for Your Life Spiritual Writer’s Conference
April 27-28, Minneapolis

  • A Life on Fire:  Reading Spiritual Memoir (Monday, April 27, 10:30 a.m.)
    • Bookstores and publishers like to break memoir into subcategories like “travel memoir” and “recovery memoir.”  What few people know is that “spiritual memoir” isn’t a subcategory of memoir; it’s memoir’s predecessor. What is spiritual memoir?  How have memoir’s African Christian origins shaped personal narrative today? How do the stories of others’ inner lives change how we understand what’s sacred?  We’ll hop, skip, and jump through a lineage of great memoirs, landing today at spiritual memoir’s renaissance.
  • Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art & Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Tuesday, April 28, 10 a.m.)
    • Each of us has a sacred story written uniquely for us within our experiences.  When we look for holiness in the details of our memories, when we open ourselves to transformation as we write, and when we craft our stories to engage the inner life of an audience, we venture into spiritual memoir. We will get started with the basics, using writing exercises and examples from master writers.
  • Living Revision (Tuesday, April 28, 3 p.m.)
    • At its core, revision is the work of transformation—of seeing text, and therefore the world, with new eyes.  Done well, revision returns writers to our original love for writing and the subject. The more we’re moved in the writing, the more potential our writing has to move others.  Let’s revise our ideas about revision, exploring it as a form of play, a means of listening, and as our central work as human beings.

Writing as Contemplation: An evening conversation
May 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

In the city fields 
Contemplating cherry-trees…
Strangers are like friends

Contemplation, as the Buddhist priest and poet Issa illustrates, is a field of intimacy, and writing is one entrance. Writers Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew and Kyoko Katayama will share observations about writing as a mindfulness practice and lead us in writing exercises that encourage deep listening, responsive creating, and open-hearted becoming.