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In partnership with the Collegeville Institute

This workshop teaches writing as a practice for shifting our narratives to make peace with our stories. When viewed through the lens of judgment or over-identification, the stories we tell about who we are and what shapes us can keep us stuck. In this week, we will use discussion, writing exercises and centering prayer to break open our personal narratives so that we may begin to externalize our stories and experience a deeper compassion for ourselves and those who have loved and failed us. 

Each day will include an hour and a half teaching session to include writing prompts, an hour and a half workshop session, and unstructured time.

Presenter: Donna Johnson

Dates: September 9th-12th, 2019, Monday at 3 pm - Thursday at Noon

Location: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, McCord Community Center,
100 East 27th Street, Austin, 78705

Cost:  $350; Meals and housing included; Limited to 15

Application Required by July 26th, 2019.

Recommended for: faith-inspired writers who seek transformation in the craft of spiritual memoir 


Register Here

Application Instructions

Once approved, you may register for the course.

Please submit the following responses to by July 26th:

1. What interests you about attending this workshop? (250 words or less)

2. Tell us something about yourself. (250 words or less)

3. Did you apply or do you plan to apply for another 2019 Collegeville Institute writing workshop? If so, which one(s)?

4. Have you attended a Collegeville Institute writing workshop in the past?  If so, which one(s)?

5. Writing sample: 10-20 page double-spaced piece of prose memoir.

About the Presenter

Donna M. Johnson is the author of Holy Ghost Girl, a memoir critically acclaimed by the New York Times, O Magazine, Texas Monthly, Beliefnet, NPR’s Interfaith Voices, People and many other publications and blogs. The book was named twice to the Memoirs We Love list and was chosen by Publishers Weekly and The Nervous Breakdown as a Top 10 pick. Holy Ghost Girl took top honors in the Spirituality category at the New York Books for a Better Life Awards and won the Mayborn Creative Nonfiction prize.

Donna’s work has been collected several anthologies including Beyond Belief. She has written about religion, family and culture for Psychology Today, Shambhala Sun, Huffington Post, The Rumpus, the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American Statesman and other publications. She lives in Austin where she teaches writing workshops and is at work on another memoir.

Donna Johnson spent years writing about the mysterious workings of technology, most of which she took on faith. She created, wrote, and produced a radio show called Tech Ranch which said everything that could be said about technology and culture in one minute, five days a week, for too many years.

Through the writing of Holy Ghost Girl Donna found a way to connect the disparate parts of herself. The sight of a gospel tent stretched against an evening sky leaves an ache in her heart, but she no longer flees at the sound of a tambourine. She has been known to tell people she'll pray for them. And she does.

The big questions posed by religion continue to occupy Donna. She has written about matters of faith for the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American Statesman. Donna lives and writes in Austin Texas, where with the help of family and friends, she works at becoming a regular person.

About Collegeville Institute

This event is underwritten with funds from The Collegeville Institute. The Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research seeks to discern the meaning of Christian identity and unity in a religiously and culturally diverse world, and to communicate that meaning for the work of the church and the renewal of human community. It is a place of scholarship, worship, dialogue, and community immersed in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer.

© 2011 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary 100 E. 27th Street Austin, Texas 78705 P 512-472-6736   Contact Us Site MapPhoto Credit: Jody Horton
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