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In partnership with the Collegeville Institute


The Art of Spiritual Memoir: Discovering and Deepening Your Story

Spiritual memoir seeks to approach the presence of the ineffable in our lives. It’s an imaginative quest that can reshape personal history into art as it pushes toward a greater truth. This class will focus on re-discovering and deepening our personal narratives through the craft of writing. We will explore how the use of time, character, symbol, structure and other elements of creative nonfiction turns memory into story.

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 9-12, 2019, Monday at 3 p.m. - 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

Applications are no long being accepted for this workshop.

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

Application Procedure

If you are interested in applying for this workshop, please submit the following responses and a writing sample to by July 26. Once approved you will be sent a link to register for the workshop.

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 to the Memoirs We Love list and took top honors in the Spirituality category at the New York Books for a Better Life Awards. Donna is a Ragdale Fellow and was recently awarded a fellowship to the Lucas Artist Residency in Saratoga, CA.

Donna’s work has been collected in two well-reviewed anthologies, Beyond Belief and Her Texas. She has written about religion, family and culture for the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American Statesman, Psychology Today, Lion’s Roar, Huffington Post and The Rumpus. She is currently at work on a project that combines investigative journalism with personal narrative.

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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