• Princeton Theological Seminary
    Princeton, NJ
    June 6-9, 2017

Keynote Speakers

  • Anne Lamott
  • Diana Butler Bass
  • Makoto Fujimura

Workshop Leaders

  • Sophfronia Scott
  • Jeff Munroe
  • Sarah Bessey
  • Johnathon Merritt
  • Greg Wolfe
  • Vinita Hampton Wright
  • Mihee Kim-Kort
  • Jeff Crosby
  • Frank Thomas
  • Rachel Hauck
  • Andrew Peterson
  • Jim Houston
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AUTHORS
0
PUBLISHERS
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KEYNOTES
0
WORKSHOPS
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ADVANCED WRITER'S WORKSHOP

Schedule

1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION
MACKAY LOBBY


4:00 p.m.
OPENING WORSHIP
Preacher: Nancy Lammers Gross
MILLER CHAPEL


5:00 p.m.- 5:45 p.m.
RECEPTION
OUTSIDE MACKAY


5:45 pm- 7:00 p.m.
DINNER
MACKAY DINING


7:15 p.m.-8:15p.m.
GENERAL SESSION 1
Anne Lamott
MILLER CHAPEL


8:15 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
BOOK SIGNING WITH ANNE LAMOTT
MACKAY DINING ROOM


8:45 a.m.- 9:45 a.m.
GENERAL SESSION 2
Diana Butler Bass
MILLER CHAPEL


9:45 am.-10:15 a.m.
BREAK


10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
SEMINAR A

  • Sending Out the Work: On the Mysteries of Getting Published (Greg Wolfe)
  • Terrible First Drafts: The Necessity of Failure for Creativity (Mihee Kim-Kort)
  • A Guy Named Fred (Jeff Munroe)
  • Wait, Where’s My Cabin in the Woods? (Sarah Bessey)
  • Writing from Life’s Experiences (Jim Houston)
STUART HALL


12:00 pm
WORSHIP
MILLER CHAPEL


12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
LUNCH
MACKAY DINING ROOM


2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
SEMINAR B

  • Listening to Your Life: The Backstory Behind the Sermon (Frank Thomas)
  • Sending Out the Work: On the Mysteries of Getting Published (Greg Wolfe)
  • Grateful: Structure and Story (Diana Butler Bass)
  • The Art of Memoir (Sophfronia Scott)
  • Discovering Grace: “Listening to Your Life” (Andrew Peterson)
STUART HALL


3:30 p.m.
FREE TIME &
EDITOR/AUTHOR MEETINGS


5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
DINNER
MACKAY DINING


7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
OPEN MIC NIGHT

8:45 a.m.- 9:45 a.m.
GENERAL SESSION 3
Diana Butler Bass
MILLER CHAPEL


9:45 am.-10:15 a.m.
BREAK & BOOK SINGING WITH
DIANA BUTLER BASS


10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
SEMINAR C

  • Wait, Where’s My Cabin in the Woods? (Sarah Bessey)
  • Terrible First Drafts: The Necessity of Failure for Creativity (Mihee Kim-Kort)
  • A Guy Named Fred (Jeff Munroe)
  • The Story Equation (Rachel Hauck)
  • Publishing for Spiritual Formation in the 21st Century (Jeff Crosby)
  • Discovering Grace: “Listening to Your Life” (Andrew Peterson)
STUART HALL


12:00 pm
WORSHIP
MILLER CHAPEL


12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
LUNCH
MCKAY DINING ROOM


2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
SEMINAR D

  • Consider the Lilies (Makoto Fujimura)
  • Creativity and Commerce: Writing Spirituality for an Audience (Vinita Hampton Wright)
  • How to Become a Power Blogger (Jonathan Merritt)
  • Listening to Your Life: The Backstory Behind the Sermon (Frank Thomas)
  • Writing from Life’s Experiences (Jim Houston)
STUART HALL


3:30 p.m.
FREE TIME &
EDITOR/AUTHOR MEETINGS


5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
RECEPTION for PTS ALUMNI


FREE TIME
DINNER ON YOUR OWN

8:45 a.m.- 10:15 a.m.
SEMINAR E

  • The Art of Memoir (Sophfronia Scott)
  • Creative Experience and Spiritual Realities (Vinita Hampton Wright)
  • How to Become a Power Blogger (Jonathan Merritt)
  • The Writer and God (Rachel Hauck)
  • Publishing for Spiritual Formation in the 21st Century (Jeff Crosby)
STUART HALL


10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
BREAK


10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
GENERAL SESSION 4
Makoto Fujimura
MILLER CHAPEL

 
Register Now

Cost: $379

Registration Includes:
 

Engaging Seminars

Compelling Keynotes

One-on-one Session

Open Mic Night

Two Lunches

Two Dinners

One Reception

Coffee & Snack Breaks

 

NOTE: Lodging, transportation, & breakfasts are NOT included.

Advanced Writer’s Workshop
rate includes:

Cost: $199


Learn More
 

Lodging

  • Clarion, Palmer Inn
  • Hodge Hall, Princeton Theological Seminary

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Advanced Writer's Workshop

Includes:

  • Pre-event Lunch
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Three Exclusive Sessions
  • Brand Development Coaching

The Advanced Writers Workshop is for seasoned writers who are interested in taking their writing to the next level. Under the leadership of Jonathan Merritt, the class will begin with a pre-conference lunch on Tuesday June 6 and will meet daily in the afternoons for three sessions total. Meetings will not conflict with other seminars. Topics will include establishing healthy writing habits, clarifying your “brand,” and developing and maintaining your publishing “platform.” Networking with other writers and industry professionals will be a key component, including group meals and other opportunities. Participation in the advanced offering is by application. Only those registered for the Buechner Writers Workshop may apply and participate. To apply, first register for the Buechner Writers Workshop. A link to the online application for the Advanced Writers Workshop will be included in your confirmation email. Applicants will receive notice of their status in the program on or by March 31, 2017.  Space is limited so please register and apply early.

Close

x

Jim Houston

houston220
Writing from Life’s Experiences: A Chart of One’s Soul Journey 

This seminar acts as a soul guide for others to understand themselves before God. It will help participants know themselves and others more wisely, in pursuit of Christian maturity “in Christ”. It calls for a revision of theology, in being intrinsically “Child Theology”.


Born in 1922, Jim Houston has written and edited over 45 books in History of ideas, historical and cross-cultural stories, and in Spiritual Theology. His popular novels include I Believe in the Creator, Transforming Friendship: A Guide to Prayer, The Mentored Life and Joyous Exiles.

Close

x

Anne Lamott

As the best-selling author of Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions, and Plan B, Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor – she is laugh-out-loud funny – and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice.

Close

x

Diana Butler Bass

Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., is an award winning author of nine books on faith and spirituality in America, including her most recent, Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution that received both the Nautilus Award and the Book of the Year from the Religion News Association. She has been a college professor, a weekly columnist for the New York Times syndicate, is a popular conference speaker. She currently writes on religion for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post and is the founder – along with CNN analyst David Gregory – of Divinum, a spiritual “think tank” in Washington, DC. Her next book, Deeply Grateful, releases March 2018 from HarperOne.

Close

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Makoto Fujimura

Makoto Fujimura is the Artist Director at the Brehm Center at Fuller Seminary. He has also published two books titled Culture Care (IV Press) and Silence and Beauty (IV Press).

Close

x

Sophfronia Scott

sophronia-scott

The Art of Memoir

The decision to write memoir can be both exhilarating and paralyzing. You know your story has value but all you can see are the obstacles ahead. This workshop will gently guide you through a process to help you grasp the story you want to tell and shape it into a page-turner readers will want to read. You’ll learn how to develop scenes, communicate voice, and put fully formed personality into your work. You’ll also learn how to be a researcher of your own life to help you round out the facts or find vital missing pieces.


Sophfronia Scott holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She started her career writing and editing for Time and People magazines and now teaches creative writing at Regis University’s Mile High MFA, as well as Fairfield University and the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio. Her forthcoming novel, The Light Lives Here, will be published by William Morrow in September 2017. She also has an essay collection, Love’s Long Line Alone, forthcoming from Ohio State University Press, and a spiritual memoir, A Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Being in a Secular World, co-written with her son, being published by Paraclete Press. Her website is www.Sophfronia.com.

Close

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Jeff Munroe

jeff-munroe

A Guy Named Fred

This workshop will provide a biographical sketch of Frederick Buechner and also give an introduction to the work of the author many consider the finest Christian writer of the last half of the 20th Century. Frederick Buechner has written over 30 books in several genres including novels, memoirs, popular theology, and sermons. Attendees will be delighted and inspired by examining the life and work of “A Guy Named Fred.”


Jeff Munroe is Vice President of Operations and Advancement of Western Theological Seminary and a certified Frederick Buechner fan. He was an original member of the Buechner Institute Advisory Board and has spoken often about Buechner’s life and work.

 

Close

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Sarah Bessey

sarah-bessey-photo

Wait, Where’s My Cabin in the Woods? Finding the Time, Energy and Inspiration to Write When your Life is Demanding

The myth of the solitary writer in the woods is an appealing one: who wouldn’t love uninterrupted time to create far from noise or demands or bills to pay? But the truth is that most of us are writing in the midst of a full and demanding life – jobs, kids, school, budgets, community, and family (never mind a mild obsession with Doctor Who). Join author/speaker/mother of tinies Sarah Bessey for an honest exploration of why it is important for we cabin-less writers to create as well as how to find the time, energy, and inspiration for writing even if – or especially when – conditions aren’t necessarily ideal.


Sarah Bessey is the author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith. She is a sought-after speaker for churches, schools, and conferences across North America. Sarah is also an award-winning blogger. She has also contributed to the NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World; Mother Letters: Sharing the Laughter, Joy, Struggles, and Hope; Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption; andWhat a Woman is Worth. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The High Calling, Conversations Journal, ChurchLeaders.com, CT Women: Christianity Today’s Blog for Women, Today’s Christian Woman, and she has commented on religion for The Atlantic, The Christian Post, Christianity Today, The National Post, and The Washington Post among others. Her most recent book, Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith, leaves the light on for those who are wandering and wondering in their faith. Her new book will be published by Howard Books in March 2018. Sarah also serves on the board of Help One Now. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their four children.

Close

x

Johnathon Merritt

merritt_new

How to Become a Power Blogger

Jonathan Merritt decided to get serious about blogging in February 2003. In one year, his blog skyrocketed to more than 100,000 monthly pageviews. Today, his online articles attract more than 2.5 million annual readers. In this workshop, he’ll share the three ingredients to his simple “blogging secret sauce”: frequency, intentionality, consistency. Also included in this session are tips for creating irresistible headlines, developing a winning promotional strategy, and crafting killer content.

 

Advanced Writer’s Workshop

The Advanced Writers Workshop is for seasoned writers who are interested in taking their writing to the next level. Under the leadership of Jonathan Merritt, the class will begin with a pre-conference lunch on Tuesday June 6 and will meet daily in the afternoons for three sessions total. Meetings will not conflict with other seminars. Topics will include establishing healthy writing habits, clarifying your “brand,” and developing and maintaining your publishing “platform.” Networking with other writers and industry professionals will be a key component, including group meals and other opportunities. Participation in the advanced offering is by application. Only those registered for the Buechner Writers Workshop may apply and participate. To apply, first register for the Buechner Writers Workshop. A link to the online application for the Advanced Writers Workshop will be included in your confirmation email. Applicants will receive notice of their status in the program on or by March 31, 2017.  Space is limited so please register and apply early.


Jonathan Merritt is an award-winning writer on religion, culture, and politics. Jonathan is author of three critically-acclaimed books, including Jesus is Better Than You Imagined and A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars. He has collaborated on or ghostwritten more than 25 additional books, with several titles landing on the New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. Jonathan holds a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

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Greg Wolfe

wolfe220

Sending Out the Work: On the Mysteries of Getting Published

In this workshop we’ll discuss the often daunting and bewildering process of submitting your writing to journals, magazines, contests, and websites. Issues we’ll touch upon will include researching where to submit, drafting cover letters, understanding the pros and cons of contests, and how editors and designated readers approach submitted material. Along the way we’ll talk about the emotional and practical challenges facing those who want to send their work out into the world.


Gregory Wolfe, the founder and editor of Image—one of America’s leading quarterly journals—is currently Senior Fellow at the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at Seattle University. He edits a literary imprint, Slant Books, through Wipf & Stock Publishers. He served as the founding director of the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing program. Wolfe’s books include Beauty Will Save the World, Intruding Upon the Timeless, and, most recently, The Operation of Grace. Follow him on Twitter: @Gregory_Wolfe.

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Vinita Hampton Wright

wright220

Creativity and Commerce: Writing Spirituality for an Audience

An exploration of what it takes to turn personal spiritual understanding into helpful and effective published material. Wright will combine short lecture with group discussion and writing exercises.

 

Creative Experience and Spiritual Realities

What is the creative process, and how does it relate to the spiritual life? Wright will combine short lecture with group discussion and writing/prayer exercises.


Vinita Hampton Wright has been a book editor in the religion market for 26 years, serving as editor for Loyola Press for 19 years. She’s an author of fiction (Dwelling Places, HarperOne) and nonfiction, (The Soul Tells a Story, IVP; The Art of Spiritual Writing, Loyola Press). Wright presents workshops and retreats on writing, creativity, prayer, and Ignatian spirituality. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

 

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Mihee Kim-Kort

mkk-headshot-220

Terrible First Drafts: The Necessity of Failure for Creativity

Anne Lamott writes those familiar words about terrible first drafts in Bird by Bird: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper.” The angst and paralysis many writers feel at the beginning of writing – it is a good and healthy thing! This workshop will talk about how to frame the spiritual and emotional necessity of failure in the creative process. We will also look at practices and resources to help us work courageously through that first draft and on to the second, third, and more drafts whether for blogs, articles/essays, or books.


Mihee Kim-Kort is an ordained minister in the PCUSA serving as the Director of Collegiate Ministries for UKIRK at Indiana University. Besides being a wife to another Presbyterian minister and mother to three children, she facilitates local ecumenical and interfaith efforts around justice issues, spirituality and activism, she serves on regional and national boards for her denomination, and she speaks and preaches regularly at faith events. She is the author of Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian American Feminist Theology, editor and contributor of Streams Run Uphill: Conversations with Clergy Women of Color, and coauthor of Yoked: Stories of a Clergy Couple in Marriage, Family, and Ministry. Her writing can be found in other books as well as in the Huffington Post, Time, Christian Century, Sojourners, ON Scripture, and on her website: www.miheekimkort.com.

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Jeff Crosby

crosby-220

Publishing for Spiritual Formation in the 21st Century

The publisher of bestselling spirituality authors including Richard J. Foster, Albert Haase, James Bryan Smith, Ruth Haley Barton, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile explores the landscape of publishing in spiritual formation/spirituality and how to craft and sell a proposal to the right publisher. In addition to gaining a view of the publishing process, attendees will become aware of the ways in which the discipline of writing is a part of their own spiritual journey.


Jeff Crosby is an organizational strategist and book geek who loves connecting authors and their ideas to thoughtful, engaged readers throughout the world. He is Publisher at InterVarsity Press, a Chicago-area company where he has worked since January of 1998. Previously, he was executive director of the Association of Logos Bookstores and served as vice president of sales with Ingram Book Company in Nashville, Tennessee. His writing has appeared in Books & Culture, Conversations Journal, Marriage Partnership, Englewood Review of Books, and book industry trade journals including Publishers Weekly. He is the editor and compiler of Days of Grace Through the Year, a collection of meditations drawn from the work of Lewis B. Smedes, published in 2007.

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Frank Thomas

frank_thomas220
Listening to Your Life: The Backstory Behind the Sermon

This workshop helps develop an understanding that every sermon has a backstory. Much like an iceberg, where the largest part of the iceberg is underwater, so it is with the sermon. The sermon is the tip of the iceberg, and what is underwater and unseen is a huge mass of feeling, depth, and passion. Not that every sermon has to expose the backstory to the audience, but it is very instructive to the preacher to hear themselves and how the Biblical text intersects with their deepest thoughts and feelings. The preacher will discover where the text speaks to their lives even as they speak the text to the audience. An awareness of how the text speaks to the preacher’s life helps to keep the preacher maintain an authentic relationship with God even as the preacher preaches.


Frank A. Thomas, PhD, currently serves as the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. Adept in preaching method, a revised and updated version of They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching was released in August 2013, considered by many to be a classic. While he is equipped to coach in corporate, executive, business, life, personal, or group settings, he is most passionate about enabling pastors and pastor’s spouses, as well as coaching in the area of preaching.

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Rachel Hauck

hauck220
The Story Equation: Taking the “What?” and “Why?” of Storytelling and Turning It into “How.”

This class will focus on building blocks to create a powerful, interlinked internal and external journey, story tension, and the ultimate epiphany and change of the protagonist. This class is for plotters and pantsers as well as beginning and experienced writers. Techniques can be applied to memoirs and non-fiction.


The Writer and God
What does the Christian writer’s life look like? How do we write with and for Him? Is it important to reach those who do not know God? This class will talk about the daily disciplines and how the external world impacts the internal life of the writer. The class will address personal and practical application and experience.


Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in central Florida with her husband, a pastor. A graduate of Ohio State University, she is an avid Buckeyes football fan. She serves the writing community as a mentor and speaker, also as a member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers.

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Andrew Peterson

Discovering Grace: “Listening to Your Life” (Andrew Peterson)

Andrew will share about the influence Frederick Buechner’s writing has had on his own work, and will discuss the discipline of “listening to your life,” one of the main themes of Buechner’s work. The creative process is one of the chief ways we discover who we are, what we think, and, most importantly, the intimate and gracious work of God in our lives. Andrew will share examples from his songwriting and his novels when he was ambushed by the realization that when we take the time to pay attention to the narrative of our lives we discover the presence of grace.


For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville where music is an industry in the same way fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries, Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and creating instead a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy and integrity, and that are, at the end of the day, part of a real, ongoing, human conversation.

Andrew is also the award-winning author of The Wingfeather Saga, a four-book fantasy adventure series for young people, described as The Princess Bride meets The Lord of the Rings. The books are currently being produced as an animated film, which is terribly, wonderfully, indubitably exciting.

 

Close

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Jim Houston

houston220
Writing from Life’s Experiences: A Chart of One’s Soul Journey 

This seminar acts as a soul guide for others to understand themselves before God. It will help participants know themselves and others more wisely, in pursuit of Christian maturity “in Christ”. It calls for a revision of theology, in being intrinsically “Child Theology”.


Born in 1922, Jim Houston has written and edited over 45 books in History of ideas, historical and cross-cultural stories, and in Spiritual Theology. His popular novels include I Believe in the Creator, Transforming Friendship: A Guide to Prayer, The Mentored Life and Joyous Exiles.

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Clarion, Palmer Inn

Reserve off campus lodging by calling 609.452.2500 and using lodging code 2847903 or reserve online here.

Rooms cost $82.99 per night and breakfast is provided.
NOTE: Ground transportation to and from campus is NOT provided.

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Hodge Hall, Princeton Theological Seminary

hodgehall

For on campus room reservations, please call the front desk at 609.497.7990.

Campus dormitory rooms cost $47 per night
Single room with twin bed and common bathroom
Breakfast not included, but may be purchased in Mackay Campus Center

*Please note that Hodge Hall is not handicap accessible or conducive to anyone with mobility issues as there is no elevator in the building.

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Advanced Writer's Workshop

Includes:

  • Pre-event Lunch
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Three Exclusive Sessions
  • Brand Development Coaching

The Advanced Writers Workshop is for seasoned writers who are interested in taking their writing to the next level. Under the leadership of Jonathan Merritt, the class will begin with a pre-conference lunch on Tuesday June 6 and will meet daily in the afternoons for three sessions total. Meetings will not conflict with other seminars. Topics will include establishing healthy writing habits, clarifying your “brand,” and developing and maintaining your publishing “platform.” Networking with other writers and industry professionals will be a key component, including group meals and other opportunities. Participation in the advanced offering is by application. Only those registered for the Buechner Writers Workshop may apply and participate. To apply, first register for the Buechner Writers Workshop. A link to the online application for the Advanced Writers Workshop will be included in your confirmation email. Applicants will receive notice of their status in the program on or by March 31, 2017.  Space is limited so please register and apply early.

Close

x

Jim Houston

houston220
Writing from Life’s Experiences: A Chart of One’s Soul Journey 

This seminar acts as a soul guide for others to understand themselves before God. It will help participants know themselves and others more wisely, in pursuit of Christian maturity “in Christ”. It calls for a revision of theology, in being intrinsically “Child Theology”.


Born in 1922, Jim Houston has written and edited over 45 books in History of ideas, historical and cross-cultural stories, and in Spiritual Theology. His popular novels include I Believe in the Creator, Transforming Friendship: A Guide to Prayer, The Mentored Life and Joyous Exiles.

Close

x

Anne Lamott

As the best-selling author of Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions, and Plan B, Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor – she is laugh-out-loud funny – and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice.

Close

x

Diana Butler Bass

Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., is an award winning author of nine books on faith and spirituality in America, including her most recent, Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution that received both the Nautilus Award and the Book of the Year from the Religion News Association. She has been a college professor, a weekly columnist for the New York Times syndicate, is a popular conference speaker. She currently writes on religion for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post and is the founder – along with CNN analyst David Gregory – of Divinum, a spiritual “think tank” in Washington, DC. Her next book, Deeply Grateful, releases March 2018 from HarperOne.

Close

x

Makoto Fujimura

Makoto Fujimura is the Artist Director at the Brehm Center at Fuller Seminary. He has also published two books titled Culture Care (IV Press) and Silence and Beauty (IV Press).

Close

x

Sophfronia Scott

sophronia-scott

The Art of Memoir

The decision to write memoir can be both exhilarating and paralyzing. You know your story has value but all you can see are the obstacles ahead. This workshop will gently guide you through a process to help you grasp the story you want to tell and shape it into a page-turner readers will want to read. You’ll learn how to develop scenes, communicate voice, and put fully formed personality into your work. You’ll also learn how to be a researcher of your own life to help you round out the facts or find vital missing pieces.


Sophfronia Scott holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She started her career writing and editing for Time and People magazines and now teaches creative writing at Regis University’s Mile High MFA, as well as Fairfield University and the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio. Her forthcoming novel, The Light Lives Here, will be published by William Morrow in September 2017. She also has an essay collection, Love’s Long Line Alone, forthcoming from Ohio State University Press, and a spiritual memoir, A Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Being in a Secular World, co-written with her son, being published by Paraclete Press. Her website is www.Sophfronia.com.

Close

x

Jeff Munroe

jeff-munroe

A Guy Named Fred

This workshop will provide a biographical sketch of Frederick Buechner and also give an introduction to the work of the author many consider the finest Christian writer of the last half of the 20th Century. Frederick Buechner has written over 30 books in several genres including novels, memoirs, popular theology, and sermons. Attendees will be delighted and inspired by examining the life and work of “A Guy Named Fred.”


Jeff Munroe is Vice President of Operations and Advancement of Western Theological Seminary and a certified Frederick Buechner fan. He was an original member of the Buechner Institute Advisory Board and has spoken often about Buechner’s life and work.

 

Close

x

Sarah Bessey

sarah-bessey-photo

Wait, Where’s My Cabin in the Woods? Finding the Time, Energy and Inspiration to Write When your Life is Demanding

The myth of the solitary writer in the woods is an appealing one: who wouldn’t love uninterrupted time to create far from noise or demands or bills to pay? But the truth is that most of us are writing in the midst of a full and demanding life – jobs, kids, school, budgets, community, and family (never mind a mild obsession with Doctor Who). Join author/speaker/mother of tinies Sarah Bessey for an honest exploration of why it is important for we cabin-less writers to create as well as how to find the time, energy, and inspiration for writing even if – or especially when – conditions aren’t necessarily ideal.


Sarah Bessey is the author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith. She is a sought-after speaker for churches, schools, and conferences across North America. Sarah is also an award-winning blogger. She has also contributed to the NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World; Mother Letters: Sharing the Laughter, Joy, Struggles, and Hope; Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption; andWhat a Woman is Worth. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The High Calling, Conversations Journal, ChurchLeaders.com, CT Women: Christianity Today’s Blog for Women, Today’s Christian Woman, and she has commented on religion for The Atlantic, The Christian Post, Christianity Today, The National Post, and The Washington Post among others. Her most recent book, Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith, leaves the light on for those who are wandering and wondering in their faith. Her new book will be published by Howard Books in March 2018. Sarah also serves on the board of Help One Now. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their four children.

Close

x

Johnathon Merritt

merritt_new

How to Become a Power Blogger

Jonathan Merritt decided to get serious about blogging in February 2003. In one year, his blog skyrocketed to more than 100,000 monthly pageviews. Today, his online articles attract more than 2.5 million annual readers. In this workshop, he’ll share the three ingredients to his simple “blogging secret sauce”: frequency, intentionality, consistency. Also included in this session are tips for creating irresistible headlines, developing a winning promotional strategy, and crafting killer content.

 

Advanced Writer’s Workshop

The Advanced Writers Workshop is for seasoned writers who are interested in taking their writing to the next level. Under the leadership of Jonathan Merritt, the class will begin with a pre-conference lunch on Tuesday June 6 and will meet daily in the afternoons for three sessions total. Meetings will not conflict with other seminars. Topics will include establishing healthy writing habits, clarifying your “brand,” and developing and maintaining your publishing “platform.” Networking with other writers and industry professionals will be a key component, including group meals and other opportunities. Participation in the advanced offering is by application. Only those registered for the Buechner Writers Workshop may apply and participate. To apply, first register for the Buechner Writers Workshop. A link to the online application for the Advanced Writers Workshop will be included in your confirmation email. Applicants will receive notice of their status in the program on or by March 31, 2017.  Space is limited so please register and apply early.


Jonathan Merritt is an award-winning writer on religion, culture, and politics. Jonathan is author of three critically-acclaimed books, including Jesus is Better Than You Imagined and A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars. He has collaborated on or ghostwritten more than 25 additional books, with several titles landing on the New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. Jonathan holds a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

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Greg Wolfe

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Sending Out the Work: On the Mysteries of Getting Published

In this workshop we’ll discuss the often daunting and bewildering process of submitting your writing to journals, magazines, contests, and websites. Issues we’ll touch upon will include researching where to submit, drafting cover letters, understanding the pros and cons of contests, and how editors and designated readers approach submitted material. Along the way we’ll talk about the emotional and practical challenges facing those who want to send their work out into the world.


Gregory Wolfe, the founder and editor of Image—one of America’s leading quarterly journals—is currently Senior Fellow at the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at Seattle University. He edits a literary imprint, Slant Books, through Wipf & Stock Publishers. He served as the founding director of the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing program. Wolfe’s books include Beauty Will Save the World, Intruding Upon the Timeless, and, most recently, The Operation of Grace. Follow him on Twitter: @Gregory_Wolfe.

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Vinita Hampton Wright

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Creativity and Commerce: Writing Spirituality for an Audience

An exploration of what it takes to turn personal spiritual understanding into helpful and effective published material. Wright will combine short lecture with group discussion and writing exercises.

 

Creative Experience and Spiritual Realities

What is the creative process, and how does it relate to the spiritual life? Wright will combine short lecture with group discussion and writing/prayer exercises.


Vinita Hampton Wright has been a book editor in the religion market for 26 years, serving as editor for Loyola Press for 19 years. She’s an author of fiction (Dwelling Places, HarperOne) and nonfiction, (The Soul Tells a Story, IVP; The Art of Spiritual Writing, Loyola Press). Wright presents workshops and retreats on writing, creativity, prayer, and Ignatian spirituality. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

 

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Mihee Kim-Kort

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Terrible First Drafts: The Necessity of Failure for Creativity

Anne Lamott writes those familiar words about terrible first drafts in Bird by Bird: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper.” The angst and paralysis many writers feel at the beginning of writing – it is a good and healthy thing! This workshop will talk about how to frame the spiritual and emotional necessity of failure in the creative process. We will also look at practices and resources to help us work courageously through that first draft and on to the second, third, and more drafts whether for blogs, articles/essays, or books.


Mihee Kim-Kort is an ordained minister in the PCUSA serving as the Director of Collegiate Ministries for UKIRK at Indiana University. Besides being a wife to another Presbyterian minister and mother to three children, she facilitates local ecumenical and interfaith efforts around justice issues, spirituality and activism, she serves on regional and national boards for her denomination, and she speaks and preaches regularly at faith events. She is the author of Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian American Feminist Theology, editor and contributor of Streams Run Uphill: Conversations with Clergy Women of Color, and coauthor of Yoked: Stories of a Clergy Couple in Marriage, Family, and Ministry. Her writing can be found in other books as well as in the Huffington Post, Time, Christian Century, Sojourners, ON Scripture, and on her website: www.miheekimkort.com.

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Jeff Crosby

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Publishing for Spiritual Formation in the 21st Century

The publisher of bestselling spirituality authors including Richard J. Foster, Albert Haase, James Bryan Smith, Ruth Haley Barton, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile explores the landscape of publishing in spiritual formation/spirituality and how to craft and sell a proposal to the right publisher. In addition to gaining a view of the publishing process, attendees will become aware of the ways in which the discipline of writing is a part of their own spiritual journey.


Jeff Crosby is an organizational strategist and book geek who loves connecting authors and their ideas to thoughtful, engaged readers throughout the world. He is Publisher at InterVarsity Press, a Chicago-area company where he has worked since January of 1998. Previously, he was executive director of the Association of Logos Bookstores and served as vice president of sales with Ingram Book Company in Nashville, Tennessee. His writing has appeared in Books & Culture, Conversations Journal, Marriage Partnership, Englewood Review of Books, and book industry trade journals including Publishers Weekly. He is the editor and compiler of Days of Grace Through the Year, a collection of meditations drawn from the work of Lewis B. Smedes, published in 2007.

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Frank Thomas

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Listening to Your Life: The Backstory Behind the Sermon

This workshop helps develop an understanding that every sermon has a backstory. Much like an iceberg, where the largest part of the iceberg is underwater, so it is with the sermon. The sermon is the tip of the iceberg, and what is underwater and unseen is a huge mass of feeling, depth, and passion. Not that every sermon has to expose the backstory to the audience, but it is very instructive to the preacher to hear themselves and how the Biblical text intersects with their deepest thoughts and feelings. The preacher will discover where the text speaks to their lives even as they speak the text to the audience. An awareness of how the text speaks to the preacher’s life helps to keep the preacher maintain an authentic relationship with God even as the preacher preaches.


Frank A. Thomas, PhD, currently serves as the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. Adept in preaching method, a revised and updated version of They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching was released in August 2013, considered by many to be a classic. While he is equipped to coach in corporate, executive, business, life, personal, or group settings, he is most passionate about enabling pastors and pastor’s spouses, as well as coaching in the area of preaching.

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Rachel Hauck

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The Story Equation: Taking the “What?” and “Why?” of Storytelling and Turning It into “How.”

This class will focus on building blocks to create a powerful, interlinked internal and external journey, story tension, and the ultimate epiphany and change of the protagonist. This class is for plotters and pantsers as well as beginning and experienced writers. Techniques can be applied to memoirs and non-fiction.


The Writer and God
What does the Christian writer’s life look like? How do we write with and for Him? Is it important to reach those who do not know God? This class will talk about the daily disciplines and how the external world impacts the internal life of the writer. The class will address personal and practical application and experience.


Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in central Florida with her husband, a pastor. A graduate of Ohio State University, she is an avid Buckeyes football fan. She serves the writing community as a mentor and speaker, also as a member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers.

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Andrew Peterson

Discovering Grace: “Listening to Your Life” (Andrew Peterson)

Andrew will share about the influence Frederick Buechner’s writing has had on his own work, and will discuss the discipline of “listening to your life,” one of the main themes of Buechner’s work. The creative process is one of the chief ways we discover who we are, what we think, and, most importantly, the intimate and gracious work of God in our lives. Andrew will share examples from his songwriting and his novels when he was ambushed by the realization that when we take the time to pay attention to the narrative of our lives we discover the presence of grace.


For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville where music is an industry in the same way fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries, Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and creating instead a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy and integrity, and that are, at the end of the day, part of a real, ongoing, human conversation.

Andrew is also the award-winning author of The Wingfeather Saga, a four-book fantasy adventure series for young people, described as The Princess Bride meets The Lord of the Rings. The books are currently being produced as an animated film, which is terribly, wonderfully, indubitably exciting.

 

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Jim Houston

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Writing from Life’s Experiences: A Chart of One’s Soul Journey 

This seminar acts as a soul guide for others to understand themselves before God. It will help participants know themselves and others more wisely, in pursuit of Christian maturity “in Christ”. It calls for a revision of theology, in being intrinsically “Child Theology”.


Born in 1922, Jim Houston has written and edited over 45 books in History of ideas, historical and cross-cultural stories, and in Spiritual Theology. His popular novels include I Believe in the Creator, Transforming Friendship: A Guide to Prayer, The Mentored Life and Joyous Exiles.

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Clarion, Palmer Inn

Reserve off campus lodging by calling 609.452.2500 and using lodging code 2847903 or reserve online here.

Rooms cost $82.99 per night and breakfast is provided.
NOTE: Ground transportation to and from campus is NOT provided.

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Hodge Hall, Princeton Theological Seminary

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For on campus room reservations, please call the front desk at 609.497.7990.

Campus dormitory rooms cost $47 per night
Single room with twin bed and common bathroom
Breakfast not included, but may be purchased in Mackay Campus Center

*Please note that Hodge Hall is not handicap accessible or conducive to anyone with mobility issues as there is no elevator in the building.

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