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8-Week Online Spiritual Nonfiction Workshop, starts August 31, 2020
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8-Week Online Spiritual Nonfiction Workshop, starts August 31, 2020

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Begins Monday, August 31, 2020


Writing nonfiction about spirituality, whether your own or other people’s, is so rewarding because it is so challenging. It demands that the writer tell the truth about something elusive and often invisible that nevertheless motivates consequential human actions. But like other nonfiction genres, it rests on a foundation of characters, scenes, and the archives of memory, interviews, objects, and written texts. Whether you are religious or spiritual or neither, this class will help you meet the challenge and write more incisive, more inspiring, and more beautiful essays about religious lives.

Each week, we will analyze classic and contemporary spiritual nonfiction from St. Augustine to Meghan O’Gieblyn, to see how the best writers in this genre deal with self-representation, conflict, structure, and other elements of narrative nonfiction. We will also discuss works of craft and criticism to guide the process of writing your own essays. And, most important, we will practice workshop norms of respectful dialog and critique, with the aim of making everyone’s work better through revision. You will have the opportunity to workshop and get instructor feedback on two pieces, up to 4,000 words each. This class is open to beginning students and more experienced writers alike.

ASSIGNED READING: The instructor will provide links to assigned reading material, so you won't need to buy books for this course.

SCHEDULING NOTE: 8 class sessions are scheduled over 9 weeks with a one-week break after week 5. Class will resume at the start of week 6.

  • Instructor: Jonathan Malesic

  • Class size limited to 8 writers

  • August 31, 2020 - October 2, 2020

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

Instructor Jonathan Malesic’s writing on religion and spirituality has appeared in New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Notre Dame Magazine, America, Commonweal, Plough Quarterly, Religion Dispatches, and elsewhere. His essays have been honored with special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology and listed as notable in Best American Essays. His book, Secret Faith in the Public Square (Brazos Press, 2009) won the gold medal in the religion category in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. He has won grants from the NEH and the Louisville Institute and has participated in residencies at the Collegeville Institute. He has taught at SMU, McCormick Theological Seminary, and King’s College (Pa.), and he holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia. Find him online at

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