Writing the Spiritual Essay
November 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
An event every week that begins at 12:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until December 15, 2022
Your search for meaning. Describing the indescribable. Your life purpose. Honoring the sacred. Reframing a tragic moment from your life. Whether you are atheist, agnostic, spiritual, mystical, full of faith, full of doubt or some of both – how can we write about the spiritual part of our lives? Finding the words for the spiritual side of your life – or lack thereof – offers the chance for powerful personal growth. In this immersion, we’ll use sections of essays and memoirs to help us dig into elements that make a personal narrative spiritual. What separates this writing from personal, confessional, coming-of-age or quest pieces? We’ll discuss scene, detail, language, pacing, storyline, structure, voice and theme. Writing prompts will be offered each week, and we’ll share work in progress. Writers of all levels and backgrounds are welcome.
Ellen Blum Barish is the author of the spiritual memoir Seven Springs (Shanti Arts, 2021), the essay collection Views from the Home Office Window (Adams Street Publishing, 2007), and a contributor to Chicago Storytellers From Stage to Page (Chicago Story Press, 2020). You can find her personal essays in Tablet, Lilith, Brevity’s Blog, Full Grown People, Literary Mama, and The Chicago Tribune and hear them on Chicago Public Radio. She founded the literary publication Thread, which earned four notables in Best American Essays. Ellen has taught writing at Northwestern University, Chicago-area synagogues, and writer’s studios, including Story Studio Chicago and Lighthouse Lit Fest. She works privately with writers on essay collections and memoir.
All sessions will be recorded and sent to participants. We encourage live attendance for you to get the most out of the experience.