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Academics / Departments & Programs / English / Scriptoria

The Calvin University English Department, along with the English Departments of Aquinas College and Cornerstone University, will be hosting Scriptoria: An Interfaith Writing Workshop, this coming June 19-23, 2023. The idea is to bring together three strong traditions in the Christian faith, and to explore the ways that each tradition brings its understanding of the faith into the task of writing—and by “writing,” we mean writing of all sorts: novels, poems, short stories, personal essays, creative non-fiction, drama, and for all audiences: adult, young adult, children.

In these workshops, we’ll offer industry-level instruction in craft and genre elements. And we’ll explore the ways that our faith traditions inform what we write, how we write, how we see our vocation in the world as a writer, how it is that our awareness of God as creator bears upon our own role as what J. R. R. Tolkien called “sub-creators,” those “who keep the rags of lordship once we owned.”

To that end, we have gathered together writers and teachers and editors to focus on the task of writing intensively for a week, as we gather in community together on all three campuses. We’ll be led by authors such as Virginia Hampton Wright, Gary Schmidt, Elizabeth Vander Lei, Nikki Grimes, Hugh Cook, Patrice Gopo, L. S. Klatt, Robert Hudson, Cynthia Beach, and more.

We’ll start each day with a small group gathering that workshops a text that you have brought, and which you hope to send out into the world. Then we’ll offer sessions with those writers, teachers, and editors, focusing on genre and the elements of craft. In late afternoon and then again in the evening, we’ll be offering readings and discussions of the creative life and practice, thinking about the ways in which our vocation may be lived out in a world that desperately needs clear and honest and beautiful and faithful discourse.

We hope that you are interested in joining us. All we ask is that you bring a text to work on, a willing heart to focus on the craft, and the vulnerability we all need to learn.

The dates are June 19-23, 2023. Questions? To learn more and to register for the event, please visit If you’d like to confer about what we’ll be doing and how we’ll be doing it, Schmidt would be glad to connect at

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