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Event Listing - Whidbey Institute

Writing Spirit, Writing Faith: A Week with Mary Potter

With Mary Lane Potter

November 18 - 24, 2019

This program of the Collegeville Institute runs November 18 to 24th at The Whidbey Institute.

Writers whose work incorporates a spiritual or faith dimension face enormous challenges today. How do you creatively represent the complex inner dimension of faith or the spirit? How do you reveal spiritual struggles, ambiguities, and experiences without falling into didacticism or proselytizing? How do you use biblical images and characters for readers who are biblically illiterate or biblical literalists? And how do you find a compelling voice when you’re too secular for many religious persons and too “religious” for many who are secular? This workshop will focus on these questions as they arise in the context of closely attending to one another’s work in progress, always with the goal of discovering how to alter the words on the page so they come alive with the vision. Open to fiction and creative nonfiction writers.

The workshop will feature time for writing, as well as daily sessions during which participants will discuss and critique each other’s work.

The workshop will be held at the Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island. The Collegeville Institute is underwriting the costs of lodging and meals, and all workshop fees. All travel expenses remain the responsibility of participants. The program will be limited to twelve participants.

Theologian, writer, teacher, and Seattle resident Mary Lane Potter will lead the workshop.

“Mary Potter was an amazing facilitator and excellent at setting a tone for respectful, honest feedback. She created a genuine and generous community where it was okay to be real and to still offer insight. This was by far the best and most gracious workshop experience I’ve ever had. She was a font of information about the craft of writing, and just delightful.” 

–participant in “Writing Spirit, Writing Faith,” Fall 2013


Mary Lane Potter
Mary Lane Potter has published a novel, a book of linked short stories, short stories, and creative nonfiction essays, as well as several academic books and numerous essays on feminist theology, sexual and domestic violence, historical theology, and spirituality. She’s completed a new literary novel and is currently working on a book of essays focused on the body. Learn more at
Learn more about Mary Lane Potter

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