Writing Our Stories...the ones we need to tell

A Spiritual Formation Workshop



Nov. 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.


There are so many ways to tell stories that are true. In this one-day workshop, we will use examples and writing prompts to practice innovative ways of playing with traditional essay, poem, and story structure. Writers will be encouraged to think outside the box and discover new, freeing, playful ways to tell their stories. During our time together, we’ll write a short food memoir using recipe cards as our guides. We will write an object-centered piece of flash-nonfiction. We will write a six-word memoir, an encyclopedia entry, and make a sensory map. All the while we will discuss how form must serve not only content, but readers, and how choosing the best form for our work can enhance its emotional impact. Participants are encouraged to bring a meaningful object, a family recipe, and a photo with them to use as prompts during the workshop. Participants also should come prepared to write. Laptops, notebooks, pens and paper are all encouraged. 


Lori Jakiela is the author of five books, most recently the memoir Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Atticus Books/Autumn House Press), which received the Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University, and an essay collection, Portrait of the Artist as a Bingo Worker (Bottom Dog Press). Her other books include Miss New York Has Everything (Hatchette); The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (C&R Press/WPA Press); Spot the Terrorist! (Poems/Turning Point), as well as five poetry chapbooks. Her nonfiction has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Volume 1 Brooklyn, and more. Her essay, "The Plain Unmarked Box Arrived," which first appeared in The New York Times Modern Love column, was recently performed by the actress Kristin Bell as part of the Modern Love podcast. Jakiela directs the undergraduate Creative and Professional Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg and teaches community writing workshops for veterans through Veterans Write, an organization she founded in 2017. For more, visit http://lorijakiela.net



$65/person including lunch



Directions to the Seminary. There will be signs on campus to indicate the location fo the workshop. Free parking is available on campus behind the chapel and library. 


0.5 CEUs; E-mail the Office of Continuing Education to request a certificate.


If you wish to stay overnight as part of your participation in the class, contact our Hospitality Office to make arrangements for on-campus housing in Calian Hall by e-mailing reception@pts.edu or calling 412-362-5610.


E-mail ConEd@pts.edu or call 412-924-1345.