Writing Workshops Illuminate the Internal World

Monday, May 30, 2022

Close up of fingers typing on a laptopBy Ashitha Mantrawadi

“Writing illuminates our interior world and sometimes, illuminates the world for others,” wrote Sandy Conrad, Master of Theological Studies (MTS) student at Conrad Grebel University College. “Personal and honest stories have the greatest impact on the reader.” During the winter 2022 term, Sandy offered an eight-week creative writing workshop, where current MTS students and other alumni gathered to explore unique styles of writing and build confidence in their writing.

“Workshops are wonderful places to experiment and stretch, and even better places to find a writing community to inspire,” she further explained. Sandy studied at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts and was mentored by both professional writers and playwrights. She also taught high-school English and creative writing courses, wrote numerous plays, and published a book of short stories.

“It's been fun to write playfully and we did some deep self-reflection too,” said Lori Guenther Reesor (MTS 2008), workshop participant. “In my favourite homework exercise, I wrote a letter to my middle-school self on December 9, 1980, the day after John Lennon was shot. I'm still processing that letter.”

Sandy’s creative writing workshop gathered people from different walks of life and helped the participants make new connections as well as reflect on their writing. “I joined the writing workshop as a way of connecting with other MTS students and alumni and because having some structure around writing helps me to actually write!" said Lori. “Grebel students come from a variety of backgrounds, and I wonder how we can celebrate that diversity more.”

The MTS program at Grebel draws together faculty and students from diverse academic disciplines, giving students the opportunity to test ideas, develop skills and self-understanding, and to learn from others in the program. 

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