Convivium School

Online and low-residency workshops and courses in creative writing, literature, film, and more! Our writers will share their skills and insights through these unique, thoughtfully crafted classes that will provide individualized attention, make surprising connections, and help you to hone your own technique. Join us in our new adventure.

Current Offerings:

Women Writers and Religion

In this class we will look at the role of religious inspiration in select literary works by women. 

Religious and literary inspiration are closely intertwined, whether we consider the ancient Greeks’ veneration of the muses, or the Christian belief that the Holy Spirit inspired sacred literary texts. While many religious organizations deny women the authority of divinely inspired speech, the history of both religion and literature shows us that divine inspiration, and the vocation to speak oracularly on the sacred, are not restricted by institutional boundaries.

In the work of literary creation, women find a space for an encounter with the divine in which their own words - our own words - take on prophetic or sacramental power. And what initially looks like rebellion may later be manifest as divine grace.

We will read works by Sappho, Julian of Norwich, Toni Morrison, Rosalie Morales Kearns, and others, considering the religious impulse in their writing, and seeking to understand how, as artists, these women enter into the “priesthood of the imagination.”

As we discuss these works together, attendants will be invited to craft one creative piece, whether fiction, poetry, or memoir, in response to the pieces read, as a course final. Your written pieces will be considered for publication on our Convivium blog or journal.

Through the Darkness

Reading and Writing Through the Darkness: An Advent Journey

Convivium School is offering this short class, co-taught by Jessica Mesman Griffith and Rebecca Bratten Weiss, for the Advent season!

In the midst of life’s turbulence, and the external, hectic rush of the holiday season, we may long for a peace that continues to elude us, for some still point or silent place where we can remain present, waiting. Perhaps, also, we are reluctant to acknowledge the desert places within us, what may reside in the emptiness or darkness. 

The paradox of waiting is in this tension between fear and hope, and it would be dishonest to deny either. Without silence, no word can be heard. We walk though darkness, to see a great light. But maybe, also, we are tempted to rush too quickly towards anything that looks like light, without having found yet what the darkness has to say. 

This course is intended to be an accompaniment through the silent space, an exploration of the darkness where the light breaks, the emptiness where the word is heard. We will look at the writing of poets, storytellers, and spiritual writers, who send us messages from one desert to the next, stylites shooting lightning from atop their poles. 

Writers Jessica Mesman Griffith and Rebecca Bratten Weiss will guide you as you read and respond to writings from T.S. Eliot, Caryll Houselander, Flannery O’Connor, Suzanne Lewis, and others. These studies will help awaken you to the messages sent through your own encounter with the mystery, as you journey through the darkest days of the year.

On Pilgrimage toward Epiphany

More details to come! Check back soon.































Novel-Plotting for November: An Online Workshop

Novel-Writing for November is designed to offer tools, instruction, support, and feedback to writers in any stage of their novel. This could be a helpful accompaniment for anyone doing NaNoWriMo, but also for anyone who wants to start the plotting process, or who is in the middle of writing and needs further impetus.

Novel-Writing for November is offered at a discount rate, because it is our first time doing this. We hope you will consider signing up - and bring a friend! 

If this isn't quite the class you're looking for, however, stay tuned, and we'll keep you posted about more writing workshops and literary classes to come.

































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Workshops and Courses in Creative Writing, Literature, Film, and More!

We will be adding more workshops and courses soon!