Conferences, conferences everywhere! OK, not everywhere. Mostly in places very far away from me. (Fellow Southerners – we’ve got to stop letting the Yankees have all the fun.) But the Catholic Literary Renaissance, or whatever we’re calling it these days, has reached the point where multiple entities are trying to Do Something About It, and 2017 will be rife with opportunities for such people to meet, interact, and learn from each other. Listed below are the events I know about; if there are more, please tell us in the comments! Because the only thing I know about building a movement is that no one can do it alone. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be.” So, let’s gather. Here are some ways to do it, listed in the order they will occur.
When: February 17-19
Where: Your computer screen
How much: $40, or $30 if you are a member of the Catholic Writers Guild
What happens: Three days of intensive workshops and presentations on a wide variety of writing-related topics, presented via modern webinar software. Workshops focus on helping Catholic writers discern their calling and achieve their goals in both fiction and nonfiction writing. Topics include the nuts and bolts of craftsmanship, marketing, publishing, etc., as well as linking faith to writing, and there is an opportunity to pitch your work to publishers. As an added bonus, at this year’s conference, you can hear Yours Truly talk about Horror: the Genre of the Sacred. So please come!
When: April 27-29
Where: Fordham University Lincoln Center, New York, New York
How Much: $100, includes some meals
What happens: The conference seeks to showcase “the preeminent Catholic writers of our time and [create] a forum for discussion among practitioners, critics, editors, academics, reviewers, publishers, and readers. The conference will offer a forum to engage in dialogue on issues surrounding the Catholic Literary Imagination, both in theory and practice, through plenary sessions, panels, and concurrent programs.” This conference is a follow-up to the one held at the University of Southern California in the spring of 2015, which our Dappled Things editor-in-chief attended. Speakers include poet and former director of the National Endowment for the Arts Dana Gioia, journalist and writer Richard Rodriguez, National Book Award winner Alice McDermott, and more.
When: June 22-24
Where: Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana
How much: $75 before April 15, $100 after
What happens: “The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame—together with Patheos.com, the blog Sick Pilgrim, Image, and St. Michael’s College in Toronto will bring together both well-known and emerging writers, artists and musicians who are wrestling with religious experience and traditions in new ways. We will feature authors in all literary genres: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and memoir, fantasy, and science fiction.” Presenters includes NYT best-selling author Mary Karr, editor of Image journal Gregory Wolfe, director of the Vatican Observatory Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J, and many more. Also, if you want to be a presenter, there is still time to get your proposal in. Just click on the link above.
When: July 19-21
Where: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, Schaumburg, Illinois
How much: Not posted yet, but last year’s was $80 with discounts available for clergy and students
What happens: Similar to the online conference, except this one takes place in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network trade show. Like the online conference, it will include workshops on a variety of writing-related topics and opportunities to pitch your work to publishers.
When: October 8-12
Where: St. Francis Retreat Center, Dewitt, Michigan
How much: $550.00 per person, includes four nights’ accommodations and meals
What happens: Time away to write, work, and critique with other Catholic writers. Featuring guest speaker Elizabeth Scalia, editor-in-chief of the English version of Aleteia.org.