Literature Camp—Join a community of readers and writers

Lit Camp is a weekend of fellowship, reflection, and celebration. Attendees hear lectures on topics both common and obscure, meet writers and people who love to read, improve their craft (if they’re writers), discuss deep questions, and thank God for the beauty of the world.

The point of Lit Camp is to gather the Anabaptists who care about reading and writing, letting good conversations happen and feeding everyone with good content and food.

Last Year

Literature Camp 2021 brought sixty-some people together from the U.S. and Canada.

This Year

Literature Camp 2022 will take place during the last weekend of July: July 29-31.

Why I Am a Poet

Each year, we invite a poet to talk about the life experiences that shaped their poetry, as well as to present some of their defining poems. See a former “Why I Am a Poet” talk below.

What it’s like

We ask a range of Anabaptist authors, thinkers, and students of literature to present various topics that fall under the following categories:

  • Reading—Opportunities to read and discuss short works as a group. These sessions may be built around biblical texts or a short story.
  • Writing—Opportunities to workshop original poems or prose with other writers. These sessions will be directed by writers or teachers, and will include some writing prompts and exercises.
  • History, Genre, and Theory—Lectures and discussion of particular literary movements or elements of literature. These would cover particular writers or groups of writers, or the history and implications of certain genres and writing styles. Emphasis will generally be placed on how we should read or write literature in context of these discoveries.
  • Meditation and Worship—Worship in song and poetry, as well as discussion of what literature and poetry should mean to us as Anabaptists. It is of utmost importance for us to learn how we can better worship God and spread his Kingdom through our lives as creators.

We try to have a range of topics that you might encounter in a college English program or literature conference, as well as topics about the philosophy and theology of art, all with a focus on specifically Christian and Anabaptist issues.

At appropriate times, we engage in and appreciate our culture of four-part hymn-singing. In between topics we have occasional historical music and espresso.

What people said last year:

“I loved the fellowship and camaraderie. Was actually amazed at the space set up that allowed people to be themselves.”

“It reoriented me as a poet coming in off the ‘sahara.’”

“I think it really helped my spiritual understanding.”

“I loved the easy, social atmosphere. The weekend helped me think I could start writing poetry as a walk to more healing/wholeness.”

2021 Speakers and Topics

Speakers for this year include G.C. Waldrep, Paul Nisly, Carita Keim, Alana Asby, Myron Sauder, and Lynn Martin. They will be covering a wide range of topics centered around several different disciplines.

Reading
–   How to read poetry aloud
–   History of hymns
–   Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot (Villette and Middlemarch)
–   Flannery O’Connor

Writing
–   Reflections on writing a memoir
–   Writing instruction and an opportunity to get feedback on original compositions
–   Poetic devices used in hymns

Thinking
–   The purpose of art and writing in the kingdom of God
–   “Why I Am a Poet,” presented this year by G.C. Waldrep

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Camp will be at the beautiful River Ridge Mansion, hidden away in the woods near Franklin, PA. Lodging and meals will be provided. The mansion, usually called “The Castle,” was built by an oil baron in the early 1900s and is a beautiful house with plenty of places, indoors and out, to curl up with a book or piece of blank paper. On Sunday, we worship and reflect in a little chapel on a hill that overlooks the Allegheny River valley.

Address of River Ridge Mansion:
870 River Ridge Rd
Franklin, PA

How to Register

To register, fill out the registration form linked below. We won’t require an application fee, but we will ask for payment around a month before the seminar. Partial refunds will be available if necessary.

The cost of the weekend is $170 per adult. This includes lodging and meals. We are very hopeful that Covid-19 restrictions will not require us to cancel, but there is no fee for registration, so you will lose nothing should we need to do so.

For those who will have difficulty meeting this cost, or who have traveling expenses that may make it prohibitive to attend, please let the registrar know of your situation, and we will try to find a solution for you. Alternatively, if you would like to support the endeavor by covering someone else’s expenses, or by donating in general, please contact us!

Why

We are called to proclaim the news of the Kingdom to every nation, and that means that we must proclaim it in the arts as well. Our main purpose for this endeavor is to begin conversations in an often neglected area of Anabaptist thought and practice. But even more so, we hope to contribute to a fruitful era of bringing human wisdom into subjection to the Kingdom of God. And to do so, we must first listen to the Author of every good gift and to others who have dedicated themselves to his service.

This is not just for those who identify as writers or scholars, but for all lovers of life, who through literature seek challenge, inspiration, and connection. No matter where you are, the weekend can challenge and inspire you, and will connect you with more people who love to read or write.

This seminar is specifically built around Kingdom ideals and Anabaptist culture. However, we welcome all those who are interested in furthering the Kingdom through literature, whether or not they are part of an Anabaptist church. If you are unsure about any aspect of the seminar, please contact us. We would love to see you there!

Registration form:
Online registration
You can also email us at info@thecuratorblog.org.

Mailing address:
The Curator
11608 Greencastle Pike
Hagerstown, MD 21740