Pat SchneiderPoet, playwright and librettist Pat Schneider will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Annual Women’s Forum at Candler, “How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice.” Co-sponsored by the Women, Theology and Ministry program and the Office of Student Programming, the event is on November 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in room 102 of Candler’s Rita Anne Rollins Building. The forum is free and open to the public. Register here.

The author of ten books of poetry and nonfiction, including Writing Alone and with Others (2003, Oxford University Press) and How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice (2013, Oxford), Schneider founded Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA), an international community of writing workshop leaders who teach with the belief that every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop. AWA sponsors writing workshops and retreats throughout the world for a wide range of underserved populations, including the incarcerated, the abused, the bereaved, and those handicapped by interrupted education, illness or poverty.

Schneider’s writing workshops for women in low-income housing projects were the subject of an award-winning documentary, Tell Me Something I Can’t Forget. Her poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac sixteen times, and her plays have been produced more than 300 times in community theaters around the country.

To Schneider, writing and spiritual practices are intrinsically connected.

“When I begin to write, I open myself and wait. And when I turn toward an inner spiritual awareness, I open myself and wait,” she says. “All of us live in relation to mystery, and becoming conscious of that relationship can be a beginning point for a spiritual practice.”

The forum includes the keynote address, a book signing and lunch, followed by an afternoon writing workshop especially for Candler students. Register for the student workshop.

About the Women, Theology, and Ministry Program

Candler School of Theology’s Women, Theology and Ministry Program educates women and men to be transformative leaders who advocate for the well-being of girls and women in the church and the world.

The WTM Program seeks to fulfill this vision by offering opportunities to the entire Candler community for the academic study of women and religion, gender and culture, and womanist and feminist theologies; fostering vocational discernment and formation for women students; promoting research on women, gender theology, and religion; advocacy and activism to promote women’s well-being in the church and society.