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.

Our goal at Lit Camp is to gather together those who care about reading and writing, to let good conversations happen, and to feed everyone with good content and good food.

Last Year

Literature Camp 2023 brought seventy-some people together from the U.S. and Canada. We heard from Carita Keim, Paul Charles, Obi Martin, and others.

This Year

Literature Camp 2024 will take place over the last weekend of July: July 26 at 4:30 pm through July 28 at 1:00 pm.

Speakers and Topics

This year’s speakers include Sheila Petre, G.C. Waldrep, Kyle Stoltzfus, and Josh Nisley. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our email list to stay informed on the latest Lit Camp updates!

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 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 word and song, as well as discussion of what literature and poetry should mean to us as Christians. 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, with a focus on Christian and Anabaptist perspectives.

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 have said:

“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.”

Where

Camp is held at the beautiful River Ridge Mansion, hidden away in the woods near Franklin, PA. Lodging and meals are 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

Registration is open! Here is the registration form. The event costs $230 per person. Lodging and meals are included.

For those who may have difficulty meeting the 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 Christian 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 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!