Goshen College hosts 2022 Mennonite/s Writing Conference

Goshen College will be hosting the Mennonite/s Writing Conference IX from Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, 2022. The theme, “Celebrating 30 Years: Looking Back, Looking Forward,” will feature pre-conference workshops with Casey Plett and Julia Spicher Kasdorf and Steven Rubin, along with several other speaker sessions and author book signings, including Sofia Samatar, Rachel Yoder, Patrick Friesen and conference founder Hildi Froese Tiessen.

This international conference celebrates the thirty plus years since the first conference took place at The University of Waterloo-Conrad Grebel University College in 1990. Over 55 participants will offer twenty sessions that cover both creative and critical presentations representing the broad field of writing.

The Mennonite/s Writing Conference aims to celebrate, investigate and publicize the emergence of creative writing among persons from diverse Mennonite contexts, as well as to create a forum in which writers, readers and scholars can meet and inspire each other.

Goshen College has previously hosted the conference twice, in 1997 and 2002. Many of this year’s writers and scholars are connected to Goshen College as alumni or faculty, including Ervin Beck, Daniel Shank Cruz, Todd Davis, Jeff Gundy, Ann Hostetler, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Barbara Nickel, Sofia Samatar, David Waltner-Toews and Rudy Wiebe.

Registration is currently $130 or $75 for seniors and students through September 12. Regular registration, from September 12 – 20, is $160 or $100 for students/seniors. All pre-conference workshops are an additional $40.  For more information on registration, lodging and directions visit goshen.edu/mennoniteswriting.

Several sessions will be open to the public including the keynote lectures by Casey Plett and Julia Kasdorf/Steven Rubin as well as Sofia Samatar’s convocation talk, the Cascadia Poetry Series reading and Rachel Yoder’s talk. For dates and times of these events visit goshen.edu/mennoniteswriting. All free sessions will be held in the Church-Chapel.

If you are a high school or college student, please see your English professor or teacher to make arrangements, or email Ann Hostetler at anneh@goshen.edu directly.

Bio of conference founder Hildi Froese Tiessen

Hildi Froese Tiessen is professor emerita at Conrad Grebel University College, University of

Waterloo, where she taught English and Peace and Conflict Studies (1987-2012) and where she also served as academic dean from 1989-99. She has taught, edited and published literature by and about Canadian Mennonite writers.

Her path breaking anthology of short fiction by Mennonite Authors, Liars and Rascals (1989), was followed by the recent anthology, 11 Encounters with Mennonite Fiction (2017). Essays on Mennonite/s writing appear in After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America (2015) and MQR (Jan. 2016).

Before her retirement she was literary editor of the Conrad Grebel Review and on the editorial board of Rhubarb Magazine. She serves on the CMW advisory board and on the editorial board of GAMEO.

She organized the first Mennonite/s Writing conference at Conrad Grebel in 1990 and has helped plan subsequent conferences at Goshen College, Bluffton College, the University of Winnipeg, Eastern Mennonite University and Fresno Pacific University.

Hildi, who grew up in the Mennonite Brethren community in Winnipeg, is a member of Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener. She earned a BA at the University of Winnipeg and an MA and PhD at the University of Alberta.