Luther College launches Decorah Community Writing project centered on COVID-19

June 4, 2020

The Luther College Center for Ethics and Public Engagement (CEPE) invites members of the Decorah community to take part in a Decorah Community Writing Project titled "de-isolation."

From June 6 to July 7, the CEPE invites the submission of essays, stories and poems that reflect on a world with coronavirus. Successful submissions will be compiled into a book titled "de-isolation" that will serve as a piece of Decorah history.

"The CEPE serves as a 'hub for public issues,' for both the Luther College and broader Decorah communities. This project fits perfectly into that mission, in that it brings together reflections on this extraordinary moment in history from members of both the Luther community and the city of Decorah," said Victoria Christman, director of the CEPE. "It also showcases the importance of the liberal arts in providing people with creative means (fiction, speech-writing, poetry, etc.) by which to express those thoughts and experiences. We know that we are fortunate to live in a community full of talent and artistry. This seemed like the perfect way to mobilize those talents in the service of a public good."

A variety of texts will be accepted including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, commencement speeches for 2020 and contributions by writers younger than 15 and older than 65. All entries should be original and unpublished, positive and hopeful and one text or no more than three poems.

"The goal of this project is to provide a creative outlet during a time when many of us are isolated from one another and experiencing significant changes in our daily lives," said Soeren Steding, project initiator and professor of German at Luther. "We hope that humor and resilience can overcome fear and confusion and that a new appreciation for many things we took for granted might inspire a vision of a better future."

            All authors featured in the book will receive one free copy. Any revenues from the sale of the book will be donated to a local charity.

            Submissions should be sent to For more information visit

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