Mission and History

Mission:  The Lutheran Festival of Writing at Luther College brings readers together with poets and writers of fiction and non-fiction who have been shaped by the Lutheran tradition.  Through readings, lectures, and panel discussions, the festival aims to highlight this writing for students, faculty, and a wider public, as well as to support and encourage serious reading and writing and to cultivate a community of writers and readers in the Lutheran world.

History:  The seed for the festival was an idea from Paul Shepherd, then Writer-in-Residence at Florida State University and a former visiting writer at Luther College who happened to be Lutheran. 

Paul’s idea of a small gathering of Lutheran writers grew into something much bigger: instead of writers meeting primarily for mutual support, under Carol Gilbertson's direction it became a public event where prize-winning writers shared their work with a large audience of avid readers and other writers.

Today it is a celebration of the literary work of many in the Lutheran world—cradle Lutherans, practicing Lutherans, Lutheran writers teaching at non-Lutheran colleges, and faculty writers at ELCA colleges, along with Lutheran editors and publishers.  The Festival is open to all people interested in a warm intellectual community focused on the illuminating power of the written word. 

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