Litchfield Writing Retreat offered at Wisdom House

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LITCHFIELD — Writers and fans of Madeleine L’Engle, the noted author of ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ are invited to attend a weekend retreat led by Newtown author Sophfronia Scott and biographer by L’Engle Sarah Arthur.

“A Circle of Quiet: The Madeleine L’Engle Writing Retreat” will take place Friday and Saturday, September 30 through October 1 at Wisdom House in Litchfield, just a few miles from L’Engle’s Connecticut home, Crosswicks. L’Engle herself regularly led retreats at Wisdom House and admired the retreat center’s chapel and grounds which feature a maze for meditative walks, according to a statement.

Participants can bring their own writing projects or generate new pages from curated writing prompts inspired by L’Engle’s first Crosswicks Journal, A Circle of Quiet.

“Madeleine had a huge impact, not only on readers but also as a writing teacher,” Arthur said. “She gave students permission to set aside time and space for their writing, to prioritize it as something that nurtures the soul. It is also our hope for retirement.

The retreat is sponsored in part by MadeleineLEngle.com and will feature L’Engle’s granddaughter, Léna Roy, among the presenters and facilitators. Another special detail: the fall retreat is close to the October 4 publication date of “A Book, Too, Can Be a Star”, an illustrated biography of L’Engle written by his granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Jennifer Adams. The co-authors will share a preview of the illustrated book.

On-site accommodation is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There will also be a shuttle bus option for those living within driving distance, and a virtual cohort via Zoom sessions for those unable to attend in person.

“L’Engle’s writing, particularly in A Wrinkle in Time, was full of a magic and spirituality ahead of its time,” Scott said. “Pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope show us what his brilliant mind imagined. I look forward to spending time drawing inspiration from this imagination.

Participants can register for the retreat on the program’s website at lenglewritingretreats.com.

Arthur is the author of a dozen non-fiction books on the intersection of faith and great literature, including the award-winning A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time. Her first young adult novel Once a Queen will be published in March by Waterbrook/Penguin Random House, the first in a three-book series.

Scott is a leading novelist, essayist, and contemplative thinker whose work has appeared in numerous publications and received a 2020 Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Office of the Arts. His book The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton received the 2021 Thomas Merton “Louie” Prize from the International Thomas Merton Society. She is the founding director of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Alma College, a residential graduate program based in Alma, Michigan.

Roy began teaching Writopia Lab workshops in Manhattan in 2009, then went on to bring the program to the northern suburbs of New York in 2010. She is the author of the YA novel, Edges, and she co-wrote Becoming Madeleine , a Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by His Granddaughters. She co-edited the award-winning anthology Girls Write Now, First Lines. His writings have been featured in the collection of essays for middle school students and their teachers: Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Essays to Devour: Your Favorite Authors Take on the Dreaded Essay Assignment. Roy has been recognized by the Scholastic Awards “as an outstanding educator whose dedication, commitment, and guidance is represented by the work of students selected for national honors.”

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