Letting the Light In 

Writing for the Growth of the Soul


Writers Retreat – November 10-12, 2017


In today’s world, film is the medium with the greatest impact; the internet is the most wide spread; but the written word has the greatest precision and permanence and can have enormous influence on our world. Today, writers of Christian conviction need our support and encouragement. They need the vision to wrestle honestly with the complexities of the human condition and the skills to articulate those realities in ways that are crisp and imaginative. The 2017 Christian Writers Retreat is the first annual retreat of its kind at Tilikum and brings together a broad spectrum of Christian writers and speakers. The retreat provides expertise in relevant topics and offers one-on-one mentoring.


This retreat is sponsored by: Renovare, Barclay Press and Camp Tilikum.


Lodge Housing and Commuters

Tilikum offers overnight accommodations for 40 guests in the Lodge (usually 2 per room with a private bath). There is also space for 8 commuter guests. The registration page has two links, one for overnight guests ($350) and the other for commuters ($150) if registered by September 10, 2017.

Writers Retreat Schedule

Friday, November 10, 2017

5:00 PM Registration Opens
7:00 PM General Session, Worship with Nate Macy, Richard Foster and Nathan Foster – Seven Hints for Good Writing
8:00 PM Workshop Tracks, Poetry with Bill Jolliff, Fiction with Gina Ochsner, Spiritual Non-Fiction with Mark & Lisa McMinn
9:00 PM Evening Prayer

Saturday, November 11, 2017

7:30 AM Morning Prayer
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Workshop Sessions (until noon)
12:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM  General Session, Nathan Foster – Writing as Prayer
2:30 PM One on One Mentoring (until 5:30 PM)
3:00 PM Sharing Projects Recently Published or in Process (concurrent with mentoring until 5:00 PM)
6:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Panel Discussion and Questions
8:15 PM General Session, Gina Ochsner – The Call of the Artist
9:30 PM Jam Session

Sunday, November 12, 2017

7:30 AM  Morning Prayer
8:00 AM  Breakfast
9:00 AM  Workshop Session
10:30 AM  General Session and Wrap-up, Richard Foster – Bringing it all together—a conversation
12:00 PM  Lunch


2017 Christian Writers Retreat Speakers and Mentors


Richard Foster – Richard is the founder and past president of Renovaré. He is the author of numerous books on spiritual formation, among them Celebration of Discipline, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, and Sanctuary of the Soul. Richard was the lead editor of the Renovaré Life with God Bible and has spoken extensively around the United States, as well as around the world. Richard lives near Denver, Colorado with his wife Carolynn.





Nathan Foster – Nathan is the director of community life for Renovaré.  He was a professor for over a decade teaching in both social work and spiritual formation. Nathan is currently on the Renovaré Institute faculty and host of the Renovaré weekly podcast. Nathan has authored two books, most recently The Making of An Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines. Nathan currently lives in Saint Augustine Florida with his wife and two children and plays bass for the band Istra Blue.





Gina Ochsner – Gina lives in Keizer, Oregon and teaches writing and literature at Corban University and with Seattle Pacific’s Low Residency MFA program.  She is the author of the short story collection TheNecessary Grace to Fall, which was selected for the Flannery O’Connor Award and the collection People I Wanted to Be.  To find out more about Gina, please visit www.ginaochsner.com.





Bill Jolliff – Bill is a native of Magnetic Springs, Ohio, and now serves as professor of English at George Fox University. He has published over 500 poems, songs, reviews, and critical articles in Christian Century, Literature and Belief, and Quarterly West. His most recent book is a collection of poetry, Twisted Shapes of Light (Cascade-Poiema 2015).





Mark McMinn – Mark is Professor of Psychology at George Fox University and a licensed psychologist in Oregon. He has authored or co-authored 12 books, and published over 130 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in professional journals. His latest book is The Science of Virtue: Why Positive Psychology Matters to the Church (Brazos Press, 2017).





Lisa Graham McMinn – Lisa is a Professor of Sociology and Writer in Residence at George Fox University. She has written six books, and chapters in a number of other books, all of which explore the intersection of culture, change, and Christian faith in ordinary life.





Ed HigginsEd’s poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals including recently: Peacock Journal, Uut Poetry and Triggerfish Critical Review. He teaches literature at George Fox University, Newberg, and is Assistant Fiction Editor for Ireland-based Brilliant Flash Fiction and copy editor for These Fragile Lilacs Poetry Journal.





Linda Clare – Linda is the author of six books, both fiction and nonfiction. She has been a frequent contributor of essays to publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Cup of Comfort and Guideposts. Linda has also taught writing at Lane Community College for more than a decade, and has served as a writing advisor for doctoral students at George Fox University.





Matt Mikalatos – A Christian author, speaker, and missionary from the Portand, Oregon area and the author of the comedy theology novels Night of the Living Dead Christian and My Imaginary Jesus, as well as the fantasy novel The Sword of Six Worlds.





Nate Macy – Pastor of Worship and Social Media at North Valley Friends church in Newberg, OR. Nate is a nationally known worship leader and has extensive experience leading worship in retreat and camping settings. He has recorded 4 CD’s, and toured as a solo artist as well as with other groups. Nate holds a Masters in Spiritual Formation from Portland Seminary and lives in Newberg with his wife and son.




Retreat Planning and Coordination

Dennis Littlefield – Executive Director, Camp Tilikum. phone: (503) 538-2763 or email

Eric Muhr – Publisher, Barclay Press. phone: (971) 832-9838 or email