Call for Proposals


Proposals for scholarly papers, creative writing presentations and panel discussions are sought for the seventh conference on Mennonite writing. The conference will both celebrate and examine such writing as it continues to develop its global reach. We especially welcome papers that address experiences of movement, transformation and/or place, and their influences on literary culture.

The theme is intended to be broadly interpreted. Movement, for instance, may be migrations across borders and cultures, from rural to urban settings; or movement may be symbolic, intellectual, physical or emotional. Transformation may be internal, external or relational; it could be completed or in process. Place, again, may have tangible, material connotations, or it may be a remembered context or sought after ground in a philosophical or theological sense.

The conference welcomes a wide variety of voices and seeks to create a site of learning and inspiration. Writers of all ages, disciplines, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to submit proposals and attend the conference.

Suggestions include (but are not limited to):

  • Innovative approaches to individual authors and texts 
  • Mennonite and ethnic literature in cultural and theoretical context 
  • Explorations of the role of self and community in Mennonite literature 
  • Dialogues and stories from emerging Mennonite communities 
  • Use of writing groups and social media in promoting writing/publishing 
  • Writing pedagogy and process
  • The intersection of literature and theology or religion 
  • Sermon-writing as a creative and/or literary process 
  • Oral traditions in Mennonite life and in immigrant life 
  • Mennonite writing in conversation with other ethnic literatures 
  • Creative nonfiction, memoir writing and the influence of place 
  • Songwriting, hymns and music in literature 
  • The redemptive potential of writing in promoting resilience, nonviolence and/or social justice 
  • Transnational/transcultural identity in literature 
  • Publishing

Critical proposals should include a 250-word abstract and an author’s biographical information; scholars are encouraged to include a bibliography of sources likely to be consulted. Creative proposals should be accompanied by a brief writing sample (3-4 poems or 4-5 pages of one story/essay) and a selective list of publications in addition to biographical information.

Electronic submissions are preferred. Submit proposals through our electronic submission system by October 1, 2014.

Creative Proposal

Critical Proposal

For mail submissions, send your proposal to:

      Karen Sheriff LeVan

      English Department

      Hesston College

      325 College Dr.

    Hesston, KS 67062

Papers and creative work read at the conference will be considered for publication in Mennonite Quarterly Review, Conrad Grebel Review, Mennonite Life and The Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing.