KNOXVILLE – On Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm JUTN hosted a Creative Writing Symposium featuring author and singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson.
Peterson opened the Symposium by sharing two of his own pieces, “The Integrated Imagination,” based on his own testimony, and “The Consolation of Doubt,” which illustrates his life growing up as a pastor’s son in Lake Butler, Florida.
He explained why he chooses to participate in events like the Symposium.
“It fires me up to talk about what’s under the hood of stories and art. Ever since I was a kid, I haven’t been really content with just listening to music. I always wanted to like climb inside the song and figure out ‘how does this thing work?'” Peterson said.
As one of four children growing up in an environment where anything outside the church, including most secular artistic content, was looked on with suspicion, Peterson shared his, “fear that adventure only existed on the page.”
Peterson illustrated how certain points in his life were altered by literature, especially his re-reading of The Chronicles of Narnia as a young newlywed finishing his degree at Milligan College.
Towards the end of the Symposium the floor was opened up for questions where Peterson addressed the need for balance between scholarship, theology, and creativity.
Other questions ranged from how we learn to write our own story through paying attention to memories to discussing his award-winning Wingfeather Saga.
“Having a chance to sit with a room full of people and talk about what God might be doing through difference kinds of art and how He works is always fun. Where a concert is a one way conversation, in a situation like this I can hear what other people are thinking and respond to them so it’s a little more complete.”
Peterson also spoke of his role in founding The Rabbit Room.
“Rabbit Room is a website community that started almost ten years ago and was named after the room in the back of the pub that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met at. There’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship between art and community that we’re always trying to explore at Rabbit Room”he said.
One example of this community is the annual Hutchmoot conference that takes place in Nashville, TN.
This year the conference will be held from October 6-9.
The conference acts as “a weekend of live music, delicious food and conversation, and a series of discussions centered on art, faith, and the telling of great stories across a range of mediums.”
Learn more about Hutchmoot and register for the event here.
Read “The Consolation of Doubt” here.
To learn more information about getting involved with The Rabbit Room and any upcoming events visit their website.