October 15, 2012
You are one of the few people who will understand this story...
I was a struggling, unpublished writer who was considering giving up.
…one of the few people who will know why it matters.
I came looking for direction, for understanding, for encouragement, for teaching, for inspiration, and for a sign that this writing thing was not in contradiction with my life as a Christian.
It’s the story of Sara Zarr, who found more than a sign at the Glen West Workshop.
I received all of those things, not just in Robert Clark’s fiction workshop, or in the faculty lectures and readings, but also around the breakfast table, and the sunsets I watched from the balcony. It really was a week that changed my life. I love this community with my whole heart.
At the Glen, among Image’s unique community, Sara found the encouragement she needed. Now—ten years later—she has gone on to win awards for her young adult fiction, including a nomination for the National Book Award. She has also returned to teach at the Glen herself.
You are this community of encouragement. That’s why you’ll understand Callie Feyen:
I want to write like those people.
Callie began with the low-cost tutorial approach of the Glen Online, Image’s web-based writing workshops. Now she is on her way toward an MFA in creative writing through the program directed by Image editor Gregory Wolfe at Seattle Pacific University.
When I write, I try to share my heart but I try to create good writing too. I’m thankful when I find others on the internet who seem to do that as well.
Image is a global community, a community that includes photographer Andrew Chew, who traveled twice from Singapore to attend the Glen Workshop:
I was looking for anything I could find on arts and faith, because that’s not so easy to find in Singapore. I came alive when I saw Image. It was everything I was looking for and asking about, and there were the answers.
Image is an equipping community, engaging people with contemporary art that inspires creative response. For writer Lauren Winner, Image
…calls our attention to the present moment and tells us: Look here. Whenever I put down an issue of Image, I find that my sense of wonder has deepened; I feel more able to fully live where I am, in this broken, needful present.
Image is an interactive community, enabling artists to speak to one another across time, space, and disciplines. Poet Betsy Sholl found:
…a conversation with people who were probing the relationship of faith and work and living in this very real world all at once. It was thrilling.
Image is a nourishing community for painter Bruce Herman: “Greg Wolfe and Image are serving a pivotal need….”
To use a Pauline metaphor, Image offers the kind of pleasure and nourishment for the ‘body’ that fine cuisine does. Like Babette's Feast, the nourishment is there even when those at the table are barely conscious of what they're eating. And that community around the table, like the folks on that little island, is often at war with itself and needing a really, really good meal.
Your community exists in a world that does not share its values. A world that favors the mediocre over the exalted, the message over the medium, the superficial answer over the slow insight.
Despite this environment, the table is set, the energy is there: this community is poised to thrive.
Thanks to many of you, Image went digital this year, enabling Andrew Chew’s peers in Singapore to read it without having to pay a premium for the postage. Image took its Good Letters blog to a much wider audience, moving it (by invitation) to the world’s largest aggregator of conversations on faith, Patheos.com. Our traffic quadrupled, and our writers now reach thousands of new readers.
This world needs people who take joy in the electrical charge that happens when the livewires of art, mystery, and faith touch. Image’s community equips us to explore that dynamic intersection: as writers and readers, artists and viewers, performers and audiences.
It’s time to say yes to high standards and the handmade.
It’s time to enable excellence and encourage those who pursue it.
It’s time to support that work, and support it well.
Your gift empowers this community. It enables Image to continue:
• to grow emerging talent through the Glen Online,
• to sponsor a writer developing a full-length manuscript through the Milton Fellowship,
• to convene the best and the brightest at the Glen Workshops, and
• to showcase contemporary work in our blog and quarterly journal.
Gifts like yours make up a crucial 44% of our budget. Farsighted donors like you have built a formerly scrappy upstart organization into a community where world-class art can be showcased and fostered.
We’re offering an opportunity for you to support this community of art, mystery, and faith. You’re one of the few who will consider it. Your giving will open a space that no one else can.
This year. Now. Will you make that gift?