If you have a true story that you would like to tell about harmonies between science and religion we want to help you do it.

Science and religion, despite their rich, interwoven history, are too often
portrayed as opposites in nearly every way, irreconcilable by definition. Indeed, our increasingly polarized societies seem to encourage the proposition that these two ways of knowing the world cannot productively co-exist, that they encounter each other through conflict and contradiction.

We are building a new community of storytellers who will write, publish, and disseminate engaging and inspiring nonfiction narratives of harmonies, reconciliation, and even productive interaction between science and religion.

Our project advances a different proposition: that science and religion can reinforce each other to allow a more nuanced, profound, and rewarding experience of our world and our place in it. We will use creative nonfiction writing to explore and advance this proposition. We are building a new community of storytellers who will write, publish, and disseminate engaging and inspiring nonfiction narratives of harmonies, reconciliation, and even productive interaction between science and religion.

One of the best ways to foster collective understanding is with a good story. Creative nonfiction–true stories, well told–allows for complexity, novelty, and revelation, and through compelling voice, suspense, character development, and well-chosen details has the potential to engage the widest audiences and change the way they know the world.

If you have a true story that you would like to tell about harmonies between science and religion—drawn from your personal life, your work, your experience, your studies—we want to help you do it.

The Think-Write-Publish Science & Religion project offers several ways for you–scholars, scientists, religious figures, writers, everyday people—to become part of a vibrant new community of storytellers.

Activities

Writing Competition

Best Essay Prize: $10,000
Runner-up Prize: $5,000

In addition to our Fellowship program, we have launched a separate writing competition. The winning essays will be published in special issues of Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology, alongside those of established writers. The best essay winner and runner-up will also win a trip to Washington, D.C. where they will be honored at our publication launch event in 2017.

Other entries will be considered for publication in either magazine, and if selected, will receive honorable mention and a $500 prize.

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Online Course

In fall 2017, we will be offering a four-part online course, “Telling True Stories About Harmonies Between Science & Religion.” Taught by Fellows and mentors from the program, the course offers anyone who has experience(s) related to the harmonies between science and religion to join a community of writers. Using project stories as examples, the course will provide training in narrative nonfiction research, writing, and revision and regular feedback on their writing.

Public Events at Five Museums Around the US & Canada

The public is invited to these events to learn about the project and the resulting narratives, engage with the authors and mentors, and join in the conversation about harmonies between science and religion.

National Conferences in Washington, DC

In fall 2017, a conference will be held to launch the special “Science and Religion” issues of Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology.
In June 2018, a two-day conference will feature best stories, compelling project participants, opinion leaders, and the media.

Fellowship Information

We will be awarding twelve $10,000 two-year TWP Science & Religion Fellowships to develop a publishable true story or series of stories.

Open to novice and experienced writers, anyone who has a compelling true story or true stories illustrating or exploring harmonies between science and religion is encouraged to apply. Over a two-year period, Fellows will develop, write, and market their creative nonfiction stories. They will be mentored throughout the project by experienced writers, editors and teachers. They and their stories will be featured in a series of regional and national events.

As part of the workshop, Fellows will participate in three intensive training workshops:

Training Workshop 1: “Think”

Fellows will receive a crash course in the art of researching and crafting nonfiction narratives.

Training Workshop 2: “Write”

Fellows will develop the skills and tools necessary to hone their pieces into compelling narratives. Skills covered will include how to effectively weave research into narrative and how to strengthen the narrative’s frame and focus.

Training Workshop 3: “Publish”

Fellows will learn how to pitch stories to and work with editors and agents; how to read and speak effectively for a general audience; how to navigate the ever-changing publishing landscape; and how to engage with museum audiences that include adults, children, and school groups and foster productive dialogue with the public about their narratives.

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Submissions Due December 12, 2016

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TWP Science & Religion is a project of Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology. The project leaders are Lee Gutkind and Daniel Sarewitz; the project director is Michael Zirulnik. TWP Science & Religion is made possible through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.