Writing Room: A Week With Lauren Winner — Of “Girl (Woman) Meets God”

Lauren Winner photo by BF Newhall

Lauren Winner. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I posted this entry a couple years ago after a writing workshop week in Santa Fe with Lauren Winner. She’s a fascinating person. Very smart. — bfn

OK, I’m a little late in posting today. But I have an excuse. I’m sleep deprived, on account of getting up so early all last week to spend time with Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God.

A few months ago, when I saw that Lauren would be leading a week-long workshop in spiritual writing at the Glen Workshop in Santa Fe this summer — I wasted no time signing up.

Girl Meets God, a memoir, did well when it came out in 2002. So I thought,  it can’t hurt to spend some time with this young woman. She’s a good writer. She’s figured out how to tell an intimate story — her conversion from Judaism to Christianity — without getting all cheesy about it. And her book was a sales success. It would be fun hanging out for a week with this woman, I thought. And maybe I’d even learn something.

It had a been a few years since I’d read Girl Meets God, and I’d forgotten most of the details when I signed up. The title had stuck in my mind, however, so when I arrived at the Glen, I expected to meet a girl —  young and pretty, with a stylish head of hair that she’d toss  breezily from time to time.  A winsome , girlish, twenty- or thirty-something.


Lauren Winner is anything but girlish. First of all, she’s a woman — she’d like that to be clear. She also has a tough, incisive mind, which she faithfully applied to the sixteen manuscripts our group had brought to Santa Fe. Too, Lauren is generous, kind and has a great sense of humor. So, yes, we all had a very good time.

More about the Glen and Lauren’s other books in a later post.

Girl Meets God, by Lauren Winner, Random House paperback, $15.

Here’s another post with More Thoughts from/to/about Lauren. I’ll also be writing about Anne Lamott; watch for those posts.

In another post — John Shelby Spong talks about Christianity — Why Some of It is Bunk.




  1. Lisa Phillips says:

    The Glen Workshop brochure says that one week can change a life. Well, it is true. Lauren Winner was the teacher/facilitator of the Spiritual Writing class and I was honored to sit under her tutelage. She possesses a fine mind and a generous spirit. Lauren has motivated me to continue writing my story and to saturate my writing with prayer. God is good all the time and I received a double portion of His goodness at the Glen Workshop 2009.

    • Lisa doesn’t mention it, but Lisa is totally fun to be with. We had lotsa laughs in and out of class last week.

  2. Yes, Lauren did a great job of pass on her wisdom about memoirs, how to develop as a writer, publishing, and helping us diverse individuals from all corners of the country come together as a group.

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