Church History Tours

Douglas & Cheryl Bond

OXFORD CREATIVE WRITING MASTER CLASS, with author Douglas Bond

"Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing. Ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago." C. S. Lewis

See highlights from previous Oxford Creative Writing Master Classes.  "Everything was so beyond my highest expectations!" wrote one participant. "I am so excited! I feel like I've been given a key or a treasure map, and I can't wait to get home and put it to use."

Author and Master Class tutor, Douglas Bond: Since my first of twenty-five books was published in 1999, I have come to realize just how important it is to find inspiration in the greatest authors from the past. For me, being in their places, where they lived, being surrounded by what shaped, informed, and inspired them has had an incalculable influence on my own writing. I firmly believe this Literary Tour of Middle England will do the same for you.

OXFORD CREATIVE WRITING MASTER CLASS June 29-July 5 2017

"Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to the love of the telling." C. S. Lewis

OCWMC Literary Tour of Middle England is designed to place you, the aspiring writer, on-location in Oxford, where so many great writers, over many centuries, have wrestled with ink and paper, with their minds and imaginations, until they at last mastered their craft. In daily writing tutorials, encircled by winding Medieval streets and the Gothic splendors of the oldest university in Britain, I will share with you precisely how I have learned (and continue learning) my own writing craft. I heartily agree with Augustine who wrote, "I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write."

Previous participants in the Oxford master class described their OCWMC experience:

"Thank you so much! This is one of the most educational, inspirational, and enjoyable times I have had in my life. Your writing tutorials and critique have been incredibly helpful for me. I am sure I will carry what I learned this week for the rest of my life." Eva

"The information, practical advice, and wonderful food have made the Oxford Creative Writing Master Class unforgettable--Such an investment in my writerhood!" Caitlin

"Thank you for an incredible writing tour. I'm so grateful to have gone." Alisa

"Thanks for a wonderful time of learning and laughter." John

Register today for the next OCWMC  bondbooks.net@gmail.com or 253-381-1961

About master class writing instructor Douglas Bond

"Everything Douglas Bond writes is a fascinating read." Joel Belz, WORLD Magazine

Douglas Bond, author of twenty-five books, is husband of Cheryl (house matron of the master class), father of six, and grandfather of two. Award-winning teacher, conference speaker, and leader of church history tours in Europe, Bond's writing students have dominated fiction, poetry, and essay writing contests for many years. "Bond's dynamic and passionate communication of writing inspired a love for the English language that I will have for the rest of my life." Matthew Doremus (read more...)

 Register today

Highlights from previous master classes in Oxford

"I am so excited! I feel like I've been given a key or a treasure map, and I can't wait to get home and put it to use." Rachel (Spring 2016)

 

 

 

 

OXFORD CREATIVE WRITING MASTER CLASS--What is it?

The OXFORD CREATIVE WRITING MASTER CLASS

  • OCWMC is a week-long intensive writing tutorial and Literary Tour of Middle England with author Douglas Bond 
  • It is an intimate, concentrated writing experience surrounded by the inspiring splendors of Oxford (space is limited to 8 writers in each master class)
  • Participants will be in residence together and dining together in a quaint English home in Oxfordshire
  • You will experience daily writing tutorial, discussion, readings, and writing prompts, all set in and around the Gothic grandeur of the oldest university in Britain
  • There will be 3 half-day trips: Stratford-upon-Avon, Cambridge, Bunyan's nearby Elstow/Bedford, and Cowper's home in Olney (the birthplace of my creative writing inspiration)
  • OCWMC fees include all ground transportation (airfare not included), housing, 15 meals, entrance fees to colleges, Cowper museum, Shakespeare's birthplace, a drama production at the Royal Shakespearean Theatre--bring your own blank books, pens and paper (and laptop, if you prefer). Early registration discount. Space is limited to 8 participants
  •  Certificate from the OXFORD CREATIVE WRITING MASTER CLASS with Douglas Bond  

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psalm 45:1

The Oxford Creative Writing Master Class with Douglas Bond  could be the defining catalyst to your creative writing aspirations. Experience an extended week-long, Inkling-like intensive writing tutorial in and around Oxford where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien learned, taught, wrote, laughed, prayed, critiqued one another, pressing one another on to excellence in creative writing for the glory of Christ.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men… You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 

In residence with other aspiring writers (from USA, Canada, and the UK), you will experience a community of young and older writers eager to hone their skills to a fever pitch for an Audience of One, Jesus Christ. You will have lunch at the Eagle and Child public house and the King’s Arms, favorite haunts of Lewis and Tolkien and their colleagues and writing companions. You will walk around Addison’s Walk hard by Magdalen College Oxford where September 19, 1931, CS Lewis, Tolkien, and Hugo Dyson walked and talked throughout a decisive and life-changing night, conversing about myth, literature, Christianity, the Gospel, and Jesus Christ—the turning point that led to Lewis’s conversion to Christ shortly thereafter.

"Luther once said, 'The devil hates goose quills,' and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit's blessing, have done his kingdom much damage." C. H. Spurgeon

Over shared meals, you will experience vigorous and stimulating discussion of literature and writing, then retreat to a quiet corner in an ancient church or public house, or a quiet bench in the quad of Baliol College where Wycliffe began translating Scripture into Middle English in 14th century England, or curl up in a Gothic arch of Magdalen, Merton or Exeter College Chapels to fine-tune your short story, sonnet, script dialogue, or novel chapter for the tea-time manuscript critique or the after dinner discussion of the day’s writing experience.

Do not delay (Spring and Summer tutorials were filled and registration closed). Register today for the Spring, 2017 master class.

“Some men, by feigned words as dark as mine, / Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine!” John Bunyan

ENGLISH CUISINE, Earl Grey tea, and writing...

All you've heard about the English being cuisine challenged--it's all rot! Don't believe a word of it! We will share hearty meals together daily--full-English breakfast to fortify us for the rigors of creative writing, mid-morning tea and crumpets, a plowman's lunch at Lewis's Eagle and Child during the tutorial week, steak and ale pie, Cornish pasties, and other truly English delicacies, washed down with Earl Grey tea or a variety of English ciders (or other beverages to suit your tastes, preferences, or convictions), my favorite being Thatcher's Gold.

There will be a clean-up and food preparation assist roster for our in-house breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, so be prepared to pitch in--"Many hands make light work," as the saying goes.

"You do not write the best you can for the sake of art, but for the sake of returning your talent increased to the invisible God to use or not use as He sees fit." Flannery O'Connor

Testimonials by writing students of Douglas Bond

"Douglas Bond is the best and most influential teacher I've ever had." Graduate, journalist/novelist 

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"As a recent Covenant High School graduate, I know that my four years under Mr. Bond’s instruction have been invaluable. Both in and out of class Mr. Bond was eager to discuss assignments and offer advice that shaped my writing. Before my first English test Mr. Bond stayed after school to help me, a nervous freshman, prepare an outline for the essay—all the while encouraging the ideas that I had already prepared. In class, his lectures promoted discussions in which students had the opportunity to ask questions and share their ideas and opinions, particularly as they related to the literature being discussed. Mr. Bond taught me to think critically as I analyze literature, but most importantly, he taught me the importance of pursuing truth in all aspects of life." Salutatorian, Class of 2015

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"In the course of my undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, I completed seven different university level English, literature, and technical writing classes. While these courses were beneficial to my education, none of them compared to the extraordinarily high quality instruction I received from Douglas Bond during my high school years. His dynamic and passionate communication of writing and literary concepts inspired a love for the English language that I will have for the rest of my life. Through Douglas’s teaching, I have not only become an effective writer, but I also discovered a unique appreciation for poetry and composition. His curriculum, engaging personality, passion, and knowledge laid the foundation for me to become a strong and clear communicator. I heartily endorse Douglas Bond as an outstanding teacher for both his knowledge and his ability to inspire students.” Matthew Doremus

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“No teacher shaped my love for the written word more than Douglas Bond. Under his instruction, I learned to craft essays, formulate theses, and articulate research so effectively that one writing professor insisted I write a thank you card to my high school English teacher. Now, as a college English alumna, I continue to heed Mr. Bond’s encouragement to contemplate the art of the literary greats: from Shakespeare’s puns and Donne’s cadence to Austen’s characters and Solzhenitsyn’s authenticity. Mr. Bond’s impact extends beyond his animated lectures and constructive assessment, however. While I sat in his classroom, I never doubted that, for him, teaching is more than job—it is an investment in the lives and well-being of his students.” Rebekah Ueland

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"Without a doubt, Douglas Bond was the most influential high school teacher under whom I have ever studied. He taught me to become a strong writer, analytical thinker, and competent orator. From teaching me how to explicate poetry, to writing research papers, Douglas’s instruction not only prepared me for college - but literally let me cross university prerequisite classes off as “complete.” In fact, the material he had us memorize came in handy on numerous occasions during my time at Northwest University. NU English professors, history professors, political science professors, communication professors and even Bible professors asked who taught me to write, and I would always answer, 'Thank Mr. Bond.'

"Douglas was well loved by my classmates (and still is) for good reason. His knowledge and competency as an instructor goes beyond writing. He understands the human condition, always finds the joy in teaching, and imparts the most profound wisdom to his students. Douglas has strong moral character and is an engaging speaker, author, and leader. His strength as an instructor is only outmatched by his reverence for God and aptitude for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"More recently, Douglas encouraged me to write and publish my first book. He continues to be an active influence in my life today. He is certainly a one-in-a-million English teacher." David V. Kimball

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I just wanted to take this chance to thank you for the impact you had on me and my siblings during your time at CHS. The education you gave was invaluable, and prepared us incredibly well for college. The way you always sought Christ in your work was an inspiration to me, and still affects the way I read and study. I've always been grateful for how much compassion you showed [his younger sister] at Covenant--thank you so much. I hope the Lord blesses you abundantly during the next chapter in your life. 

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Douglas Bond provided what was possibly the highest level of English education available at the high school level. Students were challenged to read and understand literature typically not encountered until college, yet provided with the means to properly comprehend and analyze such works. Bond further challenged his students by providing a variety of writing assignments, including poetry, short stories, and analytical essays. Students were constantly forced to adapt and push the limits of their writing ability, all while gaining a greater appreciation of literature being read in class.

As a college student, I neglected to take any writing classes until my senior year (contrary to the
advice of my academic adviser). I had confidence that I would be able to handle college-level writing assignments due to my high school English education at the hands of Douglas Bond. I graduated summa cum laude, and when I finally did take an English class my senior year, received the best grade in the class on a paper analyzing Homer’s Odyssey.

In conclusion, it is my opinion that Douglas Bond single-handedly elevated the quality of education at Covenant High School during his time as an English, History, and Civics/Economics professor. Beyond this, his kindness and the personal interest he takes in students make him an invaluable asset to any serious academic institution. T. Brown

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I have the highest respect for your teaching ability and your commitment to bringing out the best in your students. I learned an immense amount during my time in your classes at Covenant. In fact, the material we learned is still with me. I've been reading Paradise Lost these last few weeks and had forgotten that we memorized part of it in high school. And then I came across the lines "Speechless he stood and pale, til thus at length, first to himself he inward silence broke..." and I immediately remembered what followed. Amazing how your instruction sticks with me (1999 graduate). Patrick Connely

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Douglas Bond was hands down the best teacher I had in high school. He always pushed his students to excel, and worked to the best of his abilities to ensure that they understood the methods and mechanics of excellent writing. Mr. Bond not only taught the history and meaning behind literature, but also emphasized the importance of good writing. Through his class, I was able to gain the experience and knowledge needed to excel in courses at the college level. Having taken multiple English classes at the University of Washington, I can attest to the practicality and usefulness of Mr. Bond’s literature and writing class. Not only were these college classes made easier, but much of the literature used in his class were also used at the college level. All in all, Mr. Bond’s literature and writing classes were some of the most useful classes I have ever taken, and the care and effort he puts into his class and students is bar none. Joel Kim

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I just wanted to say that though I did email you during my college years, I gave a prayer of thanks for you much more often. If I had emailed you every time something you’d taught me came in handy, your inbox would have been flooded.

Not only academically in knowledge, theories, and writing skill did your classes greatly enhance my life, but moreover in worldviews, philosophy, critical thinking, and fundamental paradigms of life. So much of how I view the world and understand differing perspectives is thanks to the time spent learning from you in and out of class. Thank you so much for everything. Donald Kimball

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Daily schedule and meals, (sample from previous OCWMC)

July 12 Tues-Pick up Heathrow, drive to Oxford, initial walking tour, martyrs monument, St Edmond's Hall, Baliol College Hall and Chapel (Wycliffe). Dinner at Banbury Hill Farm (BHF)

Wednesday:  Breakfast (BHF), morning tutorial and writing prompts. Lunch at Eagle & Child together in Oxford. Dinner (BHF). Taming of the Shrew, Handlebards at the Oxford Story Museum. Evening discussion and writing critique.

March 30-April 6

Wednesday: Pick up Heathrow, drive to Oxford, initial walking tour, Baliol College Chapel (Wycliffe). Dinner at Banbury Hill Farm (BHF)

Thursday: Breakfast (BHF), morning tutorial and writing prompts. Lunch at Eagle & Child together in Oxford. Dinner (BHF). Evening discussion and writing critique.

Friday: Breakfast (BHF), morning tutorial. Drive to Stratford-upon-Avon; Shakespeare's birthplace, then lunch on own. Dinner together, then Hamlet at Royal Shakespearean Theatre.

Saturday: Breakfast (BHF). Morning tutorial, lunch on own. Drive to Elstow Abbey (Bunyan). Olney (Newton, Cowper, Carey) and dinner at King's Arms Olney.

Sunday: Breakfast (BHF). Drive to Cambridge for worship at Cambridge Presbyterian Church. Lunch together and tour Cambridge. Evensong at King's College. Dinner and return to BHF).

Monday: Breakfast (BHF). Morning tutorial in Oxford and lunch on own. Evensong at New College chapel or Christ Church Cathedral. Dinner tutorial at BHF.

Tuesday: Breakfast (BHF). Morning tutorial in Oxford and lunch on own. Tour The Kilns and Holy Trinity Headington Quarry. Dinner at Eagle & Child with final discussion and critique.

Wednesday: Breakfast (BHF). Pack up, clean up, drive to Heathrow and flights home.

Douglas Bond Profile/Curriculum Vitae:

Douglas Bond is author of twenty-five books of historical fiction, biography, devotion, and practical theology, including two adult novels translated and published by Dutch publishing houses. He has been married to his delightfully patient and supportive wife Cheryl since 1983; they have been blessed with six children and two grandchildren (pictured teaching a larger master class at Christ Church College meadow, Oxford. One of the unique characteristics of the OCWMC is its advantageous student/tutor ratio of 8:1).

Bond has earned a Masters in Teaching (MIT) from St Martin's University, and a Preliminary Certificate in Theology from Moore Theological College, NSW Australia. He is adjunct Instructor in Church History at Western Reformed Seminary (WRS) where his Church history tours can be taken for graduate elective credit; additionally, the Oxford Creative Writing Master Class and Bond's church history tours are course offerings at New College Franklin. A teacher of English and history for many years, Bond was awarded by the Pierce County Library Foundation and Arts Commission the "2005 Teacher Award"  for his teaching of writing; his student writers have consistently dominated local and regional double-blind-judged writing contests, including a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place sweep of the three-state and British Columbia Optimist 2015 high school essay writing contest, for which he was awarded "2015 Teacher of the Year." Bond is an adjunct instructor of English Literature and writing at Northwest Nazarene University, and frequently speaks on writing at conferences. Bond has ministered in Peru, at Lavengamalie College in the Kingdom of Tonga, and with Equipping Leaders International (ELI) in Uganda (2007).

He is on the advisory board of Glorious Films (Montreal) with Derek Thomas, Michael Haykin, and others (2014). Bond was selected to be a contributor to the Psalms Project (2009), funded by the Lilly Foundation, to speak at Union University, and to write a chapter for the book Forgotten Songs (along with Leland Ryken, Ray Van Neste, Ray Ortlund, Jack Collins, and others). As a hymn writer and author of several books on hymnody, Bond was asked to be a consultant for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) special feature series on Christian hymns God's Greatest Hits (2012). His NEW REFORMATION HYMNS album with Greg Wilbur, Steve Green, and Nathan Clarke George releases in 2016; a growing number of his hymns are being sung in churches and at conferences.

Bond is a ruling elder in the PCA, has served on a Presbytery committee, and in 2015 was elected to the permanent General Assembly national committee for Reformed University Ministries, which oversees the campus ministry Reformed University Fellowship (RUF).

As an outgrowth of his books and teaching, Bond has led church history tours in Europe since 1996 (www.bondvoyage.webs.com), and has also been consulted on a history documentary film on the Reformation. Meridian Filmworks is in negotiation with Bond’s publisher to create a major motion picture of his Scottish Covenanter Golden Medallion nominee novel Duncan’s War.

Frequently interviewed on Christian radio stations, Bond was featured in French newspaper Le Midi Libre (1/18/2015) on his book HAMMER OF THE HUGUENOTS, researched and written on-location in France. Additionally, Bond's articles on church history and theology have appeared in Modern Reformation, Table Talk, byFaith (author interview), Western Reformed Seminary Journal, Light and Life magazines, and in the Aquila Report. In addition to leading church history tours, Bond often lectures at conferences on literature and church history, including a third bonus speaking session at the Ligonier West Coast Conference in 2016.

"Douglas Bond understands the human condition, always finds the joy in teaching, and imparts the most profound wisdom to his students." David V. Kimball

Registration and fees 

Cost per participant $2,375--Save $400 by registering early

Register early for the June 29-July 5, 2017 master class and pay: $1,975

Includes ground costs: accommodation (shared room), 15 meals, daily tea-time snacks, van transportation, entrance fees, drama production ticket, several Oxford college entrance fees, daily writing tutorials, local tour guidance.

(Airfare not included)

Registration for the 2016 Spring and Summer and 2017 Spring master classes closed. Do not delay registering for the June 29-July 5, 2017 master class. It will fill quickly.

"Ridiculously fantastic. I danced around the kitchen like a spazzy ballerina on steroids when I first got my spot in the class, and it exceeded by far my highest expectations. Mr. Douglas Bond's instruction was highly insightful, and his approach made me feel as if the entire class was customized for my particular needs as a budding writer. An absolute must for anyone that sees beauty in the written word. The Rachel Review enthusiastically gives this class 11 out of 10 stars."

Contact Douglas Bond and reserve your place today: bondbooks.net@gmail.com or 253-381-1961 

1. Print and sign the Registration Contract

2. Mail in a copy of the signed contract with your $200 deposit

3. Join this site to follow updates and suggested readings in preparation for the next OCWMC!

4. Keep writing!

PAYMENT SCHEDULE:

Early Registration Discount (subject to space availability)

$200 Deposit (don't forget to send in your signed tour contract)

April 1, 2017--$800

May 15, 2017--Balance in full ($975)

Authors who have influenced me (in various ways) 

          Lewis               O'Conner          Spurgeon            Sutcliff            Shakespeare            Milton             Calvin

... and John Bunyan, Dorothy Sayers, Donne, Cowper, Watts, Horatius Bonar, Tolkien, Chesterton...

READING LIST (Partial)

JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis's fictional works (we will be reading and discussing a number of shorter pieces on writing from both of these authors, as well as Solzhenitsyn, Churchill, Jane Austen, and others)

Evan K Gibson's CS Lewis Spinner of Tales

Dorothy Sayers's Mind of the Maker

Steve DeWitt's Eyes Wide Open

Bodie & Brock Thoene's Writer to Writer

Robert Newton Peck's Secrets of Successful Fiction

Flannery O'Connor's Mystery and Manners

Strunk & White's Elements of Style

Gary Provost's Beyond Style

Carol Weber's Surprised by Oxford

William Shakespeare's Hamlet

CBS London interviews Bond at Oxford on previous tour

While leading one of my groups of students on a literary and Church history tour, one of Iceland's volcanoes erupted stranding me with 55 young people for an unplanned extra 6 days in the UK.

A journalist from CBS London contacted me through social media and said they had been following my blog. They arranged to meet us in Oxford and follow us around, filming and interviewing me and my students along the way.

I prepared my students by telling them not to say anything silly... I should have followed my own advice!

 

Travel logistics

 

Greetings, all!

Have you glanced at the calendar lately? Our time together in Oxford will be here before we know it (78 days if my arithmetic is working). I trust all of you will be in prayer about the master class and our deep explorations into the writing craft as well as our adventures in middle England. I would like to suggest that each of you reply all to this email with a brief introduction of yourself to the rest of the master class. Be sure to include where you are from, something about your family if you would like, your church affiliation if you would like, and, of course, your writing interests and experiences. So just reply all to this and let’s get acquainted.

 

I would like to clarify some logistics with all of you:

 

--The reading list is not a required one. I don’t expect you to order all the books and read them, though if you have not read Strunk and White you ought to pick up a copy and begin an annual read of that important little book. A delightful read I think all of you would enjoy is Surprised by Oxford, the spiritual autobiography of Canadian (Wills!) Carol Weber, one-time postmodern literary pagan brought to faith in Christ while on a graduate scholarship in Oxford.

 

Travel logistics:

--I will be meeting everyone at Heathrow as close to noon on March 30 as we can all arrive (for anyone arriving a day early, just take the underground back to Heathrow for our meet up). I will also be bringing everyone back to Heathrow on April 6. Please don’t schedule evening arrivals or early morning departures.

--As you browse for flights remember that Tuesday is often the best day to purchase tickets on line. Check for flights with expedia.com, but we have usually found it best then after finding the flight arrangement and cost we want to go directly to the airline for booking the flight. Try different combinations of days for when you leave the US or Canada (sorry UK Caitlin for the North American logistics—you have it easy!). Sometimes arriving a day early (March 29) or departing the day after (April 7) can save you money on the airfare, but remember that you will have a hotel and meals for the extra night.

--Cheryl and I already booked our flights and paid in the $900s USD for each. This was a good rate and it was early for us as February can be a price war time for airfares. I would suggest checking expedia.com tomorrow.

--Let us know as soon as you find a flight and give us the flight number and times of arrival and the terminal you arrive at (the terminal number is important at Heathrow because it is a vast airport). Once we know which terminal most folks are arriving at we will make our meet up at that terminal.

--Travel light. Pack clothes that can be accessorized for variety and layered for warmth. It can be blustering in Britain in the spring (I’ve had snow on spring tours more than once, though usually in Scotland). Wear comfortable walking footwear as you will be on your feet exploring the cobbled byways of middle England. No stilettos!

--I would suggest having global service added to your mobile phone and then send me your cell number. This will help us fine tune our meet up and keep in touch throughout our time together. I would add my cell 253-381-1961 and Cheryl’s 253-820-8953 to your contacts right now. For your US/Canadian families calling you while in the UK they will dial 011+44+area code and number. Check with your cell provider for how to call using your cell phone from the UK to your family back in US or Canada.

--Relax and enjoy the pre-travel logistics. Since 1996 we have never lost a traveler or failed to meet up eventually. I find travel to be wonderful on many levels, but it particularly makes you more aware of just how much you are in the hands of a loving Heavenly Father who has gone before you and who will be with you at every stage of the entire travel experience. We’re always dependent on the Spirit of God, but travel can help us realize it more acutely, and find rest in the midst of the bustle. Enjoy!

 

Please call or email if you have any questions. See you in England!

Warm regards,
Douglas Bond
www.bondbooks.net
www.bondvoyage.webs.com
"Men do not obtain grace by freedom; they obtain freedom by grace." Augustine

 


Greetings Oxford Master Class!

I trust you are all having a blessed first few days of the new year. I’m very much looking forward to our time in Oxford together. One of you asked about a more specific day-to-day itinerary and about a reading list. The exact order of our half-day outings will depend in part on which night we go to see Hamlet in Stratford. We will be in Cambridge, of course, on Sunday for worship as well as to see sites there. Most mornings we will spend in and around Oxford itself. [From the website: There will be 3 half-day trips: Stratford-upon-Avon, Cambridge, Bunyan's nearby Elstow/Bedford, and Cowper's home in Olney (the birthplace of my creative writing inspiration)]. Here is a partial reading list for your consideration. I’ll probably be adding a few items to it.:

READING LIST (Partial)

JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis's fictional works (we will be reading and discussing a number of shorter pieces on writing from both of these authors, as well as Solzhenitsyn, Churchill, Jane Austen, and others)

Evan K Gibson's CS Lewis Spinner of Tales

Dorothy Sayers's Mind of the Maker

Steve DeWitt's Eyes Wide Open

Bodie & Brock Thoene's Writer to Writer

Robert Newton Peck's Secrets of Successful Fiction

Flannery O'Connor's Mystery and Manners

Strunk & White's Elements of Style

Gary Provost's Beyond Style

Surprised by Oxford, Carol Weber

"Writing with hands and feet." Luther

"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." Augustine, Letters cxliii.2, as cited in John Calvin to the Reader, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559  Read an author Interview about writing 

After reading John Calvin's incomparable response to Cardinal Sadoleto, who was trying to woo Geneva back to Rome, Martin Luther said, "Here is writing with hands and feet."

Day Trips:

Cambridge, including worship at Ian Hamilton’s church

Olney, Cowper, Newton; poetry and hymnody; my inspiration and setting for Mr Pipes

Stratford-upon-Avon (or London) and the Bard, Isaac Watts visiting here too

"Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to the love of the telling." CS Lewis

"Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing. Ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago." The Letters of C. S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves (30 May 1916), para. 7, p. 104.

“It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God's heaven.” –Alexander Solzhenitsyn

•“I have very little to say about short-story writing.... Asking me to talk about story-writing is just like asking a fish to lecture on swimming.” Flannery O’Connor •

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading; in order to write, a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” Samuel Johnson    •

“Beware of advice—even this.” Carl Sandburg • 

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” Ray Bradbury •

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Mark Twain •

"Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head." From the movie Finding Forrester

  •"The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances." Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) - Poetics (1459a4) •

"A good style must, first of all, be clear. It must not be mean or above the dignity of the subject. It must be appropriate."Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) - The Art of Rhetoric •

"What is written must be easy to read and easy to speak; which is the same." Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) - The Art of Rhetoric, tr H.C. Lawson-Trancred, Ch 3, Sect. 5 •

"Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible." Leo Tolstoy •

"The best style is the style you don't notice." Somerset Maugham •

"Might we not say that every child at play behaves like a creative writer, in that he creates a world of his own, or, rather, rearranges the things of his world in a new way which pleases him?" Freud    

Matthew 13:51-52  “And Jesus said to them, 'Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.'”

Some of the materials I will read and use as talking points throughout the week:

Samuel Johnson's Rambler 4

WRITING WITH CS LEWIS (my series of lectures based on what Lewis wrote about writing)

Bunyan’s Apology for Pilgrim’s Progress

Elizabeth Eliot’s 10 rules of good writing

Sayers, O’Conner, Tolkien on Fantasy

Genre, including poetry, fiction, audio theatre (find out ahead particular interests)

Daily poetry, push-ups of prose after breakfast (devotions in the Psalms daily)

Borrow prompts from Provost Beyond Style, Secrets of Successful Fiction

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HISTORY Where it Happened

Reformation Wall, Geneva

Edinburgh, Scotland

Lutherhaus, Wittenberg

Norham Castle, Scotland

Calvin's Noyon, France


Heidelberg Castle, Germany


Durham, England

Leuchars, Scotland


Strasbourg, France

Loudoun Hill, Scotland

Loudoun Keep, Scotland


Learn more about Bond's books

Ayrshire, Scotland

Mr Pipes Hymn Tours