The first is a writing workshop for adult dyslexics, in which there should be little if any writing. The second is a talk at a Baha'i Summer School on the connection between writing and faith. Both are fascinating prospects - for me, at least. And curiously, when I got thinking about it, I realised there would be a significant overlap between the things covered in the two.
To start with the dyslexic writing workshop. This may sound like some kind of contradiction in terms, but it is in the main stream of what I do in teaching writing. People have been telling stories far longer than there has been writing. Complex language existed at least 150,000 years ago. (Otherwise it would have been impossible for our ancestors to organise the voyages of exploration that they undertook. But for the various view on this, see wikipedia). From what we know of the human condition, we can be sure they were telling each other stories way back then.
By comparison, the 5,400 year history of writing - the time during which stories have been written down - is the blink of an eye. In most of my writing workshops I concentrate on getting people to imagine vividly, to create stories and to understand what they are doing. The last bit - the writing down - is the least of it.
Second is the workshop on faith and writing. The brief is to give a 45 minute talk on the way literature relates to the faith traditions of the world. But I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to do that. (I say this not out of any attempt at modesty. Reading is a burden for me, and as a result I am poorly read - this is something I do regret.) Instead, I am going to look at the structure of mythic stories and the way this structure echos the stories and events surrounding the founding of the religions. This is, of course, the same structure that I will be dealing with in the workshop for dyslexics. It is the structure that underlies the vast majority of stories.