Yearlong Workshop Overview
Fishtrap’s Yearlong Workshop is a 13 month intensive writing program modeled after low-residency MFA programs, with short, intense group sessions framing a year of long-distance instruction, offered at about half the cost of most low-residency MFA programs. If you don’t need a degree, but just want high-quality, sustained support and instruction for your writing, this program could be the perfect one for you.
The Yearlong program begins and ends with attendance at Summer Fishtrap, where students and faculty meet as a group for morning workshops. A mid-year meeting brings the group back together in January. For 2014-2015, the January term will take place in Virgin, Utah near Zion National Park at Teresa Jordan’s Blue Gate Studio. In between these face-to-face meetings, participants work closely with their instructor, exchanging monthly packets of writing. With each packet the writer moves toward the development of a full-length manuscript with a goal of having a complete draft by the end of the course. Now in its seventh year, the Yearlong Workshop has already helped Fishtrap writers generate many manuscripts. Recently, Pam Steele published the novel she worked on in a Yearlong Workshop with Jane Vandenburgh, Greasewood Creek.
Generally, writers submit a packet of writing to the instructor each month for critique and comment. Feedback may be via email, regular mail or phone, depending upon the situation and the format preferred by the instructor. Developing the discipline required by these intensive writing workshops is deeply rewarding — writers who have completed one of Fishtrap’s Yearlong Workshops report major breakthroughs and life-changing experiences. The personal commitment on the writer’s part is echoed by that of the teacher.
Yearlong Workshop: 2014-2015
The Writer’s Pilgrimage: A Yearlong Workshop in book-length creative non-fiction
Writing a book is a hero’s journey, a call to leave ordinary life behind and face obstructions and danger in order to bring a treasure back to humanity. In the process, the hero or heroine–in this case, the writer–is transformed, and this year-long intensive is a pilgrimage not only to find the life in that subject that you can’t leave alone, but also to develop the ability, faith, courage, and stamina required to wrestle chaos into form and progress toward becoming the writer you want to be.
As Joseph Campbell reminded us, a mentor and allies are invaluable along the way. Teresa Jordan has earned a reputation as a generous and insightful teacher at colleges, universities and writing workshops across the West. She will guide students in the habits of work and imagination that make a writing life sustainable, and will help the workshop cohere as a community able to nurture each member’s creative endeavor. The class is open to all types of narrative nonfiction including memoir, literary journalism, biography and travel or food writing. Participants should have a book underway or clearly in mind and be able to commit to a year of focused work.
Teresa Jordan is an artist and author whose books include the memoir, Riding the White Horse Home and two illustrated journals, Apprentice to Place: Field Notes from Yosemite and Raging River, Quiet Mind: Field Notes from the Grand Canyon. With her husband, Hal Cannon, she created the series The Open Road for public radio’s The Savvy Traveler. Her newest book, The Year of Living Virtuously, Weekends Off, is a collection of essays inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen virtues and the seven deadly sins. It will include her artwork and is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in 2014. She has taught memoir and creative nonfiction at colleges, universities and workshops across the West, including the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College, Fishtrap, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Writers@Work and, as Writer in Residence, at the Universities of Utah and Nebraska. Her experience teaching a year-long course on Writing for Artists at the Oregon College and Art and Craft with Kim Stafford several years ago provided her with so much growth and delight that she has jumped at the chance to teach this year-long intensive for Fishtrap.
Comments from recent students:
- Teresa is a gentle and generous and immensely effective instructor, bringing her gifts as a both a literary and a visual artist to bear in every minute of every class.
- I loved this class. It made me believe in myself as a writer again. Teresa has a gift for maintaining a high level of discussion and standards, and at the same time embracing the class with her warmth and sincerity.
- I would absolutely recommend the class to a friend. Learning that there is a process and structure is so helpful. The books recommended were perfect. Teresa’s grasp of the writing craft is impressive and her teaching style is very engaging and gentle.
- It was an incredible gift from the universe to be able to be here and feed my artist’s soul. I appreciated Teresa’s humbleness, competence, kindness, compassion and encouragement.
Yearlong Applications Accepted Dec. 15, 2013 – January 17, 2014
Prospective participants should submit:
- A manuscript of up to 10 pages, double-spaced that can be, but does not have to be, an excerpt from a book-length project.
- A statement of up to 5 pages outlining your book or project and thoughts on how the Yearlong Workshop can help you meet those needs.
- A $25 non-refundable reading fee.
Your completed application must be received between December 15, 2013 and Friday, January 17 2014. All applicants will be notified of their status by February 15, 2014. If any positions remain after that time, we will accept applications on an ongoing basis until filled.
Course tuition for the 2014-2015 Yearlong Workshop is $6,420 per student. This includes:
* Registration for 2014 and 2015 Summer Fishtrap Gatherings
* Meals at Summer Fishtrap 2014 and 2015
* Enrollment for the January 2015 session in Virgin, Utah at Blue Gate Studio
* All individual instruction during the course
Tuition does NOT include:
* Lodging at the 2014 and 2015 Summer Fishtrap Gatherings or the January 2015 session in Virgin, Utah.
* Transportation to or from Summer Fishtrap or the January 2015 meeting
* Meals during the January session
* Materials or postage expenses for monthly mailings
* Communications expenses (e.g., telephone calls) with instructor
Once you have been accepted into the course, you must reserve your spot with a $535 non-refundable tuition deposit. The remainder of the tuition is payable either in monthly installments of $535 for 11 months, starting June 7, 2014, or in a lump sum by June 7 2014 in which case you’ll receive a $420 tuition discount.