What People Are Saying


Fishtrap brings together readers and writers to talk about how we can live together, all of us, men and women, white and nonwhite, natives and immigrants, live together respectfully on this land, generation after generation, as the West changes.

Molly Gloss, Author of Jump Off Creek and Fishtrap Advisor


Fishtrap worked its magic on me. I arrived at the Summer Conference sure I didn’t deserve a Fellowship, and I’d prepared myself—expected, and maybe even hoped—to learn that a clerical error had been made when I reached the registration table. I was ready to tuck my chin and make the six-hour drive home. Instead I was welcomed by gorgeous people who’d not only read my application writing sample but were glad to see me. I usually have to go home for folks to have that reaction. Throughout the week, I felt more and more comfortable at Fishtrap. Not because I suddenly thought myself deserving—I still say I was badly spoiled—but because I was told, in workshop, after readings, over meals, again and again, that the novel I was writing was worth the work. That’s Fishtrap for you: No one asks where you’ve published, or what honors are attached to your name, or what your credentials are. Instead Fishtrappers want to know what you’re working on. And then want to read it. What could be better for a writer? What could be more usefully humbling? What can I say? I came to Fishtrap feeling out of my depth and found home.

John Carr Walker, 2012 Fishtrap Fellow

 The venue is fabulous . . . the mountains, lake, lack of distractions, help to bring everyone together. The emphasis on equality suits me very well – It’s important that conferences validate, not intimidate or isolate their participants, and Fishtrap does this better than any other place I know.”

– Karen Fisher, novelist and 2011-2012 Fishtrap Yearlong Workshop Instructor


Every time I walk into a classroom I am blown away by how hungry the students are to write:  to interact with writing above and beyond the state standards, to cut their creative minds loose, and to have an adult outside of their teacher listen and respond with thoughtfulness and encouragement to what they have written.

                                               —  Cameron Scott, Fishtrap Writer-in-Residence


Summer Fishtrap has been one of my richest learning experiences as a writer.  Now I know why my writer mentor urged me to go. The entire experience boosted my confidence and has launched me forward! The small group learning format, high quality instructors, fellow writers’ constructive input and inspirational readings continue to fuel my writing practices.  I walked away with a dense resource of feedback, new friends and “homework” to easily keep me busy for years to come.  Whenever I feel like I’m stuck in a self-critical eddy in my writing, I just think of the support and encouragement of Fishtrap.  Thank you folks at Fishtrap!

                                               — Annie Thoe, Whidbey Island, Participant in the 2012 Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers

 [Our instructor]  was terrific. It was easily one of the best things I’ve done for myself. Ever. I came away with many new pieces of brand new writing that are on their way. So fertile and generative. A terrific group.

 –A participant in the 2013 summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers

This was a unique and wonderful experience for me, and I’ve taught all over the United States in various venues. Part of what made the week great had to do with the caliber of the writing students in my class. The great majority of my group was both talented and committed to helping one another. They were kind and generous to their classmates, attentive and responsive to me. We enjoyed a nearly flawless workshop dynamic, with minimal guidance on my part. Good people. The other part of the great experience is the very relaxed and freeing atmosphere of this retreat . . . You guys have a really good thing going, here. It’s like grownup school with naps, snacks and a playground. Excellent.

— A  2013 faculty member after her first experience teaching at the Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers