Writers In Residence


The Wallowa County Writer-in-Residence

Since 1997, Fishtrap has brought an accomplished creative writer to live, write and teach in Wallowa County each winter.  This is a great opportunity for the writer and for the students and adults of the county.  Many students have discovered a love of creative writing and gone on to be accomplished writers and teachers themselves as a result of their time with the Fishtrap Writer-in-Residence.

In 2013, Fishtrap and Oregon State University (OSU) joined forces to create an expanded Wallowa County Writer-in-Residence position for an accomplished Oregon State University graduate student in the Masters of Fine Arts creative writing program.  The selected OSU writer moves to Wallowa County for the school year to live, teach, and write here.  The Writer-in-Residence teaches Fishtrap College to high school junior and seniors in the fall and spring. In the winter the Writer-in-Residence spends 1-12 weeks teaching  creative writing in the schools, working with K-12 students in Wallowa, Enterprise, Joseph, Imnaha and Troy. The Writer-in-Residence for 2013/2014 is the poet Sally Parrish. In the fall of 2014 the next Writer-in-Residence will be Alysssa Halton. For information on Fishtrap College, visit the Fishtrap College page of our website or send an email to sally@fishtrap.org. To request the Writer-in-Residence in your classroom contact @fishtrap.org

 Background on the Writer-In-Residence Program

In 1997, Fishtrap inaugurated a Writer-in-Residence (WIR) program here in Wallowa County. Rather than pushing the writer through a short, grueling, and intensive experience, we sought an extensive experience – one that would benefit the community, students, and writer in equal measures. In this format a writer lives and works in the community for 8-12 weeks, teaching part-time and working on their own writing part-time. A WIR will typically teach creative writing to over 100 students during their residency. Students who participate in creative writing classes with the WIR program are eligible to apply for full scholarships to attend Summer Fishtrap’s creative writing workshops.

The program worked so well here that we introduced it to three other communities in 2007, naming the expanded program Eastern Oregon Writers-in-Residence (EOWIR). Students from the EOWIR programs have had their lives changed by the ability to freely express themselves in a comfortable, grade-free environment. Previous WIR’s have ranged from emerging writers to published authors, certified teachers to first-time educators. All WIR’s are dedicated to community outreach and diplomacy, the craft of writing, and creating safe spaces for young writers to explore and express themselves.

With the success that the Eastern Oregon Writers-in-Residence program, Fishtrap formed a partnership with ArtsEast, an organization with the mission, to serve, facilitate, and support the arts, artists, and arts education in Eastern Oregon. ArtsEast works with professional teaching artists in the Artist-in-Residence program to promote arts education in a variety of learning environments. Residencies are offered in a wide variety of art disciplines: visual (watercolor, cartooning, murals, puppet making), dance, literary, theater, and music. Teaching artists are selected for their artistic qualifications and their proven abilities as educators.

Writers residencies sponsored through ArtsEast are scheduled by the week. Writers provide approximately 20 on-site classroom hours per week, with four 45-60 minutes sessions per day. The average residency request is for 2 weeks, but it can vary depending on the specific site’s needs. Writers may work with pre-school through adult populations, including special education, at-risk and gifted populations, but the majority of residencies occur in elementary and middle schools. Additional services may include performances, workshops, teacher trainings and individually designed special projects.

To learn more about the new format for the Writer-in-Residence program outside of Wallowa County, please visit ArtsEast.

If you’re interested in our Summer Fishtrap scholarships for students from Eastern Oregon, visit our Scholarships Page.

If you are interested in a writing retreat, please take a look at our Imnaha Writers’ Retreat.

 Fishtrap’s Wallowa County Writer-in-Residence

In 2015 we have two  Writers-in-Residence. Alyssa Halton serves as the Wallowa County Writer-in-Residence this winter.  She will teach creative writing to K-12 students in Wallowa County Schools, teach an evening creative writing class for adults, and produce a final show of work produced by her students and herself in March.  Alyssa writes creative non fiction and is a graduate student at Oregon State University in their Master of Fine Arts program.  . Alyssa was born and raised just outside of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. After graduating with a BA in Creative Writing from St. Lawrence University, Alyssa decided to dedicate her attention towards pursuing her writing. She is a recent East-to-West Coast transplant and is thrilled to spend her third and final year in graduate school here in Wallowa County. Her writing is interested in examining the connection between place and personal identity, often reflecting the myriad of places she, at some point, has called home. She served as the Fishtrap College instructor in the fall and will teach another college class this spring

Cameron Scott is the Fishtrap Story Lab Writer in Residence at the Joseph Charter School – an 8 month position funded by the Oregon Community Foundation as part of their efforts to reinvigorate arts education in the schools.  Cam returns to Fishtrap after having served as Fishtrap’s 2013 Wallowa County Writer-in-Residence.  Cameron Scott was born in Denver, CO in 1977 and graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. He received a Master of Fine Arts, Poetry, from the University of Arizona in 2004 and taught a creative writing workshop at Voices 110 Degrees, a writing program for at risk youth in Tucson, AZ for two years before taking a road trip in search of his roots and trout.  He is currently an editor at Rise Forms, a contributing editor at Sugar Mule and Cheek Teeth, and writes a monthly outdoor column for Carbondale, CO’s local paper, The Sopris Sun. His work has appeared in many literary journals and periodicals. In the past two years he has held artist and writer in residence positions through The Colorado Art Ranch, Chiloquin Visions in Progress, and Fishtrap. He works summers at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt, CO as a fly-fishing guide. For more information or to contact Cameron head over to his website.