Yearlong Workshop

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 2015 and 2016, where students and faculty meet as a group for  morning workshops. 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 8th year, the Yearlong Workshop has already helped many Fishtrap writers generate manuscripts and go on to publication.

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: 2015-2016

Illuminating Wonder: A Yearlong Workshop in Book-Length Narrative


True stories come from the hidden depths: their sources are what we’re afraid to say, don’t know how to say, or have never quite heard said. Great writers are brave writers, andgreat art finds its origin in wonder, and its answers from within. In this yearlong course we’ll bring our wonder to the many mysteries of writing a book-length story. From exploring the sources of our subjects in ourselves, to generating the fertile chaos from which great writing springs, to studying and experimenting with different ways to shape and revise, we’ll move together and as individuals from curiosity through necessary failures to the bit-by-bit joy of finding exactly the right words. This class will help anyone working in book-length narrative, whether fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, play/screenplay, or some brave combination. Writers at any stage of conception, creation, or revision are welcome to apply.

This workshop requires an application and instructor approval.

Karen Fisher

Karen Fisher is the author of A Sudden Country, and the upcoming Heart of the Monster. A PEN/Faulkner finalist, Washington State Book Award winner, and NEA fellow, she works as a developmental editor and novel coach, and has taught for the University of Washington, the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and Fishtrap. Her in-progress experiments include memoir, nonfiction, poetry, and things that don’t know what they are. She writes, teaches, and raises children and horses from her home on Lopez Island. Karen taught the 2011 – 2012 Yearlong Workshop to rave reviews and we’re happy to have her back.

Fishtrap’s Yearlong Workshop is $6,420 which includes registration and meals for the 2015 and 2016 Summer Fishtrap week-long workshops. Tuition is due in monthly payments over 13 months. A $420 discount is available for those who pay their tuition in full by June 5, 2015.

Early application submission period opens December 15, 2014. To apply, prospective participants submit a PDF file including a writing sample of 5-10 pages and a statement outlining their book or project with thoughts on how the Yearlong Workshop will help them on their journey toward completion, plus a $25 non-refundable reading fee. Applications will be accepted December 15, 2014 through January 15, 2015. We will notify applicants by February 1, 2015. If positions in the workshop remain after that time, we will accept additional applications on an ongoing basis until filled.

CLICK HERE to apply for the Yearlong Workshop

If you have questions, get in in touch with Fishtrap Program Manager, Mike Midlo. 541-426-3623 /