Harvester Is. Wilderness Workshop

Third Annual 

Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop

August 29 – September 5, 2015

Registration is open!

The 2014 Workshop is over! It was a grand time! A new slide show is coming, but until then, here are some of the beautiful faces who came to bloom on Harvester Island:

  Registration is now open for 2015.  The 15 spots will fill quickly! 

2015 Guest Writer: Bret Lott 
Best-selling Multi-award winning novelist and essayist
(More coming soon) 

Calling all Adventurous Writers!

Harvester Island is a stunningly beautiful island off the west coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska offering refuge and adventure, contemplation and activity, solitude and community.  It's wild, remote (population: no one but us) and a remarkable place to grow your writing. Leslie knows:  she has written most of her books here over the last 37 years as she's lived and worked with her family in commercial fishing.  

Mornings, 9:30 - 1 pm, will be spent in classes and workshops with intensive and supportive guidance from Bret and Leslie, both award-winning writers and veteran teachers. Bret and Leslie will team-teach a class and discussion, then we'll break into workshop groups. Fiction writers will meet with Bret. Creative Nonfiction writers (memoir, essays, spiritual writing) will meet with Leslie. 

Afternoons will feature optional activities: whale watching, wildlife viewing, mountain and beach hiking. Each evening we will prepare our own fresh seafood dinner, followed by readings and special events, both literary and Alaskan.    

Your workshop leaders:
Leslie Leyland Fields is the author/editor of nine books, including Surviving the Island of Grace (Thomas Dunne), The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God (Cascade Press), and her most recent, Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers (Thomas Nelson). Her books have been translated into German, French, Korean and Polish. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Orion, Best Essays Northwest, Prairie Schooner, and many others earning her Pushcart nominations, the Virginia Faulkner Award, and a Genesis Award. She was a founding faculty member of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA program where she taught creative nonfiction for six years. Previously she taught Literature and creative writing at the University of Alaska.  She is on the Editorial Board of Christianity Today; a national speaker addressing topics of faith and culture at conferences, retreats, and churches; and a popular radio guest with more than 200 interviews on stations around the country.  

2014 Guest Writer: Paul Willis: Poetry and Fiction

Paul J. Willis is a professor of English at Westmont College and a former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, California.  He is the author of three collections of poetry— Say This Prayer into the Past (Cascade Books, 2013), Rosing from the Dead (WordFarm, 2009), and Visiting Home (Pecan Grove Press, 2008).  Individual poems have appeared, among other places, in Poetry, Wilderness, and Christian Century.  Adrienne Rich chose one of his poems for The Best American Poetry series, Jane Hirshfield has selected his work for chapbook publication, and Garrison Keillor has read his poetry on the Writer’s Almanac

His quartet of eco-fantasy novels, The Alpine Tales (WordFarm, 2010), is set in a mythic version of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest.  The first of the four tales, No Clock in the Forest, has been produced on the stage and is currently optioned as a screenplay.  His short stories have appeared in Image, Ascent, and The Other Side.

His debut in creative nonfiction, Bright Shoots of Everlastingness: Essays on Faith and the American Wild (WordFarm, 2005), was named by ForeWord magazine as the best essay collection of that year from an independent press.  Essays from this book have appeared in The Best Spiritual Writing 1999 (HarperSanFrancisco), The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004 (Houghton Mifflin), and The Best Christian Writing 2006 (Jossey-Bass).  In addition to other published essays, he also writes book reviews for Books & Culture, the Anglican Theological Review, and Christianity and Literature.  He currently serves as book review editor for Ruminate magazine.

Learn more (or less) at pauljwillis.com Here


"The workshop was a grand success! What a hospitable, magical place! Leslie opened her life and home to us in an astounding way. I cannot imagine a better place for productive work."       ------Joni Powers, author of Lifespace

"As a writer wanting help for his craft, the Workshops were good enjoyable fun. And then the whole Harvester Island Wilderness added the intangibles: Fields' family hospitality, interesting people, food, bush planes, skiffs, wildlife, outhouse and banya. It  all refreshed body and soul; I opened up, slowed down, and started to breathe again."               
                                                                                                      ----Daniel Cecil

"Thank you for such an impressionable, calming, spiritual, exciting experience. Your two islands were great places to sleep, reflect, grow and be me."------Rita Fleet

"Meals were bountiful!  Love the local flavors, the special treat of salmon, caribou and crab. . . . Gina was very sweet in giving me special (writing) stuff that she wanted me to have.  I was amazed at the breadth of knowledge both Leslie and Gina had."     ----David Cecil

"It is by far one of the prettiest places on God's green earth. Thanks to Leslie and Duncan for sharing their home, their island, their family and their life with us."   --Karen Winkler

"I cannot thank you enough for our week on Harvester .. ..it really opened my eyes to how the Kingdom should look on earth---arms and heart open wide." ---Carey Christian

Alaska, American, Delta all fly into Anchorage. From Anchorage, Alaska Airlines and Ravn fly into Kodiak. Leslie will meet you in Kodiak. From there we’ll take a bush plane across the spectacular wilderness of Kodiak Island to the village of Larsen Bay (approximate cost $280 R/T) where we’ll take a skiff or barge 30 minutes to Harvester Island. 
New, clean, comfortable heated rooms, all with mountain and ocean views, double occupancy for all but the dockhouse, a cabin that sits literally over the ocean, which sleeps 4.  Do Please remember, though, this IS a wilderness island!  We use an OUTHOUSE and BANYA.  The banya is a Russian style wood-fired steambath in a separate building. (No showers every day.)  If cleanliness is next to godliness for you, this may not be your workshop!  

The wilderness can’t be scripted! The weather can be wild and dramatic, preventing air or water travel at any time. If your schedule is sacred, and missing a flight due to weather is devastating, this is not your workshop!  An attitude of cheerful flexibility is the first necessary attribute to making the week spectacular, through sun, rain and storm.   
We’re in a remote area far from medical facilities, and  some activities may be rigorous. Because of this, all applicants must be physically fit and in excellent health. 

The cost for 7 nights, 8 days is $2,500 including room, board workshops, final one-on-one meeting with Leslie and Bret, excursions (bear viewing is extra), and tours. (Note: the average cost for most lodges in Alaska is $800 - $1000/night)

Please contact me for questions and an application form.