Harvester Is. Wilderness Workshop

Third Annual 

Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop

August 29 – September 5, 2015

Registration is still open!

                                          Guest Writer Bret Lott

**AND, NEW! Private Writing Retreats Now       
       Available Here: Private Writing Retreats

Here's a glimpse of the 2014 Workshop. It was a grand time as you can see by the slideshow above. 

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

                       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.  

2015 Guest Writer: Bret Lott 

Bret Lott is the bestselling author of fourteen books, most recently the nonfiction collection Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian (Crossway 2013) and the novel Dead Low Tide (Random House 2012). Other books include the story collection The Difference Between Women and Men, the nonfiction book Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life, and the novels Jewel, an Oprah Book Club pick, and A Song I Knew by Heart. His work has appeared in, among other places, The Yale Review, The New York Times, The Georgia Review and in dozens of anthologies. From 1986 to 2004 he was writer-in-residence and professor of English at The College of Charleston, leaving to take the position of editor and director of The Southern Review at Louisiana State University. Three years later, in the fall of 2007, he returned to The College of Charleston and the job he most loves: teaching. 
His honors include being named Fulbright Senior American Scholar and writer-in-residence to Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, speaking on Flannery O’Connor at The White House, and having served as a member of the National Council on the Arts from 2006 to 2012. Currently he is nonfiction editor of the journal Crazyhorse. He and his wife, Melanie, live in Hanahan, South Carolina.

  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.  

Mornings, 9:00 - 12 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.    


"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

"Thanks, Leslie, for well-planned, fun, informative workshops. Your warm  hospitality,interesting guests, tasty food, skiff rides, hikes, outhouse and banya all made for a great Alaskan experience."    ---Dan 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. Banya-bathing is available most every night. And both outhouses are clean and new, offering the best outhouse experience you've ever had---I promise! Still, 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 $2,400 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)

*If you're interested in coming but the airfare to Alaska seems prohibitive, I have an idea or two to significantly defray that cost. Please write!

Contact me here: leslieleylandfields@gmail.com


Nothing is as exciting as the group workshop, but those dates don't work for everyone. It's possible to come on your own, or with a friend/s or spouse for a private retreat, with all the same amenities between June 10 and August 15.

*A lovely private studio over the ocean, with a full kitchen, internet, bird's eye view of a pair of land otters who lump past every afternoon at about 3 pm, a sea otter who paddles back and forth about every hour, whales visible most of the time, with yourself as the sole resident.  


The Studio, all yours! And--all new! Modern kitchen, comfortable living/dining room and bedroom.

*Food and meals provided. Fresh seafood, wholesome homemade meals! You are welcome to eat as few or as many meals with us and our family/crew---or you may choose to eat alone in your studio. You're also welcome to join me in meal preparation or any of the other food work I am doing (making smoked salmon, jams and jellies, etc.)

*One-on-One professional guidance/feedback with me, discussing your work, as you choose. Up to 2 hours a day. You may simply want space and time to work, but if you desire any kind of feedback or guidance, I'm there.

*Adventure: walking, ocean trips in the skiff, beach combing. Your choice on activity and adventure vs. writing time.

*Getting there: You would fly into Larsen Bay on the mail plane (R/T $250). I would pick you up in the skiff at Larsen Bay for a 25 minute skiff ride to the island. Or you could fly straight to the island on a float plane (at about double the cost). 

*Cost: $300/day, with a minimum of 3 days, maximum of 10, (or as the retreat schedule permits.

Write for more details: leslieleylandfields@gmail.com