Writing on the Farm: Foodways and Farm Culture in a Changing World

August 14-18, 2024

Food is an essential part of the shared human experience, yet these connections fray when we do not acknowledge a food’s cultural ties or explore the bigger story about where our food comes from. How can we look beyond the merely delicious into something more complex, something that requires harder questions? What kind of food writing becomes possible when it is connected to ecosystems and farmers? In this multi-genre workshop, writers will deepen their explorations of food through personal narrative, firsthand experience, and research. We’ll discuss nonfiction, memoir, manifesto, fiction, poetry, folklore, and journalism, and we’ll write our own new work.

This is a workshop for established and emerging food writers. In addition to ample quiet time for writing, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a hands-on farm experience. We will milk goats, make cheese, care for farm animals, work in the gardens, harvest their bounty, and prepare food together. At the end of the workshop, we’ll host a celebratory reading.

Tuition for this workshop is $1425 and includes food and lodging. Thanks to support from our supporters, all writers from the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) are eligible to receive financial assistance to attend. Assistance will be awarded on a sliding scale. Please pay what you can.



Writing Portion of the workshop will be led by Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon

Kate Lebo’s first collection of nonfiction, The Book of Difficult Fruit, won the 2022 Washington State Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. It was also named a best book of the year by NPRThe AtlanticNew York magazine, Electric Literature, and The Globe and Mail. She’s the author of the cookbook Pie School and the poetry chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and coeditor with Samuel Ligon of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze. Her essays and poems have appeared or will appear soon in Best American EssaysOrion, Harper’s Magazine, Saveur, Cake Zine, The Inlander, and elsewhere. She teaches nonfiction for the University of Idaho’s MFA program and lives with her family in Spokane, Washington, where she is an apprentice cheesemaker to Lora Lea Misterly of Quillisascut Farm. 

Samuel Ligon’s most recent novel—Miller Cane: A True & Exact History—was serialized for a year in Spokane’s weekly newspaper, The Inlander, as well as on Spokane Public Radio. The author of four previous books of fiction, including Wonderland and Safe in Heaven Dead, Ligon is also co-editor, with Kate Lebo, of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze. He teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and serves as EWU’s Faculty Legislative Liaison in Olympia.