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

August 10-14, 2022

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 learn to look beyond the merely delicious into something more complex, something that requires harder questions? In this multi-genre workshop, writers will deepen their explorations of food through research, firsthand experience, reporting, and personal narrative. We’ll read and discuss nonfiction, memoir, manifesto, fiction, poetry, folklore, and journalism. We’ll generate new writing. And we’ll learn how to become cultural documentarians of food. 

This is a workshop for established and new 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, visit local farms, work in the gardens, harvest their bounty, and prepare food together. At the end of the workshop, we’ll host a celebratory reading, and students will have the opportunity to submit what they wrote for publication in the Quillisascut Anthology of Food and Culture.

Tuition for this workshop is $995, and includes food and lodging. Thanks to support from Humanities Washington and the National Endowment for the Humanities, all writers are eligible to receive a scholarship to attend. Scholarships will be awarded on a sliding scale. Please pay what you can. Only residents of of the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) are eligible for scholarships due to the conditions of our grant.


NOTE: this program is currently full and we are taking applicants for the waiting list. We still encourage you to apply! Life is unpredictable and plans change, so it is not uncommon for spots to open up a few months prior to the program.


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 (FSG), was named a best book of the year by NPRThe AtlanticNew York magazine, Electric Literature, and The Globe and Mail, and shortlisted for the PNBA Book Award. She is the author of the cookbook Pie School (Sasquatch Books), the poetry chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Entre Rios Books), and co-editor with Samuel Ligon of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze (Sasquatch Books). On behalf of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, she has been gathering foodways stories from Eastern Washington. She lives in Spokane, where she is an apprenticed 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.