Brian Payton

Instructor, Mentor
Creative Writing

Brian Payton is the bestselling author of The Wind Is Not a River, which was published internationally and chosen as an Amazon Book of the Month, an Amazon Canada Best Fiction of the Year, and a “Best Book of the Year” by both the Seattle Times and BookPage. 

Brian is also the author of the novel Hail Mary Corner and two acclaimed works of narrative nonfiction: Shadow of the Bear: Travels in Vanishing Wilderness, which was a Barnes and Noble Book Club Pick and a U.S. National Outdoor Book Awards Book of the Year; and The Ice Passage: A True Story of Ambition, Disaster, and Endurance in the Arctic Wilderness, which was a finalist for the Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize. He lives with his family on Vancouver Island.

Brian’s advice for Writer’s Studio applicants

What are you looking for in your workshop group?

I strive to build a creative and welcoming space where a group of colleagues can work together toward growing their skills and improving their work. I enjoy working with writers who take their work (and that of their colleagues) seriously and treat the workshop as an opportunity to give and receive vital feedback that is both encouraging and constructive. I aim to foster a sense of community built on mutual respect and trust that will last beyond the formal 10-month workshop schedule.

What do you look for when reading an applicant’s submissions?

When reading submissions, I look for the same things that attract me as a casual reader: voice, insight, language, and a clear sense of story. It takes courage to submit one’s work for consideration at TWS. I appreciate applicants who demonstrate a commitment to craft either through formal education, independent study, workshops, or publication, but welcome anyone with a story to tell.

Upcoming courses taught by Brian Payton

Course Name
Start Date
Area of Study
Start DateThu, Oct 10, 2024
Area of StudyCreative Writing