Division of HumanitiesMFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Rainier Writing Workshop


"I am impressed with the caliber, commitment, and generosity of the faculty. Their willingness to engage with us in and out of our classroom made this experience unlike any other I've had."

David Allan Cates

David Allan Cates






Mentor. Workshops and classes in fiction.

Statement: "My success in the publishing world is limited, but my success as a writer has been boundless.  Every book I have written has taken me on an adventure I would have thought impossible beforehand. I am a middle-aged man, and there are fewer and fewer things I know. But I know what it takes to write. I know the fear; I know the dangers and demons; and I know the joy. As a teacher, I try to help students understand this journey, and I try to help them live it as the adventure of their lifetime."


David Allan Cates is the author of five novels, including Hunger in America, a New York Times Notable Book, X Out of Wonderland, and Freeman Walker, both Montana Book Award Honor Books, and Ben Armstrong’s Strange Trip Home, a Gold Medalist in the Independent Book Publishers Book Awards.  His fifth novel, Tom Connor’s Gift, is due out in the fall of 2014.  The winner of the 2010 Montana Arts Council’s Artist Innovation Award in 2010, his stories and poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, and his travel articles in Outside Magazine and the New York Times Sophisticated Traveler.  Cates is the executive director of Missoula Medical Aid, which leads groups of medical professionals to provide public health and surgery services in Honduras.  In Missoula he has worked with the Missoula Writing Collaborative, teaching classes on short story writing in high schools, and the 406 writing workshop.  For many years he worked as a fishing guide on the Smith River and raised cattle on his family farm in Wisconsin.