"The Tender Age: Remembering Childhood and Nurturing Children" will be the theme of Winter Fishtrap, an annual mid-winter gathering of writers at Wallowa Lake, scheduled Feb. 25-27. For the first time the conference will be held in historic Wallowa Lake Lodge.

There is room for a maximum of 55 registered participants. As always, Winter Fishtrap welcomes both writers and people who are not primarily writers, but are interested in the theme.

To register or for more information call 426-3623 from Monday through Friday.

Children's advocate Tina Kotek and writers Craig Lesley and Brian Doyle will be the presenters for the weekend. Kotek will talk about children, children's programs and legislation affecting children today, while Lesley and Doyle will share memories of childhood and child rearing.

Kotek is the Policy Director at Children First for Oregon, a non-profit, non-partisan group that uses public education, research, and community capacity building initiatives to speak to the legislature, media and local communities on behalf of Oregon's children and families. Prior to joining Children First, Tina was a public policy advocate with Oregon Food Bank, and co-chair of the Human Services Coalition of Oregon.

Lesley won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award for his novels, "Winterkill" and "The Sky Fisherman," and has taught creative writing at several universities. He was a presenter at the first Fishtrap Gathering in 1988 and several times since. The father of three, Lesley is currently at work on a memoir about childhood.

Doyle is the editor of the University of Portland's award-winning Portland Magazine and Doyle's essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and Orion, and in the Best American Essays anthologies three years. He is the author of five books of essays, most recently "Leaping" and "Spirited Men." Doyle is the father of three small children.

The cost of Winter Fishtrap, including meals, for those not requiring lodging is $355. Any participant paying their entire registration prior to Dec. 31 will receive a $30 discount. Visit www.fishtrap.org for more registration information and a detailed agenda.

Special guests at the winter conference will be Ellen Waterston, Fishtrap's 2005 writer-in-residence at local schools, and Carina Miller, a senior at Madras High School, a member of the Warm Springs tribe and a member of the Oregonian's year-round workshop for minority students.

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