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BARN will be closed due to road work being conducted on Three Tree Lane. There will be no access to the BARN building on this day.
Your life is a story, and if told correctly, a very interesting one. There is an art to taking the sprawling events of your life and reducing them down to a personal essay or memoir. Using Bill Kenower’s unique inside-out approach to writing, we will look at how to tell the fine difference between telling a story about your life, and using your life to tell a story. Students taking this class can expect to learn:
The Welcome to the BARN Writers' Studio is designed for members. Before attending one of these sessions, be sure you are a BARN member and have obtained your fob for entry into BARN.
Then, at this orientation session, we will give you the information you need to have fob access into the Writers' Studio.
Agents report that they’re flooded with more queries and proposals than ever before, even as publishers cut back the number of books they produce each year. How can you break through the noise and get your project noticed? This class will help you step back and see your fiction or nonfiction work through fresh eyes and a business-based perspective. We’ll identify the things that make your work unique, marketable, and irresistible to publishing gatekeepers, and then with lots of examples and time for practice and personal feedback, we’ll work on verbal “elevator pitches,” one-paragraph hooks (great for query letters), and the dreaded synopsis.
Whether you attended "The Art and Craft of the Query: Part 1, The Nuts and Bolts" in May or you have a draft of a query letter in need of review, this workshop will help you prepare the final draft. We’ll look at each query letter, assess its effectiveness and impact, and work together to sharpen the query’s essentials with particular emphasis on the pitch.
A maximum of only six students will participate in this class.
Please bring a draft of your query letter to share. Your query should be fully-formed—we won’t be writing letters from scratch—but don’t worry if it’s rough. The goal of this workshop is to refine your query so it’s an irresistible call to action for a literary agent to represent your work.
*This workshop will focus on works of fiction and memoir; narrative nonfiction queries are usually accompanied by substantive proposals, which are animals of a different sort. But non-fiction writers are encouraged to participate; the basic principles hold true for any one-page query letter, which all writers will be expected to present.
Instructor: Julie Christine Johnson is the award-winning author of the novels In Another Life (Sourcebooks, 2016) and The Crows of Beara (Ashland Creek Press, 2017). Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, including Emerge Literary Journal; Mud Season Review; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim; Cobalt; River Poets Journal, in the print anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss; and featured on the flash fiction podcast No Extra Words. She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology and a Master’s in International Affairs. Julie leads writing workshops and seminars and offers story/developmental editing and writer coaching services.
A hiker, yogi, and wine geek, Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state.
"BARN Gathering” --Authors’ Reading--In Lieu of Roundtable
In the spirit of Gertrude Stein, BARN Writers and Martha Salinas will be hosting a salon for members and non-members to read their work to an appreciative audience. This is a great opportunity to prepare for your debut as an author. Even if you’ve read at your own book signings before, this is a wonderful chance to reach new readers. Beginners and experienced writers alike are welcome.
There will be room for ten readers and two guests who don’t read. Each reading will be five minutes with two short breaks. Please sign up early.
In the world of creative nonfiction, forms such as the abecedarian are proliferating. In this four-session class we will scrutinize models of three different forms (abecedarian, the A/B form, and the collage) and generate three new creative nonfictions of our own based upon these forms. In class we'll write in our notebooks in the timed writing method developed by Natalie Goldberg. As we develop our pieces, we'll work on prose style—sound and syntax—toward bringing them into the realm of highly publishable. The required text is the Second Edition of The Writers Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life (available in September 2018).
Instructor: Priscilla Long is a Seattle-based writer of poetry, creative nonfiction, science, fiction, and history, and is a long-time independent teacher of writing. Her work appears widely and her books are Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (University of Georgia Press), Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Poets, and Other Creators (Coffeetown Press), and Crossing Over: Poems (University of New Mexico Press). Her how-to-write guide is The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life . She is also author of Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. Her awards include a National Magazine Award. Her science column, Science Frictions, ran for 92 weeks in The American Scholar. She earned an MFA from the University of Washington and serves as Founding and Consulting Editor of www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history. She grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
As writers we long to hook our readers’ hearts as well as their minds. Together we’ll discover how conflict and tension fuel a character’s emotional journey and keep readers engrossed until the very end. Using examples from current literature, we’ll discuss techniques to strengthen your story’s emotional core and identify the one thing every powerful story has in common. Be prepared to participate in short writing exercises. Come with the seed of a story you’ve always wanted to write, opening pages or better yet a work in progress.
Instructor: Maureen McQuerry is an award winning poet, novelist and teacher. Her YA novel, The Peculiars (Abrams/Amulet) is an ALA Best Book for YA 2013, Bank Street and Horne Book recommended book, and a winner of the Westchester Award. Her most recent books are an MG fantasy duo, Beyond the Door, a Booklist top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth, and The Telling Stone, a finalist for the WA State Book awards. A new historical novel, Everything After, (Blink/HarperCollins) will be released in Feb 2019.
Her poetry appears in Relentless Light, (Finishing Line Press) The Southern Review, Smartish Pace, and Georgetown Review among other journals.
She taught middle school through college for almost twenty years with a specialty in gifted education. In 2000 she was awarded the McAuliffe Teaching Fellowship for WA State. She currently supervises student teachers for WSU, is a board member of SCBWI Inland Northwest.
Learn about travel writing from three experts with many years and miles of experience traveling all over the world. Stefanie Bielekova, Ann Randall and Doug Walsh, local travel writers, will share their secrets to success. Whether you want simply to have a record of your own travels or you hope to publish your memories, these writers will have ideas and inspiration for you.
Doug Walsh originally created a blog to chronicle the two years he and his wife spent traveling the world by bicycle. He continues to update the blog for his travels far and near.
Stefanie Bielekova delights in combining her passion for storytelling with the wonders of worldwide wandering. She’s lived in five countries, has traveled to seventy-seven, and has sailed around the world five times while working aboard the Cunard Line of cruise ships. After seven years at sea, Stefanie returned to “land life” by settling down in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She now works as a Travel Advisor, Speaker, and Tour Assistant for Rick Steves’ Europe and tells tales of travel on her blog, Postcards from Stef.
Ann Randall is a well-traveled international election observer, NGO volunteer and independent traveler who now spends at least two months annually venturing to out-of-the-way locales from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. In the past year she travelled internationally to Iceland, Estonia and Latvia (twice), Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Macedonia, Germany and India as well as working in Alaska and heading out on U.S. road trips. She’s a regular contributor to the print publications WestSound Home and Garden, Northwest Travel Magazine, Dutch, the Magazine, 3rd Act, Fibre Focus and Northwest Meeting News and the websites Wander With Wonder, My Itchy Travel Feet and Global Comment as well as maintaining two blogs: PeregrineWoman and ExplorationKitsap.
Dialogue is crucial to any kind of story—fiction, nonfiction, any type of script. But dialog is more than simply writing down realistic conversation. In reality, no one wants to hear (or read) about the weather, or what someone had for lunch (unless it really matters!).
Uninteresting dialogue can sink a story like a hole in the hull, while good dialogue makes it sail along beautifully. Writing great dialogue is tricky.
In this class you’ll learn to write dialogue that sounds lifelike, yet is carefully constructed so every line mines character background, tension, emotion and intent.
Instructor: Warren Read is the author of a 2008 memoir, The Lyncher in Me (Borealis Books), and the 2017 novel, Ash Falls (Ig Publishing). His short fiction has been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Mud Season Review, Sliver of Stone, Inklette, Switchback and The East Bay Review. He has been in education for 26 years and is currently an assistant principal with the Bainbridge Island School District.
In this class with Jennifer Longo, you will explore the various conventions found in contemporary young adult novels, focusing on working with and against these tropes to create a unique narrative that remains true to its audience.
YA novels, no matter the genre, nearly always feature many of the same recognizable characters and relationships, plotlines, and conflicts. New writers may not be familiar with (or fond of) some of these tropes. The authors may feel as if their books need to be shoved through a veritable sieve of conventions that have nothing to do with the narrative.
You will explore ways to work with and around these, sometimes, irksome elements. During the last part of class, you will examine opening pages of YA-- how they grab and hold the reader and how they are free of conventions. Along with Jennifer Longo, discover how it is possible to create a story that remains true to your vision and yet captivating for the YA reader.
Here’s a tip from the instructor and successful author: YA is written about, but not always for, a teen audience.
Instructor: Jennifer Longo is a playwright and novelist with Random House Books. Her first two YA novels, Six Feet Over it and Up To This Pointe were both finalists for the Washington State Book Award. Jen holds a B.A. in Acting from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Humboldt State University. Her next novel (Random House, Fall 2018) is set in her forever home, her best writing inspiration - the beautiful PNW.
Few subjects stir a debate more than how to develop a plot. That's why we have invited four Seattle7 authors to discuss plot development in this "mini" conference.
Where do you begin? With an idea? Then what? Is your plot action- or character-driven? Do you jot down a few notes and start writing? Do you assemble an outline—sketchy or detailed? Do you just start writing and see where the characters and ideas take you?
Join authors Kathleen Alcala and Jennie Shortridge, both in the character-driven camp, in the morning as they discuss their ideas on plot development. Then, in the afternoon, join thriller writers, Mike Lawson and Kevin O'Brien, as they put on boxing gloves and go to their separate corners to argue for how they develop an action-driven plot. Though all of these authors use different methods, the result is the same--each consistently turns out bestselling novels.
A lunch break will be from noon-1 pm. You are free to brown-bag it in our Commons or step out in town. A question-and-answer session will follow each presentation session.
Presenters: Kathleen Alcalá is the author of six books of fiction and nonfiction. A graduate of the Clarion West Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, she has also served as an instructor in the program. Kathleen earned her MA from the University of Washington, and her MFA from the University of New Orleans. Until recently, she was a fiction instructor at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island. Besides her short story collection and three novels, Kathleen has published fiction in numerous anthologies, most recently in the speculative fiction anthology Latin@ Rising, edited by Matthew David Goodwin and published by Wings Press. Her most recent book is The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, from the University of Washington Press.
Mike Lawson is the award-winning author of fifteen published novels. He has been nominated for the Barry Award several times and has twice won the Portland-based Friends of Mystery Award for his Joe DeMarco political thriller series. The latest DeMarco work is House Witness. The first book in his second series, titled Rosarito Beach, involving a rogue DEA agent named Kay Hamilton, was optioned for television. Prior to turning to writing full time, Mike was a nuclear engineer employed by the Navy and he lives in the Northwest.
Before his thrillers landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list, Kevin O’Brien was a railroad inspector. The author of eighteen internationally-published thrillers, he won the Spotted Owl Award for Best Pacific Northwest Mystery and is a core member of Seattle 7 Writers. Press & Guide said: “If Alfred Hitchcock were alive today and writing novels, his name would be Kevin O’Brien.” Kevin’s latest nail-biter is Hide Your Fear. He’s hard at work on his nineteenth novel.
Jennie Shortridge is the author of five bestselling novels, including Love Water Memory and When She Flew. Her books have been translated into several languages and optioned for film, as well as being selected as American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next picks and Library Journal’s Editors’ Picks. An avid volunteer, she is the co-founder of Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit collective of Northwest authors who raise money and awareness for literature and literacy. Learn more at www.jennieshortridge.com.
Let's just get together and talk. Share your latest writing projects, problems, and ideas. During this event, we will focus on talking about how to form and participate in your own critique/response group at BARN.
Sometimes it's pleasant or cathartic to get together with other writers or prospective writers and share. Register now for this BARN Writers' Forum.
Join our BARN Artisans in a show and sell event.
More info to come soon!
Whether you attended "The Art and Craft of the Query: Part 1, The Nuts and Bolts" in May or you have a draft of a query letter in need of review, this workshop will help you prepare the final draft.We’ll look at each query letter, assess its effectiveness and impact, and work together to sharpen the query’s essentials with particular emphasis on the pitch.
In this Part II of Your Life Is a Story: The Art of Memoir, we'll take a deeper dive into the memoir, looking more closely at how we approach personal storytelling as a work of art, how we can look upon the events of our lives as raw material to create something original and transformative.
We’ll also workshop more samples from writers who took Memoir Part I, and see how they were able to apply the lessons learned there. Additionally, we'll discuss the challenges students faced working with the rules learned in Part I. Finally, we’ll discuss what it means not just to be writer, but also an author, about the unique challenges of sharing stories from our lives with complete strangers.
Instructor: William Kenower is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence, and Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion, the Editor-in-Chief of Author magazine, and a sought-after speaker and teacher. In addition to his books he’s been published in The New York Times and Edible Seattle, and has been a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. His video interviews with hundreds of writers from Nora Ephron, to Amy Tan, to William Gibson are widely considered the best of their kind on the Internet. He also hosts the online radio program Author2Author where every week he and a different guest discuss the books we write and the lives we lead.
For this exciting and unusual class, join two instructors--one a writer and one an actress, one accustomed to breathing life into a character through words and one accustomed to taking the writer's words and giving them life.
Mining well-rounded and believable character is probably the most important element in fiction—every action and result will depend upon it. Developing unique and complex characters is a process of not only creation, but also of discovery. In this workshop the instructors will introduce a variety of activities that will help you do just this, thereby providing a toolbox that will take your fiction to new levels. By combining writing and acting exercises, you will give dimension to existing characters, develop new characters, and better view the world through the character’s point of view. Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a light lunch. Snacks and water will be provided.
Instructors: Warren Read is the author of a 2008 memoir, The Lyncher in Me (Borealis Books), and the 2017 novel, Ash Falls (Ig Publishing). His short fiction has been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Mud Season Review, Sliver of Stone, Inklette, Switchback and The East Bay Review. He has been in education for 26 years and is currently an assistant principal with the Bainbridge Island School District.
Dinah Manoff is a Tony Award winning actress. She has starred in a number of television series, including the classic Soap. Manoff is best known for her portrayal as Carol Weston, the character she played for seven years on the series, Empty Nest, and for the memorable Pink Lady, Marty Maraschino in the film Grease. Other films include Ordinary People in which she co-starred opposite Timothy Hutton as Karen his suicidal best friend and I Oughta be in Pictures opposite Walter Matthau. Manoff has also worked as a television writer and director. She is the daughter of writer Arnold Manoff and Oscar winning actress Lee Grant. Currently, Manoff resides with her family on Bainbridge Island where she writes, coaches, and teaches acting with the Northwest Actors Lab.
Speculative fiction includes any work that uses fantasy, science fiction, horror, science fantasy, superhero, and supernatural. From Harry Potter to The Man in the High Castle, speculative fiction gathers stories from many corners of the writing universe, and so is of interest to a wide range of readers.
Some of the basics of craft will be covered, including setting (world building), dialogue, conflict, the use of time (flashbacks, parallel timelines, etc), and in particular, the development of characters.
This six-session class will be a workshop for writers with at least one chapter or story in progress. The group will offer supportive feedback under the guidance of a well-published author, as well as brief craft lessons that will enable you to develop confidence in your own ability to edit. We will read a few short examples along the way to give us common ground for discussion.
Note to those who took the 2018 class:Enroll in the 2019 version of Speculative Fiction and benefit from having your project workshopped in a supportive environment. New short stories will be assigned and craft topics with add depth to discussions.
Instructor: Kathleen Alcalá is the author of six books of fiction, essays and creative nonfiction, including recent works in science fiction and fantasy anthologies. An Island Treasure in the Arts, she has extensive experience teaching at the post-graduate level, as well as in all-age classrooms. More at http://www.kathleenalcala.com.
The personal essay is a unique blend of storytelling, lessons, and poetry. Not quite memoir, not quite self-help, it is a form that lends itself to blogs, essays for magazines, or opinions for newspapers.
In this workshop we’ll look at the structural foundation of the personal essay, as well as learn some simple tools to help authors use their life experiences as limitless source material. Most importantly, we’ll dig into how best to offer readers lessons without being dogmatic or obvious so that our essays can be both entertaining and inspiring.
Bring a brown bag lunch.
Instructor: William Kenower is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence, andWrite Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion, the Editor-in-Chief of Authormagazine, and a sought-after speaker and teacher. In addition to his books he’s been published in The New York Timesand Edible Seattle, and has been a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. His video interviews with hundreds of writers from Nora Ephron, to Amy Tan, to William Gibson are widely considered the best of their kind on the Internet. He also hosts the online radio program Author2Author where every week he and a different guest discuss the books we write and the lives we lead.
Point-of-view can be defined as the narrative perspective from which a work is written. The types include first person, second person and third person.
As a writer, you'll use different perspectives depending on what type of work you are writing, as well as on what you're trying to do with it. In this class, we'll define each type of point-of-view, look at examples, and explore how each is useful and how each has drawbacks.
We’ll also be practicing using various points-of-view. So, bring a current work-in-progress with you to class, if you have one. If not, then that’s fine!
Instructor: Anne Clermont is the author of Learning to Fall, a novel which was a 2016 Foreword Indies Finalist in general fiction and received praise from Robert Goolrick, Ellen Sussman, Sonja Yoerg, Tracy Guzemen, and others. It was featured in Coastal Living, Redbook, Popsugar, Buzz Feed, SheKnows, Inside Chic, Brit+Co and more. Her work experience ranges from animal behavior to animal nutrition to cancer research, which has been published in a number of peer-reviewed scientific journals – including Nature Biotechnology. She currently divides her time between writing and working as an editor and website designer for her company, Bookish Media. You can learn more about her at www.anneclermont.com or www.bookish.media.
The publishing world has changed dramatically with the eruption of the digital economy and social media networks. In today’s world, publishers and agents demand not only high-quality content but a digital presence for authors in order to publish their creation.
In this two-session Saturday class, Antonio Garcia will introduce the basic concepts of digital marketing and social media marketing to build an online presence for writers. The classes will cover the differences between a website and a blog, basic concepts of SEO (search engine optimization), social media strategy and content marketing.
Bring your laptop, smartphone and notepad and start or continue growing your digital presence to get website traffic, followers and likes and to increase your chances of grabbing the attention of publishers and agents.
Instructor: Antonio Garcia is a brand strategist and art director who started his career in advertising and marketing 15 years ago in Madrid (Spain). Since then he has worked in London (United Kingdom), Portland and now the Greater Seattle Area. He has worked for advertising agencies, start-ups, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and as a freelance consultant.
This six-week course will focus on shaping research, family stories, and other source materials into a form that will appeal to a contemporary reader. We will focus on the emotional development of your characters, as well as setting, scene, and dialogue, to bring fresh language to situations and characters. Sensory detail draws the reader into the story, but we must also empathize with the characters and fully inhabit their worlds. One of the most successful genres in both commercial and literary publishing today, readers of all ages find a well-imagined historical novel irresistible.
We will end by discussing how to approach an agent or editor, cover letters, the synopsis, and possible markets.
Instructor: Kathleen Alcalá’s trilogy on nineteenth century Mexico was published by Chronicle Books: Spirits of the Ordinary, The Flower in the Skull, and Treasures in Heaven. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor's Writers Award, a Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award, and a Washington State Book Award. A co-founder and contributing editor to The Raven Chronicles, Kathleen has been a writer in residence at Richard Hugo House and was permanent faculty in the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA Program on Whidbey Island. Kathleen is also the author of a short story collection, Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, The Desert Remembers My Name, essays on family and writing, and most recently, The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island from the University of Washington Press.
It’s time to take your writing seriously. Warren Read—writer, educator, and published author—will guide you through every step of writing a short story in this four-session workshop.
The class will cover what makes a short story, character development, setting, dialogue, and point of view. Each session will include writing advice, fluency prompts, sharing your work with class members, and writing groups/workshopping. Between meetings, you will focus on developing your short story.
All levels of writers are welcome. You might dust off an old story you began years ago, come to class with an idea for a story, or attend the first session with no clue what you want to write. It’s all okay because the first class will begin with brainstorming activities. You’ll leave with a clear direction in mind.
Warren Read will use excerpts and ideas from Ron Carlson Writes a Story. You are encouraged to get a copy from the library, Amazon, Kindle, iBooks, and others.
Instructor Bio: Warren Read is the author of a memoir, The Lyncher in Me (2009, Borealis Books) and the novel, Ash Falls (2017, Ig Publishing). His fiction has appeared in Hot Metal Bridge, Mud Season Review, Sliver of Stone, Inklette, Switchback Magazine and the Christmas issue of East Bay Review. He is an assistant principal in Bainbridge Island, WA; in 2015 he received his MFA in from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Learn more about Warren at www.warren-read.com.