Writers' Classes

    • Wednesday, October 30, 2019
    • Wednesday, November 20, 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Writers' Room, BARN, WR103019WR
    • 2

    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.

    • Sunday, November 03, 2019
    • Sunday, November 24, 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR110319PL
    • 7

    Great writers vary the structure of their sentences, using particular forms to intensify meaning and deepen emotion. This hands-on course in developing virtuoso skill in sentencing and paragraphing is designed for writers interested in revising several short works or a book-in-progress. We’ll scrutinize brilliant sentences and paragraphs and deepen our craft by writing our own.

    Bring a notebook to write in and the required text: The Writer’s Portable Mentor, 2nd edition (available at Eagle Harbor Book Company).

    Priscilla Long is a writer of poetry, essays, creative nonfictions, fictions, science, and history. She has an MFA degree from the University of Washington and teaches writing.

    Priscilla is the author of:

    The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life, 2nd edition

    Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators

    Crossing Over: Poems

    Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

    Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry

    Her awards include a National Magazine Award.

    • Saturday, November 09, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR110919JCJ
    • 11

    Conflict is the novel’s engine. It propels the story forward, gives it energy and urgency. And who or what provides your protagonist with conflict? Opposition, in the form of an antagonist or antagonizing force.

    Black-and-white villains are easy to write, but unsatisfying for the reader. Your narrative’s engine will stall without a multidimensional antagonistic force. Grit, drama, and tension are created when your antagonist elicits empathy, curiosity, fascination. When they show their vulnerable side (I know I’m not the only one who cried when Luke removed Darth Vader’s mask!). Lady Macbeth, Gollum, Severus Snape, Briony from Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Amy from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl… the antagonists we hate to love as readers are the antagonists we most want to create in our own work.

    Through a variety of craft-based exercises and inquiries, this workshop will examine your antagonist’s dimensions, motivations, and desires behind her or his darker forces. 

    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.


    • Thursday, November 21, 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR112119MS
    • 10

    "BARN  Gathering” --Authors’ Reading

    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. 

    • Friday, November 22, 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 11:30 PM
    • BARN Wide Event

    BARN will be closed and the front and back doors locked down to both Members and Non-Members beginning at 7:00 PM on Friday night as we begin preparations for the Bazaar at BARN.

    Doors will reopen to all on Saturday, at 8:00 AM.

    If you have questions, please contact Carla our Membership Coordinator at Membership@bainbridgebarn.org.

    • Saturday, November 23, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • BARN wide event- No classes scheduled
    The BARN Bazaar is a new Bainbridge Island holiday tradition featuring a wide variety of art, crafts, and artisan foods, all made by hand. Buy direct from the maker at this annual celebration of the creativity that happens all year round at BARN. From jewelry to wood arts, basketry to weaving, you’ll find an unmatched selection of original handmade items – all made right here at BARN.

    Kick off the holidays in homegrown style. Join us for a day of shopping, food, and community!

    BARN members wishing to participate in this event must be a member for a minimum of 3 months (must join by August 31st) to participate. You can contact Carla Mackey at membership@bainbridgebarn.org for an application which will be available Monday, October 21.

    • Thursday, November 28, 2019
    • 12:00 AM - 11:30 PM

    This is a staff holiday.

    • Sunday, December 08, 2019
    • 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    • BARN's Great Room on the Upper Floor, Class Code: WR120819KM
    • 48

    Please join us in celebration as we close out a great year with a gathering of writers, readers, and friends of the BARN Writing Studio. 

    Please register so we know how many will be attending.

    Karl Marlantes, Author of Matterhorn, What It’s like to Go to War, and his new book Deep River will be joining us, in a conversation hosted by his daughter Laurel Marlantes. Questions for Karl will be curated, and can be submitted to Writers.lead@bainbridgebarn.org


    • Saturday, January 11, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR011120ET
    • 10

    Writing with Scissors! It’s January 2020, let’s break a few things! (Plus, all the cool kids are doing it.)

    In this course, students will learn to generate writing and experiment with form using literary techniques inspired by collage, mosaic, and kintsugi. Students will complete several exploratory prose pieces that they will use as material, along with items they discover throughout the class or bring from home. Close attention will also be paid to the narrative strategies of writers who have utilized these techniques, such as literary rockstars like Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Anne Carson, Scott Russell Sanders, David Shields, Renata Adler, Maggie Nelson, Eula Biss, and Sherman Alexie, among others.

    In his book Reality Hunger (2010), David Shields defines collage as “the art of reassembling fragments of preexisting images in such a way as to form a new image.” Collage writing loosens us up. Kintsugi (the Japanese art of reassemblage, highlighting the cracks) and Mosaic techniques develop our skills of intuitive structure. 

    Whether we consider ourselves to be makers, poets, essayists, memoirists, artists, musicians, or storytellers, we can benefit from abandoning preconceived notions. Let’s embrace the blurring of genre and sharpen our skills to create more intuitive, organic structures in our writing. There’s no better time than right now to shake things up!


    Eliza Tudor is a writer, editor, and teacher new to Bainbridge Island. Her stories have appeared in PANK, TLR, Hobart, Annalemma, Paper Darts, and The Conium Review, among others. Her novella, Wish You Were Here, won the 2017 Minerva Rising Press Novella Prize and was published by that press. With an MA in English and an MFA in Writing, Eliza has taught both at the University-level, and in community-based workshops throughout the United States. She’s worked in publishing and continues to work as a freelance editor. She also reads your submissions to Quarterly West magazine. You can find more at www.elizatudor.com.


    • Thursday, January 23, 2020
    • Thursday, January 30, 2020
    • 2 sessions
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR012320
    • 11

    Mary Oliver brought many people to poetry with her plain language and sense of wonder. What next? Who else? This workshop will explore other poets who open our eyes to the world and to our full humanity. We will read poetry that will astonish and write poems in response.


    Michele Bombardier’s collection What We Do is currently a finalist for the Washington Book of the Year Award. Michele's poetry and reviews have been published in dozens of journals and anthologies including Alaska Quarterly Review, Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Artemis and many others. She earned her MFA in poetry at Pacific University and is the founder of Fishplate Poetry, a social-purpose organization that provides workshops and retreats for writers while raising money for humanitarian relief, specifically for medical care for refugees in partnership with the Syrian American Medical Society.

    • Saturday, February 01, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR020120JS
    • 12

    Are you interested in writing for children? Join us for an afternoon of diving into the children’s books industry, which includes picture books to young adult novels.

    Jolie will talk about this special corner of the publishing world and explore its books and creators. Jolie will share resources, talk about the writing process, as well as the submission and publication process.


    Jolie Stekly has worked with numerous editors, agents, authors and illustrators to develop programming for conferences, retreats and classes.  She was recognized as SCBWI's 2009 Member of the Year. Jolie teaches the writing for children section(s) of the UW Certificate in Writing. She is a writer, writing instructor/coach, and freelance editor for children’s books (picture books to young adult). Jolie holds a masters degree in education, is on the blog team for SCBWI and is represented by literary agent, Rosemary Stimola.


    • Saturday, February 29, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR022920JJ
    • 49

    J. A. Jance is the author of mystery novels that include these bestselling series: the Seattle Police Department Detective J.P. Beaumont, Arizona County Sheriff Joanna Brady, former Los Angeles news reporter turned crime solver Ali Reynolds, and the Walker Family Mysteries. 

    In a one-session class, she will be showing how pieces of her life have been woven into the tapestry of her various stories and encouraging workshop participants to consider doing the same. 

    You may want to bring your lunch as we will break from about noon to 1 pm. You can eat and visit in the Commons during this time. A refrigerator is also on the lower level. 

    At age 39, J.A. Jance gave herself permission to start pursing her lifelong dream of becoming a writer.  A quarter of a century later, with almost sixty books published, all to them still in print, she is living that dream and likes nothing better than to encourage others to do the same.  Born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona, she makes her home in the Seattle area.

    Teri requested review via email on 6/10 @ 10:30 am. Reviewed by tammie @ 5.30pm

    • Saturday, March 07, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR030720JCJ
    • 12

    Opening scenes introduce your protagonist, her/his world, their goals, the stakes, and your story's themes. It's no wonder that an opening scene is often the most difficult to write! This workshop will look at a variety of approaches, with examples from classic, literary/commercial fiction, memoir. Writing prompts will be used to help you create depth and tension in your opening scene. Participants are asked to bring and share the first 500 words of a work-in-progress to for feedback. Writing prompts will be used to help you find or create depth and tension in your opening scene.

    Writers will leave the workshop with ideas to put into concrete practice as they approach their opening scene during the revision process, which will determine where their novel actually begins.

    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.

    • Saturday, March 21, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR032120LD
    • 12

    Have you always wanted to write poetry, but you have felt too intimidated? Did someone lie to you and tell you poetry must rhyme, or have big words in it, or be packed with complicated metaphors? Davis will go over the basics of a poem and then provide writing prompts so you can walk away with your own first drafts. No one will be required to read their work aloud. Come and experiment!

     Lauren Davis is the author of the chapbook Each Wild Thing's Consent (Poetry Wolf Press). She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and her poetry and essays can be found in publications such as Prarie Schooner, Spillway, Empty Mirror, and Lunch Ticket. Davis teaches at the Writers' Workshoppe in Port Townsend, WA, and she works as an editor at The Tishman Review.


    • Saturday, March 28, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR032820STB+
    • 12

    If you’re contemplating or writing a mystery, crime thriller, or other story that involves police characters, this is the course for you.  This team-taught, interactive course will enhance your understanding and portrayal of police culture and inspire you with characters and anecdotes. Sandra Terhune-Bickler and Steven Bickler bring a combined 51 years of experience to they class, so don’t miss it. 


    Sandra Terhune-Bickler served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 28 years before retiring in September of 2014. Her last assignment with SMPD was Sergeant-In-Charge of the Resource Development Unit – Personnel and Training. Additionally, during her tenure with the SMPD, Dr. Terhune-Bickler was a member of the Crisis Negotiations Team both as a police officer and a sergeant for over 20 years. She was also a Motorcycle Traffic Enforcement Officer for six years. She also implemented and coordinated the SMPD’s Peer Support Program. She has a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, and a Doctorate degree in Human and Organizational Systems. Dr. Terhune-Bickler frequently teaches law enforcement personnel on topics related to crisis negotiations and tactical communication strategies. Her article, “Too Close for Comfort: Negotiating with Fellow Officers” was published in FBI’s Law Enforcement Journal (2004). She recently presented at the Washington State Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference, and Kitsap County 40-hr law enforcement CIT Course. She resides on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Steve.


    Steven Bickler served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years before retiring in September of 2014. He was a Field Training Officer, responsible for the training and evaluation of new officers on police field procedures including tactics, report writing and the law. He was assigned to the 3rd St Bicycle detail responsible for directed patrol of the downtown business district, engaging in community-oriented and neighborhood-centered policing and problem solving. He was Vice Chair of the Santa Monica Police Officer’s Association for approximately six years. He received a Life Saving Chief’s Commendation in 1997 for preventing a woman’s suicide. Additionally, he worked in the Chief’s office on crime analysis data integrity, and compliance with the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR). He and his wife, Sandy, now reside on Bainbridge Island, where he engages in “bite-sized” dessert baking, and fine art photography.


    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR042520WK
    • 11

    If you love to write and have a story you want to tell, the only thing that can truly stand between you and the success you’re seeking isn’t craft, or a good agent, or enough Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough, or fear the market is too crowded, or fear no one wants to hear from you.

    Fortunately, you can’t write and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly on purpose. In this workshop we’ll look at several techniques you can you use to keep yourself in the creative flow and out of the trouble and misery fear always causes.

    Using William Kenower’s unique, inside-out approach to writing, students will learn: 

    • About the mother of all writing fears.
    • The only two questions writers should ever ask themselves.
    • That writing is listening, not thinking.
    • That you don’t need to wonder if your writing is “any good.”
    • Why writers must pay attention to how they feel.
    • That you have an unerring guidance system.

    You were born fearless. This workshop will help you practice remembering who you’ve always been.

    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.

    • Saturday, May 02, 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR050220KL
    • 12

    Writing for middle grade readers is an incredibly rewarding experience – magic is made when such earnest readers engage with an author’s work. With New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Honor recipient, Kirby Larson, workshop participants will spend the day exploring the key elements of successful middle grade fiction, through conversation, examples from published work and in-class writing exercises. Come prepared to channel your inner 11-year-old! Substantial doses of humor and chocolate included. 

    Please feel free to bring a lunch. BARN has a refrigerator to store your lunch in.

     Kirby Larson is the acclaimed author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, Hattie Big Sky, and its sequel, Hattie Ever After. In addition to the Dogs of WWII series-- which includes Duke, Dash (Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Prize), Liberty, and Code Word Courage-- she has written The Friendship Doll, The Fences Between Us and Audacity Jones to the Rescue and Audacity Jones Steals the Show (an Edgar award nominee).

    With good friend Mary Nethery, Kirby has written the award-winning Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival (illustrated by Jean Cassels) and the New York Times bestseller, Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle.


    • Saturday, September 26, 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR092620MB
    • 12

    So you want to write a novel? Or you’ve written 40,000 words of a novel, and suddenly find yourself stuck. Or your stories are interesting but lack a real plot.

    Michele Bacon is here to help. Over the course of two Saturdays, she’ll put you to work on developing a compelling protagonist, raising the stakes, and plotting your manuscript. Come with a full story idea or with only a desire to write a novel. You’ll leave with clear direction and a plot waiting to become a manuscript.

    The two sessions will include brief lectures, hands-on workshops, one-on-one discussion with Michele, and some partner work with other students.

    Please feel free to bring a lunch. BARN has a refrigerator to store your lunch in.


    Michele Bacon is the author of contemporary young adult novels Antipodes and Life Before.  Her work focuses on families, friends, and the complicated relationships therein. When she’s not writing, Michele loves skiing, playing tabletop games, traveling, and dreaming of travel. She’s visited all 50 states and dozens of countries, always eager to hear people’s stories and immerse herself in other cultures. Wherever she goes, Michele enjoys helping writers find their voices and tell their stories. And she loves coming home to Seattle, where she lives with her partner and three young children.

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