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The Writers Studio is happy to announce the revival of Word Sprint-- a weekly time to write in the company of others. Using Zoom to come together, we'll write for twenty-five minutes, take a break, repeat. There is no sharing or critique of your writing, only fast-paced, supportive productivity in the company of other writers. It will be fun, exciting, and might be the thing to help you finish (or start...) your manuscript. These virtual sessions will help participants set aside time to write and be with other writers in an informal setting.
The sessions will be led by a rotating team of hosts including Jen Scheiderman, Amelia Ramsey, Kassia Sing, Genevieve Douglass, and Steve Bice
You can register at anytime even if a session has passed.
A Zoom link will be sent one day prior to each session to the email you registered with. Please watch for this email. Signing up does not mean you have to commit to all the sessions.
Studio Lead: Mary Sloat Writers.Lead@bainbridgebarn.org
This class will be conducted via Zoom. For a great video on how to use Zoom, watch this tutorial. Please make sure you have the most current version of the Zoom software.
Studio Lead: Mary Sloat Writers.Lead@bainbridgebarn.org
**This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.**
Lauren Davis is the author of Home Beneath the Church (Fernwood Press, forthcoming), and the chapbooks Each Wild Thing’s Consent (Poetry Wolf Press, 2018), and The Missing Ones (Winter texts, 2021). She holds an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a former Editor in Residence at The Puritan’s Town Crier and has been awarded a residency at Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Her work has appeared in over fifty literary publications and anthologies including Prairie Schooner, Spillway, Poet Lore, Ibbetson Street, Ninth Letter and elsewhere.
Like children, the picture book may be short, yet filled with variety and discovery. We’ll explore the range of voices and themes possible within 32 pages, begin gathering a toolbox of exercises to help get you from beginning to end, and, most of all, celebrate the process of writing for children too young to read.
George Shannon has been working with children and children’s books for nearly 50 years. His first picture book was accepted for publication in 1979 and he continues to write and submit in a world that often feels light years away from that beginning. His published works for children include narratives such as Dance Away and A Very Witchy Spelling Bee and concept books such as White is for Blueberry, Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? and One Family.
Mastering the Hook, the Query Letter, and the Verbal Pitch
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,” the short hooks that are also great for query letters. We’ll also cover the structure of a query letter, and some tips and tricks for getting an agent or publisher’s attention.
This is also a valuable class for self-publishing writers who want to pitch their books so that readers pay attention.
Beth Jusino is a publishing consultant for both traditional and self-publishing authors, with almost 20 years of experience helping writers navigate the complicated space between manuscript and final book. A former literary agent and marketing director, she’s the author of the award-winning The Author’s Guide to Marketing and has ghostwritten or collaborated on half a dozen additional titles. Beth is a member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, a regular speaker for Seattle Public Library’s #SeattleWrites workshops, and has taught at writers’ conferences across the country. Visit her online at www.bethjusino.com or on Twitter @bethjusino.
Discover the best and most enriching journaling practice for archiving the stories that run through your days and revisit those memories already long in the past. Instructor Chelsea Leah will share five important factors for achieving a satisfying memoir journaling practice. She’ll also lead a journaling exercise for each of the five factors with room for a brief share and discussion at the end. With these tools, writers of all ages can craft and document their memories and learn to love the process.
Have handy your journal, a favorite pen, and a memory or two to write about (or photos from the past to use as reference).
Books referenced during the class: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldman, Stranger than Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk, Traveling with Ghosts by Shannon Leone Fowler, and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.
Comic Connections is all about storytelling through drawing. From simple pencil doodles to the pages of any Marvel action thriller, comics are a form of communication that goes beyond language. Funny or serious, hilarious or heartbreaking, full of witty dialogue or completely wordless -- comics can be all this and more. In this course, we will explore different ways of making comics, create our own comics, and collaborate with each other to learn what makes a comic work.
Students will be encouraged to use different mediums, techniques and styles, and to let their creativity shine! Over the course of three sessions, students will develop and make their own comics, as well as collaborating and contributing to a "class comic": a free-form group project where students can show what they've learned.
Sarah Neff is an illustrator and artist in Seattle. She grew up in Northeast Ohio, where both of her parents worked for the local newspaper. As a result, Sarah read the comics pages every day, and this grew into a lifelong obsession with comics, drawing, and visual storytelling. Sarah graduated from the University of Michigan with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2018, drove out West and has lived in Seattle ever since!
Her professional work involves illustrating children's books (and the occasional Shakespeare edition), editorial comics and freelance illustration for a variety of clients. In her spare time she makes webcomics, personal comics, graphic novels and all kinds of nerdy things. Dungeons & Dragons, video games, history and historical fiction have been an endless well of inspiration for her work. She's so excited to teach what she loves here at BARN!
What makes a poem memorable? It touches things that matter. Learn about the qualities that give poems their moral and emotional reach from Washington state poet laureate finalist Gary Lilley. We will look at writers whose work achieves that reach, including Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and Warsan Shire, and discuss ways to bring this into our own writing.
Since Covid, time has become more accelerated, more demanding, and the intensity of the life we wish to live can be reflected in our writing. We will discuss the quality of gravitas and how to write in such a way that focuses on the moment with a power the reader cannot escape. Writers are encouraged to be thinking of what matters in the poems they want to write. Bring your seed poems or create new drafts. Poets of all levels are welcome.
Author Bio: Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman's Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He earned his MFA from the Warren Wilson College Program for Creative Writers. Lilley is a veteran of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine force. He is originally from North Carolina and now lives, writes, performs, and teaches in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. A founding member of The Black Rooster poetry collective, he is published in numerous anthologies and journals. He was a finalist for the 2018 and the 2020 Washington State Poet Laureate. He is a Cave Canem fellow. He can usually be found with a guitar strapped around him.
Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to write a fictional piece about someone from real life, whether famous, family, or your old boss? Indeed, it is, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ethical, moral, and legal issues to understand and contend with. In this class, we’ll discuss legalities and best practices, as well as how to fictionalize her or him “enough” in your writing, without losing the qualities that made you want to write that person in the first place. Please come with an example of someone real to cast in a fictional context, whether it’s your mom or Abe Lincoln. This class will include handouts, worksheets, and writing exercises.
Jennie Shortridge is the author of five novels, including Love Water Memory and When She Flew, and is currently working on a memoir. Her books have been translated, optioned for screen, and selected to grace many “best pick” lists in the industry. Jennie has enjoyed teaching over the past twenty years at such places as BARN, Hugo House, Hedgebrook, the PNWA Conference, and many more. In a recent past life, she was the cofounder and executive director of Seattle7Writers, a literary nonprofit.
About Jessica Dubey: Jessica has been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2008, not necessarily hitting that 50,000 word goal every year but always having a good time! A member of BARN’s Writers Studio steering committee, she is currently working with her writing group, Oyster Seed Salon, on their second edition of “Short Stories of Bainbridge Island,” due to publish this holiday season.
The scene is the foundational element of story construction. Learn how to take it to greater heights with book editor and award-winning author, Lorin Oberweger, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry. In this class, we’ll examine the ways in which every aspect of the scene can perform multiple functions, creating richer and more dynamic moments that lead to a much more satisfying work. We'll look at different approaches to scene structure and those elements of scene and story that are essential to creating reader investment. Come with a couple of scenes from your work-in-progress and a willingness to dig in!
LORIN OBERWEGER is a highly sought-after independent book editor, ghostwriter, and award-winning author with more than twenty-five years of experience in publishing. In addition to the workshops produced by her company, Free Expressions, Lorin is a popular instructor at writing conferences around the country. She also has eight traditionally published books (five fiction, three nonfiction), including BOOMERANG, REBOUND, and BOUNCE, co-written with Veronica Rossi and published by Harper Collins. Her work has received glowing reviews from the New York Times, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, and others. Most recently, she co-authored THANK YOU FOR COMING TO MY TED TALK with Chris Anderson, director of the renowned TED organization.
If you've never written, need to let go of your critical or "editor" voice, or just need some new energy to get the words flowing, this four week series is for you! A safe and fun environment is created giving writers of all levels and genres an opportunity to generate new writing. Enrollment is limited to eight writers.
Prompts will be provided for timed writing, followed by an opportunity to read and receive responses to fresh written material. Reading your work is optional.
"My very best writing emerges out of your groups' creative cauldrons...your comments were spot on, very insightful and helpful." --from a participant
Julie Gardner, an Amherst Writers & Artists Affiliate, has led WritersGathering groups, workshops and retreats in Seattle since 2011. At BARN, she has offered a quarterly series since 2019. Participants say they learn more about their strengths, discover new ones, develop their repertoire of craft elements, take risks, generate writing, and have fun writing and learning from others.
Julie is the editor of Original Voices: Homeless and Formerly Homeless Women's Writings. Recent works have been featured in Passager's Pandemic Diaries, Persimmon Tree, and in Alone Together: Love, Grief and Comfort in the Time of Covid-19.
In these troubled times, the news reminds us daily that the difficult history we share is with us still and we all suffer as a result. The often unexamined legacies of the attempted genocide of indigenous people and the enslavement of Africans, in particular, continue to haunt our land. Through writing fiction, poetry or memoir, we can chart a path to help us move forward together.
This class invites writers from all cultural lineages to bring their stories to the table. Lessons and assignments are designed to fit each individual’s skill level and project—beginner, intermediate, or advanced; fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction. Each session focuses on a different aspect of story craft—narrative arc, sensory detail, dialogue, mature narrator. Participants also learn to critique in ways that are supportive, honest and helpful by practicing deep listening.
Writing can be a spiritual practice that teaches us to be fully present and alive to ourselves and the world. Take a journey inward, tap into your imagination, and find the deep truths and visions. In witnessing one another’s stories, let’s combine our energies to form a creative community of inspiration and compassion.
Laura Bowers Foreman and Ann Holmes Redding met 14 years ago and have been partners in teaching writing for nearly a decade. Their friendship began with sharing their personal stories and discovering common commitments both to writing and healing from ancestral and national historical harms. Together, Laura and Ann embody African, European, and indigenous heritages. Over the years they have jointly participated in a number of circles dedicated to healing and restorative justice.
Dubbed “the story doulas” by one student, Ann and Laura consciously support and coach each writer on the journey from inception to delivery of their work. They are experienced fellow travelers, helping students negotiate the sometimes unsettling information and emotions that may surface en route. They also confer with their students as they discern what vehicle—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or some combination—best suits the task at hand.
Laura Bowers Foreman offers her students all that she has gleaned from her twenty-five years as a writer. Her writing is informed by a passion for both the environment and social justice at every level, from the personal to the global. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Whitefish Review, About Place Journal, Nature in Legend and Story, Wildlife Conservation Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor. She also has contributed to the anthologies Memoirs in the Light of Day and The Sweet Breathing of Plants (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), among others.
Ann Holmes Redding brings 40+-years of teaching experience, wisdom, and compassion to her students. Creative expression as a medium for transformation stands at the center of her life work as a spiritual guide, speaker, and instructor. Her essays and articles have been published in the Fairacres Chronicle and The Living Pulpit, as well as in scholarly works. She is co-author Out of Darkness into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Qur’an with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources.
First chapters of novels serve a variety of functions—hooking and reeling the reader in, establishing character, previewing what’s to come, and pushing the reader to stay engaged. For the writer, that opening chapter can be both frustrating and terrifying. At best, the opening is a springboard for the rest of the novel, and it’s easy to get mired in the quest to make it “perfect” before moving on.
In this workshop, we’ll look closely at several “first chapters” of novels (provided ahead of time), both well-known and, perhaps, less so. How does the author “open the curtain” for the rest of the novel in a way that sets up what is to follow? What elements exist to engage the reader and make them want to continue on the journey? The class is open to readers and writers of all levels of experience.
Warren Read is the author of the novels, One Simple Thing (2021, Ig Publishing), and Ash Falls (2017, Ig Publishing). In 2009 his memoir, The Lyncher in Me was released by Borealis Books. 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.
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. It doesn’t matter if you want to tell the story of how you’ve climbed Mount Everest, or falling in love for the first time, all stories are worth telling when you find their heart.
Students taking this class can expect to learn:
William Kenower is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence, Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion, the forthcoming Everyone Has What It Takes: A Writer’s Guide to the End of Self-Doubt, and the Editor-in-Chief of Author magazine. In addition to his books he’s been published in The New York Times, Writer’s Digest, Edible Seattle, Parent Map, and has been a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
Garth Stein, internationally best-selling author of the Art of Racing in the Rain, is hosted by four-time Emmy Award-winning writer Lynn Brunelle in a conversation where everything is on the table from Garth’s approach to craft to his feelings about Zoom.
Garth Stein is the internationally bestselling author of the contemporary classic, The Art of Racing in the Rain, the story of a beloved philosopher dog named Enzo who teaches us everything we need to know about being human. The book was adapted into a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, and Amanda Seyfried. The Art of Racing in the Rain has sold more than 6 million copies world-wide, been translated into 36 languages, and spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list, topping out at #1. The novel inspired a Young Reader edition as well as four children’s picture books, and a stage adaptation by Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle.
For his latest project, Garth has collaborated with illustrator Matthew Southworth (Stumptown) on The Cloven, a graphic novel trilogy set in the near-future that explores the themes of genetic engineering, disinformation, income inequality, homelessness, diversity, and belonging. Find out more about Garth at https://www.garthstein.com/.
Lynn Brunelle is a four-time Emmy Award-winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy with over 25 years’ experience writing for people of all ages, across all manner of media. Previously a classroom science, English, and art teacher for kids K-12, an editor, illustrator, and award-winning author of over 45 titles, Lynn has created, developed, and written projects for Chronicle, Workman, National Geographic, Scholastic, Random House, Penguin, A&E, Discovery Channel, Disney, ABC TV, NBC, NPR, the Annenburg Foundation, World Almanac, Cranium, and PBS.
A regular contributor to NBC’s New Day Northwest as a family science guru, Martha Stewart Radio as a family activity consultant, and a contributor to NPR’s Science Friday, she is the creator of the Mama Gone Geek blog and Tabletop Science (videos that make science fun and accessible). Lynn won five Telly Awards and two CINE awards for her music videos, which range in topics from bullying prevention, child protection, and the adolescent brain for international curriculums through Committee for Children, to independent projects encouraging science literacy and STEAM. Find out more about Lynn at https://lynnbrunelle.com/.
This course provides the hands-on writing of an “artist’s statement.” During the class, students examine samples of working artists’ biographies, and determine the essential elements in an effective statement. Various styles are discussed, and a list of key words and sentence starters are reviewed.
A template is provided and all participants will begin to outline their biography with some easy and fun creative exercises that are sure to bring out their personal style. Participant’s work will be reviewed, with direct feedback from the instructor and others. We’ll discuss how to make minor variations in order to address specific audiences like a fine art gallery or small gift shop.
And finally, we’ll develop a polished statement to effectively generate interest in the artist and their work. Helpful marketing hints are interjected throughout this course, including writing a press release.
This workshop is appropriate for all types of artists from visual artists to writers and performing artists.
Handouts are provided. Students should bring paper and pen, and (optionally) electronic writing devices they are familiar with.
Dinah Satterwhite is an active artist living on Bainbridge Island, Washington. She manages the regional Studio Tour and coaches artists. She is a professional photographer and specializes in photographing artists’ work. Her work is displayed in art galleries and stores. She is experienced in marketing, copywriting, design & layout.
Erin L. McCoy holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Hispanic studies from the University of Washington She won second place in the 2019-2020 Rougarou Poetry Contest, judged by CAConrad and her poem, "Futures," was selected by Natalie Diaz for inclusion in Best New Poets 2017. Her poetry and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Narrative, Bennington Review, Conjunctions, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Nimrod International Journal, and other publications. She is acquisitions editor for Seattle-based independent publisher Entre Rios Books. She is from Louisville, Kentucky. Her website is erinlmccoy.com.
We’re excited to offer another salon via Zoom for writers of ALL levels of experience to read their work to an appreciative audience. All of this takes place from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a computer with a microphone.
This is a great opportunity to practice reading for your own book signings and a wonderful chance to reach new readers and meet people who love words as much as you do.
We will have slots for 12 readers to read five-minute selections. Keeping to a prescribed time limit is a skill and a courtesy all writers need to learn. (Of course you don’t have to use the entire five minutes if you have something very short.) Please register for "Reader" soon in order to snag one of these spots. We will also have plenty of room in cyberspace for members of the audience to enjoy some great readings.
Martha Kay Salinas writes young adult fiction and spends way too much time writing for Facebook instead of working on her blog. In an earlier life she worked as a marriage and family therapist. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing in 2015, and she’s currently writing a young adult novel set in 1968.