Join a book club tailored to writers! Each 1.5-hour Zoom meeting includes a short discussion of the assigned reading chapters and relevant exercises to do together during the workshop. Think of it as a guided study group.
This session will cover the entire book NAKED, DRUNK, AND WRITING by Adair Lara, which focuses on learning to write personal essays without insecurities.
Write Now is a weekly time to write in the company of others. Using Zoom to come together, we write for 25 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 is fun, exciting, and might be the thing to help you finish (or start...) your manuscript. These virtual sessions help participants set aside time to write and be with other writers in an informal setting.
The sessions are led by a rotating team of hosts including Jen Scheiderman, Amelia Ramsey, Kassia Sing, Genevieve Douglass, and Steve Bice.
Additional sessions available on Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30 am.
You can register at any time, 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: Jessica Dubey Writers.Lead@bainbridgebarn.org
This series takes a look at character, setting, and dialog to give your writing more depth, shape and clarity.
Whether you’re developing fiction or non-fiction, a cohesive and engaging story is essential. So often, at the mention of a good book or movie, our first question is, “What’s it about?” While plot is important, it's only one of the elements needed to hold your reader.
Too often writers focus so much on “what happens” that the “who, where, and how” of the narrative, the important elements that allow the piece to be full, complete and “lived-in,” are neglected. It’s as if the plot is the house, and the rest are the furnishings and décor that make it a “home.”
Character, setting and dialog will be the focus of separate workshops designed to allow you to give your piece more depth, shape and clarity as you move forward.
* Please note that for sessions 2-4, we ask participants come with a draft already in process (rough is OK!), as activities will be geared toward works-in-progress.
Session 1: “Let’s Get Writing!” We’ll engage with our creative mind through a series of prompts, activities, and games designed to increase fluency. We should all come away with a toolkit of ideas and inspiration for the meatier stuff later.
Session 2: Character. “Don’t You Know Who I Am?” Mining well-rounded and believable characters is probably the most important element in fiction. By combining brainstorming and craft exercises, you can add dimension to existing characters, develop new characters, and better view the world through the character’s point of view.
Session 3: Setting/Place: “Where Am I and How Did I Get Here?” The well-defined “place” can establish mood, influence character choices/emotions, drive dialog, impact events, and so much more. In this session we look at how settings can be explored and woven into your work, whether in long form or subtle, carefully placed details.
Session 4: Dialog: “Am I Coming Through?” In this workshop, we look at effective dialog in fiction and film, and explore opportunities in our own pieces that can be further developed through character-to-character conversation. We’ll look at dialog that is internal and external, direct and indirect, verbal and nonverbal.
Warren Read - Warren is the author of the novels, One Simple Thing (2021, Ig Publishing), and Ash Falls (2017, Ig Publishing). His memoir, The Lyncher in Me, was released by Borealis Books in 2009. He received his MFA in 2015 from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. 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 on Bainbridge Island. Learn more about him at www.warren-read.com.
Additional sessions available on Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 am.
Teens (7th-12th grade), come on down to BARN for a free evening of art, friends, music, and creativity! You're not going to want to miss it. We'll have pizza and snacks and you'll get to choose from activities like cooking, woodworking, sewing, jewelry making, metal working, and more - every month is a different lineup. Come with a friend or come on your own and meet new friends!
Teen Night is so popular that we're now requiring registration to ensure that there's enough food and activities for everyone!
We're grateful to the City of Bainbridge Island for their financial support so we can offer this event for teens in our community!
Take an unbiased, unvarnished look at current publishing options and how to approach them, from “Big 5” traditional publishers to small presses, to self-publishing (with or without service companies), to hybrid and other emerging models.
Examine the pros and cons of each choice, realistic costs and income potential, as well as pitfalls to avoid. Most importantly, we’ll look at how each writer’s goals and strengths can help them make a decision that's best for them.
This class will enable you to:
1. Identify the broad range of choices available for publishing: big presses, small presses, independent self publishing, subsidy and “author assisted” presses, and emerging models.
2. Gain a realistic impression of the costs, timing, and logistics involved in producing a book.
3. Have clear guidelines (a checklist of questions) to help you consider the best options for your specific situation.
Beth Jusino -A publishing consultant for both traditional and self-publishing authors, Beth has almost 20 years' 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.
We cordially invite you to join us for a special speed-dating style writing group matching event on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, from 7 to 8:30 pm at BARN.
This is a chance to meet fellow writers, find potential writing partners, and maybe even spark some creative chemistry. We will start with a short introduction and then move into some organized mingling.
You will have the opportunity to chat with multiple people to help you find and form mutually supportive writing groups. We will have prompts and conversation starters available to help guide the conversation.
We can't wait to see you there and help you find your perfect writing match!
View BARN’s current COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
For those who might need physical assistance, learn more about our Companion Program.
We’re excited to offer Open Mic for poets of all experience levels to read their work to an appreciative audience.
Susan Landgraf is the author of "What We Bury Changes the Ground" and editor of "The Inspired Poet." She has published more than 400 poems, essays, and articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers, including Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Margie, Nimrod, Bellingham Review, and The Laurel Review. She was the Poet Laureate of Auburn and taught at Highline College for 27 years and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She is working on a memoir, a novel, and another poetry collection.
Michele Bombardier is Bainbridge Island’s first poet laureate. She is author of "What We Do," a Washington Book Award finalist; has published more than a hundred poems and reviews; holds an MFA in poetry; and is the founder of Fishplate Poetry, offering retreats and workshops.
This free event is sponsored by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge, the city of Bainbridge Island, Bloedel Reserve, and BARN. Join us every third Thursday for featured and open mic readings.
This event will be in BARN's Great Room on the main level.
Ages 14 and up are welcome.
BARN is committed to accessibility. Tuition assistance is available. Fill out the application before registering.
Join us for an exciting conversation (and vampires!) with local serial authors T.M Smith and Jen Pitts as they discuss their writing journey and latest works.
Pitts is known for her cozy mysteries - "The French Quarter Mystery Series." Smith's novels, including her newest release, "The Firebrand," are paranormal romances. The two authors will discuss their newest works, share their insights on writing, answer questions from the audience, and discuss their future projects.
This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring writers and fans of the genres to hear from two successful authors and gain valuable insights into the writing process. Refreshments will be served.
Ages 14 and up are welcome.
Join us for an out-of-this-world look at writing science fiction. Learn the ins and outs of this exciting genre from the author of over 50 books. Bill will discuss the difference between sci-fi, speculative fiction, fantasy, and the many subgenres: hard science, space opera, steampunk, and others. He’ll delve into plots, world-building, how to create aliens, space travel, and more.
BARN is committed to accessibility. Tuition Assistance is available - click here to fill out the simple application before registering for a class. For those who might need physical assistance, please learn about BARN's Companion Program here.
William C. Dietz - New York Times bestselling author William C. Dietz has published more than 50 novels, some of which have been translated into German, French, Russian, Korean, and Japanese. He also wrote the script for the Legion of the Damned game (iPhone, iTouch, and iPad) based on his book of the same name, and co-wrote SONY's Resistance: Burning Skies game for the PS Vita.He grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a medic, graduated from the University of Washington, lived in Africa for half a year, and has traveled to six continents. Bill has been employed as a surgical technician, college instructor, news writer, television producer, and director of public relations and marketing for an international telephone company.
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 afternoon retreat could be for you.
All writing levels and genres are welcome in this safe and fun environment. Use this opportunity to generate new work with the help of prompts for timed writing followed by time to read and receive responses to freshly written material (reading your work is optional).
As one former participant said, "My very best writing emerges out of your group's creative cauldrons ... your comments were spot on, very insightful and helpful."
Julie Gardner - An Amherst Writers & Artists Affiliate, Julie has led WritersGathering groups, workshops and retreats in Seattle since 2011. She has offered classes at BARN since 2019 where participants say they learn more about their strengths and discovered new ones. 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 which won the 2021 Washington State Book award for nonfiction. She is currently collaborating with librettists Kamala Sankaram and Kristin Martig leading workshops to generate lyrics for Joan of the City, a site-specific multi-media opera that uses augmented reality/mixed reality to tell the story of a modern-day Joan of Arc through Opera on Tap.
Class Liaison: Jennifer Hemmingsen
We’re excited to offer this Open Mic opportunity for writers of all levels of experience to read their work to an appreciative audience. This is a great opportunity to reach new readers and meet people who love words as much as you do. It takes courage to share your work with others. Be brave.
We have slots for 12 readers to read five-minute selections. Register for "Reader" soon in order to snag one of these spots. We also have plenty of room for members of the audience to enjoy some great readings.
Mary Sloat is the former Writers’ Studio Lead and now Programming Coordinator. She writes short stories and middle grade fiction, and she can’t wait to hear your stories!
Want to inject some humor into your writing? This class is designed to improve your comedic writing skills.
Led by humorist Bob Balmer, this course studies successful humor writers and examines what makes people laugh. You'll learn time-tested techniques for transforming odd, embarrassing, memorable, and absurd moments into humorous passages.
Through a series of exercises and prompts, students learn to mine their experiences and observations for comedic material and techniques for crafting jokes and humorous anecdotes. Students also have the opportunity to workshop their material and receive feedback from the instructor and their peers.
Bob Balmer's first humorous essay was published in The Oregonian in 1992. Since then, his work has appeared in numerous national and regional newspapers and magazines, and on radio shows such as The Savvy Traveler and MarketPlace.
He has an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University, and attended the Iowa Summer Writing Workshop and the Tin House Summer Writing Workshop at Reed College. He recently took improv and sketch-writing classes at Second City Comedy in Chicago. He has led numerous humor writing workshops throughout Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.
Whether you write for publication or for yourself, understanding the creative process will deepen your relationship with your writing and yourself.
All experience levels are welcome!
William Kenower is the author of "Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence," "Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion," and "Everyone Has What It Takes: A Writer’s Guide to the End of Self-Doubt." He is editor-in-chief of Author magazine. His work has been published in The New York Times, Writer’s Digest, Edible Seattle, Parent Map, and he has been a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
What does “heartfelt” even mean? How do you write an “authentic” character?
As writers, we're often told the thing missing from stories is “heart” or that the story needs to feel more “authentic.” This is quite often why agents and editors say "no" to a manuscript.
We each have lives full of unique life experiences. In this class, we use those experiences to gather heartfelt story lines for our own works in progress or new ideas. We explore our own memories and stories to create unique characters with the necessary emotional journeys for authentic characters that only you can write. We also ask questions to help you discover the elusive part missing from most stories.
When completed, you will have the heart of your story.
Donna Barba Higuera - This New York Times bestselling author has written books that have won awards including the Newbery Medal, Pura Belpré Medal, the Sid Fleischman award, Crystal Kite Award, and PNBA best book of the year amongst others. She grew up in a tiny desert town in central California surrounded by agricultural and oil fields. Rather than wrangling dust devils, she spent recess squirreled away in the janitor’s closet with a good book. Her favorite hobbies were calling the library’s dial-a-story over and over again and sneaking into a restricted pioneers’ cemetery to weave her own spooky tales using the crumbling headstones for inspiration. Donna’s Middle Grade and Picture books reinvent history, folklore, and her own life experiences into compelling storylines. She still dreams in Spanglish.She lives in Washington with her husband, four kids, three dogs and a frog.
You can read more about her books at dbhiguera.com
Explore the literary techniques and styles of “hermit crab essays” and how to use them to convey meaning and emotion.
The term "hermit crab essay" was coined by author Brenda Miller to describe essays that borrow elements from other texts to create a unique voice and perspective.
This course will explore the various literary techniques and styles used in hermit crab essays and how to use them to convey meaning and emotion effectively. Through close readings, writing exercises, and class discussions, students will learn to craft their own hermit crab essays using their experiences and identities as the foundation for their writing.
By the end of the course, students will have a solid understanding of the hermit crab essay and the skills to write their own.
This is a hybrid course. Students may attend in person or by Zoom. If you'd like to register to attend in person, please click here.
This introduction to the children's book industry is designed for all aspiring writers for children and teens.
Jolie Stekly has worked with experts in the children’s publishing industry for 20 years as a writer, freelance editor, instructor, coach, and consultant. Recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Member of the Year award, she presents the orientation for first-time attendees at the annual conference and is the former regional advisor in Western Washington. With a master’s degree in teaching, she teaches writing classes to both pre-published and published writers of books for kids and teens, including a picture book course offered by the UW Certificate in Writing Program. Learn more at joliestekly.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@cuppajolie).