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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.**
Have you wanted to write a story but felt overwhelmed by the length of a novel? Have you tried writing a short story but 20+ pages still felt untenable? This class is for you! A short-short story (flash fiction) has two requirements, says author Fred Chappell: “that it be quite short and that it be troubling.” In this generative class, we’ll review the elements of craft employed by fiction writers (with a nod to the craft of poetry) and we’ll read and discuss examples of flash fiction from anthologies such as Sudden Fiction and Flash Fiction. We’ll compose our own flash stories by responding to some in-class writing exercises, which are designed to help you write succinctly while suspending disbelief.
Janée J. Baugher is the author of guidebook, The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influence Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction, as well as poetry collections, The Body’s Physics and Coördinates of Yes. Since earning an MFA, her writing has been published in journals such as Saturday Evening Post, Tin House, The Southern Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, and Nimrod. Her stage adaptations have been featured at University of Cincinnati, University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and Otterbein University, and she’s been a featured reader at the Library of Congress. Baugher is an assistant editor at Boulevard and the columnist at The Ekphrastic Review.
Writing non-fiction feature articles for newspapers and magazines can be both challenging and rewarding. Join us for a conversation with Richard Rosenthal, a writer with over four decades of experience, along with studio lead, Mary Sloat, in a discussion about the ins and outs of interviewing and how he transforms a recording into a finished article.
Richard has written articles for numerous newspapers and magazines covering sports, community interests, and the music industry. In addition to being a writer, he is an editor and helps mentor new writers.
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.
As writers we long to hook our readers’ hearts as well as their minds. That happens when we realize that at its core, every story is a survival story. 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, hook their hearts and identify the one thing every powerful story has in common.
Optional--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.
Maureen McQuerry is the author of four novels, 2 board book series, and 2 nonfiction books, including: The Peculiars, Beyond The Door, The Telling Stone, Between, Before And After, Big Ideas For Little Philosophers and the forthcoming Big Ideas For Little Environmentalists. Her poetry can be found in literary journals.
Her books have been selected for YALSA best fiction, ALA best book, Bank Street Best Books, and sold in 5 languages. Publisher’s Weekly calls her YA and MG work “evocative of The Dark is Rising and Neil Gaimen.” Most recently the Big Ideas series sold at auction to Penguin/Putnam and will be followed by Big Ideas For Little Environmentalists next year.
Maureen taught for 20 years, specializing in gifted education, and was the McAuliffe fellow for WA state in 2000. She currently lives on an island near Seattle with her husband, a hive full of bees, and four chicken sisters.
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.
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.
Though many writers know the basics of scene structure, they fail to make their scenes do all the work they can do, taking the path of least resistance instead of challenging themselves—and their characters and stories—to greater heights. In this class, we’ll dig into the foundational element of story construction, the scene, and examine 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 and work!
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.
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:
There will be a half-hour break for lunch.
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.