Writers' Classes

    • Saturday, July 11, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (PDT)
    • BARN Zoom Room 1, Class Code: WR071120CM
    • 6

    **This workshop will be conducted via live streaming with Zoom.** 

    In this one-session class, Clare will explain the narrative structure behind her true animal stories and what makes a strong character and compelling plot. She will also touch on research techniques to provide rich details and description to deepen character and setting. Other areas Clare will cover include:

    • What makes a great nonfiction book
    • The different kinds of children's nonfiction and how narrative fiction fits in
    • Choosing a topic that kids will enjoy--strong main character, compelling plot, subject you care about
    • Key elements of narrative structure for a well-crafted story
    • Top ten research tips
    • How to prepare a nonfiction proposal for a publisher or agent

    Class details:

    • This class will be taught via the Zoom video conferencing program. For a great video on how to use Zoom, watch this tutorial.
    •  An email will be sent to you 1 day before the start date with the Zoom video conferencing link to join the class. Please watch for this email.

    Clare Hodgson Meeker is the author of a dozen award-winning picture and chapter books for children, including the Smithsonian Notable Book Lootas Little Wave Eater: An Orphaned Sea Otter’s Story and the Junior Library Guild Selection Rhino Rescue! Her new book Growing Up Gorilla: How a Zoo Baby Brought Her Family Together was just named a 2020 Bank Street Book of the Year in the STEM category.  Her website is www.claremeeker.com   


    • Saturday, August 01, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (PDT)
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR080120SW
    • 9

    With the explosive growth of streaming video, the demand and opportunities for content has never been higher. This workshop will cover the basic information you need to get started:

             Movies vs Pilots (opportunities and advantages)

             Different types of pilots

             Software and formatting

             Basic structure of a TV pilot

             Critical do’s and don’ts

             Log lines / One sheets / Pitches

             Next steps (after you write “FADE OUT”)

    Instructor Bio: Stephen Wallenfels earned a BA in Physical Education and International Relations from USIU San Diego.  His writing career started as a freelance journalist in the health and fitness industry. After a decade of writing non-fiction, he published some short stories then switched to novels. His YA science fiction debut, POD (Penguin-Ace), was published in eight languages and has been adapted into a screenplay.  Then, keeping with the survival theme but switching to realistic fiction, Stephen published two YA survival thrillers with Disney-Hyperion:  Bad Call, set in Yosemite National Park, and Deadfall, set in the mountains of southeastern Oregon. He is currently adapting his novel, Deadfall, into a screenplay.


    Details: Please note that it is possible that this class will convert to an online course depending on the status of phases for Kitsap County. You will be notified well in advance should it change.

    • Wednesday, August 05, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • Wednesday, August 26, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • 4 sessions
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR080520WR
    • 12

    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 good short story strong, character development, setting, dialogue, and point of view. Each session will include writing advice, fluency prompts, sharing your work with class members, and 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 a very rough draft, or attend the first session with the most basic of outlines. It is requested, though, that participants come with some initial work already in place. 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. For those who would like to take the course but do not have a clear idea yet, reading this book sooner rather than later will help!   

    Details: Please note that it is possible that this class will convert to an online course depending on the status of phases for Kitsap County. You will be notified well in advance should it change.

    Warren Read is the author of a memoir, The Lyncher in Me (2009, Borealis Books) and the award-winning novel, Ash Falls (2017, Ig Publishing). His fiction has appeared in Hot Metal Bridge, Mud Season Review, Sliver of Stone, Inklette, Switchback Magazine and 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. His latest novel, One Simple Thing, will be released by Ig Publishing in January 2021. Learn more about Warren at www.warren-read.com


    • Saturday, August 08, 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR080820LB
    • 11

    Lynn Brunelle & Maureen McQueeryEditors, agents and producers are clamoring for high concept story ideas. We've all heard the term, but what does it really mean? Can character driven stories be high concept? Can a story be profound and high concept? 

    In this  3 hour workshop we'll discuss the elements of a high concept story, learn from examples that have been well received, and spend time brainstorming ways to tweak your story premise to make it  both original and appealing to a large audience, the kind of high concept idea that will catch the eye of an agent, editor or producer.


    BARN will be practicing safety measures for the health and well-being of all participants, in accordance with state and CDC guidelines. More details can be found here.

    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.

    Her latest book for adults, a memoir called Mama Gone Geek, was released in 2014 and won the Independent Publishing Award Gold Medal.  Her newest book, Turn This Book into a Beehive was released in 2018.

    Maureen McQuerry is an award winning poet, novelist and teacher. Her YA novel, The Peculiars is an ALA Best Book for Young Adult Readers 2013 and winner of the Westchester Award. Her other novels include the Celtic Mythology duo Beyond the Door and The Telling Stone, and most recently Between Before and After, one of Barnes and Nobles most anticipated historical fictions for 2019. Big Ideas for Little Philosophers, a 4 book series featuring Socrates, Descartes, Aristotle and DeBeauvior, for preschoolers, releases in July 2020 to be followed by Big Ideas for Little Environmentalists.

    Maureen taught middle school through college for almost twenty years in the Tri-Cities and was the McAuliffe Fellow for WA State in 2000. She currently lives on Bainbridge Island with  her husband, 4 chickens and a hive full of bees.

    • Saturday, September 26, 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (PDT)
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR092620MB
    • 11

    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.

    • Saturday, October 10, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (PDT)
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR101020BJ
    • 6

    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 workshop 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. (This is also a valuable class for self-publishing writers who want to pitch their books so that readers pay attention.)

     Attendees will…

    1. Be challenged to consider their work from a fresh, detached, commercial perspective.

    2. Learn how to condense full-length fiction and nonfiction projects into industry-appropriate 1-2 page synopses, and how to identify the compelling “hooks” that make great verbal pitches and query letter descriptions.

    3. Gain a realistic understanding of what publishers and agents are looking for in new authors, including author platform, compelling concept, and connection to existing popular trends.

    Instructor Bio: 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.


    • Saturday, October 17, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (PDT)
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code: WR101720SW

    Join Susan for a hands-on class that will work for emerging, intermediate, and experienced writers. Bring your ideas or your work-in-progress to explore the basics of novel structure, and leave with a work plan to move ahead with your story. Recommended reading prior to class: The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber.

    Instructor Bio:

    Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. 

    Susan has been featured in the national media, including NPR and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

    From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. 

    Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe. Her newest novel, The Lost and Found Bookshop will be released in 2020.


    • Saturday, November 07, 2020
    • (PST)
    • Saturday, November 28, 2020
    • (PST)
    • 4 sessions
    • BARN Writers' Studio, Class Code WR110720LF+
    • 10

    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.

    Instructor Bios:

    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.

    • Friday, November 20, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 11:30 PM (PST)
    • 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 21, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (PST)
    • 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.

    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 TBD.

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