This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.
Write Now-- 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.
Additional sessions held on Tuesdays, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM.
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: Jessica Dubey [email protected]
Write Now -- 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.
Additional session held on Thursdays, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM.
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.
Jennifer K. Mann is an author/illustrator from Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she lives with her husband, dogs, cat and chickens, and occasionally her now grown children. Her favorite thing in the world is her family, followed closely by making books for young readers, reading, cooking, camping, hiking, and swimming outdoors, especially in clear cold lakes. Jennifer was once an architect, but now is the author and illustrator of several picture books including TWO SPECKLED EGGS (a previous Washington State Book Award Winner), I’LL NEVER GET A STAR ON MRS BENSON’S BLACKBOARD, SAM AND JUMP and JOSIE’S LOST TOOTH. Her 2020 picture book, THE CAMPING TRIP (Candlewick) won the 2021 Washington State Book Award for picture books. Upcoming books are AUDREY L and AUDREY W: TRUE CREATIVE TALENTS, which is book 2 in a chapter book series written by Carter Higgins (Chronicle Books, 2022); and MAPLE AND ROSEMARY, a picture book by Allison James (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, 2023).
Good travel writing doesn't just introduce us to places we may (or may not) visit, it opens windows to human experience. Jennifer Hemmingsen will talk about the fundamentals of great travel writing and review some exemplary published works. We'll reserve some time at the end of the session to discuss your own travel story ideas.
Jennifer Hemmingsen is Seattle Times opinion columnist and editorial writer whose recent work has appeared in the Kansas City Star, Missoulian, WOSU-FM (Columbus, OH), Grand Island Independent, Cayman Compass, The Free Lance-Star, Bridge Michigan, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and KUNI FM.
Class liaison: Mary Sloat
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.
This class will be held online via Zoom.
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.
**This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.
Can you get to the Bang! in your story in under 1,000 words? How about 500? What about one sentence? Davis will go over the craft elements of flash fiction, and then she will provide a handful of writing prompts to get your pen moving. The workshop will be focused on generating new work, so it’s appropriate for all levels of experience. Come explore the world of flash, where the only rule is length.
Lauren Davis is the author of Home Beneath the Church (Fernwood Press) and When I Drowned (Aldrich Press, forthcoming), and the chapbooks Each Wild Thing’s Consent (Poetry Wolf Press), and The Missing Ones (Winter Texts). She holds an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and she is the winner of the Landing Zone Magazine’s Flash Fiction Contest and the House Journal Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in numerous literary publications and anthologies including Prairie Schooner, Spillway, Poet Lore, Ibbetson Street, Ninth Letter and elsewhere. Davis lives on the Olympic Peninsula in a Victorian seaport community.
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, has led WritersGathering groups, workshops and retreats in Seattle since 2011. At BARN, she has offeredregular 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 which won the 2021 Washington State Book award for nonfiction. A current project has been collaborating with libettists Kamala Sankaram and Kristin Martig leading workshops to generate lyrics for Joan of the City, a site-specific multi-media opera that will use augmented reality/mixed reality to tell the story of a modern-day Joan of Arc through Opera on Tap.
As the November midterms approach, rumors and concerns about election security are as rampant as ever. Nationally, only 16% of respondents said they are “very confident” in the country’s elections systems in a recent CNN poll.
Where are these rumors coming from? Should Washington voters be worried about election security? Join our nonpartisan panel of experts as they discuss the state’s election landscape and answer your election-related questions.
Meet the Panel:
Seattle Times Senior Political Writer Jim Brunner is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering Washington state politics and government.
Paul Andrews is the Kitsap County Auditor and a certified Elections Administrator. As the Chief Election official, he is responsible for all elections in Kitsap County.
Rachel E. Moran is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public. Her research explores the role of trust in digital information environments, especially in the spread of misinformation and disinformation.
The panel will be moderated by journalist Jenn Hemmingsen, a former The Seattle Times editorial writer and member of the BARN Writers’ Studio steering committee. Brought to you by the BARN Writers’ Studio and the Bainbridge Public Library.
The BARN Writers’ Studio and Liberty Bay Books are delighted to host Dana Simpson for this family friendly event. Get a signed copy of her latest book Unicornado! Dana, who grew up in Gig Harbor, is the creator of the best-selling series, Phoebe and her Unicorn and Ozy and Millie. We hope you'll join us for this delightful evening as Dana shares her creative process and reads from her books. After the presentation, Dana will sign copies of her books. The event is free and family-friendly. For more info, please call Liberty Bay Books at (360) 779-5909.
The ghouls are back in town and back in person. Get into the Halloween spirit with stories that will chill you to your toes. After darkness falls, these wonderful local authors will emerge in the BARN Great Room with stories each has written to frighten and bewitch you. Join us for a festive evening sipping wine and Dark & Stormies and nibbling yummy treats. You can even come in costume... if you dare.
This year, our chilling authors will be Martha Brockenbrough, Christine Day, Robert Dugoni, Luciano Marano, Jon Mooallem and Dylan Tomine.
Dark & Stormy cocktails and wine will be served. Please note that this is a 21+ event. Registration is required.
Christine Day is a citizen of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe. Her first novel, I Can Make This Promise, was a best book of the year from NPR, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Her second novel, The Sea in Winter, was a Top 10 Indie Kids’ Next selection, a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Book Award, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. She also wrote She Persisted: Maria Tallchief, a biography in Chelsea Clinton’s book series about inspirational women. Her next book, We Still Belong, is coming to shelves in Summer 2023. Christine lives with her family in the rainy and resplendent Pacific Northwest. Visit her website at www.bychristineday.com.
Robert Dugoni is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, which has sold more than seven million books worldwide; the David Sloane series; the Charles Jenkins series; the stand-alone novels The 7th Canon, Damage Control, The World Played Chess, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, for which he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for narration; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post best book of the year. He is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and has twice won the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel. He is a two-time finalist for the Thriller Awards and a finalist for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. His books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Visit his website at www.robertdugonibooks.com.
Luciano Marano is an author, photographer, and journalist. His written and photographic reporting has earned a number of industry awards, including his twice being named a Feature Writer of the Year by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. Hidebound, the first installment in a trilogy of werewolf novellas, The Ambush Moon Cycle, is now available from Raven Tale Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in Year's Best Hardcore Horror Vol. 3, Monsters, Movies & Mayhem (winner: Colorado Book Award),Crash Code (nominee: Splatterpunk Award), Breaking Bizarro, and The Nightside Codex, as well as PseudoPod, Horror Hill, and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights, among others. Originally from rural western Pennsylvania, he now resides on Bainbridge Island.
Jon Mooallem is a longtime writer for The New York Times Magazine and a contributor to lots of other magazines and podcasts, including This American Life, The Daily, 99% Invisible and Wired. His most recent book is SERIOUS FACE, a collection of essays. His previous book THIS IS CHANCE!, about the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, was named a best book of 2020 by BuzzFeed, Amazon and Brainpickings and is currently being adapted into a film. Jon performs regularly at Pop-Up Magazine and occasionally collaborates on live storytelling and music projects with members of the Decemberists. He lives on Bainbridge Island with his family. Visit his website at www.jonmooallem.com
Dylan Tomine is the author of Closer to the Ground: A Family’s Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table and Headwaters: The Adventures, Obsession and Evolution of a Fly Fisherman. He lives on Bainbridge Island with his two kids and their furry, four-legged sibling, Halo. Visit his website at www.dylantomine.com.
Please click here for BARN's current COVID-19 health & safety protocols.
What does “heartfelt” even mean? How do I write an “authentic” character?
As writers, we are 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. Join Donna Barba Higuera as we work on our own works in progress or new ideas to gather heartfelt storylines using our own life experiences. We will explore our own memories and stories to create unique characters with the necessary emotional journeys for authentic characters that only you can write. We will also ask the questions to help you discover that elusive part that is missing in most stories.
When completed, you will have the heart of your story.
Donna Barba Higuera is the New York Times bestselling author of 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’d spend 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.
Donna lives in Washington State with her husband, four kids, three dogs and a frog.
You can read more about her books at dbhiguera.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, 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.
Park: At BARN, or the adjacent Christmas tree lot. Parking also available at the First Baptist Church on North Madison, with a free Sweet Deal Mobile shuttle.
This is a BARN holiday. Doors will be locked to the public, members, and non-members.
Learn how to hook readers (and agents, and editors) at the start of your manuscript, what to show in the first five pages, and what to save for later chapters.
The first 45-60 minutes of this class will comprise a lecture about plot and first pages, including examples from bestselling novels, and notes on critiquing. The remainder of this workshop will include Michele’s critiques of all students’ first five pages.
Submit your first five pages (in any state of draft) by December 4 to the Writers’ Studio Programming Coordinator at: [email protected]. The Programming Coordinator will also share student pages with the other registered students for the opportunity for additional feedback.
Michele Bacon writes contemporary realistic fiction focused on families, friends, and the complicated relationships therein. As a child, Michele was drawn to people’s stories, and she remains eager to learn how you got that scar or fell in love. When teaching, Michele focuses on supporting writers as they find their voices and tell their stories. Her published books are for teens: LIFE BEFORE and ANTIPODES, both from Skyhorse). Outside of writing, Michele enjoys tabletop games, glassblowing, downhill skiing, roller derby, and travel. She’s explored landscapes and cultures in all 50 states and dozens of countries No matter where she wanders, Michele loves coming home to Seattle, where she lives with her partner, three children, and three cats.
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. Please 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!
Do you love to journal but aren’t sure what to write about? Do you feel like your journaling is boring? Join journaling extraordinaire Chelsea Leah for an exciting boost to your writing, as she leads the group through a curated journaling adventure. Each day of the series will center around a theme, such as “Pop Culture”, “What If”, and “Scent Memories”, and will consist of 4-5 short exercises to breathe fresh air into your writing practice. You never know where the journey will take you!
What supplies students should bring: Your favorite pen.
Chelsea Leah is a lifelong journaling enthusiast, as well as a tech and culture writer. Her articles have appeared in WIRED and The Writer magazine. When not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book or her toes in the sand.