Close this search box.

If you want to write…

…take a class from Field’s End. Registration starts tomorrow. Fall Writing Classes from Field’s End 

Bainbridge Island, WA – Registration opens August 15 for three Fall 2007 writing classes from Field’s End, named “Best Writers’ Community 2006” by Seattle Weekly.  On tap are a college entrance essay class, an historical writing class, and a class on new forms in creative nonfiction. 


For the college bound student, Marian Merkel will teach “Who I Am: Writing the Personal Essay for College Applications.” New York Times best-selling author Susan Wiggs will facilitate the class. This is an opportunity for motivated high school students to examine the college essay from the standpoint of writing craft and then create an essay that truly represents who they are. Participants will learn how to find their voice and write about their dreams and goals with emotion, specific imagery, and self-awareness.  The class will be limited to 12 students and cost $80.  It meets Tuesdays September 25 and October 2 from 7-9:00 p.m. at the Kallgren Room, Bainbridge Commons.  Pre-registration is essential. No on-site registration will be permitted. 


Instructor Marian Merkel has guided high school students to select the appropriate university and helped them write their personal essays for more than a decade.  She has had many years experience as a speech writer for local government officials.  Merkel holds degrees from Whitman College and Yale University.  Award-winning novelist Susan Wiggs, facilitator for this class, holds an MA from Harvard University, taught for eleven years in public and private schools, and has served on the Harvard Schools Committee.  For the past five years, Wiggs has mentored students in their college application process.


Award-winner Kathleen Alcalá will teach “Bringing History Alive in Fiction” on Monday evenings October 15, 22, 29 and November 5, 12, and 19 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Bainbridge Public Library, 1270 Madison Avenue North, Bainbridge Island.  The class costs $240 and is limited to 15 students.  Writers of all levels are welcome.


The timeless appeal of a beautifully imagined historical novel is one readers of all ages find irresistible. This six-week course will focus on shaping historical research and source materials into fiction that appeals to the modern audience. The facts and sensory details of history help evoke a vivid sense of time and place, but it is the emotional development of characters that brings fiction to life. Participants will explore the balance of keeping characters true to their historical period while also establishing commonalities with the contemporary reader.


Alcalá is the author of the recent essay collection, The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing, a short story collection, Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, and three novels: Spirits of the Ordinary, The Flower in the Skull, and Treasures in Heaven.  Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the governor’s Writers Award, a Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Award, and a Washington State Book Award.  A co-founder and contributing editor to The Raven Chronicles, she is currently serving on the board of Richard Hugo House.  Alcalá’s work has been included in several anthologies and a conversation with her was included in Multicultural American – Conversations with Contemporary Authors, recently published by Nibir K. Ghosh. 


“Writing the Literary Collage” will feature popular writing instructor and award-winning author Priscilla Long.  This class will meet on Wednesday October 10, 17, 24, and 31 at the Kallgren Room, Bainbridge Commons, from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.  The class will be limited to 12 students and cost $200. 


The collage and its first cousin, the abecedarian, are marvelous forms of creative nonfiction that suit a wide variety of subject matters. In this nonfiction class students will scrutinize models of the form, and each will write one as well. In the process participants will work intensely on craft skills (language as sound, sophisticated sentencing, etc.),  honing observational skills to make writing more keenly observant and deeply insightful. 

 Priscilla Long is an award-winning poet, short story writer, journalist and master writing teacher.  In 2006, Priscilla Long was honored with a National Magazine Award for best feature writing for her work, “Genome Tome: Twenty-three Ways of Looking at Our Ancestors” (The American Scholar: Science Matters.  Summer 2005).  Her work has appeared in The American Scholar, Raven Chronicles, First Intensity, American Letters & Commentary, among many others. She serves as Senior Editor of the online encyclopedia of Washington state history,  Long is author of Where the Sun Never Shines: a History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry.  Among Long’s many awards is The Journal’s Creative Nonfiction Prize, the Richard Hugo House Founder’s Award, and a Seattle Arts Commission award. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington. 

Registration materials for the Fall 2007 Writing Classes may be found online at and at the Bainbridge Public Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N, Bainbridge Island.  Pre-registration for each class is essential. Questions? Ask the Field’s End Registrar: [email protected]. 


Tuition assistance is available through the Jack Olsen (Memorial) Tuition Assistance Fund. Apply for tuition assistance through the class registration form. 


Field’s End, founded in 2002 by PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author David Guterson, among others, exists to inspire writers and nurture the written word.  Field’s End sponsors writing classes, the free monthly Writers’ Roundtable on the third Tuesday of the month at the Bainbridge Public Library, lectures and special events, and the third annual Writers’ Conference, “Writing in the Garden of the Gods,” to be held on April 26, 2008 at Kiana Lodge, Poulsbo.  Information about Field’s End’s programs may be found at


# # #

 Writing Classes at Field’s End

Registration opens August 15 for Field’s End Fall 2007 Writing Classes.  “Who I Am: Writing the Personal Essay for College Applications,” with Marian Merkel, “Bringing History Alive in Fiction” with Kathleen Alcalá, and “Writing the Literary Collage” with Priscilla Long.  Details and registration materials available online at or at the Bainbridge Public Library.  Pre-registration essential. 

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay In Touch!

Be the first to get updates from Susan