Our History

The Beginning

In early 2002, Bainbridge Island resident and aspiring writer Nichole Vick approached the Bainbridge Public Library board with a proposal for an organization, to be affiliated with the library, which would offer professional quality writing classes.

The entire board enthusiastically voted to support the concept and to provide the initial seed money. PEN/Faulkner award-winning novelist David Guterson, then a library board member, immediately volunteered not only to help organize the ongoing series but also to teach one of the first classes.

Within two weeks, an initial core team of volunteers met under the co-leadership of Vick and Guterson. The team wrote a mission statement focusing on the craft of writing and chose the name Field's End. Team members divided up the myriad of administrative tasks the start-up a "writers' community" demanded.

The First Programs

When classes opened that September, every seat was full. Only two months later, Field's End launched its ongoing monthly Writers' Roundtable series as the next addition to its repertoire of programs. Also that fall, National Book Award winner Charles Johnson gave the first of Field's End's series of guest lectures.

Since then, Field's End has not only continued offering top-quality writing classes, but it also provides a variety of programs and events. Free programs open to all include the monthly Writers' Roundtable series. Field's End also organized both a half-day workshop and an authors' panel at Northwest Bookfest 2003, further defining itself as a regional presence serving literary writers.

The Programs Expand

In 2006, Field's End sponsored its first annual Writers' Conference. Over the years, Field's End has continued to offer classes, Roundtables, special events, and an annual conference for both aspiring and professional writers.

Just a few of the illustrious writers and guest speakers who have led Field's End programs include Ivan Doig, Tim Egan, Dorothy Allison, Suzanne Selfors, Christopher Vogler, Donald Maass, Kelli Russell Agodon, Brenda Peterson, Carol Cassella, James Thayer, Colleen J. McElroy, George Shannon, Kathleen Alcala, Erik Larson, Garth Stein, Sheila Bender, Priscilla Long, Alice Acheson, Karen Gerstenberger, Perry Garfinkel, Bruce Barcott, Shawn Wong, Jonathan Evison, Ann Lovejoy, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Kinder, Anjali Banerjee, Susan Wiggs, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Julie Christine Johnson, Anne Clermont, Rebecca Laclair, Jennifer Hager, Dave Richards, George Shannon, Tom Challinor, Sheila Bender, Carolyn Terry, Johnny Bregar, Suzanne Fisher Staples and Michael Hauge.

What Does "Field's End" Mean?

The name Field's End derives from the title poem of Theodore Roethke's posthumously published The Far Field, winner of a National Book Award in 1965. Roethke, a poet of enormous influence and stature, spent much of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He died on Bainbridge Island in 1963. For more information about Theodore Roethke, click here.

Association with Bainbridge Public Library

Field's End had a long and supportive partnership with the nonprofit Bainbridge Public Library Board, which continues to support the library as a community center for lifelong learning.

Association with Eagle Harbor Book Company

Field's End has also enjoyed a great partnership with Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island's locally owned, independent community bookstore and will continue to do so as BARN Writers. We're grateful to Eagle Harbor Books for their continued support of our writing community. Please patronize your local independent bookstore.

Our Mission Statement

Field's End serves the writers' community and nurtures the written word through lectures, workshops, and instruction in the art, craft, and profession of writing.

Our primary offerings are writing classes, the annual writers' conference, our special events, and the monthly Roundtable series that features noted regional authors. Field's End is proud to be affiliated with the Bainbridge Public Library.