Arts and Entertainment

Author Barry Eisler to give keynote address at writers' conference

A CIA agent turned author of international thrillers; the writer of a New York Times bestseller now on a 40-city book tour; a radio host who has written 10 novels and assorted short stories, plays and poems; and a Field’s End co-founder who has written seven books – these are the people who will speak at the Field’s End Writers’ Conference on Saturday, April 28 on Bainbridge Island.

Barry Eisler, author and creator of the international thriller series John Rain, will be the keynote speaker.

His latest book, "The Detachment," was released digitally in September 2011. He has been heralded as "one of the most talented and literary writers in the thriller genre," and his character John Rain as "the most charismatic assassin since James Bond."

Eisler once held a covert position in the CIA and worked as a technology lawyer and start-up executive in Silicon Valley. He was also one of the first established authors to turn away from traditional publishing, signing on with Amazon’s publishing arm.

The author will deliver the keynote address, “The New World of Publishing: What's Changed, What Hasn't, and What It All Means for Us Writers.”

Leading the “morning writing prompt” will be Jonathan Evison, whose second novel, "West of Here," was released in February 2011 to become an instant New York Times bestseller and recipient of the 2012 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award.

Evison is currently on a 40-city book tour for the paperback release of "West of Here."

Before his recent successes, Evison spent 20 years on seven unpublished novels; he knows exactly how it feels to be an aspiring writer.

Susan Wingate, author of "Drowning" (2011), a finalist in the International Book Awards and winner of the Forward National Literature Award for Drama, is scheduled to close out the conference.

Her latest novel in the best-selling, award-winning Bobby’s Diner series, "Sacrifice at Sea," will be released this year. A resident of the San Juans, Wingate has written 10 novels, two short story collections, a few plays, one screenplay and many poems. She hosts a popular radio program on Thursdays, "Dialogue: Between the Lines," focusing on authors and other professionals in the publishing industry.

Wingate's closing address is titled “How ‘Star Trek’ Publishing Looks a Lot Like Hemingway's Study.”

Bainbridge resident and author David Guterson will open the conference. He helped found Field’s End in 2002, and taught the group’s first professional writing class.

Guterson’s latest novel, "Ed King," debuted last fall. He is the author of seven books, including "Snow Falling on Cedars" (1994), which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

The 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. conference also offers workshops on pitch, editing, strategies for selling, social media and blogs, nature writing, short personal essays, first novels, journaling, narrative connections, writing groups and critiquing, travel and poetry, and high-concept novels.

Other presenters include Bruce Barcott, Sheila Roberts, Langdon Cook, Lyanda Lynn Haupt and Susan Rich.

Registration is $165 per person and includes a light breakfast, lunch and afternoon wine-and-cheese reception. Register online at or pick up forms at the Bainbridge Public Library or Eagle Harbor Books. Registration closes April 19.

The Field's End Writers' Conference will be held at IslandWood, and attracts writers from throughout Puget Sound.

In addition to the conference, Field's End offers free monthly Roundtables with noted writers at the Bainbridge Public Library, classes and special events, all revolving around the art, craft and profession of writing. It is affiliated with the Bainbridge Public Library.

For more information, visit

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