Writing Classes

Class: Rusty Morrison- For Poets: Courting the Emergent

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Wed. Feb. 4 • 6:00-8:00 pm • $40 

To register, please call 415-927-0960 ext 230 to check availability. 

Most writing classes focus on praxis— teachable techniques currently in vogue. Yet, it’s a common tenet of creativity that a poet must break with conventions if an impulse of emergent possibility, of poiesis, arises that calls the writer beyond what is currently popular, beyond the current norms of one’s own writing style. How to teach the art of attuning to one’s own unique unveiling of the previously unseen and bring it into presence?

In this class, we will observe that a strict division between poiesis and praxis isn’t necessary: we’ll try catalysts that ask poiesis, thrilling, unexpected directions, to spring from astute attention to what is waiting, nascent, in one’s praxis. Current studies in neuroscience support this: unexpected insights can arrive when old ideas galvanize in new ways. The right brain trolls the left and recombines what it finds. Though we are usually unconscious to the process, we can train ourselves to become more alert to its potential occurrence. This class is appropriate for new poets and for poets who are very proficient in their craft.

**Pre-class assignment instructions upon registration.

Rusty Morrison is co-publisher of Omnidawn, author of five books, and winner of many awards including "The True Keeps Calm Biding Its Story" which won The James Laughlin Award and "After Urgency" which won The Dorset Prize. Her most recent book is "Beyond the Chainlink" from Ahsahta Press. Read what Sink Review has to say about it here

Rusty's newest book, Beyond the Chainlink, is on Nomadic Press' Top 5 must-read titles of 2014

Three of Rusty's poems are featured in the newest issue of Talisman.  

 

Class: Linda Watanabe McFerrin - Expanding Travel Writing to Fiction

Saturday, February 7, 2015 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Sat., Feb. 7 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $140 (includes a copy of Dead Love)
 
 
 
 
If you love writing about place, you might want to stret-t-t-tch your horizons. In an age where navigating the globe has never been more important, fabulous settings—along with great dialog— have become one of the keys to the best fiction. Join award winning travel writer and novelist Linda Watanabe McFerrin will show you how to take your writing about place to a whole new dimension that is out of this world in a workshop with an emphasis on craft, exercises, and work on your individual projects.
 
 

Class: Elizabeth Stark Powers- Launch Your Novel or Memoir: Dynamic Openings that Hook Readers, Agents and Editors.

Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
 
Sun. Feb. 15 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $45
 
 

 
Come write (or re-write) the opening of your novel or memoir. We’ll dig into stellar examples of compelling openings, and use them to spur our own stories into fine form. Write, receive insightful response and direction, and get that page-turning, couldn’t-put-it-down opening ready for the world.
 

Class: Dianne Jacob - Writing Food Blogs & Cookbooks

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Four Wednesdays, Feb. 18-Mar. 11 • 6:00-8:00pm • $150

 
 
Have your friends been telling you to write a cookbook? Want to express your love of food and cooking in a blog? In this class, we’ll discuss how come up with a great cookbook idea, how the cookbook publishing industry works, and whether self-publishing is an option. You’ll also learn how to start a food blog and keep it going. Templates make it easier than ever to blog today, and give you a way to build great content and an audience. 

Dianne Jacob is a speaker and teacher on food writing, and author of the award-winning book Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir and More and co-author of Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas. She has blogged on food writing for six years at www.diannej.com/b.
 
 

Class: Linda Watanabe McFerrin - Plot Thickens

Saturday, February 21, 2015 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Sat., Feb. 21 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $120 
 
 
 
 
Aristotle called plot “the most important element of storytelling.” But to plot properly, you must have a plan, and the plan must give rise to emotion. Does the plot always seem to elude you? Spend a day planning and plotting and find out what you’re missing. Bring your flat-lining fiction and nonfiction and fix it.
 
Linda Watanabe McFerrin is the founder of Left Coast Writers®. Her latest novel, Dead Love, was a Bram Stoker Award finalist.
 
 

Class: Amy Novesky- On-The-Spot Children's Writing

Saturday, February 21, 2015 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Sat. Feb. 21 • 10:00-2:00 pm • $80 
48-hour advance registration • Limit of six
 
 
  
 
You’ve written a brilliant children’s story and can’t wait to hear what others think, or you’re stuck and need a critique. Bring your manuscript or idea to this on-the-spot workshop, and we’ll critique it. Amy Novesky is a children’s book editor, author, and experienced workshop leader.
 
 

Class: Alice Acheson - Greatest Marketing Tool

Friday, February 27, 2015 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 10:00-1:00pm • $60 
 
 
 
 
Would your verbal book description gain the same success?  True story:  A New York City editor on the subway overheard two women talking, before turning their conversation to the book one of the women was writing.  The editor, still listening, was intrigued, asked for the manuscript to be submitted, and PUBLISHED the book!  This story could have occurred in the cafe at Book Passage or in the check-out line in your local super market.  
 
A writer's first step to market a book is to talk to "everyone."  You never know who the listener might be: an agent, publisher, bookseller, future reader.  Learn what works, what doesn't -- and why.  Don't blow your golden opportunity!
 
The pre-class assignment (instructions upon registration) is to write that 30-second pitch, practice it out loud -- many times -- and memorize it so it sounds like conversation.
 
"[The class] gave me an easy way to talk to my friends, booksellers, the media and new readers.  But I also use what I learned as a way to shape everything I'm writing.  Chances are, if I can't describe my story idea concisely (even to myself) then I need to keep thinking.  I need to make sure I'm clear about what I'm writing.  For me, it's the starting, not ending point of publishing a book.  It's been the most valuable bit of wisdom I've learned."
    --     Jennifer Solow, bestselling author of THE ARISTOBRATS and THE BOOSTER
 
 
 

Class: Alice Acheson - Publishing Choices

Friday, February 27, 2015 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 2:00-5:00pm • $60 
 
 
 
 
What is POD?  How does it differ from self-publishing?  Will either be easier, faster, better than the route to a traditional publisher?
 
All authors need to investigate the most appropriate method of publication before finishing their books.  You owe it to yourself -- and your pocketbook -- to learn the advantages and pitfalls of each type.  Using decades of working with all three publishing choices, the instructor shares that no method is appropriate for all books and all authors.
 
For some publishing routes the services provided are quite different; for others the author might pay all the expenses.  Can your book be reviewed and sold in bookstores and will you earn more money with one procedure over the others?  The answers to these crucial questions -- and others -- will determine the appropriate publishing route.
 
"[Alice Acheson's] knowledge about and reflection upon the reality of the publishing business makes her absolutely credible."
    --     Catherine Conway Honig, Book Passage student
 
 

Class: Alice Acheson - Your Book - What's Next?

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sat., Feb. 28 • 10:00-5:00pm • $150 
 
 
 
 
Right!  You love the writing, don't like the marketing.  You don't know when to do what or how to accomplish what is required. Publishing has made a quantum shift, and your head is spinning.  Writers more than ever need to know how to interact with the industry.  Whether self-publishing, print-on-demand or the traditional publisher, a publishing contract doesn't necessarily signal success.  How can you ensure that you and your manuscript receive the deserved recognition?  How do you allot time, energy, and money?  How can you manage the tsunami of marketing tasks?  What about the demands of the digital world?  We begin with a timeline (before the book is published) to guide the entire process. The pre-class assignment is to write a sell sheet, based on instructions received upon registration.  
 
"Viking/Penguin told me that my author questionnaire [provided in class handouts; explained in class] was one of the best that they received.  I offered to go to New York to make them lunch.  It turned out they do monthly lunch meetings with their big authors, so they slotted me in -- right between Joan Didion and Michael Pollan....As a result of that lunch, the guy who handles the Borders account pestered them to consider me for their "original voices" program, which put my book in the front of all the Borders stores.  I would never have thought of it had it not been for you."    --     Kathleen Flinn: THE SHARPER YOUR KNIFE, THE LESS YOU CRY
 
 

Class: David Corbett - Trust Your Story

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Sat., Feb. 28 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $150
 
 
 
 
Advice so simple it can’t possibly be right: just tell the story. In fact, the vast majority of writing problems—what’s essential and what isn’t, how to balance inner life against action and dialogue, how to create variety and contrast among the characters, how to use setting to enhance the narrative—can be solved by referring to the context of the story. David Corbett, author of The Art of Character, leads students in a one-day workshop, reviewing 10-page manuscript submissions from each student in detail to reveal how story guides the revision process. (Manuscripts must be submitted by Feb. 14)
 
 
 
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
94925 Corte Madera
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