All Writing Classes

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - Portugal - The Places in Between

Friday, January 5, 2024 - 1:00pm


Portugal - The Places in Between

Including: galleries, fortresses, castles, monasteries, rhetorical monuments and hidden villages, walled cities, gardens, sanctuaries, universities and astonishing libraries 

Four Fridays - JANUARY 5-26, 2024
1PM-3:00PM PT

Corte Madera Store

$240 for all four sessions, $65 for one session

 

 

 

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

With Art Historian Kerrin Meis, who has traveled extensively in this magical strip of the Iberian peninsula, you will visit sites most travelers miss. Beyond Lisbon and Porto we encounter vestiges of Celtic, Roman, Visigothic, Moorish and Spanish occupation as well as evidence of wealth from the New World. From Guimares, where Portugal was founded in 1428, to the hasty departure of the Royal Family to Brazil in 1807, we learn of her struggles and triumphs. 

  * The presentation will be done consecutively in the topics below. The sessions are an outline, but lectures may veer from the exact scheduling depending on timing. *

 

SESSION 1: Braga, Guimaraes,  Porto,  and the Duoro Valley

  • In Braga we visit:
    • its cathedral - the oldest in Portugal 
    • the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte overlooking the city
    • the marvelous tiled Raio
  • In Lisbon and Porto… just enough time to see 2 or 3 places of interest, especially their  architecture: Manueline (San Jeronimos Monastery), Belem (in Lisbon), Neo Moorish (the stock exchange in Porto) 

 

SESSION 2:  Coimbra, Obidos, Nazare and Alcobaca monasteries, and Batalha

  • the medieval walled city of Obidos - a gift from a King to his bride
  • the colorful fishing village of Nazare
  • the Cistercian Monastery of Alcobaca and its tragic love story
  • The monastery of Santa Maria at Batalha, a huge complex named after a victorious battle
  • In Coimbra we’ll see its churches and its University, including the Biblioteca Joanina - compared to the library of the palace of Mafra. 

 

SESSION 3: Tomar, Fatima, Evora, and some hidden villages 

  • Tomar built by the Knights Templar
  • Fatima, a site of pilgrimage
  • Some tiny hidden villages near the Spanish border: 
  • Castel Rodrigo
  • Belmonte
  • Sortelja - the oldest village oozing with history
  • inland the still partly walled city of Evora, a UNESCO site; its cathedral, Roman Temple and Royal Castle with Gardens. 

 

SESSION 4: Palaces at Queluz and Sintra and Lisbon, including Fado performances

  • The interiors and gardens of The Palaces of Mafra and Queluz 
  • The Palaces of Sintra outside Lisbon include the Moorish Castle, the Royal Castle, the fantasy-world Pena Palace and the Quinta da Regaliera. 

 

So many questions… Why is the rooster the symbol of Portugal? What is fado? What is Saudade? What is the most outstanding museum in Portugal? These and more will be answered!

 



Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Angie Alban - The Writer’s Tribe

Sunday, January 7, 2024 - 1:30pm

The Writer’s Tribe

3 Sundays
January 7, February 11, March 10
, 2024
1:30PM -4:30PM

Corte Madera Store - $295


 

 

Welcome to the Writer's Tribe!

Join this monthly group to bring your writing to the next level. Angie shares tips and tools to elevate your fiction craft and guides the group through a powerful revision process. The goal is self-editing mastery.

Learn to:

  • give and receive honest feedback
  • develop compelling characters your readers will adore
  • craft page-turning plots with satisfying twists and cliffhangers
  • render vivid settings you can see, smell, taste, and touch in your imagination
  • write snappy dialog that zings off the page 

* Tuition includes: Angie's RE-Vision Guide: How to polish your manuscript in 18 easy steps (updated 3rd edition)

* Committed writers are encouraged to register. Before the first meeting, you will submit the first 10 pages of your manuscript and a list of pressing questions.


 

Angie Alban is an editor and story coach and the author of nine books, including her critically acclaimed YA novel, ANYA'S WAR. She is a popular speaker at literary conferences, book festivals, and schools. Angie founded the Writer’s Tribe at Book Passage in 2010. 

 

 

What students say about the Writer’s Tribe:

The Writer's Tribe is a creative space to bring your work in progress. Angie's skilled facilitation, keen literary eye, and delightful sense of humor make these gatherings the highlight of my month. Angie is a writer's dream come true. Not only do you learn from her invaluable critiques of your own work, but the in-class critiques of your fellow writers' work are richly informative and insightful. 
—Nina Vincent, author of Sliding Into Home

Without Angie and the Tribe, my writing would not have been good enough to publish. I have learned so much from Angie, and gained a wonderful friend and advocate in the process. I also have a new community of friends and supporters—a true gift.  
—Kara Navolio, author of Maggie Discovers the Rainbow and Everybody Can Dance


 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Corey Rosen - Your Story, Well Told

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - 1:00pm

Your Story, Well Told - Storytelling Workshop
with the Host of “The Moth”

January 10 - February 7, 2024
5 Wednesdays, 1:00PM-4:00PM (and one Friday)
Performance: Friday, February 9 at 4:00pm

Corte Madera Store

$380 (Includes book Your Story, Well Told)


 

Returning Your Story, Well Told students, register here:

 

You have great stories to tell. In this workshop, Author and Storyteller Corey Rosen (host of The Moth, BATS Improv, Author of "Your Story, Well Told") helps you to uncover your best stories, develop them in a safe and supportive environment, and then perform them in a free LIVE showcase for friends and family. All classes are taught in person in Corte Madera.


 

Corey Rosen is a writer, actor, visual effects producer, and storytelling teacher based in San Francisco, California. He hosts The Moth StorySlams and GrandSlams, and has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, Alice Radio’s “The Sarah and Vinnie Show,” and KFOG's "The Finch Files" Podcast. Corey is a performer at BATS Improv, one of the world’s foremost centers for Improvisational Theater and is the author of “Your Story, Well Told: Creative Strategies to Develop and Perform Stories that Wow an Audience.”


Corey’s book - Your Story, Well Told - is included with class registration.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Book Group: Luisa Smith - Mysteries Abroad winter2024

Friday, January 12, 2024 - 10:30am

Book Group: Mysteries Abroad


January - April, 2nd Friday of the month

4 Fridays, 10:30AM-12:00PM Pacific Time

Corte Madera Store

$150


 

 

There is no better way to learn about a country than to explore the parts that are hidden from most tourists -  the hidden streets and alleyways where crimes occur, following the investigators unique to each locale. 

This book group will read a crime fiction book from a different country each month, deciphering what themes in crime fiction cross borders, as well as the unique spin on the formula that comes from each place. 

 

BOOKS TO BE READ (available for purchase at link in titles below):

 

 

Luisa Smith is the Buying Director of Book Passage, where she has worked for over 25 years, and editor-in-chief of Penzler Publishers which includes the mystery fiction imprints Mysterious Press and Scarlet. She grew up surrounded by books as her father is the bestselling author, Martin Cruz Smith and her mother was an English teacher. A childhood filled with books has resulted in a lifelong love of every aspect of the book world, but the mystery genre holds a particularly special place in her heart.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Zoom Book Group: Travel Literature, hosted by Michael Shapiro, with live appearances by Pico Iyer, Frances Mayes and Tim Cahill

Saturday, January 13, 2024 - 10:15am

Book Group: Travel Literature, hosted by Michael Shapiro
with live appearances by Pico Iyer, Frances Mayes and Tim Cahill

Second Saturday of the month, 10:15AM to 12:00PM
Four classes:
Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13

Live via Zoom - $150


 

 

This book group, which will meet the second Saturday of each month over Zoom, will review modern classics from four titans of travel literature: Tim Cahill, Bill Bryson, Frances Mayes and Pico Iyer. We will explore best-sellers such as Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” and Mayes’ “Under the Tuscan Sun” — and lesser known but equally rewarding books, including Tim Cahill's anthology “Pass the Butterworms” and Pico Iyer’s transcendent, “The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise.” Tim, Frances, and Pico will all be joining the discussion of their respective books for a portion of that session.

Led by Michael Shapiro, longtime travel writer and Book Passage teacher, the group will discuss what makes these books so compelling and will examine the techniques that each writer uses to engage the reader. We will pull back the curtain and share ideas about what makes great travel writing.

 

Books to be Read (all available for purchase at links in titles below):
Jan 13:   A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
Feb 10:  Pass the Butterworms, by Tim Cahill

Mar 9:    Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
Apr 13:  The Half Known Life, by Pico Iyer

Author visits: The authors of each, with the exception of Bill Bryson, will join for 30-45 minutes of the discussion of their book, probably during the last part of the class.

 

Michael Shapiro is the author of "The Creative Spark" (Solas House), winner of a 2021 Independent Publishers Book Award. Among the authors he interviewed for that book: Barbara Kingsolver, Pico Iyer and Amy Tan. He’s also the author of "A Sense of Place," a collection of conversations with travel writers such as Paul Theroux and Jan Morris. A longtime journalist, Shapiro writes for National Geographic, Sierra, AFAR, and the San Francisco Chronicle, where he has written travel features and reviewed books. He's taught several classes at Book Passage and has been a member of the Book Passage Travel Writers Conference faculty for more than 20 years.

 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Joel Richard Paul - What is an American?

Saturday, January 13, 2024 - 10:30am

What is an American?

Four Saturdays, January 20 - February 10
10:30AM -12:30PM Pacific Time

Corte Madera Store - $325 (book included)


 

 

Who is an American? That is a question raging in our body politic today. Do we believe in citizenship as a birthright?  Is the United States a “Christian” country? Why do some Americans fear they are being replaced by immigrants?

At the founding of our republic, America was an idea, not a reality. People considered themselves “New Yorkers” or “Virginians” rather than “Americans.” It would take decades before our identity as Americans took root. 

By the 1830’s, there were competing ideas of American national identity. Jacksonian populists argued that only white Christians could be American, while Daniel Webster and Lincoln believed that it was the Constitution that made us Americans. 

This class is about these competing ideas of American identity in the nineteenth century, how they shaped events leading to the Civil War, and the disturbing echoes of that debate in our own time.
 

* No prior knowledge of law or legal history is required. Reading material will be provided. 
* The book Indivisible: Daniel Webster and the Birth of American Nationalism, by Joel Richard Paul is included in the class price.



Joel Richard Paul is the Hon. Raymond Sullivan Professor at the University of California Law School, San Francisco where he teaches constitutional law and history. He has also taught on the law faculties of Berkeley, Yale, the University of Connecticut, Leiden University (Netherlands), and American University. His most recent books are INDIVISIBLE: Daniel Webster and the Birth of American Nationalism, WITHOUT PRECEDENT: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times, and UNLIKELY ALLIES: How a Merchant, a Playwright and a Spy Saved the American Revolution, which was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post.

 

 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Laurel Hilton - Write On! Creative Writing for Middle-Schoolers

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 4:00pm


Write On! Creative Writing for Middle Schoolers

Laurel Hilton

8 Tuesdays, January 16 - March 12 (No class Feb 20)

4pm -5:30pm

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

“Everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in someone’s imagination.”   

- Astrid Lindgren, Author, Pippi Longstocking

 

Writing should be fun and inclusive, not stressful, and unbearable for middle schoolers. Come join Laurel Hilton as we explore the art of creative writing from a fresh perspective. We’ll draw inspiration from the world around us, pop culture and the everyday lives of young teens.

Students will come away from this course able to:

  • Identify potential story ideas in everyday life
  • Approach writing with freedom and confidence
  • Explore their creative writing potential
  • Collaborate with other students in a safe setting
  • Have fun!

Don’t forget to bring your imagination!

 

 

Laurel Hilton is an award-winning author and writing coach. Her work has been featured on NPR, Litquake, Listen to Your Mother, and the HerStories Project, among others. She enjoys working with emerging writers of all ages, sharing her passion for helping others explore their interest in the craft of writing.

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Valentina Medda - Italian Circle Time

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 10:30am


Italian Circle Time

Valentina Medda

Five Thursdays
January 18 - February 15

 10:30AM -11:15AM PT
Corte Madera - $130

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Join Valentina for Italian circle time! These fun and interactive sessions will introduce the musicality of the Italian language to children aged 0-4.

Circle time provides an opportunity for young children to come together as a group both for an engaging activity and to practice important social skills like taking turns, active listening, sharing ideas, and expressing themselves. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to introduce the basics of a foreign language in a playful way - through joy, fun, and active participation.

Lively songs, playful movements, props, simple books, and rhymes will help your little ones to become familiar with everyday Italian words, colors, numbers, greetings, animals, days of the week, and pronunciation.  

Please ensure that an adult accompanies and provides continuous supervision.

 


 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Valentina Medda - Italian: Beginner 3

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 11:30am


Italian: Beginner 3

with Valentina Medda

Eight Thursdays
January 18 - March
 7

  11:30am – 1:00 pm PT

Corte Madera - $350

 

 

For students continuing from Beginner 2 or new students with a basic knowledge of Italian.

In Beginner 3, you will further develop your Italian language skills, focusing on the following:

  • Communicate in Italian at a basic user level.
  • Engage in simple social interactions in Italian, including asking and answering questions about familiar topics.
  • Describe places, ask for and give directions, discuss habits, interests, and hobbies, express likes and dislikes, agree and disagree, and make, accept, or decline invitations.
  • Expand your vocabulary.
  • Read a short story in simplified Italian to improve your pronunciation and comprehension skills.

Books: Dieci A1 (Alma Edizioni)

 

PREREQUISITE: Have taken Italian Beginner 2 or have some basic knowledge of Italian. Please contact us at classes@bookpassage.com if you have questions about which level class is best for you.


 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Valentina Medda - Italian for Beginners

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 1:30pm


Italian: Beginner 1

Valentina Medda

Eight Thursdays
January 18 - March 7

  1:30pm – 3:00pm PT

Corte Madera - $350

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Join Valentina for a fun and communicative introduction to the Italian language. You will start from the basics, learning and practicing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Communicate in Italian at a basic user level.
  • Engage in simple social interactions in Italian - ask and answer simple questions about familiar topics.
  • Use classroom language, greetings, expressions of salutation and courtesy, basic commands.
  • Pronounce Italian words correctly and speak with the right intonation.
  • Learn about Italian culture and the ways Italians communicate.
  • Order a cappuccino or a spritz like a pro, impressing the locals while vacationing in Italy.

Please contact us at classes@bookpassage.com if you have questions about which level class is best for you.


 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Valentina Medda - Italian: Beginner 4

Friday, January 19, 2024 - 10:30am


Italian: Beginner 4

with Valentina Medda

Eight Fridays
January 19 - March
 8

  10:30am – 12:00 pm PT

Corte Madera - $350

 

 

For students continuing from Beginner 3 or new students with a basic knowledge of Italian.

In Beginner 4, you will further develop your Italian language skills, focusing on the following:

  • Communicate in Italian at a basic user level.
  • Engage in simple social interactions in Italian, including asking and answering questions about familiar topics.
  • Describe daily activities, discuss habits, interests, and hobbies, talk about holidays, travel, and past experiences.
  • Expand your vocabulary.
  • Read a short story in simplified Italian to improve your pronunciation and comprehension skills.

Books: Dieci A1 (Alma Edizioni)

 

PREREQUISITE: Have taken Italian Beginner 3 or have some basic knowledge of Italian. Please contact us at classes@bookpassage.com if you have questions about which level class is best for you.


 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Mitchell Rossi - An Introduction to News Writing

Saturday, January 20, 2024 - 1:30pm

An Introduction to News Writing

3 Saturdays
 January 20,  January 27,  & February 3, 2024

1:30PM -3:00PM

Corte Madera Store - $115


 

 

Whether you are an aspiring reporter or simply eager to polish your editorial skills, join journalist Mitchell Sam Rossi as he shares his insight and experiences from a forty-year career writing for various news organizations and monthly periodicals. 

During this three-part workshop, Mitchell will illustrate the distinctive techniques of news gathering and article structure.  Discussions will highlight the Five Ws, the Inverted Pyramid format, and how to create factual stories that do not feel heavy-handed.  

 The 90-minute sessions will cover:

  • ways to find compelling stories
  • developing reliable sources
  • how to apply long-established news practices to your writing.  
  • interviewing techniques and the essential fact-checking processes.  
  • creating their leads and initial paragraphs with in-class exercises
  • the ethics of news reporting
  • objectivity versus opinion, fairness and balance, and how accuracy and clarity are the cornerstones of good news writing
  • how news bureaus determine what is or is not a newsworthy story
  • how to be sure your story ideas reach the printed page.

While discussions will focus on the fast-paced world of news reporting, the skills and techniques covered in class can be applied to a range of markets and will expand every writer’s toolbox.  

 

 

Mitchell Sam Rossi is a journalist, author, and award-winning screenwriter. Over his forty-year career, he has written about environmental issues, community development, travel, automobiles, and technology. For fifteen years, Mitchell was a reporter and associate editor at the Los Angeles Times Calendar Section. An avid traveler and photographer, he holds a B.A in journalism and an M.P.W. in professional writing, both from the University of Southern California. Mitchell is a member of P.E.N., Left Coast Writers, and California Writers Club.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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