All Writing Classes

Class: Diane Conway - Brainstorming Your Book (Corte Madera)

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 12:30pm

Saturday, January 18, 2020 • 12:30am - 3:30pm • $75

This class helps you strengthen and refine your vision for your nonfiction book or memoir. You have the idea for your book and have done a fair amount of writing, but the concept is still fuzzy? You can’t grasp exactly what your book is about and so you are failing to gain traction? With her experience in developmental and concept editing, Diane Conway will help you brainstorm your core idea. In this supportive class you’ll discover how a clear focus is key to writing that flows.

Diane Conway is a seasoned writing coach and teacher who has published three books including What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Tim Lea - Writing for Television: A View From the Inside and How to Get There

Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Saturday, January 25 • 1:00-5:00 pm • $110

Playwright, director, television writer and producer Tim Lea provides insights on a wide variety of topics from finding an agent, sample script writing, staffing, pitching stories and shows, and what to expect in your career trajectory. The class will consist of two sections – an overview of the state of the industry and the process of breaking in, and an introduction to a hands-on process for getting your first script written, read, and produced in Hollywood. Tim has worked on numerous television shows including CSI:NY, Law and Order, Criminal Intent, and Flash Forward.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Path to Publishing Workshop: Publishing & Marketing Children's Books (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Sunday, January 26, 2020 • 10:00am - 3:00pm • $125 (Path to Publishing members); $175 (General public) • Lunch included


This one-day seminar explores aspects of writing and publishing for children. Children’s books require a particular sensibility as they must appeal to both the child and the person buying the book, be that their teacher, librarian, caretaker, or parent. Each of those audiences requires something a little different to be satisfied. We will gather for coffee, rolls, and introductions beforehand, and then we will break for lunch (which is included). The entire program will allow lots of time for questions.

Topics include:

Introduction to the Path to Publishing program
The description by Path to Publishing manager Nancy Fish will focus on services for writers of children’s books.

Finding where you fit in children’s literature
How to identify what age range you’re writing for depending on your voice, writing style, and subject matter, with writing coach and author Amanda Conran.

Writing a captivating book for teachers, parents, and kids
Children’s librarian Rebecca Jelen and Book Passage children’s bookselling specialist Clare Doornbos will discuss how to enchant each of the audiences you must satisfy to have a successful children’s book.

Self-marketing primer
Elizabeth Singer Hunt will share many of the strategies she used to catapult her Secret Agent Jack Stalwart series into multiple languages and millions of copies sold. She’ll explain how to build a relationship with your reader, how to publicize your book, and how to generate author awareness in the community. 

Connecting with teachers and booksellers
Successful classroom presenter author Meera Sriram and children’s bookselling specialist at Book Passage Clare Doornbos will share how they present to teachers, how they got into those teachers’ classrooms, and what they did once they got there.

The business of children’s book publishing
Long time children’s publishing exec and consultant Lara Starr fills in the blanks in the labyrinthine process of children’s books publishing

For questions and additional information, contact: Nancy Fish at



Amanda Conran
When Amanda Conran is not writing her own children’s books or working as a freelance editor, she is a children’s book specialist, school book fair booktalker and children’s book club facilitator at Book Passage. The Lost Celt is her first middle grade novel.
Clare Doornbos
Clare Doornbos has been a bookseller for 20 years and is a specialist in children’s books. She has created and run literary events for kids from tiny preschool story times to a theater full of John Green fans. Clare is slated to be the new kids book buyer for Book Passage.
Nancy Fish
Nancy Fish is the Manager of the Book Passage Path to Publishing Program and the former Publicity Director for HarperCollins Publishers. She has over three decades of publishing experience.
Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Elizabeth Singer Hunt is the author of twenty adventure books for children including the award-winning ‘Secret Agent Jack Stalwart’ chapter book series. This 14-book series has been translated into multiple languages, sold millions, and was recently optioned for TV.
Rebecca Jelen
Rebecca Jelen is the greatly beloved and highly innovative librarian at Kent Middle School. School libarians play a key role in children’s literature, and Jelen is one of the best.
Meera Sriram
Meera Sriram enjoys writing for children, teaching early literacy, and advocating for diverse books. Meera’s debut children’s book was The Yellow Suitcase and her next picture book, A Gift for Amma, comes out in Fall 2020 from Barefoot Books.
Lara Starr
Lara Starr is a publishing and public relations professional with a specialty in children’s books. She’s arranged hundreds of author events at bookstores, schools and libraries and placed authors and illustrators at prestigious national festivals and conferences.
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Nina Schuyler- How to Write Stunning Sentences

Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 10:00am

Two part series: Saturday, Feb. 1 & 8 • 10:00 am-1:00 pm • $130

What kind of sentence captures anxiety? Thought? A reminiscent narrator? A feeling of euphoria? Exhaustion? The style of the sentence–the diction, imagery, syntax, rhythm, and sound–isn't frivolous decoration, but content. By the end of this class, you will have mastered the art of writing sentences that do more than move the story along.

Nina Schuyler is the author of The Translator, which won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Award for General Fiction and was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Award. Her first novel, The Painting, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and named a Best Book by the San Francisco Chronicle. She's also the author of the bestseller, How to Write Stunning Sentences.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Joan Gelfand - You Can be a Winning Writer: The 4 C's of Successful Authors

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 6:00pm

Four Wednesdays: February 5, March 4, April 1, May 6 • 6:00-8:00 pm • $150

The 4 C’s of Successful Authors: Craft, Commitment, Community and Confidence

Why are some authors catapulted to success while others take forever? Learn the secrets of how you can become a successful author in four sessions. Topics include: What are the four C’s and how can you make them work for you? What are your writing challenges? What is a book proposal and who needs one? What is the difference between a non-fiction and a fiction proposal? Does poetry need a book proposal? Will also cover query letters, identifying agents and publishers and what to do once your book is published.

Tuition includes a copy of Joan's book You Can Be a Winning Writer: The 4 C’s of Successful Authors: Craft, Commitment, Community and Confidence

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Corey Fischer - Telling Your Story

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm
photo of actor, storytelling teacher Corey Fischer

Corey is unable to teach this class.  He was originally scheduled to teach a workshop on January 19 which will now be taught by Nina Wise as a benefit for Corey's medical expenses. To learn more click the link below:

Creating on your feet, out loud, is a powerful way to explore and expand your “voice” as a writer or a storyteller. Award-winning actor/writer/director Corey Fischer uses free-writing exercises, theatre games, and prompts for group sharing in a safe and supportive setting as he guides each student in discovering, shaping and performing a particular personal story. In the final class, participants will share their stories with a small, invited audience. This class is for anyone who wants to tell their own stories – on the page or on the “stage.”

Corey Fischer, co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre (1978-2012), has been creating and teaching theatre over 50 years. He views autobiographical storytelling as a much-needed way to open imagination and memory and to nurture community.

What Students Say About Corey Fischer

“Corey Fischer is an amazing teacher.  I took his workshops in storytelling, performance, and improvisation whenever I could. Each time my mind opened, my body became more energized and limber, my spirit and imagination expanded – always in an atmosphere of safety, human connection, and enjoyment. I highly recommend Corey as an extraordinary teacher for anyone seeking to express their creativity, find their storytelling voice, and have a lot of fun along the way.” -- Jonathan D. Greenberg, Executive Director, Gandhi King Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Stanford Law School

“With humor and heart, Corey guides you to the wild, unknown parts of your creativity.  He is a teacher not to be missed: a man with a lifetime of experience, an insightful perspective, and a gentle and supportive approach. He grounds you as you leap into the unknown, and expertly helps you shape what you bring back from your explorations.” – Naomi Stein, writer, performer

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Leslie Keenan - Is There a Book in You

Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, February 29 • 10:00 am - 4:00 pm • $150

Learn techniques for gaining confidence and develop a clear sense of your book. Leslie Keenan provides advice on the best way to get your book published, suggesting agents, editors, publishers and printers. This is the opportunity to get your book started. A student wrote, “Leslie is inspiring, compassionate and has a natural gift for creating a safe place for a writer. She’s like a living life preserver.”

Leslie Keenan has been in publishing for 28 years as an editor, agent, publisher, writer, and teacher. She has helped hundreds of writers find and complete their writing projects. 

Participation in this course or "You Can Complete That Book" is a pre-requisite for enrolling in Leslie's Master Writers series. This is the only pre-requisite course that will be offered prior to her March Master Writers group that begins March 3.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Leslie Keenan - Master Writers (March/April)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 6:30pm

Eight Tuesdays: March 3-April 28 (No Class March 17) * 6:30-8:30 pm * $360

Prerequisite: This class requires that you have previously taken either “Is There a Book in You?” or “You Can Complete That Book” one day workshops offered by Leslie Keenan at Book Passage. 

Use the support of fellow writers and well-timed feedback to move through resistance and finish your work. Leslie Keenan has 30 years’ experience helping writers complete their books. She knows the most frequent reasons writers get stuck and can help writers discover how to get back in flow and write effortlessly again.

What Students Are Saying about Leslie Keenan

“If it weren’t for Leslie Keenan’s courses at Book Passage, I would never have written a word of fiction, and I would never have been published. To this day, I still use the tools she gave me for understanding my process, finding my voice, and fighting my fears.” – Tammy Kaehler, author of Dead Man’s Switch, Poisoned Pen Press

“Leslie is inspiring, compassionate and has a natural gift for creating a safe place for a writer.” – Student, “Is There a Book in You?”

“Truckloads of useful information and inspiration.” – Harvey Hyman

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In To Character

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, March 14 • 10:00 am - 4:00 pm • $150

Believable, compelling characters turn a good story into a great one. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, if you want to understand your characters more fully, make them distinct, nuanced and believable, this class is for you. Professional actor Julia McNeal (Law & Order; A.C.T; Magic Theatre) has created a unique technique for bringing characters deeply and fully to the page. You’ll practice and come away with a set of 5 specific tools that work to create characters with authentic voices, unique physicality, persuasiveness and depth.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Anjali Andrea Alban - Writer's Tribe (Spring)

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 2:00pm
photo of Anjali Andrea Alban

Four Sundays: Mar. 15, Apr. 19, May 17, Jun. 7 • 2:00-5:00pm • $260
Prerequisite: Attendees must have written a picture book or the first 25 pages of a novel.

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect and honesty with a mission to develop self-editing mastery. The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, snappy dialog, and page-turning plots. Tuition includes a copy of Anjali’s RE-vision Guide.

Anjali Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including The Happiness Tree and Anya’s War. She content and line edits manuscripts, mentors writers on the path to publication, and helps prepare submissions to editors and agents.

What Students Are Saying about Anjali Andrea Alban

What I most appreciate about Anjali is her optimism and support. She has been like a college professor giving me valuable lessons in picture book creation. I appreciate her honesty and the writing exercises she prescribed to find my voice. It's been an incredible journey with Anjali as my story midwife! —Allison Fragakis, Author

Anjali Alban is very funny. Her presentation at the New World of Publishing Conference in Santa Cruz sounded like a lively conversation with a favorite friend. Anjali is the epitome of creativity, and she relishes life, qualities that are reflected in her presentation as well as her writing. —Melanie Coon, Special Education Teacher and Memoirist

Anjali's class has improved my writing beyond my greatest expectations. Not only does the Writer's Tribe help strengthen your craft, but in providing feedback to one another, you learn 12 times the amount of helpful advice...and make friends in the process. I am looking forward to coming back! -- Megan Pickett

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925