Classes

Online Class: Ying Compestine - How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published

Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:30pm

How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published
Sat., June 19, 2021 • 10:00am-12:30pm PT

How to Edit Your Work Into a Bestselling Book
Sat., June 19, 2021 • 1:30-4:00pm PT

Hosted via Zoom • $85 each • $150 for both

REGISTER FOR "CHILDREN'S BOOKS"  REGISTER FOR "EDIT YOUR WORK"  REGISTER FOR BOTH

 

In How to Edit Your Work Into a Bestselling Book, Ying will share with you her processes of editing her own bestselling books. You will learn how to build a story arc, create memorable characters and vivid settings, and make every word count. She will also take you through the process of how to get your book published, and finding a good agent and a publisher.

In How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published, Ying will introduce you to the different genres of children’s books: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult.  You will learn the basic skill of writing and publishing books for children as well as how to find a good agent, creating a winning book proposal, selling your manuscript to a reputable publisher, and marketing your book.  

Ying Compestine is the award-winning author of 20 books, including the acclaimed The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes and Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. Revolution has received over 30 international awards and is being adapted into an animated feature film. Her books are included in school syllabi globally.   

 

Online Class: Ying Compestine - How to Edit Your Work Into a Bestselling Book

Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm


How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published
Sat., June 19, 2021 • 10:00am-12:30pm PT

How to Edit Your Work Into a Bestselling Book
Sat., June 19, 2021 • 1:30-4:00pm PT

Hosted via Zoom • $85 each • $150 for both

REGISTER FOR "EDIT YOUR WORK"

REGISTER FOR "CHILDREN'S BOOKS"  REGISTER FOR BOTH

 

In How to Edit Your Work Into a Bestselling Book, Ying will share with you her processes of editing her own bestselling books. You will learn how to build a story arc, create memorable characters and vivid settings, and make every word count. She will also take you through the process of how to get your book published, and finding a good agent and a publisher.

In How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published, Ying will introduce you to the different genres of children’s books: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult.  You will learn the basic skill of writing and publishing books for children as well as how to find a good agent, creating a winning book proposal, selling your manuscript to a reputable publisher, and marketing your book.  

Ying Compestine is the award-winning author of 20 books, including the acclaimed The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes and Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. Revolution has received over 30 international awards and is being adapted into an animated feature film. Her books are included in school syllabi globally.   

 

Online Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Seven Wednesdays: June 16 - July 28, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $575

Class limited to nine attendees

 

This class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop, with emphasis on the craft of writing a publishable travel story. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. This may be based on a recent close-to-home travel experience or on a memory of a past trip. In the workshop, we'll begin by closely reading, discussing, and critiquing examples of excellent travel writing. Then each participant will present their story idea for discussion and revision, and then write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. Each piece will be closely read and discussed in class. Subsequent classes will allow for revision, discussion, and further refinement of each piece. During the course of the workshop, in addition to individual critiques, we'll talk about the fine points of structure, pacing, and making your point. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories in widely known venues such as the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.
 

What students are saying about Don George:

“Don George's travel writing workshop was a rigorous, profound, magical experience, the product of a uniquely nurturing environment. Taking his courses has encouraged me to write without fear of failure, and with greater confidence and creativity than ever before. Any writer—whether officially a travel writer, or any other writer considering issues of place—should jump at the chance to work with him."
—Diane Vadino

"I have always wanted to take a writing workshop from Don George, but was never able to because I did not live in the Bay Area. When he offered his workshop virtually this year, I jumped at the chance and could not be happier with the experience. It motivated me to work on a piece and the feedback I received from the other attendees enabled me to take an "okay" piece I had written and turn it into a piece I'm really proud of by the end of the workshop. I ended up going in a different direction than intended, but it ended up being the right direction I could not see by myself. I would have not been able to get my writing to where it needed to be without Don and the workshop participants. I would sign up for another virtual workshop with Don George in a heartbeat.”
—Lisa Boice

 

Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Discover Mexico

Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $45


Beyond its gorgeous beach resorts, there is much to discover in Mexico. We visit cities renowned for splendid architecture of several ages, mural cycles by famous artists, regional museums dedicated to the country's  history and culture, Spanish missions, and Mayan ruins. Highlights include: Guadalajara, including the work of Jose Clemente Orozco; Guanahuato, the country's most picturesque colonial city; Morelia, burgeoning with European style buildings; Puebla, home to indigenous people and the most spectacular Day of the Dead celebrations; Merida, the White City; Cuernavaca, where Mexico's first Saint is buried; Taxco, the silver city; Oaxaca, especially interesting for its nearby ruins and textiles; and Loreto in Baja California Sur. Learn about regional festivals, time-resistant legends, dining experiences, and out of the way places to get lost!

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.

 

Online Class: Melissa Cistaro - Memoir as an Act of Discovery

Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Saturday & Sunday, June 5 & 6th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 10:30am-12:00pm PT • $120

 

Flannery O’Connor once said, “Anyone who survives childhood has enough material to write for the rest of her life.” She’s right. You have the material, but often memoir writers think they already know their story because they’ve lived it. Writing our truths on the page opens a deep well of vulnerability, and ultimately it’s a process of discovery. You uncover the past as you go; new patterns, characters, and themes begin to arise as you write. Memoirists often struggle with the most effective and the most honest way to tell their own stories. In this workshop of discovery, we will practice some surefire techniques and writing exercises to help you dig up those hidden gems just beneath the surface. We will shine a light on some recently published memoirs and ask why they are so effective. Participants will leave with new strategies to deepen their own work. Come prepared to write, meander, and explore!

The format of this 3-hour Zoom workshop will be divided into to two sessions (1.5 hours on Saturday and 1.5 hours on Sunday) allowing participants extra time for writing and reflection.

Melissa Cistaro has worked on multiple sides of the literary industry including helping authors complete and publish their manuscripts, collaborating with publishers, editors, and working in the bookselling trade. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother (US edition) and the Canadian bestseller Without My Mother (HarperCollins Canada). Her stories, essays and interviews have appeared in The New Ohio Review, Brevity, The Huffington Post, PBS: To the Contrary, Good Housekeeping, and the anthologies Cherished, and Love and Profanity. Melissa’s taught on faculty at The San Miguel Writers’Conference, Writing Pad SF, Book Passage, San Francisco Writers’ Conference, and Word Wave Literary Festival in Tahoe.

 

Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Convivencia: Toledo — City of Three Cultures

Saturday, June 12, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Saturday, June 12th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $45


Spectacularly sited, Toledo is blessed with important vestiges of her role as the spiritual capital of Spain: Two exquisite and historically important Synagogues, a Sephardic Museum, the intriguing Mosque de la Luz, an Arab fortress, the Gothic Cathedral's virtual gallery of paintings and its famous Transparente, San Roman church housing a Visigothic museum (Francisco de San Roman was, interestingly, the first Protestant to be burned at the stake in Spain.) El Greco is everywhere: in several churches, his house/museum, the Tavera hospital, and the Museum of Santa Cruz. Visit the spectacular Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and study Mozarabic book illustrations created in nearby monasteries. In this time of disquieting xenophobia, it is enlightening to reflect on the possibilities of tolerance, and we will learn about the cooperation among the scholars of Toledo's School of Translators.

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.

 

Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Mexico City: The Vibrant Capital of Our Neighbor to the South

Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $45


Join Art Historian Kerrin Meis on a virtual tour of one of her favorite spots in the world: the vibrant capital of our neighbor to the South, offering the visitor fascinating architecture, lovely parks, and more art museums than any other city in North America. While the casual tourist may concentrate on the delectable food and exciting nightlife, we will enjoy immersing ourselves in the cultures that have left their mark here: from Aztecs, Maya, and Olmecs, to the Spanish colonialists, to the somewhat misguided French, to its Revolutionaries and independence.

We begin in the Centro Historico (a UNESCO site): The Zocalo, a huge gathering place; the Templo Mayor, remainder of the religious center of the Aztec people; the National Cathedral built over three centuries, the oldest and largest in the Americas; the exquisite National Palace with its Diego Rivera mural of the History of Mexico on the staircase; and the nearby Ministry of Education Building with Rivera's best known murals. Other highlights include the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Chapultepec Castle, housing the National History Museum in the former home of the Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota, located in the 1600 acre Chapultepec Park; churches and buildings in out-of-the-way neighborhoods; the Paseo de la Reforma; the House of Tiles, now a restaurant with murals by Orozco; and the unbelievable number of top rate museums, from the famous Museum of Anthropology and the superb Palace of Fine Arts, to the enormous modernist Soumaya Museum, as well as the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio Museum, the Dolores Olmedo Museum, the Franz Mayer Museum, and the soon-to-be opened Casa Leonora Carrington. Vamos!

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.

 

Online Class: Nina Schuyler - How to Write Stunning Sentences

Saturday, June 12, 2021 - 10:30am to 12:30pm

Saturday, June 12th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 10:30am-12:30pm PT • $80

 

Stylish sentences bring mesmeric energy to the page. Why shouldn’t, as Gertrude Stein said, a sequence of words be anything but pleasure?

In this class, you'll learn how to write sentences that create rhythm and musicality. You'll learn how to take a simple sentence and grow it, creating more opportunities for rhythm and sound. You'll also learn how to revise for style.

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.

 

Online Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Seven Tuesdays: May 11th - June 22nd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $575

Class limited to nine attendees

 

This class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop, with emphasis on the craft of writing a publishable travel story. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. This may be based on a recent close-to-home travel experience or on a memory of a past trip. In the workshop, we'll begin by closely reading, discussing, and critiquing examples of excellent travel writing. Then each participant will present their story idea for discussion and revision, and then write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. Each piece will be closely read and discussed in class. Subsequent classes will allow for revision, discussion, and further refinement of each piece. During the course of the workshop, in addition to individual critiques, we'll talk about the fine points of structure, pacing, and making your point. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories in widely known venues such as the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.
 

What students are saying about Don George:

“Don George's travel writing workshop was a rigorous, profound, magical experience, the product of a uniquely nurturing environment. Taking his courses has encouraged me to write without fear of failure, and with greater confidence and creativity than ever before. Any writer—whether officially a travel writer, or any other writer considering issues of place—should jump at the chance to work with him."
—Diane Vadino

"I have always wanted to take a writing workshop from Don George, but was never able to because I did not live in the Bay Area. When he offered his workshop virtually this year, I jumped at the chance and could not be happier with the experience. It motivated me to work on a piece and the feedback I received from the other attendees enabled me to take an "okay" piece I had written and turn it into a piece I'm really proud of by the end of the workshop. I ended up going in a different direction than intended, but it ended up being the right direction I could not see by myself. I would have not been able to get my writing to where it needed to be without Don and the workshop participants. I would sign up for another virtual workshop with Don George in a heartbeat.”
—Lisa Boice

 

Online Class: John J. Geoghegan - How to Get Your Book Published

Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 11:00am to 2:00pm


Sunday, May 16th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 11:00am-2:00pm PT • $75


 

How to Get Your Book Published is designed to help writers improve their chance of getting their memoir, novel, or non-fiction book considered for publication by a reputable literary agent or publisher. The three hour course will cover:

  • How to identify the right literary agent, editor, or publisher for your project
  • What publishers, editors, and literary agents look for in a submission
  • Which genres offer the best prospect for getting published
  • Understanding the economics of publishing, being a literary agent, or author
  • How to write a query letter
  • How to write a non-fiction book proposal
  • How to format your manuscript
  • What a standard industry book contract looks like
  • 5 rookie mistakes first timers make
  • And much more

John J. Geoghegan began his career at Doubleday Publishers in New York City. In addition to serving as a Special Correspondent for the New York Times, he has worked as an editor and writer in both the magazine  and newspaper industries. John has written more than 100 articles for the New York Times Science section, The Wall Street JournalThe San Francisco Chronicle, WIRED, Smithsonian Air & Space, and American History magazine and other publications. He is also the author of, Operation Storm: Japan’s Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II (Crown, 2013), which The Wall Street Journal called, “a fascinating, meticulously researched and deft account,” and, Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow: A True Story of Love, Hearing Loss, Heartbreak and Redemption (New Haven Publishing, 2018), which Book Authority ranked No. 1 on its list of the 38 best books about hearing loss. Additionally, John shepherded into production, co-wrote, and served as technical consultant on Japanese SuperSub, a one-hour documentary for PBS television that the New York Times called, “consistently fascinating history.” His third, non-fiction book, When Giants Ruled the Sky, is under contract to The History Press and due in bookstores 2021.

 

What students are saying about John J. Geoghegan:

"As a writer, I’ve benefited from John’s wisdom through four books. A master at understanding how to meet reader expectations, John zeroes in on a writer’s intention, applauds what's going right, and nails that unnecessary bit of exposition or missed opportunity to drive the story forward."
—K. M., author of eight commercially published novels

 

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