Classes

Virtual Class: Kerrin Meis - Exploring Eastern Turkey: Art, Culture, and Politics (via Zoom)

Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 1:00pm

Two Saturdays: December 5 & 12 • 1:00-2:30pm PT • $80 • Hosted via Zoom

Travelers to Turkey (actual and virtual) miss the real Turkey. In this class, participants will (virtually) tour through: Ankara, home of the award-winning Archaeological Museum; the Hittite sites of Yazilkaya and Bozakoy with their history-revealing sculpture; Trabzon, home of the Hagia Sophia Church with its priceless Byzantine frescoes and the precariously perched Monastery of Sumela; Erzurum's distinctive Mosque and Madrasa; the ghostly remains of the church of Ani and monasteries hugging the Armenian border; the mind-blowing palace of Ishak Pasha with its conglomeration of architectural styles; Akdamar on Lake Van, home of the 10th-century Cathedral of the Holy Cross with astonishing and amusing relief sculpture; Mardin, the golden city on Syria's border—an architecture student's paradise; captivating Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Kurdistan, with its Roman walls, intriguing bazaar, and fascinating Ulu Mosque; Nemrut Dag, home of the monolithic sculptures and tomb of the megalomaniac ruler Antiochus I; Gobekli Tepe, the most important archaeological site extant with finds from 11000 BC; Gazientep with the world's largest and most spectacular collection of Roman mosaics from the sunken city of Zeugma. The "problems" with the Kurds and the Armenian genocide will be addressed.

Hayirli yolculuklar!

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.

Virtual Class: Kerrin Meis - Mastering the Met (via Zoom)

Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 1:00pm

Two Saturdays: November 7 & 14 • 1:00-2:30pm PT • $80 • Hosted via Zoom

The Metropolitan Museum has re-opened! If you aren't comfortable making the trip to NYC, you may want to join Kerrin Meis in Zoom lectures on November 7 and 14. Home to over two million masterworks spanning many cultures and time periods, the Met can be somewhat daunting. We will study carefully chosen works of painting, sculpture and jewelry from important world centers representing major movements in art. From a 3,000-year-old Hittite gold pendant to an Artist's Studio painted in 2019, we will scrutinize each work, asking the important When? Where? By Whom? For Whom? and Why?

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.

Virtual Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics Book Group - Friday (via Zoom)

Friday, October 16, 2020 - 10:30am
photo of Pat Holt

Five Fridays: Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Jan. 15 & Feb. 12 • 10:30am – 12:30pm • $125 

Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Pat is the former book review editor of the SF Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

October 16
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Vander Vliet Oloomi

November 13
Weather by Jenny Offill

December 11
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

January 15
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

February 12
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

All titles are available at Book Passage. Please support your local, independent bookstore and buy from us.

Virtual Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics Book Group - Tuesday (via Zoom)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 10:30am
photo of Pat Holt

Five Tuesdays: Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8, Jan. 12 & Feb. 9 • 10:30am – 12:30pm • $125 

Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Pat is the former book review editor of the SF Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

October 13
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Vander Vliet Oloomi

November 10
Weather by Jenny Offill

December 8
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

January 12
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

February 9
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

All titles are available at Book Passage. Please support your local, independent bookstore and buy from us.

Virtual Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story (via Zoom)

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 4:00pm

Six Wednesdays: October 7, 14, 21, 28 & November 4, 11 • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $495 • Hosted via Zoom • Class limited to 9 attendees.

Please note: This class is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email kathryn@bookpassage.com

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

 

Virtual Class: Julia McNeal - Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character (via Zoom)

Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 1:30pm

Saturday, October 17 • 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75  • Hosted via Zoom
Format: Presentation, short interactive exercise, writing time, question & answer • Class size limited to 16
It is not necessary to have taken Ways One through Three first

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it. Following the sold-out Way One class, Julia brings Ways Four and Five of the technique to Book Passage in a two-and-a-half-hour classes.

Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

In each class, you will learn useful practices to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page.

If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on Saturday, October 17th.  You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

 

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick."

"Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

 

Two Virtual Classes: Julia McNeal - Ways Two and Three (October 3rd) & Ways Four and Five (October 17th) of the Five Ways In to Character (via Zoom)

Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 1:30pm

Two Saturdays: October 3 & 17 • 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75 (individual class); $125 (for both) • Hosted via Zoom
Ways Two and Three: October 3 • Ways Four and Five: October 17
Format: Presentation, short interactive exercise, writing time, question & answer • Class size limited to 16
It is not necessary to have taken Way One first

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it. Following the sold-out Way One class, Julia brings the next Four Ways of the technique to Book Passage in 2, two-and-a-half-hour classes.

1. Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character (Saturday, October 3rd)

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique—focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to Class: a short paragraph (1–5 sentences) that describes or is in the voice of a character you are working on or thinking about.

2. Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character (Saturday, October 17th)

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

In each class, you will learn useful practices to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page.

If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on two Saturdays: October 3rd and 17th.  You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

 

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick."

"Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

 

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Advanced Italian (via Zoom)

Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 9:00am

Nine Thursdays: September 17 - November 12 • 9:00-11:00am PT • $270 • Hosted via Zoom

We will be working on the many common errors and questions about Italian grammar. Please contact Wendy Walsh at danteista@gmail.com to receive syllabus and handouts.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Intermediate Italian (via Zoom)

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 8:45am

Nine Tuesdays: September 29 - November 24 • 8:45-10:45am PT • $270 • Hosted via Zoom

We will be working on verb tenses, concentrating on the passato prossimo and the imperfetto. Please contact Wendy Walsh at danteista@gmail.com to receive syllabus and handouts.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

Virtual Class: Julia McNeal - Way One of the Five Ways In to Character (via Zoom)

Saturday, August 29, 2020 - 2:00pm

Saturday, August 29 • 2:00-4:00pm PT • $60 • Hosted via Zoom
Format: Presentation, short interactive exercise, writing time, question & answer

Please note: This class is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email kathryn@bookpassage.com

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One,” is one of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed.

If you need something to shake up your writing routine, or would like to invite some fun, energy and a new way of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on Saturday, August 29th.  You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters and a concrete method of approach that you can use going forward.
 

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick."

"Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

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