Classes

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

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."

Virtual Class: Don George - Fine-Tune Your Travel Tale: Advanced Writing Workshop (via Zoom)

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 12:00pm

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: August 28-30 • 12:00-3:00pm PT • $395 • Hosted via Zoom • Class limited to 9 attendees.

This workshop is designed for writers who have an already finished travel story of up to 3,000 words that they would like to workshop and refine. Participants will be asked to send their story to Don George and all the workshop participants before the first class. In each workshop, we will closely discuss and critique three pieces. In addition to individual critiques, we will also discuss the art of great travel writing — how to lead into a piece, how to structure a story arc, how to bring a place and scene to life, and how to create a compelling close.

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.

Virtual Class: Nina Schuyler - Story Structure (via Zoom)

Saturday, August 1, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, August 1 • 10:00am - 12:30pm PDT • $50 • Hosted via Zoom

You have an idea for a short story or novel or memoir, but how to structure it? What are the expectations of readers? What are your expectations? And what about that saggy middle section? This class will explore these questions by looking at the traditional Western story structure. We’ll also consider other possible patterns for structure, such as the spiral, branching, or explosive story. The concepts in this class are applicable to fiction and memoir. By the end of this class, you will have a map of a structure for your story.

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 of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author of the bestseller, How to Write Stunning Sentences.

Virtual Class: Nina Schuyler - Story Structure (via Zoom)

Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, July 18 • 10:00am - 12:30pm PDT • $50 • Hosted via Zoom

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

You have an idea for a short story or novel or memoir, but how to structure it? What are the expectations of readers? What are your expectations? And what about that saggy middle section? This class will explore these questions by looking at the traditional Western story structure. We’ll also consider other possible patterns for structure, such as the spiral, branching, or explosive story. The concepts in this class are applicable to fiction and memoir. By the end of this class, you will have a map of a structure for your story.

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 of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author of the bestseller, How to Write Stunning Sentences.

Virtual Class: Don George - Fine-Tune Your Travel Tale: Advanced Writing Workshop (via Zoom)

Friday, July 24, 2020 - 3:30pm

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: July 24-26 • 12:00 - 3:00pm PT • $395 • Hosted via Zoom • Class limited to 9 attendees.

This workshop is designed for writers who have an already finished travel story of up to 3,000 words that they would like to workshop and refine. Participants will be asked to send their story to Don George and all the workshop participants before the first class. In each workshop, we will closely discuss and critique three pieces. In addition to individual critiques, we will also discuss the art of great travel writing — how to lead into a piece, how to structure a story arc, how to bring a place and scene to life, and how to create a compelling close.

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.

Virtual Class: Don George - Travel Writing at Home (via Zoom)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 4:00pm

Four Tuesdays: July 28, August 4, 11 & 18 • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $395 • 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

You may not be traveling far afield these days, but you still have travel stories to tell: There's a rich world all around you—and inside you. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write a short original travel piece of up to 1500 words. This may be based on close-to-home travel right now or on their memory of a cherished trip. In the workshop, we'll talk about structure, pacing, and making your point, and we'll closely read, discuss, and critique each participant's work

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.

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Dante's Inferno (via Zoom)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 3:30pm

Nine Tuesdays: August 25 - October 20 • 3:30 - 5:30pm PT • $270 • Hosted via Zoom

The year 2021 will mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. Join Italy and the rest of the world in celebrating this extraordinary poet by reading and studying his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. Wendy Walsh will offer a three course series that follows the three canticles of the poem, Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso.The first course, Inferno, is nine weeks long and offers an introduction to the whole poem as well as to historical and cultural times in which Dante was writing.

The other two courses, Purgatorio (Eight Tuesdays: January 5 - February 23, 3:30-5:30pm PT) and Paradiso (Eight Tuesdays: March 9 - April 27,  3:30-5:30pm PT) will ideally be held at Book Passage. Price and location TBD. For more information please contact Wendy Walsh at danteista@gmail.com.

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

Virtual Class: Connie Josefs - Make a Scene: A Memoir Intensive (via Zoom)

Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 10:00am

Three Saturdays: August 15, 22 & 29 • 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST • $265 • Hosted via Zoom

Please note: This Memoir Intensive will be hosted on Zoom and will take place on three Saturday mornings, August 15, 22 & 29, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The first meeting on August 15 will start at 9:30 am to allow time for participants to become familiar with elements of the Zoom format that will be used during class. Limited class size.

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

"I find that scene making is my natural way of marking the past.”
—Virginia Woolf

We come to memoir because we have a life story to tell. But how do we write about our lives in a way that will engage a reader? Scene is the building block of narrative; it brings the reader into the moment-to-moment experience of what’s happening. When we write scene, we re-enter life experience with newfound curiosity and all of our senses. The story becomes a living, breathing thing.

This 3-week Intensive will offer a deep dive into the craft of writing scene in memoir. Topics include:

  • Flow of scene and exposition
  • Habitual scene vs. specific scene
  • Writing time and place
  • Effective use of dialogue

Workshop format includes readings, discussion, writing exercises, and supportive feedback and critique. Writers will have the opportunity to work on scenes at home and share them in class.

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, editor and memoir coach. She has led workshops in fiction and creative non-fiction writing for 28 years, and has taught at the University of New Mexico, The Taos Writers Conference, Southwest Writers, and Santa Monica College, where she was founding editor of the literary journal, E-33: Writings from Emeritus. She holds an MFA in fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. More at conniejosefs.com.

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection, and content. She has a beautiful way of corralling the group and keeping people on track in a caring way. In addition, she has to hear people share some of their worst moments and traumas and respond with feedback on the writing, instead of as a therapist or friend. She’s truly brilliant in how she manages these delicate, intricate dynamics.” – Erin P.

"Connie was very clear & specific as to each segment she taught, answered questions thoughtfully and well AND had us do writing exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience. I only took one class – I wish I had taken all four!" – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

Virtual Class: Connie Josefs - Make a Scene: A Memoir Intensive (via Zoom)

Sunday, July 12, 2020 - 10:00am

Three Sundays: July 12, 19 & 26 • 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST • $265 • Hosted via Zoom

Please note: This Memoir Intensive will be hosted on Zoom and will take place on three Sunday mornings, July 12, 19 & 26, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The first meeting on July 12 will start at 9:30 am to allow time for participants to become familiar with elements of the Zoom format that will be used during class. Limited class size.

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

 

"I find that scene making is my natural way of marking the past.”
—Virginia Woolf

We come to memoir because we have a life story to tell. But how do we write about our lives in a way that will engage a reader? Scene is the building block of narrative; it brings the reader into the moment-to-moment experience of what’s happening. When we write scene, we re-enter life experience with newfound curiosity and all of our senses. The story becomes a living, breathing thing.

This 3-week Intensive will offer a deep dive into the craft of writing scene in memoir. Topics include:

  • Flow of scene and exposition
  • Habitual scene vs. specific scene
  • Writing time and place
  • Effective use of dialogue

Workshop format includes readings, discussion, writing exercises, and supportive feedback and critique. Writers will have the opportunity to work on scenes at home and share them in class.

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, editor and memoir coach. She has led workshops in fiction and creative non-fiction writing for 28 years, and has taught at the University of New Mexico, The Taos Writers Conference, Southwest Writers, and Santa Monica College, where she was founding editor of the literary journal, E-33: Writings from Emeritus. She holds an MFA in fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. More at conniejosefs.com.

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection, and content. She has a beautiful way of corralling the group and keeping people on track in a caring way. In addition, she has to hear people share some of their worst moments and traumas and respond with feedback on the writing, instead of as a therapist or friend. She’s truly brilliant in how she manages these delicate, intricate dynamics.” – Erin P.

"Connie was very clear & specific as to each segment she taught, answered questions thoughtfully and well AND had us do writing exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience. I only took one class – I wish I had taken all four!" – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

POSTPONED: Class: Julie Lythcott-Haims - Memoir Writing Masterclass

Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Saturday, June 20 • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm • $30

Please note: This class has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. We will announce a new date once the class has been rescheduled. If you have already enrolled, we will be reaching out to you with further details.

 

Have you been thinking about recording your life story? Have ideas for a memoir been bumping around your brain? Now is your chance to get these ideas on paper with the guidance of best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims. Julie’s memoir, Real American, is critically acclaimed and has been described as beautiful, necessary, brave, insightful and more.

 After the masterclass, you’ll leave with your own copy of Lit Starts: Writing Memoir, a book of writing prompts produced by the writer’s grotto (of which Julie is a member). Writing memoir offers pointers for crafting a compelling narrative from your own experiences, along with prompts and spaces to write so that the writing can continue long after the course gets you started.

Julie Lythcott-Haims roots for humans. Humans need agency in order to make their way forward; Julie is deeply interested in what impedes us. She is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, an anti-helicopter parenting manifesto which gave rise to one of the top TED Talks of 2016, and now has over 4 million views. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance. A third book called How to BE an Adult, for young adults, is forthcoming. She is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, her mother, and her itinerant young adults.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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