Conferences

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 ptp@bookpassage.com

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Faculty

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

Mark Nepo with Phil Cousineau - More Together Than Alone & Drinking from the River of Light (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 7:30pm

Please note: Drinking from the River of Light will be available for the event • Priority seating for conferees • $10 ticket charge at the door for those not attending the Travel Writers & Photographers Conference

At once a moving meditation and an empowering guide, More Together Than Alone by Mark Nepo is a compelling testament to the power of community and why it’s so essential in our lives, now more than ever. Nepo draws from historical events, spiritual leaders, and the natural world to show how, in every generation, our tendency is to join together to accomplish our greatest achievements, from creating education to providing clean drinking water, and preserving the arts. Nepo’s historical snapshots, from ancient times to contemporary examples, show how community creates a light in the darkest of times. The book explores the heart of how we come together in varied and beautiful ways, whether forming resistance groups during the Holocaust or rebuilding after the nuclear devastation in Nagasaki. These inspiring stories teach us that even in the bleakest days, we have the power to create connections and draw strength from one another.

In his newest book, Drinking from the River of Light, Nepo traces the search for our most essential selves and explores the importance of art to bear witness to the sorrow, depth, and joy of life. In this collection of interconnected essays and poetry--covering subjects ranging from the importance of staying in conversation with other forms of life to a consideration of how innovators such as Matisse, Rodin, and Beethoven saw the world--Nepo presents a lyrical ode to the artistic urge that stirs in each of us. The book includes dozens of journaling prompts and personal exercises meant to enliven the reader's creative instincts.

Mark Nepo is the author of twenty-one books, including Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, The Endless Practice, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mark traveled the country with Oprah Winfrey on her sold-out 2014 “The Life You Want” tour and has appeared several times with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday program (OWN TV). He lives in southwest Michigan. Visit him online at MarkNepo.com and ThreeIntentions.com.

Phil Cousineau is an wward-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller, TV and radio host. His life-long fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him on many journeys around the world. He lectures frequently on a wide range of topics--from mythology, film, and writing, to beauty, travel, sports, and creativity. He has more than 30 nonfiction books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Hallie Ephron - Creating Memorable Characters (Corte Madera)

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2019 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

 

Creating Memorable Characters

Where do these people come from? This workshop will step through the process of planning and developing memorable characters: from coming up with names to finding those telling details that ignite the character’s first turn on the stage. How to use character to drive narrative voice, dialogue, action, and setting. And how to create a character web in which characters play with and off one another, providing the conflict that fuels a page turner.

Hallie Ephron is the bestselling author of Never Tell a Lie; Come and Find Me; There Was an Old Woman; and most recently, You’ll Never Know, Dear. Her latest novel, Careful What You Wish For, will be published in August, 2019. She is an award-winning crime fiction book reviewer, she wrote the “On Crime” column for the Boston Globe for ten years, and she teaches writing at a variety of workshops around the country.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: David Corbett - The Task of Justice (Corte Madera)

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2019 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

The Task of Justice: Staging the Thematic Backdrop in Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Fiction

Given that evil abides by no rules, how do the forces of justice stand a chance? How the lawman hero rises to that challenge without succumbing to evil himself is known as the Task of Justice, and it lies at the heart of all great mystery-crime-thriller stories. In this pre-conference workshop, award-winning author and conference co-chair David Corbett will lead students through an exploration of this problem in its various incarnations—e.g., the Tainted Hero, the Noble Villain, the Moral No Man’s Land—with specific attention to how to present the hero’s challenge in each of the three main sub-genres: Mystery, Crime, and Thriller.

David Corbett worked 15 years for the famed private investigation firm of Palladino & Sutherland. He is the author of several novels including Done for a Dime (A New York Times Notable Book), and his latest, The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday. His writing text, The Art of Character, has been called “a writer’s bible.”

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

John Bateson, Ken Holmes , Dr. Judy Melinek, & T.J. Mitchell - The Education of a Coroner / Working Stiff (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 6:00pm

2018 Mystery Writers Conference Event
Free & Open to the Public

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. While her husband and their toddler held down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation -- performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines Flight 587.

An unvarnished portrait of the daily life of medical examiners -- complete with grisly anecdotes, chilling crime scenes, and a welcome dose of gallows humor -- Working Stiff offers a glimpse into the daily life of one of America's most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies -- and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on television to reveal the secret story of the real morgue. "Haunting and illuminating...the stories from her average workdays...transfix the reader with their demonstration that medical science can diagnose and console long after the heartbeat stops" (The New York Times).

Judy Melinek is a forensic pathologist and an associate clinical professor at UCSF Medical Center. She earned her college degree from Harvard and received her medical degree and pathology residency training at UCLA. Her coauthor and husband T.J. Mitchell graduated with an English degree from Harvard and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad in 2000. They have three children, and have lived in and worked in San Francisco since 2004.

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The Education of a Coroner is an "entertaining" (Booklist) account of the mysterious, hair-raising, and heartbreaking cases handled by the coroner of Marin County, California throughout his four decades on the job -- from high-profile deaths and serial killers to inmate murders and Golden Gate Bridge suicides.

Marin County, California is a study in contradictions. Its natural beauty attracts celebrity residents and thousands of visitors every year, yet the county also is home to San Quentin Prison, one of the oldest and largest penitentiaries in the United States. Marin ranks in the top one percent of counties nationwide in terms of affluence and overall health, yet it is far above the norm in drug overdoses and alcoholism, not to mention the large percentage of suicides that occur on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ken Holmes worked in the Marin County Coroner's Office for thirty-six years, starting as a death investigator and ending as the three-term, elected coroner. As he grew into the job -- one that is far different from the forensics we see on television -- Holmes learned a variety of skills, from finding hidden clues at death scenes, interviewing witnesses effectively, managing bystanders and reporters, and preparing testimony for court to how to notify families of a death with sensitivity and compassion. He also learned about different kinds of firearms, all types of drugs -- prescription and illegal -- and about certain unexpected and potentially fatal phenomena, such as autoeroticism.

Complete with poignant anecdotes, The Education of a Coroner from John Bateson is "riveting and complex...supremely entertaining reading material and...a fascinating and wildly informative dive into the mysterious world of death and decay" (Kirkus Reviews).

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Isabel Allende - An Evening in Conversation (Corte Madera Store)

Friday, September 28, 2018 - 7:00pm

2018 Mystery Writers Conference Event
Free & Open to the Public

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, Stories of Eva Luna, Of Love and Shadows, The Japanese Lover, and the thriller Ripper. Her most recent novel is In the Midst of Winter. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. She lives in California.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

David Corbett - The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 5:00pm

2018 Mystery Writers Conference Event
Free & Open to the Public

In The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday, the most notorious love letters in American history -- supposedly destroyed a century ago -- mysteriously reappear, and become the coveted prize in a fierce battle for possession that brings back to life the lawless world evoked in the letters themselves.

Lisa Balamaro is an ambitious arts lawyer with a secret crush on her most intriguing client: former rodeo rider and reformed art forger, Tuck Mercer. In his newfound role as an expert in Old West artifacts, Tuck gains possession of the supposedly destroyed correspondence between Doc Holliday and his cousin and childhood sweetheart, Mattie--who would become Sister Mary Melanie of the Sisters of Mercy.

Given the unlikelihood the letters can ever be fully authenticated, Tuck retains Lisa on behalf of the letters' owner, Rayella Vargas, to sell them on the black market. But the buyer Tuck finds, a duplicitous judge from the Tombstone area, has other, far more menacing ideas.

As Lisa works feverishly to make things right, Rayella secretly enlists her ex-marine boyfriend in a daring scheme of her own.

When the judge learns he's been blindsided, he rallies a cadre of armed men for a deadly standoff reminiscent of the moment in history that made Doc famous: The Gunfight at the OK Corral.

David Corbett worked as a private investigator for fifteen years before becoming the widely acclaimed author of four novels, with short fiction twice chosen for Best American Mystery Stories. He has taught at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, 826 Valencia, Chuck Palahniuk's LitReactor, and the San Francisco Writers' Grotto.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Andrew McCarthy - An Evening in Conversation (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 8:00pm

2018 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Event
Free for conference attendees; $10 for general public

*Tickets are available at the door.* 

Andrew McCarthy is a director, an award winning travel writer, and—of course—an actor. He made his professional début at 19 in Class, and has appeared in dozens of films, including such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. He has starred on Broadway and on television, most recently appearing in The Family, on ABC. McCarthy is also a highly regarded television director; having helmed Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, and many others.

Simultaneously, McCarthy is an award winning travel writer. He is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler, and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Travel+Leisure, AFAR, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others. He has received six Lowell Thomas awards, and been named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers.

His travel memoir, The Longest Way Home, became a New York Times bestseller, and the Financial Times of London named it one of the Best Books of the year. He served as guest editor for the prestigious Best American Travel series in 2015. His debut novel, Just Fly Away, was published by Algonquin in the spring of 2017.

 

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Gordon Wiltsie - To The Ends of the Earth (Corte Madera Store)

Friday, August 10, 2018 - 8:00pm

2018 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Event
Free & Open to the Public

To the Ends of the Earth features unforgettable stories and images from America's preeminent adventure photographer on his most challenging, exhilarating expeditions.

Renowned as one of the world's foremost expedition photographers, Gordon Wiltsie has climbed Himalayan mountains, mushed dogs on the frozen Arctic Ocean, skied in Antarctica, and hacked through the Amazon jungle to photograph the most remote reaches of the planet. For the last three decades he has accompanied many of the great modern explorers―Alex Lowe, Conrad Anker, Will Steger, Jon Krakauer, David Breashears, Norman Vaughan―on incredibly challenging climbs and epic adventures. Despite carrying his own share of the weight―along with cameras, film, and lenses―he has matched these companions pitch for pitch and mile for mile, photographing them every inch of the way.

In this journey through ten unique expeditions, Wiltsie illustrates the daily life of an explorer―from the thrill of summiting a virgin peak to the fear of surviving a storm, to the humorous and unexpected everyday moments of life on the edge.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Michael David Lukas - Last Watchman of Old Cairo (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 7:30pm

2018 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Event
Free & Open to the Public

In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary -- perhaps magical -- Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph's family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces -- potent magic, forbidden love -- that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.

Michael David Lukas is the author of the internationally bestselling novel The Oracle of Stamboul, which was a finalist for the California Book Award, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize and has been published in fifteen languages. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a student at the American University of Cairo, and a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv. A graduate of Brown University, he has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He works in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley and lives in Oakland, California.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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