Conferences

Travel Conference Event: Karen Joy Fowler & Shannon Leone Fowler - Traveling with Ghosts (Corte Madera)

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 7:30pm

2017 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Event
Free for conference participants; $10 for general public (cost can be applied to purchase of featured book)

In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler, a twenty-eight-year-old marine biologist, was backpacking with her fiance and love of her life, Sean. Sean was a tall, blue-eyed, warmhearted Australian, and he and Shannon planned to return to Australia after their excursion to Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand. Their plans, however, were devastatingly derailed when a box jellyfish -- the most venomous animal in the world -- wrapped around Sean's leg, stinging and killing him in a matter of minutes as Shannon helplessly watched. Rejecting the Thai authorities attempt to label Sean's death a "drunk drowning," Shannon ferried his body home to his stunned family -- a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged.

Shattered and untethered, Shannon's life paused indefinitely so that she could travel around the world to find healing. Travel had forged her relationship with Sean, and she hoped it could also aid in processing his death. Though Sean wasn't with Shannon, he was everywhere she went--among the places she visited were Oświęcim, Poland (the site of Auschwitz); war-torn Israel; shelled-out Bosnia; poverty-stricken Romania; and finally to Barcelona, where she first met Sean years before. Ultimately, Shannon had to confront the ocean after her life's first great love took her second great love away.

Cheryl Strayed's Wild meets Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk in Traveling with Ghosts, a beautiful, profoundly moving memorial to those we have lost on our journeys and the unexpected ways their presence echoes in all places -- and voyages -- big and small. 

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Karen Joy Fowler, a PEN/Faulkner and California Book Award winner, is the author of six novels (two of them New York Times bestsellers) and four short story collections. She has been a Dublin IMPAC nominee, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014. She lives in Santa Cruz, California. 

 

Traveling with Ghosts: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501107795
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 21st, 2017

From grief to reckoning to reflection to solace, a marine biologist shares the solo journey she took--through war-ravaged Eastern Europe, Israel, and beyond--to find peace after her fianc suffered a fatal attack by a box jellyfish in Thailand.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Post-Conference Master Class: Craig Frazier - The Illustrated Voice (Corte Madera)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

2017 Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Post-Conference Master Class
$125 for Conference Participants, $160 for General Public

Craig Frazier presents the theories and processees behind “visual thinking” and how they are integrated into the nature of the assignments he produces for his clients and his own works. He illuminates the step-by-step process and rationales behind visual presentation decision making, from the doodle phase through the printed book. He will take time to discuss participants’ projects and portfolios.

Craig Frazier is a designer and illustrator. His work is recognized internationally for its wit, optimism and simplicity. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to name a few. Craig has created seven postage stamps for the USPS. He has published several children’s books including Stanley Goes for a Drive (Chronicle Books 2004), Trucks Roll! (Simon & Schuster 2007), Hank Finds Inspiration (Roaring Brook Press 2008). Craig is currently completing two books, Sitting and Going (Harper Collins Fall 2018). Craig runs the blog http://36pages.com reviewing his favorite picture books.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Post-Conference Master Class: Mina Witterman - Fictionalize Your Memories (Corte Madera)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

2017 Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Post-Conference Master Class
$125 for Conference Participants, $160 for General Public

Letting readers experience your story as if they are walking in the shoes of the protagonist is one of the writer’s most difficult tasks. It requires you to pen the protagonist’s emotions down believable, heartfelt and true. An excellent way to learn this type of evocative writing is to bring your own memories to a story. But there is always the urge to stay too close to the truth, so you need to create a healthy distance between you and your memories. This class explores ways to use your own experiences and memories without getting caught in the ‘that’s not how it happened’ snare.

Mina Witteman is a children’s author of dark YA and adventurous MG, picture books and short stories, Witteman writes in both English and Dutch. Boreas en de vier windstreken/Boreas and the Four Winds, her latest MG, is the third book in the highly praised Boreas series (Boreas en de zeven zeeën/Boreas and the Seven Seas; Boreas en de duizend eilanden/Boreas and the Thousand Islands). She has a Dutch little golden book out: Mia’s Nest (Spanish edition: El nido de Mia), and over 40 short stories in magazines and read-aloud anthologies. Witteman is a university trained and seasoned freelance editor (Master Book Editing, University of Amsterdam), a coach to budding writers, and an accredited Creative Writing Teacher. She is the International Published Authors’ Coordinator for the SCBWI. Previously, she was the Regional Advisor for SCBWI The Netherlands and Chairman of the Working Group Children’s Books of the Dutch Authors Guild.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Post-Conference Master Class: Andrea Alban - RE-Vision: Tips for Self-Editing Mastery (Corte Madera)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm

2017 Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Post-Conference Master Class
$125 for Conference Participants, $160 for General Public

How do professional editors turn a manuscript into a polished work? The process of editing begins with the writers. Andrea Alban shows writers how to apply techniques of the editing trade to their own children’s manuscript. Want a picture perfect manuscript to catch that agent’s eye? RE-Vision will show you the techniques of self-editing mastery.

Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including her debut teen novel Anya's War (an ALA honor book and shortlisted for China’s Panda Award) and bestseller The Happiness Tree . She speaks at literary festivals, writer’s conferences, and schools. Andrea founded the Writer’s Tribe™ Feedback Forum for Children’s Writers at Book Passage.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Post-Conference Master Class: Natasha Yim - Writing Narrative Nonfiction (Corte Madera)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm

2017 Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Post-Conference Master Class
$125 for Conference Participants, $160 for General Public

Whether you write picture books or middle-grade works, narrative non-fiction has fast become a popular genre! As Core Curriculum standards integrate children’s literary works into the classroom, narrative nonfiction is an expanding market. Natasha Yim shares her techniques for writing the stories of real people into books that keep children, teachers and librarians turning the pages.

Natasha Yim is a children's author, freelance writer, and playwright. Yim’s first picture book, Otto's Rainy Day, was a Kids' Pick of the Lists selection. She went onto to write two picture book biographies for elementary age children, Cixi, The Dragon Empress and Sacajawea of the Shoshone for local micro-publisher Goosebottom Books. After a nine-year publishing journey, Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, a multicultural re-telling of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story, was published by Charlesbridge Publishing and is a Junior Library Guild and Scholastic Book Club selection. Natasha’s latest book, The Rock Maiden, re-envisions a Chinese folk tale was released by Wisdom Tales Press this spring.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Rene Denfeld - The Child Finder (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 7:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Conference Opening Night Event

Please note: this event is free & open to the public. Priority seating for all Mystery Writers Conference attendees.

Rene Denfeld’s exquisitely-wrought second novel, The Child Finder, is a compelling, atmospheric literary page-turner centered on Naomi, an unforgettable young woman with an extraordinary talent: locating missing children. Denfeld, whose award-winning debut, The Enchanted, was hailed as “a stunning first novel from an already accomplished writer” (Publishers Weekly), takes readers to dark places—both the remote forest primeval of the Pacific Northwest where a child has disappeared, presumed dead, and into Naomi’s own murky past, where the seeds of her singular gifts were planted. As the at-once elegant and disquieting narrative unfolds, the alternating perspectives of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child reveal its surprising truths.

Naomi has found thirty children—but not all of them alive. In her current case, she has been hired by the family of Madison Culver, who went missing three years before while her family searched for a Christmas tree in the wilds of Skookum National Forest. It seems highly unlikely that Madison survived the harsh winter terrain—unless she was abducted—and Naomi offers her parents little hope, even as she keeps it kindled in her own heart. As she scours the mysterious forest and the secrets of its reclusive denizens, Naomi is determined to find what happened to the missing girl. Though she generally only takes on one case at a time, Naomi is drawn in and takes on another—finding a baby who has vanished while in the care of its mentally-challenged mother. Both disappearances reveal hidden truths for Naomi, with her uncanny ability to inhabit her victims’ worlds.

Her own childhood experience, which she wrote about with great poignancy for the New York Times, informs this new work: “I went on to become a journalist and to adopt three kids from foster care. I took a day job, working as a death penalty investigator. I am hired by the lawyers representing men and women facing execution to examine their backgrounds in hopes of persuading a judge or jury to extend them mercy. It is the gift of my history that I can understand these people and their families. I can see their humanity even as I witness the harm they have done to others, and the harm done to them.”

Denfeld’s first novel, The Enchanted, won numerous honors, including the prestigious French Prix, an ALA Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and Book of the Year from The Oregonian. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is also the author of The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, Kill The Body, The Head Will Fall, and All God’s Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of Street Families. Rene lives in Portland, Oregon. 

 

The Child Finder: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062659057
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 5th, 2017

A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.

"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?"


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Robert Holmes - Travel Photography in Point Reyes (Point Reyes)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

2017 Travel Writers & Photographers Pre-Conference Class
$120 for Conference Participants, $170 for General Public

Please note: this class is now sold-out.

Join award-winning landscape, food, and wine photographer Robert Holmes for a day of exploration and photography. Throughout the day, he will demonstrate the art of finding, framing, and capturing photos. Participants have time to wander and photograph one of Marin County’s most scenic open spaces, coming together over a picnic lunch to talk about their experiences and share their work. Lunch and round-trip transportation provided.

Robert Holmes is one of the world’s most successful and prolific travel photographers. The Society of American Travel Writers named him “Travel Photographer of the Year” four times, and in 2016, he was voted “Wine Photographer of The Year” by an international panel of judges. He has contributed to over 40 books and worked for National Geographic, Geo, Saveur, Wine Spectator, Life, Time, and hundreds of other major magazines.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Don George - Travel Writing in Point Reyes (Point Reyes)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

2017 Travel Writers & Photographers Pre-Conference Class
$120 for Conference Participants, $170 for General Public

Sold out. Please call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1 to inquire about waitlist availability. 

Join acclaimed National Geographic and Gadling.com travel writer and editor Don George for a day of exploration and travel writing in beautiful Point Reyes. George demonstrates the art of finding, researching, and note-taking in the field. Participants will explore the shops and sites of this seaside town, as well as the rolling hills and sweeping ocean views. The group gathers over a picnic lunch to talk about the writing experience and to discuss their work. Lunch and round-trip transportation provided.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust and of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing. He’s the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast and The Kindness of Strangers. Don George writes the monthly "Trip Lit" column for National Geographic Traveler, and edits the BBC Travel’s literary travel column, “Chance Encounters.”

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Hallie Ephron - Writing the Wave (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

Writing the Wave: Investigation, Suspense, Action, Reflection

Typically, mystery novels unfurl in accelerating waves of establishing narrative (often investigation), building to suspense, building to action, resolving reflection, and then thrusting forward to the next wave. In this workshop we’ll examine each element of this “ISAR” wave, and learn how to construct scenes that end with a hook, grab readers, and move the story forward. Topics include: dissecting the waves in a mystery/thriller; strategies for writing investigation; strategies for writing suspense; strategies for writing action; strategies for writing reflection; hook and grab scene structure; writing the waves across a book length work, modulating the pace, building to a dramatic climax, and resolving in a final coda.

Hallie Ephron is a bestselling author of Never Tell a Lie; Come and Find Me; There Was an Old Woman; and most recently, You’ll Never Know, Dear. She is also the mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe. The daughter of screenwriters, she grew up with her famous writer sisters, Nora, Delia, and Amy.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: David Corbett - The Deeper Mystery (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

The crime-mystery-thriller genre is often thought of as principally a form of entertainment, but it is also a great deal more. In this pre-conference class, award-winning author and conference co-chair David Corbett guides students through a number of techniques and thematic considerations to reach deeper into the material of their stories. The goal is to reach the more meaningful and dramatically powerful elements within the genre. Topics will include moral argument and the Unity of Opposites, the will to justice vs. the will to power, realism (and its limits), the elusive nature of truth, what is a just society, individual freedom vs. social responsibility, Satanic Villains vs. Monsters, and (as Conrad put it) man’s “miserable ingenuity in error.”

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), His latest is Thirteen Confessions: Stories. His writing text, The Art of Character, has been called “a writer’s bible.”

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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