Kids & Teens Classes

CANCELLED: Class: Karen Benke - Rip ALL the Pages! A Creative Writing Summer “Play-Shop” for Kids

Monday, July 20, 2020 - 9:30am

July 20 - 23 • 9:30 am - 12:30 am • for ages 9-12 • $430

Please note: This class has been cancelled due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. If you have already enrolled, we will be reaching out to you with further details.

Rip ALL the Pages! A Creative Writing Summer “Play-Shop” for Kids. 

Sharpen your observations skills, dive into the deep-end of original detail, and master your own metaphors and similes.

Limited to 18 students (ages 9-12) the only requirement is a favorite pen and a willingness to surprise yourself. We’ll tip words over to find out what breathes underneath, hike for haiku, sneak around and listen—aka eavesdrop!—for dialog, explore making images to create our poems, sudden fiction, letters, and more. 

All materials and sort-of-healthy snacks included.


Karen Benke is the author of Rip the Page! Leap Write In! Write Back Soon! and Rip ALL the Pages! from Roost Books|Penguin Random House and translated into Chinese, Korean, and Russian. Founder of The Writers Nest and Program Director of Creative Writing Adventures (a nonprofit program of CalPoets), she taught writing for 23 years as a California Poet in the Schools and now brings her imaginative writing "play-shops" into libraries, bookstores and art centers internationally. 

Visit her at or



51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Brendan T. Kelly - The Art of Photography for Kids (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, April 8, 2018 - 10:00am

Sunday April 8 • 10:00 am - 12:00 pm • $80

**For Kids Ages 9-13**

Come join the Book Passage and Fine Art Photographer Brendan T. Kelly on April 8, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM for a create class on "The Art of Photography". Together we'll learn the basics about photography and explore the fun you can have with your cell phone, some artistic rules, and the creative process.

Brendan has been involved in the arts his whole life, but photography has captivated him. His artwork has received numerous awards; nationally and internationally, to include publication in various photography publications. "A picture should capture a moment in time, a place you can return to again and again" is what Brendan says about his craft.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Karen Benke Four-Day Summer Writing Camp for Kids (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 9:30am

Monday June 18-Thursday June 21 • 9:30 am - 12:30pm • $375

Summer Creative Writing Adventure
For Boys and Girls Ages 9-12

If you like to fool around with words and play on—and off—the page, this camp is for you!  In its fourth summer, this interactive creative writing “play-shop” is for kids who want to inspire 
and surprise themselves (and others)!  We tip words and connect broken bits of overheard conversation, black-out poems and fill-in 100 word stories.  We make magic word tickets
and homemade envelopes. Play with similes, metaphors, personification, and juxtaposition too. Come prepared to leave a trail of clues en route to the big blue box where we mail our
creations into the wider world. Limited to 20 participants.  Snacks, stamps, all writing materials, and take-home prompts included.

Karen Benke is the author of three popular books on creative writing, RIP THE PAGE! LEAP WRITE IN! and WRITE BACK SOON! Adventures in Letter Writing.
She has worked as a Poet in the Schools and is the founder of The Writers Nest, located in the Mill Valley Lumber Yard. A new book, RIP THE PAGE! An Action-Packed Adventure will be published in March, 2019 by Shambhala Publications.

**Please Specify Child's Name When Registering**

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

JoJo Siwa - Things I Love (San Francisco Store)

Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 2:00pm


Ticket: $17 (includes signed book and admission for one to photo line)

*Tickets are available for purchase at Book Passage Ferry Building beginning at 12:30pm.* 

You might recognize firecracker JoJo Siwa from Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, or maybe you fell in love with her on Dance Moms. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, JoJo presents us with Things I Love, a creative journal with writing activities based on JoJo’s favorite things: dogs, candy, glitter, sparkles, the color pink, dance, family, and the Siwanatorz—her ardent posse of fans. Published in 2-color and filled with fun prompts and quizzes, Things I Love is sure to appeal to kids of all ages.

JoJo Siwa is a YouTube personality, singer, dancer, entrepreneur, social media influencer, and Nickelodeon breakout star. She connects with her fans through many channels: via social media, where she currently has over 6.3 million followers on Instagram, over 13.7 million followers on, 309,000 followers on Twitter, 420,000 followers on Facebook, and over 950 million views on her YouTube channel, which has over 4.8 million subscribers; through her SIWANATOR club, which stands against negativity and bullying; through her global reach of consumer products including her signature bows, accessories, apparel, arts and crafts, cosmetics, home goods, and party supplies; and with her hugely popular singles, “Boomerang,” which has been viewed over 390 million times and just went Platinum, “Kid in a Candy Store,” and “Hold The Drama.” Follow JoJo online at, @itsjojosiwa, or #JoJosGuide for more.


Please Note:

  • To enter photo line, each person must purchase a ticket (which includes a copy of JoJo Siwa: Things I Love).
  • Purchase of one ticket (which includes the book) entitles customers to one wristband to enter the photo line. 
  • JoJo will greet and pose for a selfie with each fan with a wristband. She will take the selfie holding each fan’s camera. JoJo takes great pics, so there is no need for fans to take their own photos!
  • All photos will be individual – just JoJo and the wristband wearer. No siblings or parents will be joining the photo, but guardians are welcome to accompany the wristband holder in line.
  • You will receive an email confirmation with all details regarding the event.


1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Class: Karen Benke - Creative Writing Adventure for Kids (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 9:30am

Saturday March 3 • 9:30 am - 12:30pm • $140

A Creative Writing Adventure for 4th/5th/6th graders who want to dive deep into playing with words on and off the page. We eavesdrop for dialog, swap images, tip words, mash-up stories, create envelopes, stash letters, hide poems, wander far into our dreaming-doodling imaginations, and replenish ourselves with snacks and laughs and new ways to surprise
ourselves with a pen + paper.  All materials included.  

**Writing Adventure limited to 20 young writers.**

** Please specify your child's name when you register**

Karen Benke is the author of three popular books that inspire a love of creative writing: Rip the Page! Leap Write In! and Write Back Soon: Adventures in Letter Writing…along with the forthcoming Rip ALL the Pages Journal. 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Tom Killion - Learn Block Printmaking for Kids (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 2:00pm

Saturday February 3 • 2pm-5pm, 2018  • $100

**Class Registration Closed, Please Call 415 927-0960 with any inquiries**


**For Kids Ages 9-13**

Local Printmaker and artist Tom Killion will demonstrate his process of making a simple block print. Each child will then create their own piece of art with the guidance of Amanda Dorward to take home and enjoy. This is a rare opportunity to learn from an accomplished local artist, and for your kid to explore their creative side!

Killion was born and raised in Marin County, where the rugged scenery inspired him from an early age to create spectacular landscape prints. His work has been inspired by the landscape prints of early 19th century Japan as well as early 20th century European/American wood-engraving and book illustration techniques.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Kids' Workshop: Elizabeth Singer Hunt - Secret Agent Training Manual (Corte Madera)

Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 11:00am

Codebreaking 101 (45 minutes)
Do you know a wannabe junior secret agent? If so, then this is the workshop for them! During this interactive 45-minute workshop, Elizabeth Singer Hunt will guide children through the basics of secret agent codebreaking. They will learn how to disguise messages in plain sight and develop simple ciphers. For 3rd - 5th graders. Note, children must be strong spellers.

Elizabeth Singer Hunt is the bestselling author of the award-winning Secret Agent Jack Stalwart chapter book series, the new Secret Agents Jack and Max Stalwart sequel series, and The Secret Agent Training Manual: How to Make and Break Top Secret Messages.​ ​


Limited spaces are available for this free workshop. To sign up, email or call 415 927 0960 ext 402 and leave the name of the future secret agent who will attend the workshop and the contact number of their grown-up.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Amanda Conran - Write On! (Corte Madera)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 6:30pm

Two Wednesdays: Oct. 11 & 25 • 6:30 - 8:30 pm • $125

**Class Post-poned. Please call (415) 927-0960 ext 230 if there are any questions**

We don’t have to write alone. Are you in the middle of your first novel or trying out a short story and would like to share your ideas? Are you struggling with a plot or a scene and want some help? Are you looking for some extra motivation to finish a project or are you interested in meeting like-minded young writers? This class will foster a small, friendly, supportive critique group in which participants will learn how to critique someone else’s work kindly and constructively and how to accept suggestions for their own work in progress. We’ll learn on the job about plot, dialogue, character development, scene structure etc. and support each other on our group journey to improve our stories and craft.

**Be prepared to submit up to 5 pages ahead of time. 6 person limit. 12-16 year-olds**

Amanda Conran is the author of The Lost Celt, Goosebottom Books, 2016. She's also a children's book specialist, booktalker and the Ink book club facilitator at Book Passage.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Alex McNeil & Andrew Vargas Delman - Personal Essay for College Admission (Corte Madera)

Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 10:00am

Two Sundays: Sep. 24 & Oct. 1 2017 • 10:00am-12:00pm • $125

The college essay is a powerful tool for conveying a student’s personality while demonstrating capacities for introspection and maturity. Over two weekends, we explore the fundamentals of a great college essay—learning to recognize and avoid cliché, accessing stories that reconcile past experiences with future aspirations, and learning the art of self-evaluation and revision. The workshop is a chance for rising high school seniors to brainstorm and to begin writing their own college essays.

Alex McNeil and Andrew Vargas Delman are the founders of North Coast Prep, a tutoring and college counseling group that helps families navigate the process of applying to college with an emphasis on student health and mental wellbeing. They have extensive experience as tutors and teachers, application consultants, and writing advisors, and have written two short books—one about the “prestige trap” of college admissions, and another about their “whole person” approach to college applications.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Amanda Conran & Darcey Rosenblatt - Jumpstarting the Creative Process for Young Writers

Monday, August 14, 2017 - 9:00am

5 Days; Monday August 14 – Friday August 18, 2017  • 9 am – 12 pm • $325

Beginning Your Novel - Do you plan to write a novel someday? Start now! Spend the week with two local authors learning the basics of fiction writing. We’ll cover world building, character development, plotting and how to write dialogue and action scenes. We’ll talk about how to get started, stay organized and how to feed your creativity. Learn how to share the stories that are in your head. Open for ages 9 - 13years.  **Space is Limited**

Amanda Conran is the author of The Lost Celt, Goosebottom Books, 2016. She's also a children's book specialist, booktalker and the Ink book club facilitator at Book Passage.

Darcey Rosenblatt is the author of The Lost Boys, Henry Holt, August 2017. She writes for middle grade and teenage people because she believes at that age stories can be life changing – they were for her.  

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925


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