Virtual Events

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 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.

Conversations with Authors - David Allen Sibley (Virtual Event)

Sunday, August 23, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with John Muir Laws

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


David Allen Sibley’s new What it’s Like to Be a Bird is the definitive bird book for birders and nonbirders alike, one sure excite and inspire by providing a new, deeper understanding of what common—mostly backyard—birds are doing and why.

David is the author and illustrator of the series of successful guides to nature that bear his name, including The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has contributed to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, BirdWatching, and North American Birds, and to The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and the Linnaean Society of New York’s Eisenmann Medal. He lives and birds in Massachusetts.

John (Jack) Muir Laws has written and illustrated several books including How to Teach Nature Journaling (co-authored with Emilie Lygren), The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide, and The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. He is a regular contributor to Bay Nature magazine with his “Naturalists Notebook” column.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Susan Minot (Virtual Event)

Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Jordan Pavlin

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Dear Book Passage and Readers,

Many, many thanks to Elaine for having me and my beloved editor Jordan Pavlin, and for letting me see a bookstore behind you in the background. Thanks also for the tip about listening to audio books on LibroFM which funnels a percentage of funds to independent bookstores.  

And while I have the stage, a reminder to everyone to VOTE.

Below are the books I have been reading (I have more time):

Best wishes,


Below, please find links to purchase Susan's own books as well as each of the titles she recommends.



Conversations with Authors - Darin Strauss (Virtual Event)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 4:00pm

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Kelly Corrigan

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Darin Strauss’ new novel, The Queen of Tuesday: A Lucille Ball Story, mixes fact and fiction, memoir and novel, to explore the conceit that the author’s grandfather may have had an affair with Hollywood’s Lucille Ball.

Darin is the acclaimed author of the memoir Half a Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, an Entertainment Weekly “Must List” selection, a Chicago Tribune Editor’s Pick, and one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle. He is also the renowned author of the novels Chang and Eng, The Real McCoy, and the international bestseller More Than It Hurts You. He is a compelling speaker whose experience includes universities, libraries, book festivals, and corporations. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing, Darin is a clinical associate professor at NYU’s creative writing program.

Kelly Corrigan‘s Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say is a wonderfully personal, honest, and hilarious examination of the essential phrases that make love and connection possible. She has been called “the voice of her generation” by O: The Oprah Magazine and “the poet laureate of the ordinary” by HuffPost. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Middle Place, Lift, and Glitter and Glue. Kelly is the host of Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan premiering on PBS October 5 and the host of a new podcast coming from PRX, also in October.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Christine Montross, M.D. (Virtual Event)

Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, August 16th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Susannah Cahalan

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Dr. Christine Montross’ important new work, Waiting for an Echo, reveals the psychological toll of incarceration and examines how we disproportionately punish people of color, people who are poor, and people who are mentally ill.

A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction, Christine is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is a practicing inpatient psychiatrist and performs forensic psychiatric examinations. She completed medical school and residency training at Brown University, where she received the Isaac Ray Award in Psychiatry and the Martin B. Keller Outstanding Brown Psychiatry Resident Award.

Her first book, Body of Work, was named an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times and one of The Washington Post’s best nonfiction books of 2007. Her second book, Falling Into the Fire, was named a New Yorker Book to Watch Out For. She has also written for many national publications including The New York Times, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Washington Post Book World, Good Housekeeping, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She has been named a 2017-2018 Faculty Fellow at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, a 2010 MacColl Johnson Fellow in Poetry, and the winner of the 2009 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Emerging Indiana Authors Award. She has also had several poems published in literary journals, and her manuscript Embouchure was a finalist for the National Poetry Series.

Susannah Cahalan is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness, a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - John Shea (Virtual Event)

Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Phil Cousineau

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


John Shea is the co-writer of the instant New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid in which the legendary Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field. John is the San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer and columnist. He is in his 33rd year covering baseball, including 28 in the Bay Area. He has written three baseball books, including Rickey Henderson’s biography (Off Base: Confessions of a Thief) and Magic by the Bay, an account of the 1989 World Series. He has also won several Associated Press Sports Editors awards, including first place in the nation for a World Series game story. He’s a two-time Bay Area chairman of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and created the Bill Rigney Good Guy Award, given each year to a Giant and Athletic who is most accommodating to the media.

Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, and storyteller and TV host. His fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him from Michigan to Marrakesh, Iceland to the Amazon, in a worldwide search for what the ancients called the “soul of the world.” With more than 35 books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name, the “omnipresent influence of myth in modern life” is a thread that runs through all of his work. His books include Stoking the Creative Fires, Once and Future Myths, The Art of Pilgrimage, The Hero’s Journey, Wordcatcher, The Painted Word, The Oldest Story in the World, The Book of Roads, and The Accidental Aphorist.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



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

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.”

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.

Conversations with Authors - Michelle Bowdler (Virtual Event)

Sunday, August 9, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, August 9th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Ayelet Waldman

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Michelle Bowdler’s debut blend of memoir and cultural investigation, Is Rape a Crime?, tells the story of her rape and recovery while interrogating why one of society’s most serious crimes goes largely uninvestigated.

Michelle is a recipient of a 2017 Barbara Deming Memorial Award for non-fiction and has been a Fellow at Ragdale and MacDowell Colony. She has been published in the New York Times and in the anthologies The Anatomy of Silence and We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action. Her essays Eventually You Tell Your Kids and Babelogue were both nominated for Pushcart Prizes.

Ayelet Waldman is the author of A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, the novels Love & Treasure, Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter’s Keeper, as well as of the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, and the Mommy-Track Mystery series. She is the editor of Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons and of Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Yiyun Li (Virtual Event)

Saturday, August 8, 2020 - 4:00pm


Saturday, August 8th • 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT

Yiyun Li

in conversation with Elizabeth McCracken

Conversations with Authors is our free virtual event series! Join us every Saturday and Sunday at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT for a new chat with a different author.


Yiyun Li's new novel, Must I Go, tells the story of a woman reflecting on her uncompromising life and on the life of a former lover, navigating the twin poles of grief and resilience with great candor and insight. She is the author of the novels Where Reasons End, Kinder Than Solitude, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, as well as the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. She is also the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize, and was featured in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 fiction issue. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of six books: Bowlaway, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your HurryThe Giant’s House, Niagara Falls All Over AgainAn Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, and Thunderstruck & Other Stories, which won the 2015 story prize. She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University, the University of Oregon, the University of Houston, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  She holds the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas, Austin, and boy are her arms tired.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.




Subscribe to RSS - Virtual Events