Virtual Events

Virtual Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics Book Group - Friday (via Zoom)

Friday, October 16, 2020 - 10:30am
photo of Pat Holt

Five Fridays: Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Jan. 15 & Feb. 12 • 10:30am – 12:30pm • $125 

Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Pat is the former book review editor of the SF Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

October 16
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Vander Vliet Oloomi

November 13
Weather by Jenny Offill

December 11
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

January 15
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

February 12
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

All titles are available at Book Passage. Please support your local, independent bookstore and buy from us.

Virtual Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics Book Group - Tuesday (via Zoom)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 10:30am
photo of Pat Holt

Five Tuesdays: Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8, Jan. 12 & Feb. 9 • 10:30am – 12:30pm • $125 

Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Pat is the former book review editor of the SF Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

October 13
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Vander Vliet Oloomi

November 10
Weather by Jenny Offill

December 8
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

January 12
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

February 9
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

All titles are available at Book Passage. Please support your local, independent bookstore and buy from us.

Virtual Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story (via Zoom)

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 4:00pm

Six Wednesdays: October 7, 14, 21, 28 & November 4, 11 • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $495 • 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

This class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop, with emphasis on the craft of writing a publishable travel story. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. This may be based on a recent close-to-home travel experience or on a memory of a past trip. In the workshop, we'll begin by closely reading, discussing, and critiquing examples of excellent travel writing. Then each participant will present their story idea for discussion and revision, and then write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. Each piece will be closely read and discussed in class. Subsequent classes will allow for revision, discussion, and further refinement of each piece. During the course of the workshop, in addition to individual critiques, we'll talk about the fine points of structure, pacing, and making your point. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories in widely known venues such as the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

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.

 

What Students Are Saying about Don George

“Don George's travel writing workshop was a rigorous, profound, magical experience, the product of a uniquely nurturing environment. Taking his courses has encouraged me to write without fear of failure, and with greater confidence and creativity than ever before. Any writer -- whether officially a travel writer, or any other writer considering issues of place -- should jump at the chance to work with him." 

-- Diane Vadino

"I have always wanted to take a writing workshop from Don George, but was never able to because I did not live in the Bay Area. When he offered his workshop virtually this year, I jumped at the chance and could not be happier with the experience. It motivated me to work on a piece and the feedback I received from the other attendees enabled me to take an "okay" piece I had written and turn it into a piece I'm really proud of by the end of the workshop. I ended up going in a different direction than intended, but it ended up being the right direction I could not see by myself. I would have not been able to get my writing to where it needed to be without Don and the workshop participants. I would sign up for another virtual workshop with Don George in a heartbeat.”

-- Lisa Boice

 

Virtual Class: Julia McNeal - Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character (via Zoom)

Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 1:30pm

Saturday, October 17 • 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75  • Hosted via Zoom
Format: Presentation, short interactive exercise, writing time, question & answer • Class size limited to 16
It is not necessary to have taken Ways One through Three first

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. Following the sold-out Way One class, Julia brings Ways Four and Five of the technique to Book Passage in a two-and-a-half-hour classes.

Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

In each class, you will learn useful practices to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page.

If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on Saturday, October 17th.  You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach 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.”

 

Two Virtual Classes: Julia McNeal - Ways Two and Three (October 3rd) & Ways Four and Five (October 17th) of the Five Ways In to Character (via Zoom)

Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 1:30pm

Two Saturdays: October 3 & 17 • 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75 (individual class); $125 (for both) • Hosted via Zoom
Ways Two and Three: October 3 • Ways Four and Five: October 17
Format: Presentation, short interactive exercise, writing time, question & answer • Class size limited to 16
It is not necessary to have taken Way One first

 

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. Following the sold-out Way One class, Julia brings the next Four Ways of the technique to Book Passage in 2, two-and-a-half-hour classes.

1. Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character (Saturday, October 3rd)

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique—focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to Class: a short paragraph (1–5 sentences) that describes or is in the voice of a character you are working on or thinking about.

2. Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character (Saturday, October 17th)

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

In each class, you will learn useful practices to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page.

If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on two Saturdays: October 3rd and 17th.  You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach 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.”

 

Reverend Al Sharpton - Rise Up (Virtual Event)

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 5:30pm

 

Thurs., October 1st • 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET • $50

Reverend Al Sharpton

In conversation with Alicia Garza


Purchase a ticket for this event and receive a complimentary copy of Rise Up, delivered right to your door!

 

A rousing call to action for today's turbulent political moment, drawing on lessons learned from Reverend Sharpton's unique experience as a politician, television and radio host, and civil rights leader.

When the young Alfred Charles Sharpton told his mother he wanted to be a preacher, little did he know that his journey would also lead him to prominence as a politician, founder of the National Action Network, civil rights activist, and television and radio talk show host. His enduring ability and willingness to take on the political power structure makes him the preeminent voice for the modern era, a time unprecedented in its challenges.

In Rise Up, Reverend Sharpton revisits the highlights of the Obama administration, the 2016 election and Trump's subsequent hold on the GOP, and draws on his decades-long experience with other key players in politics and activism, including Shirley Chisholm, Hillary Clinton, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and more.

Beginning with a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson and closing with Rev. Sharpton's moving eulogy for George Floyd, Rise Up offers timeless lessons for anyone who's stood at the crossroads of their personal or political life, weighing their choices of how to proceed.

Alicia Garza is an Oakland-based organizer, writer, public speaker, and freedom dreamer who is currently the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. Garza, along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, also co-founded the Black Lives Matter network, a globally recognized organizing project that focuses on combating anti-Black state-sanctioned violence and the oppression of all Black people.

 

Conversations with Authors - Michael Ian Black (Virtual Event)

Sunday, September 27, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Peggy Orenstein



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

 

Thank you so much to Elaine and Book Passage for hosting me in discussion with Peggy Orenstein about my new book, A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son. What a fun evening!

Some books I'm reading: as always, I'm reading a spy book. Currently The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva. Just finished Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. Recent reads: The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. Oh! Almost forgot — I'm reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for the first time.

Thanks again,
—Michael

 

Below, please find links to purchase their books as well as Michael's recommended titles.

 

 

Conversations with Authors - Terry Virts (Virtual Event)

Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, September 26th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Chuck Wendig



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

 

Terry VirtsHow to Astronaut is an insider’s guide to an experience few will ever know firsthand—the highs, lows, humor, and wonder of experiences including survival training, space shuttle emergencies, bad bosses, putting on a spacesuit, time travel, and more.

Colonel Terry Virts is a pilot, astronaut, author, and photographer. Terry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989, and a master of aeronautical science degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He began his career as an Air Force officer and pilot and was stationed in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, South Korea, Germany, California, and Texas. He has logged over 5,300 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft including combat time in the F-16 “Viper.” He has also served in multiple flying commands, Space Command, and Cyber Command. In 2010 he made his first spaceflight as pilot of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-130; delivering the now-famous Cupola, which provides astronauts with a 360° view of our planet and the universe. Virts attended Harvard Business School in the fall of 2011 and completed the General Management Programme, having been selected as NASA’s only candidate for that programme.

Selected by NASA in 2000, he was the pilot of STS-130 mission aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. In March 2015, Terry assumed command of the International Space Station, and spent over 200 days on it. He is one of the stars (and photographers) of the IMAX film, A Beautiful Planet, released in April 2016. He is also the author of View from Above. He is also one of only four astronauts ever to have piloted a space shuttle, flown on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, performed space walks, and commanded the ISS.

Chuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog, terribleminds.com, and his books about writing. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

 

Below, please find links to purchase their books.

 

Jodi Picoult in conversation with Jojo Moyes - The Book of Two Ways (Virtual Event)

Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 4:00pm

 

Thurs., September 24th • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET • $40

Jodi Picoult

in conversation with Jojo Moyes


Purchase a ticket for this event and receive a complimentary copy of The Book of Two Ways, delivered right to your door!

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a riveting novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

 

Conversations with Authors - Sigrid Nunez (Virtual Event)

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 4:00pm

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Laura van den Berg



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

 

A note from Sigrid:

Dear all,

My thanks to Elaine for inviting me to talk with Laura van den Berg last night. I hope everyone listening enjoyed it, and I send you all a very big warm thanks from me for being there.

And since we were talking about humor in fiction, I’d like to recommend a book by Cathleen Schine, a novelist with, among many other gifts, a marvelous comic touch. The book came out a couple of years ago and is soon out in paperback: The Grammarians. Another book that came out recently that I’d like to recommend is Peter Cameron’s beautiful new novel What Happens at Night.

With all best wishes,
—Sigrid

 

Sigrid Nunez’s new novel What Are You Going Through—a surprising story about empathy and the unusual ways one person can help another through—offers a moving and provocative portrait of the way we live now.

Sigrid is the author of the novels Salvation City, The Last of Her Kind, A Feather on the Breath of God, For Rouenna, and the National Book Award-winning The Friend, among others. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. She has been the recipient of several awards, including a Whiting Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. Nunez lives in New York City.

Laura van den Berg is the author of the story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, and the novels Find Me and The Third Hotel, which was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She is the recipient of a Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and is a two-time finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her third collection of stories, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, was published in July. Born and raised in Florida, Laura splits her time between the Boston area and Central Florida, with her husband and dog.

 

Below, please find links to purchase their own books, as well as Sigrid's recommended titles.

 

 

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