Writing Classes

Corte Madera Class: Valentina Medda - Italian for Beginners

Thursday, June 1, 2023 - 1:30pm


Italian for Beginners

Eight Thursdays ( June 1st - July 20th  1:30pm – 3:00 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Join Valentina for a fun and communicative introduction to the Italian language. You will start from the basics, learning and practicing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Communicate in Italian at a basic user level.
  • Engage in simple social interactions in Italian - ask and answer simple questions about familiar topics.
  • Use classroom language, greetings, expressions of salutation and courtesy, basic commands.
  • Pronounce Italian words correctly and speak with the right intonation.
  • Learn about Italian culture and the ways Italians communicate.
  • Order a cappuccino or a spritz like a pro, impressing the locals while vacationing in Italy.

Please contact us at classes@bookpassage.com if you have questions about which level class is best for you.


 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Store Class: Britta Stromeyer Esmail - Time to Write! A Prompt Writing Workshop

Saturday, May 6, 2023 - 10:30am


Time to Write! A Prompt Writing Workshop

Saturday - May 6th • 10:30am-12:30pm PT

Corte Madera Store • $80

 

 

Let's make time to write together. Britta will share a brief writing craft lesson and a piece of another author’s work to inspire you. She will then offer a prompt related to that lesson and you will have time to sit and write. During this two-hour workshop Britta will inspire you to stay connected to your creative mind as you work on a new prompt every 10-15 minutes. It's like speed-dating for writers (without the date!) There will be plenty of time for sharing at the end. Time to write!

 

Britta Stromeyer Esmail is the author of the award winning picture book Raina’s (UN) Happy Birthday and Finalist for the Bellingham Review Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction 2021. She is an editor of Tuxedo Literature & Arts Journal and the associate editor for FastForward Magazine. She teaches creative writing workshops for adults and youth, grades 5-12. She holds a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University, an M.A. in International Communication from American University, and is currently an MFA’23 candidate at Dominican University, CA. She is a member of and advocate for the National Writing Project Council, the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, and the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge. Her second picture book, Look at Me. Who Do You See? is forthcoming in 2023. www.brittastromeyer.com

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - The Aesthetic Movement: Art for Art's Sake

Friday, May 12, 2023 - 1:00pm to Friday, May 19, 2023 - 3:30pm


THE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT: ART FOR ART’S SAKE

Two Fridays ( May 12th & 19th  1:00 – 3:15 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Dismayed by what they considered terrible Victorian taste, a group of artists resolved to banish historicism, moralizing messages, and art that was frankly ugly to create art that was simply beautiful with no underlying meaning. They adopted the word Aesthetic to describe their goals.  

Major figures in the movement were:

  • James Mc Neill Whistler 
  • Frederic Lord Leighton 
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti (who had survived his connection with the Pre-Raphaelites)
  • Alfred Moore 
  • G. F. Watts
  • Aubrey Beardsley
  • architects E.W. Godwin and Christopher Dresser. 

They adopted the slogan "Art for Art's Sake," a phrase originally coined in France by Theophile Gautier. Supporting the ideals of the movement were outspoken critics Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde. As an attack against the Industrial Revolution and mass production, Aestheticism understandably evolved into something called the Arts and Crafts Movement, led by William Morris and Philip Webb. 

We will look at paintings, furniture, decorative objects and architecture, especially two houses, that of Lord Leighton and that of William Morris and a room by Whistler.

 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Hallie Ephron - Creating a Compelling Protagonist

Friday, July 21, 2023 - 9:00am


A Special Mystery Writers Conference 2023 Pre-Conference Class

Creating a Compelling Protagonist:
Making The Reader Care

Friday July 21st, 9:00 – 11:30 am PT

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

A crime fiction editor once told me that when she reads a manuscript, she’s looking for a protagonist so compelling that readers will care about what happened to that character before the book opens and what’s going to happen to that character after the book ends. That character’s journey should be transformational so that by the end of the novel, they are changed in some fundamental way. And what makes the transformation matter is often some experience in that character’s past that motivates them to “get it right this time.”

In this workshop, we’ll walk through the process of planning and developing a compelling main character--from coming up with a name to finding those details that ignite their first appearance. We’ll also explore elements such as: how to use character to drive a narrative voice, how to deepen viewpoint, and how to develop compelling character relationships and conflicts.

 

New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, writes books she hopes readers can’t put down. Her newest suspense novel, Careful What You Wish For, with its echoes of Marie Kondo life-changing decluttering tips, explores the relationships built by professional organizers and their clients — showing just how easily the lines between professional and personal can be blurred.

 

Read more about the 2023 Mystery Writers Conference here.

 

 
 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - “Under the Radar” Art Museums In America

Friday, April 14, 2023 - 1:00pm


“UNDER THE RADAR” ART MUSEUMS IN AMERICA

Two Fridays ( April 14th & 21st  1:00 – 3:15 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

On our endless search for great art in unexpected places, we can find some in our own backyard and others in cities better known for more famed attractions. 

In this class we will visit the some of the following:

  • The astonishing Crocker Museum in Sacramento
  • The Cantor Center at Stanford, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden and the Anderson Collection
  • The Timken Museum in San Diego
  • The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena
  • The Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles with lunch there at Alice Water's LULU
  • The Meadows Museum at SMU in Dallas housing the largest collection of Spanish and Latin American art in the country
  • The Blanton Museum at the University of Austin including Ellsworth Kelly's monumental AUSTIN  
  • The Sydney and Walter Besthoff  Sculpture Garden in New Orleans 
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, exhibiting on a 66-acre estate one of the preeminent collections of art in America spanning Western and non-Western Art from Ancient times to the 21st century 
  • The Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis with its outstanding collection of porcelains, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings displayed in elegant galleries and a park-like garden for which one must bring one thing: time!

 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - World Expos: Art and Culture

Friday, March 10, 2023 - 1:00pm


World Expos: Art and Culture

Two Fridays ( March 10th & 17th  1:00 – 3:15 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

What was the purpose of these costly International Expositions? Which were successful, which not, and why? What architecture and monuments remain? 

Art historian Kerrin Meis will take you on a tour of the most intriguing of these extravaganzas beginning with three hosted by the July Monarchy in Paris in the 1840s. Also special attention given to:

  • Prince Albert's brainchild, the International Exhibition in London in 1851 held in Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace
  • The Expo Universelle in Paris in 1855 which had to compete with Courbet's Pavilion of Realism
  • the disaster of the Expo in Vienna in 1873, and the fantastic Paris Expo in 1889 celebrating all kinds things including the Tour Eiffel
  • The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893
  • the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915 
  • the Ibero-American Exposition in Seville in 1929-30

Some of these affairs offered interesting developments in painting, sculpture and music  and some left behind spectacular architecture and other monuments. When did the Saxophone get introduced? Where was the original Ferris Wheel? What paintings were exhibited in 1915? What was the influence of Japan on these European festivals of progress? Learn all of this and more in Kerrin’s March offering.

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - London: The National Gallery plus Some Hidden Gems

Friday, February 17, 2023 - 1:00pm


London: The National Gallery plus Some Hidden Gems

Two Fridays ( February 17th & 24th  1:00 – 3:15 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Unlike major museums on the continent: The Louvre, The Uffizi, and others, The National Gallery did not evolve from a royal or princely collection. It was founded in 1824 with the express goal of educating the people. The museum is encyclopedic in scope and tells the history of European painting from Giotto to Seurat in over 2,300 works, which were for many years hung chronologically creating a wall of masterpieces that told a story. Let us find ourselves on Trafalgar Square, honor Lord Nelson, enter the museum and then, as early  nineteenth-century Londoners did, encounter hugely important works by Cimabue, Giotto, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Titian, Bellini, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci (The Virgin of the Rocks), Hans Holbein, Duerer, Jan van Eyck (The Arnolfini Wedding), Vermeer, Rubens, Caravaggio (three important paintings), Velazquez, Rembrandt, Gainsborough (The Morning Walk), Constable and Turner (The Fighting Temeraire)  and on to Manet,  Monet, Degas and Cezanne. Here are some of these artists' most famous works. Then we visit the hugely informative Museum of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the spectacular Museum of Natural History. The Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens - over 800 paintings of botanical species in their natural settings, Kenwood House and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - Sargent and Other American Artists' Love Affair with Spain

Friday, January 13, 2023 - 1:00pm


Sargent and Other American Artists' Love Affair with Spain

Two Fridays ( January 13th & 20st  1:00 – 3:15 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Why this fascination? Sargent made seven trips to Spain. Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and Robert Frederick Blum all fell under the spell of this country that writer Theophile Gautier observed was not made for European ways because "the genius of the Orient pervades all her forms.” For Sargent it was first Velazquez whose example he closely followed. And for all it was the presence of other Spanish artists past and present, from Goya to Sorolla and Mariano Fortuny. Where in Europe were there splendid monuments to the nearly 800 years of Islamic rule in most of the country? They were seduced by the culture: the music, the dance, especially the presence of the Roma - their cave dwellings and the ever-present Flamenco embodied by Sargent's El Jaleo. Cassatt and Henri were fascinated by that spectacularly Spanish ritual: La Corrida de Toros, or the bullfight, that had proved irresistible to the French painter Edouard Manet. We will study the works these Americans and their Spanish cohorts created as well as the sources of their inspiration. No one escapes the Alhambra! Sargent painted Torre de los Picos, Alhambra when he was twelve years old.

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Store and Zoom Class: Britta Stromeyer Esmail - Petite Prose

Sunday, February 26, 2023 - 11:00am


Petite Prose: Crash Course in Writing Flash Fiction

Sunday - February 26th • 11:00am-1:00pm PT

Corte Madera Store and Live on Zoom • $95

 

 

“A Flash is simply a story in miniature, a work of art carved on a grain of rice.” — Tara Masih 

What if 100, 500 or 1000 words is all you’ve got to take a reader’s breath away? In this series we will examine the craft of writing short-short stories, understanding fundamentals of craft terminology and how these elements function within very short stories. Develop an awareness of how to read as a writer which will inform all of your writing. Suitable for all levels, we will primarily focus on very short fiction in various forms. Instructor will provide examples and various writing prompts.

*You can attend individual sessions or the entire series.

Britta Stromeyer Esmail is the author of the award winning picture book Raina’s (UN) Happy Birthday and Finalist for the Bellingham Review Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction 2021. She is an editor of Tuxedo Literature & Arts Journal and the associate editor for FastForward Magazine. She teaches creative writing workshops for adults and youth, grades 5-12. She holds a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University, an M.A. in International Communication from American University, and is currently an MFA’23 candidate at Dominican University, CA. She is a member of and advocate for the National Writing Project Council, the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, and the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge. Her second picture book, Look at Me. Who Do You See? is forthcoming in 2023. www.brittastromeyer.com

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Store and Zoom Class: Britta Stromeyer Esmail - Petite Prose: Narration & POV

Sunday, February 12, 2023 - 11:00am


Petite Prose: Crash Course in Writing Flash Fiction
Narration & POV

Sunday - February 12th • 11:00am-1:00pm PT

Corte Madera Store and Live on Zoom • $95


For a Discount, Register for the Full Series Here: REGISTER HERE

 

“A Flash is simply a story in miniature, a work of art carved on a grain of rice.” — Tara Masih 

What if 100, 500 or 1000 words is all you’ve got to take a reader’s breath away? In this series we will examine the craft of writing short-short stories, understanding fundamentals of craft terminology and how these elements function within very short stories. Develop an awareness of how to read as a writer which will inform all of your writing. Suitable for all levels, we will primarily focus on very short fiction in various forms. Instructor will provide examples and various writing prompts.

*You can attend individual sessions or the entire series.

Britta Stromeyer Esmail is the author of the award winning picture book Raina’s (UN) Happy Birthday and Finalist for the Bellingham Review Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction 2021. She is an editor of Tuxedo Literature & Arts Journal and the associate editor for FastForward Magazine. She teaches creative writing workshops for adults and youth, grades 5-12. She holds a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University, an M.A. in International Communication from American University, and is currently an MFA’23 candidate at Dominican University, CA. She is a member of and advocate for the National Writing Project Council, the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, and the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge. Her second picture book, Look at Me. Who Do You See? is forthcoming in 2023. www.brittastromeyer.com

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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