Writing Classes

Italian for Travel with Valentina Medda

Thursday, July 11, 2024 - 12:30pm


Italian for Travel

Valentina Medda

Three Thursdays

 July 11, 18, & 25, 2024

  10:30am – 12:30pm

Corte Madera - $175

 

Our three-session traveler's class is perfect for those planning a trip to Italy. You will learn essential language skills and cultural insights to make your trip smoother. You’ll be able to order your spritz before dinner, ask for directions, reserve a taxi or a table at a restaurant, check-in at the hotel or Airbnb, purchase tickets to a museum, or indulge in some serious shopping in Milan...and much more! Don't miss out on this opportunity to make your Italian adventure more immersive and unforgettable.
 

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

Italian Conversation, Advanced Beginner with Valentina Medda

Friday, June 7, 2024 - 10:30am


Italian Conversation: Advanced Beginner

Valentina Medda

Five Fridays
June 7, 14, 28 and July 12, 26, 2024

  10:30am – 12:00pm

Corte Madera - $220

 

Join Valentina for a fun and communicative approach to Italian. This conversation class is for students who have completed Beginner 4 and up at Book Passage, or Italian learners with an advanced beginner proficiency. Students will find this 5-week Italian course a great opportunity for vocabulary enrichment and reinforcement of previously acquired knowledge. During our 5 weeks together, students will put their Italian language skills into practice, through conversation, listening, and a variety of hands-on learning activities, including role-playing scenarios, group discussions, and fun games.

Please note: Students must have familiarity with the passato prossimo (the simple past tense) to enroll in this class!

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

Italian Conversation, Lower Beginner with Valentina Medda

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 10:30am


Italian Conversation: Lower Beginner

Valentina Medda

Six Thursdays
June 6, 13, 27 and July 11, 18, 25, 2024

  10:30am – 12:00pm

Corte Madera - $265

 

Join Valentina for a fun and communicative introduction to the Italian language. This 6-week Italian course caters to students at a lower beginner proficiency level seeking additional practice opportunities. Students will focus on conversation, listening, and various hands-on learning activities. These include engaging in role-playing scenarios, participating in group discussions, and enjoying interactive games.

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

Phil Cousineau - Writing Down the Country: On the Road Research

Thursday, August 8, 2024 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


A Special Travel Writers and Photographers Conference 2024 Pre-Conference Class

Writing Down the Country:
On the Road Research

Thursday, August 8th, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

Corte Madera in-person class

 

 

 

Join author and storyteller, Phil Cousineau, in the venerable art of what correspondents used to call "writing down the country," which combines avid on-site research with scintillating prose. Cousineau will explore ways of traveling to thoroughly gather the background for your travel stories, novels, and scripts. Featuring slides from his own travels, writing prompts and exercises, this class will demonstrate the joy and exhilaration of travel writing that aims to capture the spirit of the places you are visiting. 
 
Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller, TV and radio host. His life-long fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him on many journeys around the world. He lectures frequently on a wide range of topics--from mythology, film, and writing, to beauty, travel, sports, and creativity. He has more than 30 nonfiction books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.

 

Read more about the 2024 Travel Writers and Photographers Conference here.

 

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

Crafting Compelling Characters & Dialogue with Anoop Judge

Thursday, June 20, 2024 - 5:00pm

Crafting Compelling Characters & Dialogue

Two Thursdays, June 20 and 27
5:00PM -7:00PM

$125

Online via Zoom
Classes will be recorded and video replay will be available for a limited time. 

 
* Note that for all classes held on Zoom, registration closes at noon the day before the class begins.  Same-day registrations are not available, so please plan ahead.

 

In this two-day workshop, students will explore how to craft compelling characters and dialogue for any genre (fiction, essays, nonfiction, or memoir).

Meeting 1, Character: Characters are the heartbeat of any story. Through them, we can explore and make sense of the world. During our first meeting, we will explore the tools you need to develop a variety of compelling characters with their own storylines and adventures. Learn to create a protagonist you can’t wait to meet.

Meeting 2, Dialogue: How can you best give voice to your characters? Dialogue serves many essential functions. In this meeting, we’ll examine the range of ways that great writers incorporate dialogue into their prose. You’ll also learn how to avoid dialogue pitfalls like wordiness, clunkiness, ambivalence, and wishy-washiness. 


Anoop Judge, born and raised in New Delhi, is the author of four novels, The Rummy Club which won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, The Awakening of Meena Rawat, an excerpt of which was nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize, No Ordinary Thursday, and Mercy and Grace. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Rigorous Journal, Lit Hub, Lumiere Review, DoubleBack Review, and the Ornament anthology, among others. Anoop calls herself a “recovering litigator” —she worked in state and federal courts for many years before she replaced legal briefs with fictional tales. She holds an MFA from St. Mary’s College of California and was the recipient of the 2021 Advisory Board Award and the 2023 Alumni Scholarship. Anoop has worked as an Instructor at Stanford University and through The Writer's Grotto in San Francisco, teaching classes on Novel Writing, and How to Plot a Novel.

Zoom
CA

Hidden Gems of Art in Italy with Kerrin Meis

Friday, June 28, 2024 - 1:00pm


Hidden Gems of Art in Italy

Two Fridays -  June 28 & July 12, 2024
1:00PM-3:00PM PT

Corte Madera Store
$120 for both, $65 for one session

 


Join Kerrin Meis for this special, two-part presentation on the many excursions she made with her brother-in-law from his home in San Giusto. We will discover many masterpieces- some in tiny villages, others in better-known cities and churches. From Benedetto Antelami's tiny stone plaque in the Cathedral in Parma where we had gone to admire the famous ceiling fresco, to Piero della Francesca's Madonna del Parto in a tiny chapel in the village of Monterchi, to Caravaggio's Madonna and the Pilgrims tucked away in the mostly ignored Church of San Agostino in Rome.

Every trip was an adventure of discovery: A little known church at the edge of town in San Gimignano, a private museum in Milano, the most important but little visited attraction in Verona, Vicenza's fascinating field trip, papal Pienza, and a tiny chapel in Assisi. Perugia has some stunning art work including a palace museum and an underground city. Modena, famous as the home of Ferraris and Luciano Pavarotti has a Duomo with an absolutely captivating Romanesque facade. In Orvieto, the cathedral is home not only to Signorelli's Last Judgment but some intriguing portraits.

These and many more surprises await us beginning with the city of Udine, a place that is a work of art in itself, then on to Castiglione Olona where Masolino, famous for his work in Rome painted murals for the Collegiata and elsewhere.



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

Artists Responses to Dante with Kerrin Meis

Friday, May 31, 2024 - 1:00pm


Artists Responses to Dante's Divine Comedy

Two Fridays - May 31 and June 7, 2024
1:00PM-3:00PM

Corte Madera Store
$120 for both, $65 for one session

 

Join Kerrin Meis for a two-part presentation on the artwork inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy. Written from 1301 to 1329 by exiled Florentine Dante Alighieri, this magnum opus of Italian literature and arguably the greatest single poem in Western culture has created more responses by artists of all media than the Bible.

We will look at painting, drawing, and sculpture illustrating Dante's vision of the soul's afterlife in the nine circles of the Inferno, the terraces of Purgatory, and the heavens of Paradise, as depicted by the following artists:

  • Giovanni di Paolo
  • Salvador Dali
  • 92 drawings by Botticelli
  • Domenico di Michelino's fresco
  • Recently exhibited works by Federico Zuccari
  • Henry Fuseli, William Blake, and Dante Rossetti in England
  • J.A.D. Ingres, Eugene Delacroix, and Auguste Rodin in France
  • The erotic works of Franz von Bayros

And of course many, many more!

We shall meet some of the fascinating inhabitants of Dante's poem, perhaps the most famous being Cato, Paolo and Francesca, Ugolino and Pia de' Tolomei. Why do they occupy the particular spot Dante has resigned them to? We will meet his "guides": the ghost of the Latin poet Virgil, the deceased Beatrice - the young Florentine girl Dante worshipped but never spoke to - and St. Bernard of Clairvaux in the Paradiso.

We will learn why Dante was exiled, where his wanderings took him, and when the ideas for a poem began to come together. Did he ever get back to Florence and the beloved Baptistery of San Giovanni? No, he died in Ravenna, and his tomb is still there. 



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

The History of the Book with Kerrin Meis

Friday, June 14, 2024 - 1:00pm


The History of the Book

Friday, June 14, 2024
1:00PM-3:00PM 

Corte Madera Store

$65

 

 
 

In this class, we will study the development of writing in Ancient Syria to the invention of the alphabet, then learn the different surfaces on which to write - bamboo, silk, papyrus, parchment, vellum and finally paper, the technique developed in China and brought to Europe on the Silk Road. We see how the awkward scroll was replaced by the Codex, a major development in the art of the book. The most significant development was the invention of movable type in Mainz, Germany with Guttenberg. Printing houses like Caxton and the Aldine Press in Venice took great pride in their editions.

Why books? What were the subjects? Medical treatises, Histories of the World all illustrated beautifully. We will look at travel books, children's books, and as the reading public expands, the yellow paperback. The late Nineteenth Century brought a proliferation of large, beautifully illustrated art books with tipped in plates. But then, the next development is the E-Book or Kindle. All good things must come to an end? Let's hope not! A book is a work of art, and we shall enjoy looking at some outstanding examples.

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

Writing from the Heart with Cindy Rasicot

Saturday, May 18, 2024 - 11:00am


Writing From the Heart

Saturday, May 18, 2024
11am-1pm 
Corte Madera Store
$80

 

 

Join Cindy Rasicot for this special workshop following the publication of her new book, This Fresh Existence: Heart Teachings from Bhikkhuni Dhammananda. Writing from the heart is a unique approach to discover the richness of our stories and our authentic voice. Through a series of guided meditations and prompts, students will tap into the power of their imaginations and discover gems of wisdom. There will be time to share work in a safe setting. This two-hour class is for writers of any level who want to make a fresh start, discover the joy of writing, and be truly inspired!

Students should bring a notebook or journal for writing exercises. Writing exercises will be designed to explore these four guiding principles:

  • Silencing the Critical Voice
  • Creating Sanctuary
  • Embracing Vulnerability
  • Experiencing Joy

 

Cindy Rasicot is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist. She has led writing workshops for the past five years. She is the author of This Fresh Existence: Heart Teachings from Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, which tells the remarkable life of Venerable Dhammananda and shares her gentle wisdom about how to live a more powerful and compassionate life. Cindy received novice temporary ordination twice from Bhikkhuni Dhammananda at her all-female monastery, Songdhammakalyani Temple, in Nakon Pathom, Thailand. In 2020 Cindy wrote the award-winning memoir Finding Venerable Mother: A Daughter’s Spiritual Quest to Thailand. The book was a finalist in the international Book awards, The Sarton Awards, and Chanticleer International Book Awards. She hosts the YouTube program, Casual Buddhism, a series of conversations with Venerable Dhammananda about spiritual issues and Buddhist practices. Guests have included Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Boorstein, Joan Halifax, and many others. Cindy lives in Pt. Richmond, where she enjoys beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay. Learn more about Cindy at www.cindyrasicot.com.

 

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Hallie Ephron - Plotting a Mystery Novel: The Secret's in the Secrets

Friday, July 19, 2024 - 9:00am to 11:30pm


A Special Mystery Writers Conference 2024 Pre-Conference Class

Plotting a Mystery Novel:
The Secret's in the Secrets

Friday July 19th, 9:00 – 11:30 am PT

Corte Madera in-person class

 

 

An essential truth about mystery novels is that characters harbor secrets. They lie, and not always to hide their own guilt. In this workshop we'll outline the overall structure of a mystery novel, and how to use the revelation of secrets to fuel the plot. Participants will examine their own work in progress to identify how secrets are (and can be) harnessed to keep readers engaged, enthralled, and guessing.

 

Topics covered will include:

Understanding how secrets and lies fuel a mystery

Misdirection: Using secrets to implicate, exonerate, and motivate

The protagonist’s secrets

The victim’s secrets

The villain's secrets

The role of backstory and how to use it to reveal secrets

Revealing secrets strategically to make readers keep turning pages

The all important POV narrator decisions (first person, third person, multiple)

 

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 2024 Mystery Writers Conference here.

 

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

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