Writing Classes

Anjali Andrea Alban - Writer's Tribe (Winter)

Sunday, January 5, 2020 - 2:00pm
photo of Anjali Andrea Alban

Four Sundays: Jan 5, Jan 19, Feb 2, Feb 16 • 2:00 pm - 5:00pm • $260

This class has been canceled because of the teacher's scheduling conflict. We hope you will register for the spring session instead.

Prerequisite: Must have written a picture book or first 25 pages of a novel.

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect and honesty with a mission to develop self-editing mastery. The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, snappy dialog, and page-turning plots.

Anjali Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including The Happiness Tree and Anya’s War. She edits manuscripts and coaches writers on preparing submissions to editors and agents.

What Students Are Saying about Anjali Andrea Alban

What I most appreciate about Anjali is her optimism and support. She has been like a college professor giving me valuable lessons in picture book creation. I appreciate her honesty and the writing exercises she prescribed to find my voice. It's been an incredible journey with Anjali as my story midwife! —Allison Fragakis, Author

Anjali Alban is very funny. Her presentation at the New World of Publishing Conference in Santa Cruz sounded like a lively conversation with a favorite friend. Anjali is the epitome of creativity, and she relishes life, qualities that are reflected in her presentation as well as her writing. —Melanie Coon, Special Education Teacher and Memoirist

Anjali's class has improved my writing beyond my greatest expectations. Not only does the Writer's Tribe help strengthen your craft, but in providing feedback to one another, you learn 12 times the amount of helpful advice...and make friends in the process. I am looking forward to coming back! -- Megan Pickett

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Anjali Andrea Alban - Writer's Tribe (Spring)

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 2:00pm
photo of Anjali Andrea Alban

Four Sundays: Mar 15, Apr 19, May 17, Jun 7 • 2:00 pm - 5:00pm • $260

Prerequisite: Must have written a picture book or first 25 pages of a novel.

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect and honesty with a mission to develop self-editing mastery. The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, snappy dialog, and page-turning plots.

Anjali Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including The Happiness Tree and Anya’s War. She edits manuscripts and coaches writers on preparing submissions to editors and agents.

What Students Are Saying about Anjali Andrea Alban

What I most appreciate about Anjali is her optimism and support. She has been like a college professor giving me valuable lessons in picture book creation. I appreciate her honesty and the writing exercises she prescribed to find my voice. It's been an incredible journey with Anjali as my story midwife! —Allison Fragakis, Author

Anjali Alban is very funny. Her presentation at the New World of Publishing Conference in Santa Cruz sounded like a lively conversation with a favorite friend. Anjali is the epitome of creativity, and she relishes life, qualities that are reflected in her presentation as well as her writing. —Melanie Coon, Special Education Teacher and Memoirist

Anjali's class has improved my writing beyond my greatest expectations. Not only does the Writer's Tribe help strengthen your craft, but in providing feedback to one another, you learn 12 times the amount of helpful advice...and make friends in the process. I am looking forward to coming back! -- Megan Pickett

Anya's War Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250073525
Availability: Special Order
Published: Square Fish - March 29th, 2016

Anya Rosen and her family have left their home in Odessa for Shanghai, believing that China will be a safe haven from Hitler's forces. At first, Anya's life in the Jewish Quarter of Shanghai is privileged and relatively carefree: she has crushes on boys, fights with her mother, and longs to defy expectations just like her hero, Amelia Earhart.


The Happiness Tree: Celebrating the Gifts of Trees We Treasure Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780312370176
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 2nd, 2008

This celebration of one of Earth's most precious resources embraces the beauty of trees and brings them to life with attributes sure to resonate with readers of all ages: peace, generosity, love, and happiness. With a detailed index of state trees, THE HAPPINESS TREE is a welcome reminder that everything good begins right here.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Julia McNeal - Techniques for Writing Compelling Characters

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 10:00am
photo of Julia McNeal, writing teacher, actor

Saturday, November 9 • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm • $150

Believable, compelling characters with nuanced authentic voices and internal drive turn a good story into a great one. An actor for over 30 years, Julia McNeal (Law & Order; Magic Theatre) has developed a distinct technique for creating multiple characters that works superbly for writers to get unique, believable voices onto the page. You’ll come away with a set of specific tools to use - that work every time - to create characters your readers can really invest in. 

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

"Julia is a very sincere and effective instructor. The tools and approach she presented were totally new to me and helped me see writing in a new light. The topics covered and the takeaway lessons FAR exceeded my expectations. I'll be using the tools Julia taught for a LONG time.” – -- Dick D.

"The class was great! It really gave me lots of inspiration and ideas to work with." -- J. Henderson

"Lots of good writing exercises to develop our ability to create different characters. Julia is an excellent instructor and motivator." -- Frances D.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Leslie Keenan - You Can Complete That Book!

Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 10:00am
photo of Leslie Keenan, writing coach, editor

Saturday, November 16 • 10:00am - 4:00pm • $150

Have you started a book but haven’t been able to finish it? Leave this class with a strategy for completing your book! Leslie Keenan has 30 years’ experience helping writers complete their books. She knows the most frequent reasons writers get stuck and can help writers discover how to get back in flow and write effortlessly again. Leslie also provides advice on the best way to get a book published and suggests agents, editors, publishers, and printers.

Leslie Keenan is a writing coach, teacher and editor with a proven track record of getting writers across the finish line. 

What Students Are Saying about Leslie Keenan

“If it weren’t for Leslie Keenan’s courses at Book Passage, I would never have written a word of fiction, and I would never have been published. To this day, I still use the tools she gave me for understanding my process, finding my voice, and fighting my fears.” – Tammy Kaehler, author of Dead Man’s Switch, Poisoned Pen Press

“Leslie is inspiring, compassionate and has a natural gift for creating a safe place for a writer.” – Student, “Is There a Book in You?”

“Truckloads of useful information and inspiration.” – Harvey Hyman

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Anne Lamott - On Writing 2020

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 1:00pm
photo of author Anne Lamott

Saturday, May 9 • 1:00 - 4:00 pm • $175

Give the writer in your world (or yourself) a memorable and inspiring afternoon with Anne Lamott. Anne conducts this class the way she writes - openly and honestly, never shying away from difficult topics. Learn from, laugh with, and be motivated by this talented, humorous, and daring writer as she shares her insights on the process, techniques, challenges and joys of successful writing, followed by Q&A.

Anne Lamott is the author of 15 bestselling books including Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, Hard Laughter, and Operating Instructions. Her newest book is Almost Everything: Notes on Hope.

**If you reserve a space and need to cancel before May 1, you will be issued a store credit - not a refund. No refunds or store credits will be given for cancellations that occur after April 31.** 

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780735213586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

“Anne Lamott is my Oprah.” —Chicago Tribune

The New York Times bestseller from the author of Almost Everything and Bird by Bird, a powerful exploration of mercy and how we can embrace it.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780385480017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - September 1995

For a quarter century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities—have been inspired by Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne’s father—also a writer—in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:
 


Almost Everything: Notes on Hope Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780525537441
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 16th, 2018

From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Peter Thabit Jones - Singing in Chains: Sound-texturing in Poetry

Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 10:00am
photo of Peter Thabit Jones, poet, sound-texturing

Saturday, April 18 • 10am – 1pm • $95

The sound-texturing of a poem connects with the iambic beat in us. Dylan Thomas believed in “the colour of saying,” suggesting it is not just what we say in a poem, but the way we say it. Peter’s talk will focus on the craft of cynghanedd, Welsh-language harmonizing devices, used by Thomas and others in English. The workshop will allow participants to experiment with the devices and poetic forms that lend themselves to creating poems that “sing.”  

Peter Thabit Jones has authored fourteen books, including Dylan Thomas Walking Tour of Greenwich Village. A recipient of many awards including the Eric Gregory Award for Poetry (The Society of Authors, London) and the Homer: European Medal of Poetry and Art, Peter will be in America as a writer-in-residence in Big Sur. 

What People Are Saying about Peter Thabit Jones

"Peter Thabit Jones is poetry. He lives, creates and recites the alluring and mysterious. In Salem and in Cambridge MA, Peter’s readings, classes and workshops were magical. His is a dynamic voice and he invites us to explore the world with him. Such an adventure is pure delight as Peter can transform even the arduous job of stone-laying into verse.” – Kristine Doll, Ph.D., Professor, Department of World Cultures and Languages, Salem State University

"Peter Thabit Jones mesmerized a gathering of Boulder poets and novelists at my home, an event to be reprised this fall, to satisfy audience demand. Peter's poems and public appearances have captured the imagination of the Boulder community. To listen to him read is a rare treat, not to be missed in any venue." -- Paul M. Levitt, Professor emeritus, University of Colorado

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: The Craft of Writing Memoir with Connie Josefs (4-Class Series)

Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 10:00am
photo of Connie Josefs, craft of writing memoir instructor

Four Classes • Saturday, Jan 11, 10am - 1pm & 2:30-5:30pm • Sunday, Jan 12, 10am - 1pm & 2:30-5:30pm • $350

We all have life stories to tell. But how do we write about personal experience in a way that will engage a reader? This series of four, half-day workshops focuses on the craft of writing memoir. Each workshop will provide concrete tools and strategies for transforming memory into compelling narrative. Class format includes readings, discussion and writing exercises. Experienced and aspiring writers welcome. The 4-class series includes:

Who’s Talking? The Narrator in Memoir                                            Sat Jan 11   10am - 1pm
The Way They Were • Writing Believable Characters in Memoir     Sat Jan 11    2:30pm - 5:30pm
You Had To Be There • Writing Scene in Memoir                              Sun Jan 12  10am - 1pm
The Shape of Time in Memoir                                                             Sun Jan 12   2:30pm - 5:30pm

Connie Josefs Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, and writing coach who has worked extensively with writers to write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing at the University of New Mexico, the Taos Writers Conference, and Santa Monica College. She has also been a writer and story analyst for film and television.

While the classes can be taken individually, Connie has found that the workshops were most valuable for people who did the full series. There’s a momentum that builds and it’s a bit tricky for new folks to join in, particularly after the first day. 

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection, and content. She has a beautiful way of corralling the group and keeping people on track in a caring way. In addition, she has to hear people share some of their worst moments and traumas and respond with feedback on the writing, instead of as a therapist or friend. She’s truly brilliant in how she manages these delicate, intricate dynamics.” – Erin P.

"Connie was very clear & specific as to each segment she taught, answered questions thoughtfully and well AND had us do writing exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience. I only took one class – I wish I had taken all four!" – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Connie Josefs - The Shape of Time in Memoir

Sunday, January 12, 2020 - 2:30pm
photo of Connie Josefs, craft of writing memoir instructor

Sunday, January 12, 2020 • 2:30pm – 5:30pm • $95 

register button

“You don’t look back along time but down through it, like water. Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that... Nothing goes away.” — Margaret Atwood  Time can be one of the the most challenging aspects of memoir. We view events from two vantage points: then and now. How do writers accommodate this shifting narrative stance? How do we effectively utilize hindsight to gain access to narratives of the past? This workshop will explore how memoirists organize time, voice and point of view to structure scenes and create coherence.

Connie Josefs Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, and writing coach who has worked extensively with writers to write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing at the University of New Mexico, the Taos Writers Conference, and Santa Monica College. She has also been a writer and story analyst for film and television.

While the classes can be taken individually, Connie has found that the workshops were most valuable for people who did the full series. There’s a momentum that builds and it’s a bit tricky for new folks to join in, particularly after the first day. 

The 4-class series includes:

  • Who’s Talking? The Narrator in Memoir                                            Sat Jan 11   10am - 1pm
  • The Way They Were • Writing Believable Characters in Memoir     Sat Jan 11   2:30pm - 5:30pm
  • You Had To Be There • Writing Scene in Memoir                              Sun Jan 12  10am - 1pm
  • The Shape of Time in Memoir                                                             Sun Jan 12  2:30pm - 5:30pm

Register for the 4-class series: 

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection, and content. She has a beautiful way of corralling the group and keeping people on track in a caring way. In addition, she has to hear people share some of their worst moments and traumas and respond with feedback on the writing, instead of as a therapist or friend. She’s truly brilliant in how she manages these delicate, intricate dynamics.” – Erin P.

"Connie was very clear & specific as to each segment she taught, answered questions thoughtfully and well AND had us do writing exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience. I only took one class – I wish I had taken all four!" – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Connie Josefs - You Had To Be There: Writing Scene in Memoir

Sunday, January 12, 2020 - 10:00am
photo of Connie Josefs, craft of writing memoir instructor

Sunday, January 12, 2020 • 10:00am – 1:00pm • $95 

register button

“I find that scene making is my natural way of marking the past.” — Virginia Woolf  
Scene is the building block of narrative; it brings the reader into the immediate experience of a story. But how do we determine when to move from scene to exposition? This workshop will examine the varied effects of scene and exposition in memoir and explore how they are used effectively to bring personal experience to the page.

Connie Josefs Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, and writing coach who has worked extensively with writers to write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing at the University of New Mexico, the Taos Writers Conference, and Santa Monica College. She has also been a writer and story analyst for film and television.

While the classes can be taken individually, Connie has found that the workshops were most valuable for people who did the full series. There’s a momentum that builds and it’s a bit tricky for new folks to join in, particularly after the first day. 

The 4-class series includes:

  • Who’s Talking? The Narrator in Memoir                                            Sat Jan 11   10am - 1pm
  • The Way They Were • Writing Believable Characters in Memoir     Sat Jan 11   2:30pm - 5:30pm
  • You Had To Be There • Writing Scene in Memoir                              Sun Jan 12  10am - 1pm
  • The Shape of Time in Memoir                                                             Sun Jan 12  2:30pm - 5:30pm

Register for the 4-class series: 

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection, and content. She has a beautiful way of corralling the group and keeping people on track in a caring way. In addition, she has to hear people share some of their worst moments and traumas and respond with feedback on the writing, instead of as a therapist or friend. She’s truly brilliant in how she manages these delicate, intricate dynamics.” – Erin P.

"Connie was very clear & specific as to each segment she taught, answered questions thoughtfully and well AND had us do writing exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience. I only took one class – I wish I had taken all four!" – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Connie Josefs - The Way They Were: Writing Believable Characters in Memoir

Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 2:30pm
photo of Connie Josefs, craft of writing memoir instructor

Saturday, January 11, 2020 • 2:30pm – 5:30pm • $95 

register button

“I write to discover what I know.” ― Flannery O'Connor How do we get the people we know onto the page? When writing memoir, it’s all too easy to take our characters for granted because we know them. Complexity develops in characters as we discover them, moment by moment. This workshop will provide tools to help memoir writers reach beyond the familiar and craft characters in vivid and memorable detail.

Connie Josefs Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, and writing coach who has worked extensively with writers to write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing at the University of New Mexico, the Taos Writers Conference, and Santa Monica College. She has also been a writer and story analyst for film and television.

While the classes can be taken individually, Connie has found that the workshops were most valuable for people who did the full series. There’s a momentum that builds and it’s a bit tricky for new folks to join in, particularly after the first day. 

The 4-class series includes:

  • Who’s Talking? The Narrator in Memoir                                            Sat Jan 11   10am - 1pm
  • The Way They Were • Writing Believable Characters in Memoir     Sat Jan 11   2:30pm - 5:30pm
  • You Had To Be There • Writing Scene in Memoir                              Sun Jan 12  10am - 1pm
  • The Shape of Time in Memoir                                                             Sun Jan 12  2:30pm - 5:30pm

Register for the 4-class series: 

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection, and content. She has a beautiful way of corralling the group and keeping people on track in a caring way. In addition, she has to hear people share some of their worst moments and traumas and respond with feedback on the writing, instead of as a therapist or friend. She’s truly brilliant in how she manages these delicate, intricate dynamics.” – Erin P.

"Connie was very clear & specific as to each segment she taught, answered questions thoughtfully and well AND had us do writing exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience. I only took one class – I wish I had taken all four!" – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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