Writing Classes

Class: Elizabeth Stark & Ellen Sussman - Compelling Characters (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 10:30am

Saturday March 24 • 10:30am-12pm • $90

Compelling Characters: Bringing People to Life on the Page
Characters are at the heart of all our stories. Readers fall in love with our characters, and it’s through that emotional connection that they’re moved by our stories. All of us have a marvelous laboratory with which to explore what it means to be a human being: ourselves and the people around us. Yet getting characters to fully inhabit our stories can be a challenge. Generative writing exercises will bring your characters–invented or remembered–to dynamic, compelling life.

Ellen Sussman is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night Like This. 

Elizabeth Stark, host of StoryMakers Podcast and author of the novel Shy Girl (FSG, Seal Press), co-directed and co-wrote of several short films, two distributed by Frameline.

Ellen Sussman and Elizabeth Stark co-founded and co-teach SonomaCountyWritersCamp.com.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Kim Hermanson - The Power of Metaphor (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 10:00am

Saturday April 14 • 10am-1pm • $75

Metaphor takes us ‘under the surface’ of our everyday consciousness, into a Deep Creative realm that lies beyond the linear mind. In this experiential class you will directly tap into your own metaphoric imagery and symbolic language, and discover the ways in which metaphor is currently influencing how you see the world, your life, and your creative work. You don’t need to be a writer to benefit from this class. Artists, teachers, organizational leaders, coaches, therapists, and others who wish to expand their ways of learning and knowing are welcome.

Kim Hermanson, Ph.D.   Founder of Doorway Sessions for Creative Breakthroughs.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Hillary Homzie - How to Write for Tweens (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 10:00am

Saturday April 28 • 10am-1pm • $75

 In this workshop, we’ll learn techniques for writing for tweens, what works and what doesn’t work. Additionally, I’ll present some emotional, physical, social, and moral milestones that you should know about. Phew! It’s a lot but it’s also so much fun. Additionally, it’s a growing market. I’ll also share with you the mistakes that I’ve made, so you don’t have to! 

Hillary Homzie has published two novels for tween girls, The Hot List and Things Are Gonna Ugly, as well as a chapter book series for younger readers. Booklist wrote that Hillary “capture the angst of young teen friendships and fragile identities. She’s also a member of the popular middle-grade/tween blog The Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors. She loves to mentor other writers and teaches in the MFA program for Children’s Literature and Writing at Hollins University. 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Phil Cousineau - The Art of The Interview (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 6:30pm

Sunday April 15 • 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm • $50

The cornerstone of many forms of writing is the ability to conduct an in-depth interview. There is no deep story without knowing how to ask questions, listen, and when necessary, to take notes. This one-day workshop is designed to be helpful and entertaining, by helping you help yourself. Through discussion, film clips, and a series of exercises, you will learn how to listen more closely, observe more honestly, draw out the more useful information, and even to be aware of your own body language, voice, and mannerisms. This class is designed for writers of all kinds- from journalists, novelists, and writers of non-fiction, everyone is seeking to tell a better story.

Phil Cousineau—is the author of over 30 books, including the bestseller The Art of Pilgrimage, the award-winning Stoking the Creative Fires, and The Oldest Story in the World. He has been interviewing people since he was a sixteen-year-old cub reporter in his hometown, outside Detroit. Since 2008 he has been host and cowriter of the national series "Global Spirit," which airs on PBS and Link TV, and is a guest host for New Dimensions Radio.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Phil Cousineau - The Writer’s Odyssey (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, March 4, 2018 - 6:30pm

4 Sundays March 4-25 • 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm • $240

Have you ever felt as if you were wandering aimlessly with your writing, lost in the labyrinth without a clue how to get home again? Take heart! This four-week class explores the uncanny parallels between the writing life and Homer’s Odyssey by helping you visualize your work as a mythic journey. This intensive but entertaining approach will help you identify which stage you are on now, and is designed to help guide to the next stage of your writing through a series of writing exercises, practices, movie clips, ample group discussion, and one-on-one meetings with the instructor. Themes to be explored are: The Call, Mentors and Muses, the Monster in the Labyrinth, The Beauty of the Real Work, The Cool Fire, and Bringing Home the Boon.

Phil Cousineau is the author of over 30 books, including the bestseller The Art of Pilgrimage, and the award-winning Stoking the Creative Fires, a documentary filmmaker, a frequent writer for television and radio, as well as a frequent leader of mythic tours and writing workshops in Greece. As a founding mentor in Book Passage’s Path to Publishing program, Cousineau will also offer insights into the transformations that are reshaping the book world.

The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred Cover Image
By Phil Cousineau, Huston Smith (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781573245937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Conari Press - January 8th, 2012

Focusing on the sacred and transformative aspects of our journeys, the author resurrects the art of pilgrimage as a spirit-renewing ritual that leads to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.


Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781573242998
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Conari Press - May 1st, 2008

Following in the footsteps of Joseph Campbell's injunction to 'follow your bliss', Cousineau gives readers the fuel to continue their journey to find passion in all areas of their lives. He offers a multitude of stories, ideas and exercises to inspire those on their way to a more creative life.


The Oldest Story in the World Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780962654893
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sisyphus Press - July 12th, 2017

The Oldest Story in the World is a brooding, daring, idiosyncratic exploration of the secret strength of storytelling, in which Phil Cousineau addresses the central theme that runs through all his work, the transportive power of words.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Phil Cousineau - The Writer’s Odyssey One-Day Workshop (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 2:00pm

Saturday March 3 • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm • $75

Have you ever felt as if you were wandering aimlessly with your writing, lost in the labyrinth without a clue how to get home again? Take heart! This one-day workshop explores the uncanny parallels between the writing life and Homer’s Odyssey by helping you visualize your work as a mythic journey. This intensive but entertaining approach will help you identify which stage you are on now, and through a series of writing exercises and practices that provide a map to guide you along through inspiration and perspiration to the final stages of the publishing adventure.

Phil Cousineau is the author of over 30 books, including the bestseller The Art of Pilgrimage, and the award-winning Stoking the Creative Fires, a documentary filmmaker, a frequent writer for television and radio, as well as a frequent leader of mythic tours and writing workshops in Greece. As a founding mentor in Book Passage’s Path to Publishing program, Cousineau has helped over 100 writers navigate the metamorphosis that is reshaping the book world.

The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred Cover Image
By Phil Cousineau, Huston Smith (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781573245937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Conari Press - January 8th, 2012

Focusing on the sacred and transformative aspects of our journeys, the author resurrects the art of pilgrimage as a spirit-renewing ritual that leads to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.


Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781573242998
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Conari Press - May 1st, 2008

Following in the footsteps of Joseph Campbell's injunction to 'follow your bliss', Cousineau gives readers the fuel to continue their journey to find passion in all areas of their lives. He offers a multitude of stories, ideas and exercises to inspire those on their way to a more creative life.


The Oldest Story in the World Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780962654893
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sisyphus Press - July 12th, 2017

The Oldest Story in the World is a brooding, daring, idiosyncratic exploration of the secret strength of storytelling, in which Phil Cousineau addresses the central theme that runs through all his work, the transportive power of words.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Leslie Keenan - You Can Complete That Book (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 10:00am

Saturday Feb. 17, 2018 • 10:00 am- 4:00 pm • $105

Have you started a book but haven't been able to finish it? Do you feel like you have all the pieces but don't know how to stitch them together? Do you feel overwhelmed, blocked, or stuck? In You Can Complete That Book!, you will learn the reasons writers get stuck, and how to get back in the flow, write effortlessly, find solutions for structural issues, navigate the publication process and ultimately complete the book.

Writing challenges us to face our core issues. As a result we become experts at procrastination, perfectionism, or simply making sure we are always too busy to finish. Underneath all these defenses, there is gold: the nugget of pure creativity waiting to be expressed once you learn how to make room for it to be revealed.

Leslie Keenan is a writing coach, teacher and editor with 30 years' experience. She lives in Marin County, California with her daughter. 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Melanie Vetter - Write Your Life (Corte Madera)

Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:30pm

Thursday January 11 • 6:30 pm-8:30pm • $60

Writing your life —two pages at a time—using universal themes such as family, career and work, and spirituality. Priming questions will help evoke memories of events and people. Writing and sharing life stories with others is an enjoyable way to gain a growing appreciation of your life and the lives of others, as well as put the past into perspective. Narrative storytelling is a wonderful way to learn about yourself, and has been shown to enhance the writer’s sense of meaning. This introductory class will include creative exercises, writing tips, writing, and sharing of stories. All levels of writing experience (from no experience to expert) are welcome and encouraged to join.

Melanie Vetter is the founder of Wellfleet Circle. Melanie's life’s work is dedicated to teaching and empowering others to celebrate, document and share a purposeful life using fun and joyful tools and techniques.  She helps others preserve and share  their intangible wealth—traditions, wisdom, values, stories and love. Melanie is a Harvard Law School trained attorney and business professional and a certified Legacy Advisor. She holds a certificate in Guided Autobiography Instruction from the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies, and is also a Certified Senior Advisor®.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Andrea Alban - Writers Tribe (Corte Madera)

Sunday, January 7, 2018 - 4:00pm

4 Sundays: Jan 7, Jan 21, Feb 4, & Feb 18 • 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm • $240

**Registration Full, Spring Session Still Available**

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect and honesty.The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, page-turning plots, and snappy dialog. Andrea guides the group through a powerful revision process and self-editing mastery. Each writer receives a copy of Andrea’s popular mini-book: How to polish your words in 17 easy steps.

Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including her debut teen novel ANYA’S WAR (an ALA honor book and shortlisted for China’s Panda Award), and bestseller THE HAPPINESS TREE. 

Andrea's Writer's Tribe is a safe and creative space to bring your work in progress. Andrea's skilled facilitation, keen literary eye, and delightful sense of humor make these Sunday afternoon gatherings the highlight of my week. Andrea is a writer's dream come true. Not only do you learn from the invaluable critiques of your own work, but her in-class critiques of your fellow writers' work are richly informative and insightful. I have queried, and had several interested responses for my novel and know that what I have learned in Andrea's Tribal circle has been in large part what I needed to get a foot in the door. 
—Nina Vincent

Thanks to Andrea and the Writer's Tribe, my story is polished and ready to go! Andrea's expertise and superb editing skills alone are worth the price of admission. Andrea guides the Tribe with profound wisdom and gentle humor. Class participants are supportive of one another, and we 'bonded" as a group. None of us wanted the class to end!
—Gailya Magdalena

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Andrea Alban - Writers Tribe (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 4:00pm

4 Sundays: March 18, April 8, April 29, & May 20, 2018 • 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm • $240

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect and honesty.The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, page-turning plots, and snappy dialog. Andrea guides the group through a powerful revision process and self-editing mastery. Each writer receives a copy of Andrea’s popular mini-book: How to polish your words in 17 easy steps.

Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including her debut teen novel ANYA’S WAR (an ALA honor book and shortlisted for China’s Panda Award), and bestseller THE HAPPINESS TREE. 

Andrea's Writer's Tribe is a safe and creative space to bring your work in progress. Andrea's skilled facilitation, keen literary eye, and delightful sense of humor make these Sunday afternoon gatherings the highlight of my week. Andrea is a writer's dream come true. Not only do you learn from the invaluable critiques of your own work, but her in-class critiques of your fellow writers' work are richly informative and insightful. I have queried, and had several interested responses for my novel and know that what I have learned in Andrea's Tribal circle has been in large part what I needed to get a foot in the door. 
—Nina Vincent

Thanks to Andrea and the Writer's Tribe, my story is polished and ready to go! Andrea's expertise and superb editing skills alone are worth the price of admission. Andrea guides the Tribe with profound wisdom and gentle humor. Class participants are supportive of one another, and we 'bonded" as a group. None of us wanted the class to end!
—Gailya Magdalena

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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