Writing Classes

Virtual Class: Connie Josefs - Make a Scene: A Memoir Intensive (via Zoom)

Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 10:00am

Three Saturdays: June 13, 20 & 27 • 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST • $265 • Hosted via Zoom

Please note: This Memoir Intensive has been moved to Zoom, and will take place on three Saturday mornings, June 13, 20 & 27, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The first meeting on June 13 will start at 9:30 am to allow time for participants to become familiar with elements of the Zoom format that will be used during class. This class has a capacity of 14.

Please note: This class is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email kathryn@bookpassage.com

"I find that scene making is my natural way of marking the past.”
—Virginia Woolf

We come to memoir because we have a life story to tell. But how do we write about our lives in a way that will engage a reader? Scene is the building block of narrative; it brings the reader into the moment-to-moment experience of what’s happening. When we write scene, we re-enter life experience with newfound curiosity and all of our senses. The story becomes a living, breathing thing.

This 3-week Intensive will offer a deep dive into the craft of writing scene in memoir. Topics include:

  • Flow of scene and exposition
  • Habitual scene vs. specific scene
  • Writing time and place
  • Effective use of dialogue

Workshop format includes readings, discussion, writing exercises, and supportive feedback and critique. Writers will have the opportunity to work on scenes at home and share them in class.

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, editor and memoir coach. She has led workshops in fiction and creative non-fiction writing for 28 years, and has taught at the University of New Mexico, The Taos Writers Conference, Southwest Writers, and Santa Monica College, where she was founding editor of the literary journal, E-33: Writings from Emeritus. She holds an MFA in fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. More at conniejosefs.com.

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.

CANCELLED: Class: Karen Benke - Rip ALL the Pages! A Creative Writing Summer “Play-Shop” for Kids

Monday, July 20, 2020 - 9:30am

July 20 - 23 • 9:30 am - 12:30 am • for ages 9-12 • $430

Please note: This class has been cancelled due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. If you have already enrolled, we will be reaching out to you with further details.

Rip ALL the Pages! A Creative Writing Summer “Play-Shop” for Kids. 

Sharpen your observations skills, dive into the deep-end of original detail, and master your own metaphors and similes.

Limited to 18 students (ages 9-12) the only requirement is a favorite pen and a willingness to surprise yourself. We’ll tip words over to find out what breathes underneath, hike for haiku, sneak around and listen—aka eavesdrop!—for dialog, explore making images to create our poems, sudden fiction, letters, and more. 

All materials and sort-of-healthy snacks included.

 

Karen Benke is the author of Rip the Page! Leap Write In! Write Back Soon! and Rip ALL the Pages! from Roost Books|Penguin Random House and translated into Chinese, Korean, and Russian. Founder of The Writers Nest and Program Director of Creative Writing Adventures (a nonprofit program of CalPoets), she taught writing for 23 years as a California Poet in the Schools and now brings her imaginative writing "play-shops" into libraries, bookstores and art centers internationally. 

Visit her at www.karenbenke.com or creativewritingadventures.org

 

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Leslie Keenan - Master Writers (Jan/Feb 2020)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 6:30pm
photo of Leslie Keenan

Eight Tuesdays: Jan. 7 - Feb. 25 • 6:30 - 8:30pm • $360

Prerequisite: You must have taken either “Is There a Book in You?” or "You Can Complete That Book" one day workshops offered by Leslie Keenan at Book Passage.

Use the support of fellow writers and well-timed feedback to move through resistance and finish your work. Leslie Keenan is a writing coach, teacher and editor with 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.

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: Corey Fischer - Telling Your Story

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm
photo of actor, storytelling teacher Corey Fischer

Corey is unable to teach this class.  He was originally scheduled to teach a workshop on January 19 which will now be taught by Nina Wise as a benefit for Corey's medical expenses. To learn more click the link below:

https://www.bookpassage.com/event/class-nina-wise-corey-fischer-finding-your-story

Creating on your feet, out loud, is a powerful way to explore and expand your “voice” as a writer or a storyteller. Award-winning actor/writer/director Corey Fischer uses free-writing exercises, theatre games, and prompts for group sharing in a safe and supportive setting as he guides each student in discovering, shaping and performing a particular personal story. In the final class, participants will share their stories with a small, invited audience. This class is for anyone who wants to tell their own stories – on the page or on the “stage.”

Corey Fischer, co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre (1978-2012), has been creating and teaching theatre over 50 years. He views autobiographical storytelling as a much-needed way to open imagination and memory and to nurture community.

What Students Say About Corey Fischer

“Corey Fischer is an amazing teacher.  I took his workshops in storytelling, performance, and improvisation whenever I could. Each time my mind opened, my body became more energized and limber, my spirit and imagination expanded – always in an atmosphere of safety, human connection, and enjoyment. I highly recommend Corey as an extraordinary teacher for anyone seeking to express their creativity, find their storytelling voice, and have a lot of fun along the way.” -- Jonathan D. Greenberg, Executive Director, Gandhi King Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Stanford Law School

“With humor and heart, Corey guides you to the wild, unknown parts of your creativity.  He is a teacher not to be missed: a man with a lifetime of experience, an insightful perspective, and a gentle and supportive approach. He grounds you as you leap into the unknown, and expertly helps you shape what you bring back from your explorations.” – Naomi Stein, writer, performer

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Diane Conway - Brainstorming Your Book (Corte Madera)

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 12:30pm

Saturday, January 18, 2020 • 12:30am - 3:30pm • $75

This class helps you strengthen and refine your vision for your nonfiction book or memoir. You have the idea for your book and have done a fair amount of writing, but the concept is still fuzzy? You can’t grasp exactly what your book is about and so you are failing to gain traction? With her experience in developmental and concept editing, Diane Conway will help you brainstorm your core idea. In this supportive class you’ll discover how a clear focus is key to writing that flows.

Diane Conway is a seasoned writing coach and teacher who has published three books including What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Nina Wise for Corey Fischer- Finding Your Story

Sunday, January 19, 2020 - 10:00am

Sunday, January 19 • 10:00-4:00 pm • Tuition: $150, proceeds to benefit Corey Fischer's medical expenses 

Please note: This class has been cancelled.

“Stand-up storytelling” invigorates the imagination, reclaims memories, and inspires the body’s own creativity. This day will include of a variety of exercises in a safe and supportive setting. Each student will be guided in discovering a particular personal story that needs to be told. This class is for anyone who wants to tell their own stories and expand their expressive range. No prior experience necessary. 

Corey Fischer was originally scheduled to teach this workshop. He is recovering from surgery and unable to teach. Nina Wise, who is a longtime friend who co-taught with Corey for many years, is stepping in to teach this workshop as a benefit to help pay Corey's medical expenses.

The founder of Motion Theater®, an original form of autobiographical improvisation, Nina offers performances and trainings in this unique form of authentic self-expression. She has performed custom-designed improvised works at theaters, think tanks, conferences, medical institutions, and political events around the world.

As an artist and teacher who specializes in innovation, she has coached numberous individuals and teams in creativity, the cultivation of presence, stress reduction, communication and leadership. In addition, authorized to teach by Jack Kornfield, Wise teaches Buddhist practice at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and other spiritual centers worldwide.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Leslie Keenan - Master Writers (Nov/Dec 2019)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 6:30pm
photo of Leslie Keenan

Five Tuesdays: Nov. 5 - Dec. 17 • 6:30 - 8:30pm • $225

Prerequisite: You must have taken either “Is There a Book in You?” or “You Can Complete That Book!” offered by Leslie Keenan.

Use the support of fellow writers and well-timed feedback to move through resistance and finish your work.

Leslie Keenan is a writing coach, teacher and editor with 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.

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

CANCELLED: Anjali Andrea Alban - Writer's Tribe (Winter)

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

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

Four Sundays: Jan 5, Jan 19, Feb 2, Feb 16 • 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.

Manuscripts and students must be accepted by the instructor. 

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 • 2:00-5:00pm • $260
Prerequisite: Attendees must have written a picture book or the first 25 pages of a novel.
This Class Is Full

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. Tuition includes a copy of Anjali’s RE-vision Guide.

Anjali Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including The Happiness Tree and Anya’s War. She content and line edits manuscripts, mentors writers on the path to publication, and helps prepare 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: 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

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