Writing Classes

Class: Alex McNeil & Andrew Vargas Delman - Personal Essay for College Admission (Corte Madera)

Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 10:00am

Two Sundays: Sep. 24 & Oct. 1 2017 • 10:00am-12:00pm • $125

The college essay is a powerful tool for conveying a student’s personality while demonstrating capacities for introspection and maturity. Over two weekends, we explore the fundamentals of a great college essay—learning to recognize and avoid cliché, accessing stories that reconcile past experiences with future aspirations, and learning the art of self-evaluation and revision. The workshop is a chance for rising high school seniors to brainstorm and to begin writing their own college essays.

Alex McNeil and Andrew Vargas Delman are the founders of North Coast Prep, a tutoring and college counseling group that helps families navigate the process of applying to college with an emphasis on student health and mental wellbeing. They have extensive experience as tutors and teachers, application consultants, and writing advisors, and have written two short books—one about the “prestige trap” of college admissions, and another about their “whole person” approach to college applications.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Andrea Alban - Writers Tribe (Corte Madera)

Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

4 Sundays: Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, & Oct. 29 • 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

Class: Erin Byrne - Illuminated Travel (Sausalito)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 6:00pm

4 Wednesdays: Sept. 6- Oct. 4 (no class Sept. 20) • 6:00pm - 8:00 pm • $240

Have you ever wondered why a particular alleyway beckoned you, or a local character intrigued you, or an unusual ritual unsettled you?  On our travels we have few “light bulb moments” but writing that ignites connections between ourselves and the places, people, and cultures of the world transforms us and our readers.

Join Erin Byrne as we delve deeply into our travel experiences using the “anti-workshop method” she has taught at Shakespeare and Company in Paris and on Deep Travel trips.  The results are reflected in her books, and have inspired writers at all levels from emerging to highly published.  This process is invigorating for both new and more experienced writers.

You have taken one journey, now be ready to embark on another to bring your experience to light.  Illuminated Travel is a wild ride indeed.

*This is a four session workshop:*

Images and Impressions - Starting with an image or scene that has captivated us, we use a new process of questioning and tapping into the creative unconscious to explore it.

The Spark Inside Your Story - We probe deeper to discover and express one illuminating connection between ourselves and this place, or person, or scene, and write about it in such a way as to touch upon universal emotions and truths.

Shaping the Narrative - Using a process of pinpointing focus and fierce editing, we create pieces that both surprise and glow from within.

Reading Our Work - We prepare to perform our work, using techniques of Moroccan Master Storytellers, with whom Erin has taught.  The page now undergoes transformation to be ready for the stage.

  Erin Byrne is the author of Wings: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France, winner of the Paris Book Festival Award and the Next Generation Indie Book Award; editor of Vignettes & Postcards from Paris and Vignettes & Postcards from Morocco; and writer of The Storykeeper  film.  

Erin’s travel essays, poetry, fiction and screenplays have won numerous awards including three Grand Prize Solas Awards for Travel Story of the Year, the Reader’s Favorite Award, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalist, and an Accolade Award for film.  She has taught writing at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris and on Deep Travel trips, and is host of the LitWings event series at Book Passage, Sausalito, which features writers, photographers, and filmmakers. 

Erin reads and performs her work in many places around the world including exotic ruins in Morocco, underground caverns in Paris, and Bay Area venues that range from grungy to glittering. Her screenplay, Siesta, is in pre-production in Spain, and she is working on a novel set in the Paris Ritz during the occupation, Illuminations.  

100 Bay St.
Sausalito, CA 94965

Class: Melanie Vetter - Deepening Connections: Legacy Letter Writing Workshop (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 10:00am

Sat., February 3 • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm • $75

**Class closed, please call 415 927-0960 with any questions**

Legacy Letters allow you to share wisdom, traditions, values, blessings and love with people special to you. They are tangible objects, things people can return to again and again—and they do. If you hear Legacy Letters and think of wills or estates, there’s more to it than that. Legacy Letters don’t have to be connected to wealth or even end of life. Legacy Letters are for any time you want to deepen a connection with someone special in your life. With Legacy Letters, you can pass on special family stories and traditions, recognize major milestones such as a wedding, a birthday or a graduation in a meaningful way, share the stories and reasons behind gifts to others, and know you have said what is important. In this workshop, I will show you how to write your own Legacy Letters in four easy steps and you will have the opportunity to write one your self.

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

Pre-Conference Class: Don George - Travel Writing in Point Reyes (Point Reyes)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

2017 Travel Writers & Photographers Pre-Conference Class
$120 for Conference Participants, $170 for General Public

Sold out. Please call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1 to inquire about waitlist availability. 

Join acclaimed National Geographic and Gadling.com travel writer and editor Don George for a day of exploration and travel writing in beautiful Point Reyes. George demonstrates the art of finding, researching, and note-taking in the field. Participants will explore the shops and sites of this seaside town, as well as the rolling hills and sweeping ocean views. The group gathers over a picnic lunch to talk about the writing experience and to discuss their work. Lunch and round-trip transportation provided.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust and of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing. He’s the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast and The Kindness of Strangers. Don George writes the monthly "Trip Lit" column for National Geographic Traveler, and edits the BBC Travel’s literary travel column, “Chance Encounters.”

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Hallie Ephron - Writing the Wave (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

Writing the Wave: Investigation, Suspense, Action, Reflection

Typically, mystery novels unfurl in accelerating waves of establishing narrative (often investigation), building to suspense, building to action, resolving reflection, and then thrusting forward to the next wave. In this workshop we’ll examine each element of this “ISAR” wave, and learn how to construct scenes that end with a hook, grab readers, and move the story forward. Topics include: dissecting the waves in a mystery/thriller; strategies for writing investigation; strategies for writing suspense; strategies for writing action; strategies for writing reflection; hook and grab scene structure; writing the waves across a book length work, modulating the pace, building to a dramatic climax, and resolving in a final coda.

Hallie Ephron is a bestselling author of Never Tell a Lie; Come and Find Me; There Was an Old Woman; and most recently, You’ll Never Know, Dear. She is also the mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe. The daughter of screenwriters, she grew up with her famous writer sisters, Nora, Delia, and Amy.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: David Corbett - The Deeper Mystery (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

The crime-mystery-thriller genre is often thought of as principally a form of entertainment, but it is also a great deal more. In this pre-conference class, award-winning author and conference co-chair David Corbett guides students through a number of techniques and thematic considerations to reach deeper into the material of their stories. The goal is to reach the more meaningful and dramatically powerful elements within the genre. Topics will include moral argument and the Unity of Opposites, the will to justice vs. the will to power, realism (and its limits), the elusive nature of truth, what is a just society, individual freedom vs. social responsibility, Satanic Villains vs. Monsters, and (as Conrad put it) man’s “miserable ingenuity in error.”

David Corbett worked 15 years for the famed private investigation firm of Palladino & Sutherland. He is the author of several novels including Done for a Dime (A New York Times Notable Book), His latest is Thirteen Confessions: Stories. His writing text, The Art of Character, has been called “a writer’s bible.”

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Lynn Ryder - Reinvent Yourself After 50

Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 2:00pm

Saturday January 20, 2018  • 2pm-6pm • $110

In our 50's, 60's and 70's, we begin a new phase of life.   It’s important now to address the opportunities and fears of retirement and aging.  Working with an exercise book, we’ll engage in discussions, journaling and short lectures to create a vision and a plan for your happy, healthy and fulfilling future.   

Lynn Ryder work as a facilitator, career consultant, corporate trainer, and University Lecturer. She is the author of Road to Fulfillment.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 6:30pm

 Six Wednesdays: Nov. 1 - Dec. 20 (no class Nov. 15 or 22), 2017 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm • $240

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: Erin Byrne - Illuminated Travel (Sausalito)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 6:00pm

Wednesday, June 28 • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm • $60

Have you ever wondered why a particular alleyway beckoned you, or a local character intrigued you, or an unusual ritual unsettled you?  On our travels we have few “light bulb moments” but writing that ignites connections between ourselves and the places, people, and cultures of the world transforms us and our readers.

Join Erin Byrne as we delve deeply into our travel experiences using the “anti-workshop method” she has taught at Shakespeare and Company in Paris and on Deep Travel trips.  The results are reflected in her books, and have inspired writers at all levels from emerging to highly published.

Starting with an image or scene that has captivated us, we use a new process of questioning, tapping into the creative unconscious, pinpointing focus, and fierce editing to write pieces that both surprise and glow from within.

This is an Introduction to a four session workshop which will be offered in September.

Erin Byrne is the author of the Next Generation Indie Book Award winner for Travel and Finalist for Memoir Wings: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France, editor of Vignettes & Postcards from Paris and Vignettes & Postcards from Morocco, and writer of The Storykeeper film.  She has taught writing at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris and on Deep Travel trips, and is host of the LitWings event series at Book Passage Sausalito, which features writers, photographers, and filmmakers.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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