All Classes

Online Class: Elizabeth K. Kracht - Self-Editing for Fiction and Memoir Writers

Saturday, October 1, 2022 - 11:00am


Saturday, October 1st, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 11:00am-2:00pm PT • $95


 

Please note that this class is also being offered on Wednesday, September 14th beginning at 5pm.
Click Here for Details >>

Over the course of her career as a literary agent, Elizabeth noticed that many manuscripts being rejected suffered similar, easy-to-solve problems. As a result, she began keeping a list of these problems, hoping to one day share this feedback with writers struggling to understand rejections. Based on her book The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript, this workshop will cover more than 50 points for consideration before submitting to an agent, editor, or indie publisher, such as how to sharpen dialogue and prose, improving characterization, complicating plot, and much more.

This workshop will be interactive with plenty of time for questions and answers.

See More of Elizabeth Kracht's Classes

• How to Find a Literary Agent 
• How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal 
• How to Write a Query Letter 
• How to Build an Author Platform 
• How to Write a Fiction Synopsis 

Online Class

Online Class: Elizabeth K. Kracht - How to Write a Query Letter

Saturday, October 8, 2022 - 11:00am


Saturday, October 8th, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 11:00am-2:00pm PT • $95


 

Please note that this class is also being offered on Wednesday, October 12th beginning at 5pm.
Click Here for Details >>

A query letter is a one-page technical piece of writing used by writers to attract the attention of an agent or publishing-house editor. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, if you plan to submit your book to a literary agent or publishing-house editor, you will need to accompany it with a query letter. Query letters are often difficult for writers to complete because they’re technical pieces of writing rather than creative. In this three-hour workshop, Elizabeth will not only teach the essential elements of the query, but will also work alongside participants to help them complete a solid query draft before end of class.

See More of Elizabeth Kracht's Classes

• How to Find a Literary Agent 
• How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal 
• Self-Editing for Fiction and Memoir Writers 
• How to Build an Author Platform 
• How to Write a Fiction Synopsis 

Online Class

Corte Madera Class: Britta Stromeyer Esmail - Petite Prose: Crash Course in Writing Flash Fiction

Sunday, October 9, 2022 - 2:00pm



Petite Prose: Crash Course in Writing Flash Fiction

Two Sundays - October 9th & 16th • 2:00-4:00pm PT

Corte Madera Store • $150

 

Brevity seems easy (after all, we live in a hashtag world). But it’s not. What if 100, 500 or 1000 words is all you’ve got to take a reader’s breath away? We will examine the craft of writing short-short stories. Differentiate between forms of flash fiction. Understand fundamentals of craft terminology and how these elements function within very short stories. Compose petite prose with a complete story arc while strengthening your editing skills. Develop an awareness of how to read as a writer which will inform all of your writing.

Suitable for all levels, we will primarily focus on very short fiction across genres. Learn to write short narratives with a full story and character arc. Instructor will provide examples and various writing prompts. 

Britta Stromeyer Esmail is the author of the award winning picture book Raina’s (UN) Happy Birthday and Finalist for the Bellingham Review Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction 2021. She is an editor of Tuxedo Literature & Arts Journal and the associate editor for FastForward Magazine. She teaches creative writing workshops for adults and youth, grades 5-12. She holds a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University, an M.A. in International Communication from American University, and is currently an MFA’23 candidate at Dominican University, CA. She is a member of and advocate for the National Writing Project Council, the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, and the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge. Her second picture book, Look at Me. Who Do You See? is forthcoming in 2023. www.brittastromeyer.com

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Online Class: Elizabeth K. Kracht - How to Write a Query Letter

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 5:00pm


Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 5:00pm-8:00pm PT • $95


 

Please note that this class is also being offered on Saturday, October 8th beginning at 11am.
Click Here for Details >>

A query letter is a one-page technical piece of writing used by writers to attract the attention of an agent or publishing-house editor. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, if you plan to submit your book to a literary agent or publishing-house editor, you will need to accompany it with a query letter. Query letters are often difficult for writers to complete because they’re technical pieces of writing rather than creative. In this three-hour workshop, Elizabeth will not only teach the essential elements of the query, but will also work alongside participants to help them complete a solid query draft before end of class.

See More of Elizabeth Kracht's Classes

• How to Find a Literary Agent 
• How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal 
• Self-Editing for Fiction and Memoir Writers 
• How to Build an Author Platform 
• How to Write a Fiction Synopsis 

Online Class

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - Granada/Alhambra

Friday, October 14, 2022 - 1:00pm


Granada/Alhambra

Two Fridays ( October 14th & 21st  1:00 – 3:00 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

"If you have not seen Granada you have not seen anything." 

So says the Spanish adage. We shall visit the city of the pomegranate which is defined by the events of 1492 when the last Moorish King Boabdil surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella. We visit the Cathedral designed by Diego de Siloe in a pseudo Italian Renaissance style, and the adjoining Royal Chapel where lie the remains of the Catholic Monarchs and a splendid Sacristy housing masterpieces by artists Hans Memling, Dierk Bouts and Roger van der Weyden. Across the street is the Banuelo, Spain's best preserved Arab bath. More Moorish reminders in the Palacio de la Madraza, originally an Arab University with a well-preserved madrasa. We visit the Albaicin, the most beautiful old city quarter in Andalucia, the Carthusian Monastery with its dazzling Baroque Sacristy, and the Monastery of San Jeronimo founded by the Catholic Monarchs on the site of a Moorish Mosque. It was embellished by Diego de Siloe and is an architectural feast! On to the Alhambra! We will visit this sensual place of space, light, water, and decoration. Highlights are the Hall of the Ambassadors, the Patio of the Lions, the Sala de Dos Hermanos, El Portal, the out- of-step Palace of Charles V and the Sala de los Reyes, where we find three multicolored ceiling paintings with figurative images (portraits, etc.). We end with a walk to the Generalife, the country palace of the Nasrids. Generalife means the garden of lofty paradise. If possible we stay at the Parador Alhambra! 

 

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 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Online Class: Elizabeth K. Kracht - How To Build an Author Platform

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 11:00am


Saturday, October 15th, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 11:00am-2:00pm PT • $95


 

Many writers are rejected by literary agents and publishing-house editors for lack of Author Platform. But what even is an Author Platform? The term can be confusing to writers and publishing professionals alike. Author Platform refers to a writer’s reach into the community or their ability to reach their audience or be found by their readers. For nonfiction writers, Author Platform is an imperative; we can’t sell your book without it. However, it’s also becoming increasingly important for fiction writers. In this workshop, Elizabeth will not only teach you what Author Platform is, but will also give you many examples of how to begin building platform or augmenting the platform you already have in place.  

See More of Elizabeth Kracht's Classes

• How to Find a Literary Agent 
• How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal 
• Self-Editing for Fiction and Memoir Writers 
• How to Write a Query Letter 
• How to Write a Fiction Synopsis 

Online Class

Online Class: Elizabeth K. Kracht - How To Write a Fiction Synopsis

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 11:00am


Saturday, October 22nd, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 11:00am-2:00pm PT • $95


 

The synopsis is the bane of every fiction writer’s existence. A quick search online for memes on the theme of “writing a synopsis” yields many humorous results for how frustrating the process is for writers. “I’d rather drive railroad spikes into my own eyes than have to write a synopsis,” is one of a few you’ll find. A fiction synopsis is usually a one-page, single-spaced document required by agents or publishing-house editors when submitting your fiction novel. Writing a synopsis is difficult for many fiction writers because it’s a technical piece of writing rather than creative. In this three-hour workshop, Elizabeth will break down the synopsis in simple terms, and get you well on your way to a first draft by the end of workshop.

See More of Elizabeth Kracht's Classes

• How to Find a Literary Agent 
• How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal 
• Self-Editing for Fiction and Memoir Writers 
• How to Write a Query Letter 
• How to Build an Author Platform 

 

 

Online Class

Online Class: Nina Schuyler - Making Metaphors

Saturday, October 29, 2022 - 10:30am

Saturday, October 29th, 2022

Hosted and Recorded via Zoom • 10:30am-12:00pm PT • $60

 

Whenever I read a metaphor, something alters, and a rival reality emerges. If someone’s hair color is compared to basil, the world that previously kept those two things apart is made anew. “Every metaphor or simile is a little explosion of fiction within the larger fiction of the novel or story,” writes James Wood. Magically, with this explosion, a new way of seeing emerges. We’ll explore why metaphors are so powerful, but the main focus will be trying out different strategies for how to make them. By the end of the class, you’ll come away better able to create your own original metaphors.  

Nina Schuyler’s new novel, Afterword, will be published in May 2023 by Clash Books. Her short story collection, In this Ravishing World, won the W.S. Porter Prize for Short Story Collections and the Prism Prize for Climate Literature and will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2024. She teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco and Stanford Continuing Education.  www.ninaschuyler.com

 

Online Class

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Way One)

Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 1:30pm



Way One (Sat., November 5, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $70)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., November 12, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., November 19, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $200 for the series • Class size limited to 22

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes — or is in the voice of — a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!) and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique — almost a no-brainer — and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes — or is in the voice of — a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

The book on Julia's technique: 5 Ways In to Character: bringing intimate humanity to the page, stage, screen and easel is now available for purchase!

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 18 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Ways Two and Three)

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 1:30pm


Way One (Sat., November 5, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $70)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., November 12, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., November 19, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $200 for the series • Class size limited to 18

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

The book on Julia's technique: 5 Ways In to Character: bringing intimate humanity to the page, stage, screen and easel is now available for purchase!

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Ways Four and Five)

Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 1:30pm


Way One (Sat., November 5, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $70)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., November 12, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., November 19, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $200 for the series • Class size limited to 18

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

The book on Julia's technique: 5 Ways In to Character: bringing intimate humanity to the page, stage, screen and easel is now available for purchase!

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 4:00pm

Six Tuesdays: December 13 - January 17, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 4:00 - 7:00pm PT • $495

Class limited to nine attendees

REGISTER HERE  

 

 

This class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop, with emphasis on the craft of writing a publishable travel story. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. This may be based on a recent close-to-home travel experience or on a memory of a past trip. In the workshop, we'll begin by closely reading, discussing, and critiquing examples of excellent travel writing. Then each participant will present their story idea for discussion and revision, and then write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. Each piece will be closely read and discussed in class. Subsequent classes will allow for revision, discussion, and further refinement of each piece. During the course of the workshop, in addition to individual critiques, we'll talk about the fine points of structure, pacing, and making your point. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories in widely known venues such as the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.

Class limited to nine attendees

What students are saying about Don George:

“Don George's travel writing workshop was a rigorous, profound, magical experience, the product of a uniquely nurturing environment. Taking his courses has encouraged me to write without fear of failure, and with greater confidence and creativity than ever before. Any writer—whether officially a travel writer, or any other writer considering issues of place—should jump at the chance to work with him."
—Diane Vadino

"I have always wanted to take a writing workshop from Don George, but was never able to because I did not live in the Bay Area. When he offered his workshop virtually this year, I jumped at the chance and could not be happier with the experience. It motivated me to work on a piece and the feedback I received from the other attendees enabled me to take an "okay" piece I had written and turn it into a piece I'm really proud of by the end of the workshop. I ended up going in a different direction than intended, but it ended up being the right direction I could not see by myself. I would have not been able to get my writing to where it needed to be without Don and the workshop participants. I would sign up for another virtual workshop with Don George in a heartbeat.”
—Lisa Boice

 

Online Class