All Classes

Online Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Seven Tuesdays: August 3 - September 14, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $575

Class limited to nine attendees

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

 

 

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.
 

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

Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm



Way One (Sat., Sep. 11, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $60)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., Sep. 18, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., Sep. 25, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

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

Online • Live • $180 for the series • Classes limited to 16
 

 

 

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: September 11th , 18th and 25th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

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.”

Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics Book Group (Tuesdays - Corte Madera)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 10:30am to 12:30pm


Five Tuesdays: Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, Dec. 14., 2021 & Jan. 11, 2022

Corte Madera Store • 10:30am-12:30pm PT • $125

 

Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Pat is the former book review editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

September 14
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

October 12
Deacon King Kong by James McBride

November 9
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

December 14
The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey

January 11
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

 

All titles are available at Book Passage. Please support your local, independent bookstore and buy from us!

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics Book Group (Fridays - Corte Madera)

Friday, September 17, 2021 - 10:30am to 12:30pm


Five Fridays: Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Dec. 17., 2021 & Jan. 14, 2022

Corte Madera Store • 10:30am-12:30pm PT • $125

 

Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Pat is the former book review editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

September 17
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

October 15
Deacon King Kong by James McBride

November 12
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

December 17
The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey

January 14
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

 

All titles are available at Book Passage. Please support your local, independent bookstore and buy from us!

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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

Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm



Way One (Sat., Sep. 11, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $60)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., Sep. 18, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., Sep. 25, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

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

Online • Live • $180 for the series • Classes limited to 16
 

 

 

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: September 11th , 18th and 25th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

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, September 25, 2021 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm



Way One (Sat., Sep. 11, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $60)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., Sep. 18, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., Sep. 25, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

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

Online • Live • $180 for the series • Classes limited to 16
 

 

 

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: September 11th , 18th and 25th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

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: John J. Geoghegan - How to Get Your Book Published

Sunday, October 3, 2021 - 11:00am to 2:00pm


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 11:00am-2:00pm PT • $75


 

How to Get Your Book Published is designed to help writers improve their chance of getting their memoir, novel, or non-fiction book considered for publication by a reputable literary agent or publisher. The three hour course will cover:

  • How to find a literary agent
  • How to identify the right literary agent, editor, or publisher for your project
  • How to write a query letter
  • How to construct an elevator pitch
  • What publishers, editors, and literary agents look for in a submission
  • How to write a non-fiction book proposal
  • How to improve your chances of getting your submission looked at
  • What a standard industry book contract looks like
  • 5 rookie mistakes first timers make
  • Self-publishing, digital platforms, and what to watch out for
  • And much more

John J. Geoghegan began his career at Doubleday Publishers. In addition to serving as a Special Correspondent for the New York Times, he has worked as an editor and writer in both the magazine and newspaper industries as well as is the author of three, non-fiction books: Operation Storm: Japan’s Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of WWIIHear Today, Gone Tomorrow: A True Story of Love, Hearing Loss, Heartbreak, and Redemption; and When Giants Ruled the Sky: The Brief Reign and Tragic Demise of the American Rigid Airship.

 

What students are saying about John J. Geoghegan:

"As a writer, I’ve benefited from John’s wisdom through four books. A master at understanding how to meet reader expectations, John zeroes in on a writer’s intention, applauds what's going right, and nails that unnecessary bit of exposition or missed opportunity to drive the story forward."
—K. M., author of eight commercially published novels