Writing Classes

Class: Don George - Travel Writing Intensive (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 6:30pm

Seven Wednesdays: Jan. 23 - Mar. 13 (no class Mar. 6), 2019 • 6:30 - 9:00 pm • $425

** Class closed, please email Joy@bookpassage.com to be put on waitlist**


Don George’s seven-week intensive travel writing class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop. The emphasis is on the craft of travel writing. Weekly assignments progress from a few paragraphs to full-length articles, with the goal of writing publishable pieces. Students learn to research stories, write query letters, work with editors, and market their articles. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories, including many tales in the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

**Space Limited**

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Linda Watanabe McFerrin - Writing and Publishing (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 10:00am

Saturday January 26, 2019 • 10:00 - 2:00 pm • $120 

 This workshop will teach you how to get your book published and into the hands of readers. The world of publishing is changing rapidly, and each change brings new challenges.

Linda Watanabe McFerrin is almost uniquely qualified to help writers get through these issues, because she has successfully written and published books through several channels—from major publishers to self-publishing. She is a poet, travel writer, a winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. She is the founder and leader of Left Coast Writers.




51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: David Mura - Lessons from a Stranger's Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in Writing (Corte Madera)

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 10:00am

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019  • 10:00 am – 1:00 pm • $75

In the first half-hour of this class, we’ll briefly explore the issues, skills and knowledge involved with writing about race, and the need for such instruction with all students, regardless of their race. In the last two and a half hours, we’ll explore the basics of narrative construction in fiction and memoir. Topics will include the irreconcilable conflicts, the use of lies, the structures of myth and the three-act play, and the author as the Devil tempting her characters. Students will be given pre-class assignments and readings.

David Mura is a memoirist, novelist, poet, and literary critic. He is long recognized as a master teacher at writing programs like VONA, the Loft, and the Stonecoast MFA. He has written the novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire and two memoirs: Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality, and Identity.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Janet Stickmon - Writing Your Untold Story (Corte Madera)

Saturday, February 9, 2019 - 10:00am

Saturday, February 9, 2019  • 10:00 am – 1:00 pm • $75

Ever feel like there's a story inside of you that's dying to come out?  During this workshop, you will learn ways of wrapping words around experiences so they can come to life and be a story you can share with others.  The story you tell could become a tool for liberation...for yourself as well as for others. 

Janet Stickmon is a professor of Humanities at Napa Valley College and the author of Crushing Soft Rubies—A Memoir and Midnight Peaches, Two O’clock Patience. Essays from Stickmon’s forthcoming book To Black Parents Visiting Earth:  Raising Black Children in the 21st Century have been featured in Mutha Magazine and The Huffington Post and will be released in paperback December 2018.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Connie Josefs - The Shape of Time in Memoir (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 9, 2019 - 2:30pm

Saturday, February 9, 2019  • 2:30-5:30 pm • $95

Time can be one of the most challenging aspects of memoir. We view events from two vantage points: then and now. How do writers accommodate this shifting narrative stance? How do we effectively utilize hindsight to gain access to narratives of the past? This workshop will explore how memoirists organize time, voice and point of view to structure scenes and create coherence. Format includes readings, discussion and writing exercises. Experienced and aspiring writers welcome. 

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher and writing coach. She has led workshops in fiction and creative non-fiction writing for 25 years and has worked extensively with writers over 50 to write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing at the University of New Mexico, The Taos Writers Conference and Santa Monica College, and has been a writer and story analyst for film and television. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, New Millenium Writings, Chokecherries and The Whole Life Times. Connie holds an MFA in fiction writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She divides her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern New Mexico and provides coaching and developmental editing for new and experienced writers.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Lynn Ryder - Reinvent Yourself After 50 (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, February 10, 2019 - 10:00am

Sunday, February 10, 2019  • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm • $110

In our 50s, 60s and 70s, we begin a new phase of life – a new chapter.  Are you wondering:  What’s next? Am I living the life I want to live - my best life?  How do I create an exciting and meaningful future?  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, fulfilling future.

Lynn Ryder is a personal coach, facilitator, and leadership trainer.  She is the author of Road to Fulfillment.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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

Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 2:00pm

Saturday February 23 • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm • $120

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 the final stages of the publishing adventure.

**Class price includes a copy of The Book of Roads – Travel Stories from Michigan to Marrakech.

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 metamorphosis that is reshaping the book world.

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

First published in 1998 and updated with a new preface by the author, The Art of Pilgrimage is a sacred travel guide in book form that is full of inspiration for the spiritual traveler.

award-winning writer and filmmaker and host of the acclaimed Global Spirits series seen on PBS and Link TV, Phil Cousineau weaves stories, myths, parables, and quotes from famous travelers with prac

Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination Cover Image
ISBN: 9781573242998
Availability: Special Order
Published: Conari Press - May 1st, 2008

In Stoking the Creative Fires, award-winning author and filmmaker, Phil Cousineau, gives readers the tools they need to alleviate burnout and rekindle passion in all areas of their lives.

The Oldest Story in the World Cover Image
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.

Book of Roads: Travel Stories from Michigan to Marrakech Cover Image
By Phil Cousineau, Larry Habegger (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781632280190
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viva Editions - August 11th, 2015

Cousineau's wanderlust has driven him to visit nearly 100 countries as a backpacker, documentary filmmaker, travel writer, photographer, and art and literary tour leader.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Julia McNeal - Backstage Tips for Writers: Creating Memorable Characters (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, March 9, 2019 - 10:00am

Saturday March 9, 2019 • 10 am - 5 pm • $150

Award-winning actress Julia McNeal teaches solo performers and actors a distinct method of Playing Multiple Characters that she has honed over many years.  
“My experience is that this work is always effective in deepening and specifying character creation.  For years, my author friends have requested that I offer this class to writers, and finally, here it is!” – Julia McNeal
Participants will learn a way of creating characters with nuanced and authentic voices, who are psychologically, emotionally, and physically believable and compelling, 

Julia’s technique has been recommended for years to performers who find it useful for both creating characters and for switching from one character to another onstage in easy, fun and precise ways. As a writer, you probably want each character to have a unique voice, a believable drive toward action (or inaction) and a physical presence that is distinct. This technique will help give you new ways of doing that. It may even enable you to switch from voice to voice on the page, without having to tell us, every time, “said Frank.”  
You’ll come away with a set of tools that work, to use every time you approach a new character, or to deepen and specify ones you’ve known for some time. 
Participants should come prepared with a section of written material in which several characters appear, or simply some text – even if it’s a single descriptive sentence or line of dialogue – for each of three or four characters they want to see fully embodied on the page. All levels are welcome, no performance acumen or interest is required.

Note: if you are a performer creating solo work, you are also welcome to this class, but we will be focusing specifically on getting characters on the page, rather than performing them.
Critically acclaimed actress, Julia McNeal has appeared in numerous theater and film productions in New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Local credits: Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, Aurora Theatre, SF Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Porchlight, TheatreFirst, Center Repertory Company, Pacific Alliance Theatre, First Person Singular, PlayGround (company member).  Film and TV credits include: Hal Hartley’s The Unbelievable Truth, Steve Kloves’s Flesh and Bone, and Law and Order and Law and Order SVU.  Julia is a Guest Artist in Mill Valley at Tam High’s nationally acclaimed Conservatory Theatre Ensemble.  She teaches her distinct technique for Playing Multiple Characters at The Marsh theatre and privately. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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

Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 2:00pm

Four Sundays; Mar. 10, Apr. 14, May 19, & June 9, 2019 • 2 - 5 pm • $270

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: Leslie Keenan - Is There a Book in You? (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 10:00am

Saturday March 16, 2019 • 10 am - 4 pm • $105

Leslie Keenan teaches techniques for gaining confidence as a writer and developing a clear sense of what your project is about. She gives advice on how to get the book published and gives names of agents, editors, publishers, and printers.

Leslie Keenan is an experienced writing instructor. One published student says, “If it weren’t for Leslie Keenan’s courses at Book Passage, I would never have written a word of fiction.” Author Eve Pell says, “Your help was really valuable since it stopped me from feeling utterly overwhelmed... I knew how to make a plan, and that’s what made the difference.”

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925