Joshua Davis - Spare Parts

Ten years ago, a team of undocumented Mexican American students from Carl Hayden High, a scrappy, underfunded public school in West Phoenix, took part in a national, NASA-sponsored underwater robotics competition. The school had recently launched a robotics club at the initiative of two unconventional teachers and was going up against not only other high schools, but colleges from around the country, including a team from MIT that was the beneficiary of a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. Improbably and amazingly, the four teens from West Phoenix won.
 
In Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream, Joshua Davis expands on this story, placing the teens’ amazing 2004 accomplishments in the context of the immigration debate and their entire lives. Davis takes us back to their childhoods in Mexico, shows us their daily struggles as they grew up in the United States, and brings their dramatic stories — which, in one case, involves deportation, a job picking beans in Mexico, and a tour with the US military in Afghanistan — up to the present day.

Joshua Davis has been a contributing editor at Wired for a decade and is the cofounder of Epic magazine. He is the author of The Underdog: How I Survived the World’s Most Outlandish Competitions, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador.

 

Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925
$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780374534981
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: FSG Originals, 9/2014

Class: Linda Watanabe McFerrin - Expanding Travel Writing to Fiction

02/07/2015 4:00 pm
Sat., Feb. 7 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $140 (includes a copy of Dead Love)
 
 
 
 
If you love writing about place, you might want to stret-t-t-tch your horizons. In an age where navigating the globe has never been more important, fabulous settings—along with great dialog— have become one of the keys to the best fiction. Join award winning travel writer and novelist Linda Watanabe McFerrin will show you how to take your writing about place to a whole new dimension that is out of this world in a workshop with an emphasis on craft, exercises, and work on your individual projects.
 
 
Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925

Michael Meyer - In Manchuria

With The Last Days of Old Beijing, Michael Meyer looked at the modernization of China’s ancient city, and with In Manchuria he furthers his fascinating piece on This American Life, charting the much-mythologized region bordered by Mongolia, North Korea and Siberia, now called the Northeast. For three years, Meyer lived in the remote Northeast in the rice-farming community of Wasteland. A quiet village of two dozen homes, one road, and communally farmed rice paddies, where the temperature can reach 20 below and the sun sets before 4 o’clock. There Meyer witnessed Wasteland’s sweeping changes with the arrival of Eastern Fortune Rice, a privately held and governmentally-backed company which began buying up paddies and hiring their farmers as laborers. Wasteland’s saga mirrors the tremendous shift most of rural China is undergoing; Eastern Fortune has built new roads, introduced organic farming, and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. Once a commune, Wasteland is now a company town, a phenomenon happening across China, one that Meyer documents for the first time.

Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. The winner of a Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, Meyer has also won a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

 

Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925
Country:
United States
$28.00
ISBN-13: 9781620402863
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Bloomsbury Press, 2/2015

Class: Linda Watanabe McFerrin - Plot Thickens

02/21/2015 4:00 pm
Sat., Feb. 21 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $120 
 
 
 
 
Aristotle called plot “the most important element of storytelling.” But to plot properly, you must have a plan, and the plan must give rise to emotion. Does the plot always seem to elude you? Spend a day planning and plotting and find out what you’re missing. Bring your flat-lining fiction and nonfiction and fix it.
 
Linda Watanabe McFerrin is the founder of Left Coast Writers®. Her latest novel, Dead Love, was a Bram Stoker Award finalist.
 
 
Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925

Class: Alice Acheson - Greatest Marketing Tool

02/27/2015 1:00 pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 10:00-1:00pm • $60 


 
 
Would your verbal book description gain the same success?  True story:  A New York City editor on the subway overheard two women talking, before turning their conversation to the book one of the women was writing.  The editor, still listening, was intrigued, asked for the manuscript to be submitted, and PUBLISHED the book!  This story could have occurred in the cafe at Book Passage or in the check-out line in your local super market.  

A writer's first step to market a book is to talk to "everyone."  You never know who the listener might be: an agent, publisher, bookseller, future reader.  Learn what works, what doesn't -- and why.  Don't blow your golden opportunity!

The pre-class assignment (instructions upon registration) is to write that 30-second pitch, practice it out loud -- many times -- and memorize it so it sounds like conversation.

"[The class] gave me an easy way to talk to my friends, booksellers, the media and new readers.  But I also use what I learned as a way to shape everything I'm writing.  Chances are, if I can't describe my story idea concisely (even to myself) then I need to keep thinking.  I need to make sure I'm clear about what I'm writing.  For me, it's the starting, not ending point of publishing a book.  It's been the most valuable bit of wisdom I've learned."
    --     Jennifer Solow, bestselling author of THE ARISTOBRATS and THE BOOSTER
 
 
 
Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925

Class: Alice Acheson - Publishing Choices

02/27/2015 5:00 pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 2:00-5:00pm • $60 
 
 
 
 
What is POD?  How does it differ from self-publishing?  Will either be easier, faster, better than the route to a traditional publisher?

All authors need to investigate the most appropriate method of publication before finishing their books.  You owe it to yourself -- and your pocketbook -- to learn the advantages and pitfalls of each type.  Using decades of working with all three publishing choices, the instructor shares that no method is appropriate for all books and all authors.

For some publishing routes the services provided are quite different; for others the author might pay all the expenses.  Can your book be reviewed and sold in bookstores and will you earn more money with one procedure over the others?  The answers to these crucial questions -- and others -- will determine the appropriate publishing route.

"[Alice Acheson's] knowledge about and reflection upon the reality of the publishing business makes her absolutely credible."
    --     Catherine Conway Honig, Book Passage student
 
 
Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925


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