November 25, 2013
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Wanderlust1The last Weekday Wanderlust of 2013 will be on Monday, November 25. Location, as always, is the Hotel Rex in San Francisco (562 Sutter Street, near Union Square).

“We know it’s the week of Thanksgiving but we figured you might be home, dreaming of far away places and adventurous journeys. If you can’t get away then at least escape at the Hotel Rex with a glass of French wine or Spanish Cava along with some intrepid tales from three great writers: Jill Robinson, Jenna Scatena and Colleen Kinder. Bring along your out of town guests, family, in-laws, and significant others too—the more the merrier! We look forward to seeing you and to another great Weekday Wanderlust event. Thanks for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you! Readings begin promptly at 7 pm but we’ll be spiking the eggnog at 6 pm.”

November 19, 2013
5:30 pmto8:30 pm

adventuredrinksSave the date: Third Tuesday is Nov 19th, and per tradition, AdventureDrinkers will be gathering for happy hour. Venue TBA, but it will be in the East Bay, and BART-friendly. More info soon—check the SF Adventure Drinks Facebook page.

June 29, 2014toJuly 6, 2014

watercolor-workshopJoin Sondra Holtzman, Connie Burke and Barbara Euser in legendary Southern Greece (Neapolis) June 29-July 6, 2014 for an incredible journey of exploration and creativity.

Working in small format, we’ll incorporate sketching and painting in watercolor into personal journals, inspired by writing tips and techniques to fully capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

October 26, 2013
10:00 amto4:00 pm

LisaAlpineLisa Alpine will be teaching a travel writing class at the Writing Salon in Berkeley on October 26th.

“Do you love to travel? Keep a travel journal? Why not take the next step and turn your daily scribbles into well-crafted, memorable narratives that entice readers, family, and friends? You can do this by learning two things: 1) how to improve your storytelling abilities, and 2) how to market your work.”

More info here.

October 26, 2013
10:00 amto4:00 pm

LisaalpineIn this workshop Lisa Alpine will share her wealth of experience on how to bring your travel stories to life and get them out into the world. For example, she’ll show you how personal travel essays are publishable even if they don’t fit the structure of conventional travel pieces.  “We’ll also discuss ways to generate other travel-related sources of income, such as

habeggerThere are still a few spots left in Larry Habegger‘s Advanced Personal Essay/Memoir Workshop in San Francisco. I took this class a few years back, and improved my writing—lots!

Here’s more info from Larry:

“In the class we’ll work on your stories, with lots of discussion and development to move those stories to deeper levels. It will pick up where we left off at Book Passage, or for those of you who weren’t in my morning sessions, we’ll emphasize strengthening your writing and storytelling through accessing memory and emotion, discovering the right structure, and using fiction techniques, among other things.

“This series of classes will run seven consecutive weeks,

September 22, 2013
9:00 amto1:00 pm

natgeoIt’s coming to San Francisco, Sunday, September 22, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Register here for The Power of Light & Color, a new photography seminar, teaches students to transform their photography and expand their understanding of how light and color can enhance the quality and impact of their images. National Geographic photographer Nevada Wier will share techniques that broaden the way you think—and see—to create more compelling photographs. View amazing images and see your skills improve in just one day!

Topics covered include:

February 12, 2014toFebruary 17, 2014

smwcRegistration is open for the 9th Annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference, February 12-17, 2014.  Keynote speakers include:

  • Pat Conroy—The Great Santini and Prince of Tides
  • Yann Martel—Life of Pi
  • Laura Esquivel—Like Water for Chocolate
  • Benjamin Alire Saenz—Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club (2013 PEN/Faulkner Winner)
  • David Whyte—River Flow: New & Selected Poems
  • Kathi Diamant—Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant

As usual, the conference also includes over-the-top workshops and activities:

  • 55+ Speakers, Faculty, & Literary Agents
  • 56 Daily Workshop Options
March 10, 2014toMarch 17, 2014

erinAward-winning writers Christina Ammon and Erin Byrne offer a Deep Travel Writing Workshop from March 10 – 17, 2014 in Fez, Morocco.

Erin explains what she means by deep travel: “In its simplest form, travel is physical movement from one place to another: a flight from Seattle to South Africa, the long drive through Nebraska, or camel trek across the Sahara. Along the way we encounter new sights and smells, sounds and sensations: the taste of curry, the notes of a sitar, snow-peaked Andes, fresh mint mingling with dyed leather in the souks of Marrakech. If we are lucky, our expectations are scrambled. We are reminded that there are larger forces at play.

October 12, 2013
9:00 amto5:00 pm

“The Fifthwfc San Francisco Writing for Change Conference is the place to discover whether your book can change the world. The theme of the conference is “Changing the World One Book at a Time,” and the goal is to encompass business, politics, technology, social issues, the environment, culture, the law, and much more.

“The Writing for Change Conference is devoted to bringing together agents, editors, authors, and publishing professionals to enable nonfiction writers to learn about writing, publishing, marketing, and technology. You’ll also learn how to get your work published successfully, online and off.

October 6, 2013toOctober 11, 2013

Here’s an invitation to Robin’s upcoming Bali retreat for writers who have a book in process. The date is just before the annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and workshop participants qualify for discounted tickets to the Ubud festival.

robinsparksRobin says, “In the Breath Life Into Your Book retreat Oct 6-11, 2013, we will approach our writing using all of our senses.

August 24, 2013
10:00 amto4:00 pm

lwfI’ve taken several of Linda Watanabe McFerrin’s workshops, and loved every one. Next up is one that will help both travel writers and fiction writers create a lively sense of place:

“All the world is a stage and so is the narrative that frames your characters. Whether it’s poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction, a well-conveyed sense of place is key. Jump on a magic carpet to other places and times in this one-day workshop.

“This workshop will be held on Saturday, August 24th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA, 94925.  Sign up here.

Storytellers Wanted: the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is hosting two immersion travel writing retreats. Aspiring travel writers can attend workshops offered August 30 – September 3, or November 7–10.

“From Marco Polo and Mark Twain to Jan Morris and Elizabeth Gilbert, some of history’s most influential people have been inspired by and written about their travels. Do you have a great travel story that you hope to sell to a publication or website? Or just want to make your writing even better as you share your adventures through blogging, TripAdvisor, social media and correspondence with family and friends?

Marin Writes!

August 7, 2013 | Leave a Comment

September 22, 2013
1:00 pmto5:00 pm

cwcA Celebration of the Writing Life will be on Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Book Passage in Corte Madera. Sponsored by the California Writers Club, the event is open to both CWC members ($25) and non-members ($30) and offers writers an opportunity to connect with other writers and critique groups, chat with book coaches, freelance editors, and agents, and enjoy refreshments, wine and live music.
Pooja Menon, Carlisle Webber, Peter Beren, Little Pickle Press, and New World Library will hear pitches (sign up when you arrive).

October 11, 2013toOctober 20, 2013

grand-canyonThe Writer’s Wilderness Experience with Lonner Holden, trail leader and writer, will take place October 11 – 20, 2013. “Come adventure into the Inner Grand Canyon. In that timeless depth, connect with the heart of your writing where inspiration of light, sky, stone, river, and imagination pulse together at the source of creation.”

This exclusive guided rim-to-rim backpacking retreat is limited to six people.  More info—plus gorgeous photos from previous rips—at

September 27, 2013 7:30 pmtoSeptember 29, 2013 12:00 pm


Writing instructor Kathryn Abajian offers a Writers’ Weekend in Laguna Beach
September 27—29, 2013

Kathryn writes: Learn how to enliven and refine your narrative nonfiction writing. Whether you are an emerging writer, very experienced or somewhere in between, you will benefit from the Heart of Memoir instruction, from other participants’ experience and from the work you create and refine during the weekend. This workshop is also an excellent place for a fiction writer or poet who wants to transition into first person narrative.

October 1, 2013toOctober 4, 2013

TBEX, the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, and new media content creators, will hold their 2013 European Conference in Dublin, Ireland from October 1st to 4th.  Visit the website for more info and to get email updates, or follow #TBEX on Twitter.

October 25, 2013toOctober 27, 2013


My favorite literary journal, The Sun, is offering a writing workshop in Big Sur from October 25-27, 2013.

“We invite you to join Sun authors Ellen Bass, David Brendan Hopes, Steve Kowit, Frances Lefkowitz, and Cary Tennis, along with editor and publisher Sy Safransky, for a lively weekend of writing, conversation, and inspiration. We’ll gather at Esalen, a retreat center situated on twenty-seven acres of spectacular Big Sur coastline. Spaces are limited, so register soon by calling Esalen at (888) 837-2536, or registering online.

turkey“Award-winning travel and photography team Diane LeBow and John Montgomery will lead an all-inclusive tour, both on and off the beaten path in fascinating turkey. Whether it’s your first time picking up your pen to write about your travels or your camera to capture the essence of your trip, or you’re an experienced photojournalist or writer, you’ll enjoy this well planned and exciting journey.

“Our adventure begins in Istanbul, exploring the major sites including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Spice Bazaar, and enjoying a Bosphorus cruise.

November 9, 2013toNovember 17, 2013

guatemala-hotelThis small-group writers workshop (about six participants) from Eat-Write-Travel is at Lake AtĂ­tlan in Guatemala, and offers an ideal opportunity to focus on your memoir, novel, or creative nonfiction with plenty of personal attention from the instructor. The setting and accommodations are beautiful, the price is right, and you’ll be working with Mary Jo McConahay, an award-winning author and accomplished journalist. $1750 per person, November 9-17, 2013.

October 16, 2013toOctober 20, 2013



“About a decade ago, in what we now think of as “the roaring aughts” UC Davis gave me a little money to start a writers conference, and along with my grad students I did. We were a raging success, were listed as one of the top ten conferences in USA TODAY, even, great teachers, great food, great views, great conversation, oysters and chardonnay. UC Davis cancelled the conference in 2012, but the community out there missed it. We missed being there, so my friend Karen Nelson and I formed a nonprofit called Writing By Writers so we could make a brand new writers conference out there called Writing By Writers @ Tomales Bay.
“This year’s conference is October 16-20. The teachers are: Dorothy Allison, Carl Phillips, Ron Carlson, Antonya Nelson, Fenton Johnson and me. My class, Ron’s, Dorothy’s and Carl’s have only one or two spaces left, Antonya’s and Fenton’s have 3 and 4 spots respectively. These five people are honestly the very best teachers I know, and I can’t think of any five people I would rather have a conversation about writing with.
“There are only 10 beds left (out of 72) and I thought maybe some of you would like to fill them. Check it out, if you are so inclined at”
October 6, 2013toOctober 11, 2013

Breathe Life Into Your Book is a retreat for writers who have a book in progress. Writer and trained breath facilitator Robin Sparks will lead you in daily breath sessions to help access the core message of what you want to say. Conscious breath is jet fuel to authentic writing—writing that functions beyond the mind and is intuitive.”

The October 6 – 11, 2013, retreat is at ONEWORLD in Kumara, Ubud, Bali, and precedes the annual Bali Writers and Readers Festival. More info and registration at

What is a “Visionary” Travel Writer? What is a “visionary” writer in general? How about a writer who considers the spiritual, cultural, social, emotional, physical, psychological, racial, and political context in which they travel and write, not to mention live and breathe. Where ever you go there you are, right? We take ourselves everywhere. So a visionary writer is one who travels first into the miraculously complex depths of their own soul, and is willing to look at and express the whole kit and kaboodle, the “full catastrophe”—dark AND light, joy AND sorrow, beauty AND terror—with humility, insight, humor, and integrity.

October 23, 2011toOctober 29, 2011

Immerse yourself in writing, relaxing, and exploring one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial towns. The workshop is intimate, with a maximum of nine students, and held in a luxurious villa in the center of town, with lots of nooks and terraces for writing, reading, and dreaming. Workshop includes daily writing sessions in the morning, a reception, lunch at the villa, a cooking class and lunch in the country, a tour of town, an excursion to a private folk art museum, and a celebratory dinner and reading. $995 does not include airfare or accommodations (we’ll help arrange those). Visit Laura’s website for details and photos.

Thanks to travel writer Dick Jordan (Tales Told from the Road) for his review of the App Happy class Suzanne Rodriguez and I (Laurie McAndish King) taught for people who want to develop and market their own mobile travel apps. We developed so much content for the class that we’re nearly finished with an an e-book on the same topic.


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