Tango with a Stranger, NGT

Now and then in Buenos Aires, I have the urge to rub against a man I’ve never met. When that occurs, I usually go to La Boca, the barrio that throbs with the afterglow of Italian immigrants who

TANGO: Celebrating 7 lucky years on the Book Shelf!

“What a wonderful connection you will be sharing with readers: the present moment, communion with another soul, letting go, passion, strength and femininity. I am very excited for your book!”

Oh là là! Stories with a French Twist

FREE! Sunday, October 4th at 4 P.M at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista, Corte Madera, CA Savor a moveable feast of travel stories with the accent on all things French. Mill Valley author Lisa Alpine hosts this effervescent literary afternoon featuring a cadre of très magnifique authors including: • Erin Byrne is author of Wings […]

Travel Writing Workshop

September 12, 2015 1–5pm • $95/person •  limited to 10 participants 1650 Jackson Street, San Francisco Instructor: Camille Cusumano, award-winning travel writer since the 1980s and former food & travel editor at VIA Magazine. REGISTER WITH PAYPAL BUTTON: “Travel writing is one of the oldest forms of literary endeavors.” Everybody travels today and many write […]

Writing as Refuge Workshop

Anyone who writes experiences how it taps a different brain from the everyday one. Invariably, the writing space, entered as in meditation, allows loss and submerged pain to float to surface. Writers often face these feelings, along with the joyful ones, as signage to meaningful, redemptive stories, taking refuge in the practice. Consider this daylong workshop, a safe haven for personal writing—about loss or gain. We will write, chat, and work on crafting your precious material, with occasional personalized “soft” critiques.

Back to Basics, Writing Workshop

This is a writing workshop for writers who need help jump starting their writing, big or small projects. This workshop is perfect for the novice writer who needs advice, inspiration, direction getting started, and keeping on track,too big. We’ll cover the basic elements of good writing and what I call the “Magnificent Seven Entry Points” to creative non-fiction. Come prepared to write. Bring laptaps or paper, whatever you prefer.

TEDx Tango Talk, NY, 10/25/13

I’ll be presenting a talk on Tango as part of the Hero’s Journey, a la Joseph Campbell at this landmark event. I’ll be presenting at TEDxLowerEastSide with speakers from a variety of backgrounds including scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, yogis, monks, educators and activists.

San Francisco Writers Conference 2014

Hey! I’m on a panel of memoir writers at the
2014 San Francisco Writers Conference, February 13–16.

Workshop: Memoir & Creative Non-Fiction, Inventing the Truth

“Tell the truth even if you have to make it up.” —Bazooka Joe Workshop: Memoir & Creative Non-Fiction Inventing the Truth HOW TO CRAFT GOOD STORY “I am led to the proposition that there is no fiction or nonfiction as we commonly understand the distinction; there is only narrative.”  —E. L. Doctorow Tuesday, January 14, […]

Secret Power of Transitions, writing workshop

Writers, if the indispensable narrative arc eludes you, consider the seemingly insignificant structures that support the arc. The narrative arc is like a bridge span that cannot stand or hold its weight without strong “transitions.” You will focus on these and write many of them before the day is over. Transitions are not just those sentences/phrases that are connected by conjunctions or other punctuation signposts. Transitions are also those numinous highly energetic points in a piece that pack a punch and can make a reader blink or lose her breath. We’ll talk about them, study them, write them. Don’t be dismayed if at first you don’t see them. They are often subtle or invisible, keeping out of sight, like pilings for a pier. Then again, they may be as magnificent as towers that support a bridge. Without strong transitions there can be no tension or drive in a story or essay.

3-D Creative Writing Intensive

3-D Creative Writing Intensive 1. Guided Instruction on Story Entry Points 2. Apply instruction • Write • Breakthrough Barriers 3. Private one-on-one consultation with instructor

Next Milonguita, beginner’s tango party

beginners milonga san francisco, la pista

Tango’s Five Basic Steps for Beginning Dancers

In five weeks, get the five basics of Argentine tango: walking, forward ochos, back ochos, the cruzada (or cross), and the molinete (or windmill or grapevine). Be able to dance a full tanda (set of 3–4 tango songs) by the end of the series. Series of five: $45 if paid before January 1, 2013. $10 […]

Creative Non-Fiction Workshops

January 15, 22 & February 5 – 6:45–8:45 p.m. SEE NEW TWO-FOR-ONE OFFER BELOW! Mechanics Institute Library Board Room, 4th floor 57 Post St. @ Montgomery San Francisco, CA – What Participants Say Info: 415-425-XXXX; $125 for all three sessions; $110 if you have participated in any of my workshops; drop-in to just one class: […]

Yoga for Tango Dancers

MaryEllen Whitton & Camille Cusumano bring years of experience in yoga to help you get grounded in tango; stay balanced, stay on axis, transfer weight like a butterfly, breathe like a yogi, and find total relaxation in the dance. We’ll limber you up, calm you down, build your confidence. Namaste!

Memoir Writing/Study Workshop

Let’s look at memoir (creative non-fiction) through the back door deeply.

The Art of Writing Memoir

Workshop series in three consecutive Tuesdays learn: How and why memoir differs from autobiography, How to capture the essence of your personal experience, How to make it captivating to readers, How to shape the elusive narrative arc, How to find and use writing conventions that fit your story & situation, How and when to breakaway from conventions, How to incorporate experimental writing

Beginners Tango, Every Friday!

In the mind of beginners there are many possibilities, in the mind of experts, few. This is truly Tango Mind, Beginner’s Mind – for mind, body, soul.

Writing Intensive Workshop, Beginners

A full day (8 hours) of writing instruction in a very small group (limited to six participants).
You’ll learn everything from unlocking the writer within, the six key elements of winning creative non-fiction (or personal essays)to understanding the all-important narrative arc, how to shape it, how to cultivate your voice (or voices!) and the delicate art of self-editing. You will write, write, write, and leave inspired.

Truths, Half-Truths, & Truths-and-a-Halfs Writing Workshop

A writer of integrity never wants to have the footnote after her/his name that James Frey, who “fictionalized” his memoir, will forever have. The bald-faced lies may have earned him some dough, but you don’t want a liar’s fame. In the long run it won’t serve him.

However, there are much less egregious examples of bending, re-focusing, refracting, embroidering the truth. Is there ever a place for it in creative non-fiction? A number of respectable writers have said there is . . .