The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing offers a variety of classes in many genres for writers at every stage of their development through our Piper Writers Studio. Classes range from single-day workshops to four-week courses, and are led by highly experienced and respected writers and teachers. We hold sessions in October, January, and June. Topics and instructors vary from semester to semester, so check our website or sign up on our mailing list to receive news about our course schedule. Our small class sizes ensure that you and your writing receive personalized feedback, so be sure to register early to secure your seat.
Sign up for a Piper Writers Studio course to refine your skills, gain inspiration, and build connections with fellow writers and lovers of literature!
Arizona educators: Piper Writers Studio classes qualify for Professional Development credit. After registering, please apply for your Professional Development hours here.
Spring 2016 Classes
Chantelle Aimée Osman
As an editor, my first responsibility is to facilitate a market-ready product, but my goal is to empower writers to tell the stories they are passionate about. I work with authors to shape drafts into products that are engaging, attractive and, above all, professional. This course will cover the best methods for approaching editing work prior to submission or self-publication. We’ll discuss the most common mistakes that editors find in authors’ manuscripts, from grammar and style to dialogue, plotting, and characterization, with a different major focus each week. Students will learn the principles of good editing and then apply them to their own work, with in-class feedback between classmates and the instructor. They will leave with a professional, polished version of their work, as well as the tools to generate a higher level of quality in the future.Notice: This class is full. Registration is now closed.
Amy K. Nichols
Turning an idea for a short story into an actual draft can be challenging, no matter how great the idea is. Writers of every level often struggle to figure out who should be in the story, what twists and complications will captivate readers, how to wrap language around images and ideas, and how to keep the story moving forward. Even knowing where and how to start can be difficult. This class will provide you techniques for getting the story out of your head and onto the page. You will learn brainstorming strategies for planning an effective opening and honing your opening image, creating complex characters and conflicts, finding your voice and the voices of your characters, drafting a road map to guide you through your first draft, and navigating obstacles along the way. You will have the opportunity to practice these techniques by writing and revising the first scene of a new story, with feedback from your instructor and classmates.Notice: Registration for this class is now closed.
The Forbidden is a chimera, a shape-shifter. A woman writing during the seven hundred years of the Inquisition could be killed simply for writing anything. Books were once banned for sexual content. Sexual content now sells everything.
Our family, ethnic group, gender and culture impose sanctions against the forbidden. But the deepest rules about what we may or may not write lie within us. We have been and are forbidden to write about our sexuality, our fear, the realities of our aging, our loneliness, our secret delight.
What is prose poetry? In this short workshop, we’ll not so much define this form as identify the pleasures and opportunities it contains. We will read and discuss prose poems by a variety of authors, and practice the art of the prose poem in a series of generative exercises.
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Tuition discounts are available for Piper Friends, Supporters, or Fellows; ASU Faculty, Staff, and Students; and Arizona Teachers, both current and retired.
We invite writers interested in developing a novel-length work under the continuous mentorship of a Piper Center faculty member to learn more about our Your Novel Year Online Certificate Program.