The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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The Piper Writers Studio

Serving writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience

Beyond our annual creative writing conference, the Piper Writers Studio is the educational arm of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, offering creative writing classes, workshops, and other educational opportunities in in-person and online formats for writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience.

All classes are non-credit, and are intended for and open to the public. You do not need to be an ASU student to attend.

Each student who completes a class receives an electronic certificate. Students also have the opportunity to read at our annual Piper Writers Studio Showcase.  

To learn more about the Piper Writers Studio, you can visit the about page or view upcoming classes below. You can also meet our instructorsview past classes, or even teach a class yourself.

For other educational opportunites, you can learn about our Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference.

For for-credit classes, you can contact the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University

Find Upcoming Classes and Workshops

Date: Monday, October 26, 2020, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Arizona time
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Mixed Genre, Storytelling

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At this pivotal moment in history, it's more important than ever to be able to articulate those experiences: death, illness, despair, the end of a romance, our disillusions. In this workshop, we will engage in the difficult yet necessary exercise of digging within ourselves to find a story we haven't told, but believe needs to be told.

Novel Starters
Hallie Ephron

Date: Sunday, November 1, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Arizona Time
Type: Presentation, Workshop
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre, Novels
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This free workshop will prepare you to hit the ground running for National Novel Writing month. We'll get you ready to write a novel--the planning, the mindset, the logistics. We'll go through the basics--plot and character, of course, and the all-important structure. Participants will walk away with a blueprint for a novel.


Date: Mondays, November 2 - 30, 2020, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Arizona time
Type:
Genre: Fiction, Genre Fiction, Mixed Genre, Novels, Speculative Fiction
Register for the Write-In

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With NanoWrimo going completely virtual this year, the Piper Writers Studio is teaming with Phoenix NanoWrimo to create a virtual space for Nano authors to come together and discuss their work. This space is available every Monday throughout the month and free to all who need it.


Advanced Poetry Workshop
Jabari Jawan Allen

Date: Wednesdays, November 4 - 18, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Arizona time
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Poetry, Sexuality
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In this three-day generative craft seminar, we will explore the erotic god, subversion versus abolition in form, and the contemporization of the sonnet through the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Donne, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Wanda Coleman, Malachi Black, Phillip B. Williams, Natasha Oladokun, and more.


Stories That Stand Still
Carmen Maria Machado

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Arizona Time
Type: Craft Class, Craft Talk, Presentation
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories
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In this talk, we’ll explore the craft of writing fiction that doesn’t move—fiction contained in a single, discreet space as large as a house, and as small as a bed—and the implication it has for our understanding of gender, characterization, and plot. Stories discussed will include Angela Carter’s “The Fall-River Axe Murders,” Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” and Nancy Hale’s “The Earliest Dreams.”

Machado will also be presenting a talk and reading the previous day.


Date: Monday, November 23, 2020, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Workshop
Genre: Fairy Tales, Fiction, Flash, Mixed Genre, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

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Fabulism is where literary fiction meets speculative fiction: where magic is ordinary, and dream logic is sometimes the only logic. In this workshop, we’ll read excerpts from writers like Carmen Maria Machado, Aimee Bender, Sequoia Nagamatsu, and Megan Giddings to take our intangible anxieties or insecurities and imagine them as concrete objects.

Story Starters
Leah Newsom

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Arizona time
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre, Short Stories
Register for this Workshop

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In this ‘creative calisthenics’ course we will explore a variety of ways to start the writing process through prompts, exercises, and avenues of exploration and play unique to your instructor. We will work through the hurdles of starting a story and develop methods to make our own creatively generating exercises. Regardless of the genre you're writing in, this course will provide tools for getting the figurative (or literal) ink on the page.


Date: Monday, January 25, 2021, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Phoenix MST.
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre, Short Stories
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Second person point of view is often seen as the awkward stepchild that no one wants to acknowledge. In this workshop, we’ll examine works by Ocean Vuong, Claudia Rankine, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Junot Diaz, and Italo Calvino as jumping off points for free-writing and other structured exercises