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

Modern Day Romance
Beverly Jenkins

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Fiction, Romance
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If a pantser writes a meet cute for friends to lovers, and the dark moment is followed by a hearty grovel - does it deserve an HFN or an HEA? Confused? Don’t be! Join Beverly Jenkins for a fun and informative workshop on the structure, lexicon, and tropes of the modern-day romance novel.

Intensive Pitching Workshop
Chantelle Aimée Osman

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class, Craft Talk
Genre: Agents, Business of Writing, Publishing
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Are you prepared to pitch? Ready to write that rousing query? If you’ve reached ‘the end’ but need to know how to get your work to shine in the eyes of an agent or publisher, this workshop is right for you.

Date: Wednesdays, February 24, 2021 - March 10, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Poetry, Research
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Participants will learn to engage in creative exploration of a local past of their choice; they will read widely in the field of the literary essay, contrasting lyrical tellings of local histories written by Joni Tevis, William Least Heat-Moon, Sarah de Leeuw, Sonya Bilocerkowycz, and José Orduña; and they will practice leveraging literary precision and intent in writing about their own chosen facets of a local or community history. As a foundation, participants will experiment with an array of research methods designed to bring minute clues from the past into surprising focus. Participants will then explore their findings’ literary dimensions with guided writing prompts and collaborative workshopping sessions.

Date: Saturdays, March 6-20, 2021, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Poetry
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Where do we find guidance when all around us fails, calling into question our intuitions? The answer: Spirit. Yes, this will be a woo woo ass workshop. We will engage in the act of noticing, beckoning the revelatory into our writing. We will access divinatory methods to encounter not only the energy of the written word but the energy of our dead as well. We will study the writings of Black authors—such as Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, M. NourbeSe Philip, &c. &c—who have engaged occult practice in their work & create practices of our own to get in touch with our guides. In short, we will practice the art of listening.

From First Draft to Final Cut
María Isabel Álvarez

Date: Monday, March 15, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class, Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Flash, Mixed Genre, Poetry, Short Stories
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In this class, we’ll use tried and true tools to help improve your chances of receiving acceptance by examining first lines, ending images, and striking language by some of today’s most imaginative writers. Whether you’re a poet or prose writer, this course is designed to help you hook readers and hold their attention.

Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Fiction
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Whether you're writing epic fantasy or small-town contemporary, a strong world is crucial. Join Hafsah Faizal, the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of We Hunt the Flame, as she leads a workshop on how to craft a believable world in today's competitive, commercial market: constructing the foundations of government and geography, cultures and traditions—you'll learn everything that makes a real world tick, all while remaining grounded in your narrator's shoes, resulting in a beautiful world your readers will want to get lost in, time and time again.


Date: Saturdays, April 17 - 24, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Marketing, Publishing, Writing Process
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In this course, writers will learn the basics of creating accessible content that is inclusive of disabled readers, allowing them to reach an even larger audience. From social media and author media kits to blog posts and site design, we will cover user-friendly topics that ensure no one is excluded from enjoying your work.


Date: Saturdays, April 24 - May 1, 2021, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class, Generative Workshop
Genre: Essays, Fiction, Poetry, Writing Process
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This workshop disrupts our familiarity with writing toward the story structure of beginning, middle, and end. We will delve into generative writing activities, where participants will be encouraged to explore excerpts of text messages, flyers, email subject lines, overheard conversations, and more. We will look to the classic Japanese genre Zuihitsu, defined by its emulation of a painter’s brushstrokes, as our guide. This style gathers loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas on one page.