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: Tuesdays, June 18 - 25, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Flash, Poetry, Spiritual Writing
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In this generative workshop will explore the ways poets have used the epistolary form to scatter grief to the heavens to relieve the pressure of pain that may have grown anger, resentment, and bitterness within us. The “god” here is not a religious god, but instead any figure, creature, or higher power we feel is a possible arch to throw our bereavement over. In this two-part workshop, we’ll discuss a few poems that use this form and examine how they use language to connect our bodies to grief.


Photograph of Laura Maher
Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Presentation, Workshop
Genre: Hybrid, Poetry
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Participants will consider the ways in which language shapes our understanding of our bodies and how it impacts our experiences of good health and illness. Through readings, conversations, and writing and movement exercises, we will explore how we describe our bodies and their functions (or dysfunctions), how medicine and healthcare systems describe our bodies and their functions, and how poetry regards both.


Image of Umeda Sky Building in Japan
Date: Tuesdays, July 23 - August 13, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Experimental, Fiction, Hybrid, Poetry
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We experience our lives through form. The layout of a house, the format of a letter, or the etiquette of public interaction. When these forms shift, we are forced to take notice. In this cross-genre writing studio, we will examine how language and narrative develop differently according to structural decisions crafted by the author. Participants will explore how voice, themes and images emerge through attention to life’s many architectures, and experiment with new narrative and poetic forms based on their own unique personal experiences and close readings of a range of texts.


Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Type: Workshop, Generative Workshop
Genre: Fiction, Flash, Short Stories
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How do we create an expansive world from a limited setting? How do writers maintain narrative movement when they're confined to a single household? In this workshop, we will examine the works of Shirley Jackson, Marilynne Robinson, as well as scenes from films that engage with similar narrative structures in order to investigate how invention can operate in a compact space. Our class will dive into these stories, perform writing exercises, and achieve a better understanding of how constraints in storytelling can allow for a more substantial sense of freedom.


Date: Saturday, August 3, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Type: Presentation, Workshop, Generative Workshop
Genre: Business of Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Editing, Journalism, Marketing
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Looking to build or expand your freelance career? This workshop will guide you through the basics of freelance writing: finding your focus as a writer, identifying publications, crafting a pitch, connecting with editors, and building ongoing relationships. We'll talk about what to expect out of contracts, managing money, tips for improving your chances at making a sale, and how to find supportive groups that can encourage you to keep working. Please come prepared to write and discuss a story idea you'd like to pursue.