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Classes and workshops for the community

Wherever you are, we're here to meet you

The Piper Writers Studio (PWS) offers creative writing classes, workshops, and other educational opportunities for writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience.

Our classes are intended for and open to the public. You do not need to be an ASU student to attend. Class sizes are kept small—usually between 8 and 16 students—in  order to maximize the amount of instruction and to develop closer relationships between students, faculty, and the class as a whole. Individual classes range from single afternoons to multiple weeks. Classes are taught by local and visiting faculty and are offered at various times throughout the year. While individual costs vary depending upon the content and duration of the course, classes  usually cost between $39-$250, with a number of discounts available for various sectors of the community.

Wednesday | June 5, 2024 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm via Zoom

Writing Compelling Reviews of Concerts, Festivals, and Other Live Performances

Virtual with Mer Norwood

Learn what it takes to have your review published. Storytelling is at the heart of writing compelling write-ups and reviews. Learn how to use the principles of great storytelling to generate pre-event excitement with your writing, as well as master in-the-moment reporting and thoughtful reflections and reviews afterward, from blogger, reporter, and media expert Mer Norwood.

  • Learn techniques for capturing the excitement of live events on the page
  • Explore ways to build engagement for events with your writing
  • Develop your sense of writing style with an expert in the field


Mer Norwood is a contributing writer for the Phoenix New Times and Downtown Phoenix Inc. She has also contributed stories and articles for the Downtown Phoenix Directory, Best Western Hotels and Resorts, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Tempe Tourism, Visit Gilbert, Discover Gilbert, Discover Bisbee, and more. Her work has been featured in AZ Central, The Know Book: 100 Women to Know and Do Business, Voyage Phoenix, Shoutout Arizona, and Canvas Rebel.

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Four Saturdays | July 6, 13, 20 & 27 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm via Zoom

Write the Memoir You’re Afraid to Write!

Virtual with Patricia L. Brooks

In an encouraging and insightful presentation, your instructor will help you capture the essence of your untold story. Learn how to produce a memoir to your own satisfaction, face your fears, and conquer your story's emotional beats. Sharing techniques developed during the writing of three daring memoirs, your instructor will give you the necessary tools to bring your work to fruition.

  • Learn the basics of memoir writing from idea to page
  • Explore techniques for capturing your untold story
  • Complete writing exercises and lectures to further your memoir writing skills


Patricia L. Brooks is the president and founder of Brooks Goldmann Publishing, LLC, and the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers. She is the author of three memoirs: Sick as My Secrets, Three Husbands and a Thousand Boyfriends, and Gifts of Sisterhood: Journey From Grief to Gratitude. She is the recipient of a Nonfiction/Memoir Award from the Arizona Authors Association. Patricia currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and can be reached by email ( Her books are available on Amazon in e-book and softcover format. Find her site at

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Four Tuesdays | July 9, 16, 23, & 30 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm via Zoom

Craft the Written Word Through the Sensory World

Virtual with Lorin Drexler

In this exploratory 4-week generative workshop series, we will use music, art, visual objects, and environments to generate new creative work. Each week will take a different approach to engaging the senses and prompting the imagination. All skill levels and writers of all genres are invited to participate.

  • Gain new inspiration and insight for your writing
  • Learn techniques for incorporating auditory and visual media in written works
  • Find your authorial voice by exploring your relationship with the physical and metaphysical world


Lorin Drexler is an American poet, fiction writer, musician, songwriter, and music producer. Currently residing in Mesa, Arizona, and originally from the windy city of Chicago, he graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a bachelor's degree in creative writing. His work has appeared in tNY Press, LitroNY, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Black Elephant, and Maudlin House. Lorin was also an award recipient in the 2019 Tempe Writing Contest.

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Four Saturdays | August 3, 10, 17 & 24 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm via Zoom

Novel Boot Camp

Virtual with Jenny Benjamin

Do you have an idea for a novel, but you're not sure where to start? Have you started a novel, but you're not sure how to finish it? This is the course for you! In this workshop, we will examine the main parts that make up a strong narrative: characterization, setting, plot, and dialogue. We will also study excerpts from novels for discussion, and to use as springboards into your own writing. You'll complete warm-up writing prompts meant to be tailored to your narratives, and your instructor will guide you in how to outline (or not outline) your novel, as well as work with you to develop other strategies to help you accomplish your writing goals.

  • Discover strategies for completing your novel from idea to page
  • Learn the basics of creating and writing from a novel outline
  • Complete writing exercises to further the development of your novel


Jenny Benjamin is the owner of the freelance writing and editing business JB Communications, LLC. Over thirty of her poems have appeared in literary journals such as DIAGRAM, South Carolina Review, Fulcrum, Baltimore Review, Chelsea, and Crab Orchard Review. She is the author of the novels This Most Amazing (Armida Books, 2013), Heather Finch (Running Wild Press, 2022) and The Terrain Trilogy series of young adult science fiction (Ananke Press, 2021, 2022, 2023). She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks, More Than a Box of Crayons (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and Midway (No Chair Press, 2018). She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her three children and dog.

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Learn more about the Piper Writers Studio

About the Studio

At the Piper Writers Studio, we believe in the power of your words. We believe in your artistic momentum and in how education can transform dreams into realities. We encourage professional development in all areas of creative writing and literary professions for beginning writers to intermediate writers to seasoned authors to those who don’t know they are writers yet. PWS welcomes all levels of learners and seeks to meet you where you are at on your creative journey. We offer high-quality educational experiences and  multi-genre learning opportunities in a  diverse array of creative writing genres as well as multiple classes on the business of writing. Our faculty are all published writers and skilled teachers of writing.

We provide  a listening ear and an open door and are honored to be the place where artists go to further their skills and build their imaginations. We strive to foster authentic creativity and craft, one writer at a time.


As part of our continuing efforts to increase access to creative writing education across diverse communities, the Piper Center offers a number of discounts for students, veterans, ASU affiliates, and senior citizens, as well as individuals experiencing economic challenges.

Generally speaking, discounts are between 10% and 15% off each class, and are claimed by entering an ID number or contacting the Piper Center at to receive a discount code. 

Please note: Discounts are not available for every class. Only one discount code can be used for each class. However, there is no limit to the number of classes for which the discount can be used. The Piper Center reserves the right to ask for further verification of all discounts upon request.


Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is committed to ensuring that all individuals have fair and equal access to Piper Center events and programs.

All venues are accessible to individuals with mobility challenges, hearing loss, or other forms of disability.

ASL interpreting services, printed versions of presentations, large print handouts, translations, and alternative forms of materials for classes, workshops, or other programs are available with two to three weeks advance notice (upon request).

To request materials or contact the Center with any other accessibility questions or concerns, call the Center directly at 480.965.6018 or send us an email at

Teach with us

Teach with Piper

Educating and inspiring our writing community

Interested in teaching a class or workshop? Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is now accepting proposals for creative writing classes and workshops through the Piper Writers Studio (PWS).

Before you begin your application, be sure to have the following ready (as you won't be able to save and return to your application):

  • A brief bio (200 words or less)
  • Proposed course title
  • Proposed course description (200 words or less)

We will NOT ask you for a CV, writers resume, or list of your publications. Instead we will ask you to provide a short personal statement letting us know why you think you're a good fit to teach with us including what your involvement may currently be in our literary community.

We recognize that filling out an application like this can feel intimidating, especially if you're new to processes like this. To help, we will offer some advice along the way. You can also check out our FAQs or our PWS Instructor Informational Guide.

For other opportunities with Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, you can apply for a Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Teaching Fellowship. For more information about course proposals, you can view past classes or contact coodinator for educational programs,

Pitch Your Course Instructor Guide


Can't find an answer to your question? Email us!

Can't find an answer to your question? Email our coordinator for educational programs, or send a general query to

Invest in us

With your support, Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is able to host free educational opportunities. Give writers from Arizona and the  Southwest access to classes and workshops from expert faculty. Help writers of all levels receive the knowledge, training and assistance necessary for their personal, professional and artistic development. Your gifts also ensure excellent free and fair-cost literary programming across our diverse communities. Become an essential part of our community story with your gift to Piper today.

Invest in our work 


The entire registration process can be completed online by following the links above. You will receive a confirmation email once you are registered for the workshop. Registration closes for all workshops at the start of the first session.

Workshops range from $50 to $250.

ASU Students, OLLI Members, and Mirabella residents are eligible for registration discounts of anywhere from 25% to 50% off. Keep an eye out for coupon codes in our monthly newsletter as well. Subscribe here.

All PWS workshops are open to the public!

ASU credit is not awarded for PWS workshops. For-credit writing classes are taught through the ASU Department of English. 

Yes, you can. For every 10 instructional hours, you can receive 1 CEU credit. CEU credits require a $30 registration fee in addition to PWS registration costs. Once you’ve signed up for a course, please fill out the CEU Professional Development Form. When you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate via snail-mail confirming your credit hours.

Workshops meet at the Piper Writers House at ASU, local bookstores, and virtually through Zoom.

Class lengths vary. Many of our evening classes meet for 1-2 hours a week. Saturday classes tend to meet between 3-5 hours, allowing participants to explore a topic in depth. Four-week classes are scheduled for two hours each week, on a single night. One-day courses meet for five hours on a Saturday and explore a topic in depth. 

Workshops are updated before each new semester. If you would like to receive notices when new workshops are scheduled, please subscribe to our newsletter.

The Piper Center offers registration fee refunds up to 72 hours before the workshop date. A $5 processing fee will be deducted from the refund. We cannot offer refunds within the 72-hour window before the workshop date. Please email Sasha Hawkins, the Piper Center’s Education Coordinator, at for more information.