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

Not yet open for registration, please stay tuned for Fall 2021 classes!

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.

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: Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Hybrid, Poetry
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What haunts you in your writing or art? When was the last time you received a letter in the mail that wasn’t from your internet company? The last time you wrote one? These days, letters can come in many forms from a physical letter to an email or text to a stamped potato (yes, you can send potatoes!). And the things that haunt us, whether we are avoiding them or ruminating over them obsessively, come in even more forms.  


Perfecting Your Pitch and Query
Chantelle Aimée Osman

Date: Saturdays, November 6-13, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Workshop
Genre: Agents, Business of Writing, Publishing
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Most authors know how to write—until it comes to writing about themselves and their work. This intensive workshop will go through the ins and outs of writing a query letter, synopsis, and creating an in-person pitch from the perspective of an acquiring editor. In the second week, students will have the opportunity to share their work, get feedback, and leave with all the skills to get their submission package to the top of the pile.


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: American Indian, Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Indigenous, Memoir, Travel Writing, Writing Life
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We bring where we come from when we travel. In this workshop, participants will reflect on writing about familiar and unfamiliar landscapes, and practice making place a character in their writing.


Date: Saturday, November 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: American Indian, Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Family History, History, Indigenous, Memoir
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The area of creative writing that is literary memoir has the potential of creating a historical narrative. Channeling the chronology of US history, write your own family history. Whether a descendant of the early British settlers or later and more recent immigrants, or descendent of enslaved Africans or a Native nation, the individual story is a unit of social history. After oral presentations of individual stories, write a brief narrative. Voluntary readings and critiques follow.


#Pitmad Primer
Chantelle Aimée Osman

Date: Saturday, November 20, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Professional Development
Genre: Business of Writing
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Want to get your work in front of hundreds of agents and editors all at once? That’s the opportunity that participating in online pitching such as #PitchWars and #Pitmad can do just that. This workshop will provide an overview of how these Twitter events work, as well as the tips and tricks for making your pitch stand out from the crowd. Be prepared to work on your 280 character pitch in class.


Date: Mondays, November 29, 2021 - December 20, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Journalism, Memoir, Research
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How can poetics serve our most socially urgent writing? Writing about race [for example] is a polemic,” writes Cathy Park Hong, “but also a lyric, in that our inner consciousness is knotted with contradictions.” To investigate this convergence, this course explores the creative nonfiction resistance essay. We will read contemporary works by Aisha Sabatini Sloan, José Orduña, Sarah de Leeuw, and Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas—and, in honor the essay’s genre-defying roots, we will also read hybrid/fluid/genre-contested works by writers such as Tommy Pico and Claudia Rankine.


Date: TBD
Type: Craft Class
Genre: Autobiography, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir
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Losing a dear one is always a traumatic experience, and not everyone is ready to relive it. However, writing about loss can be an integral part of the healing process. This course was developed by author Matt Ferraz with the help of a qualified mortician and aims to present how to use literature to deal with grief and loss.


Pitch Sessions
Chantelle Aimée Osman

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type: Meeting, Professional Development
Genre: Business of Writing
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Has your work been sitting on your computer a moment? Did you finally finish your novel during NaNoWriMo? Pitch an actual acquiring editor, Chantelle Aimée Osman, your work. Have the opportunity to pitch for real and/or practice your pitch and get feedback from an expert. Each session is booked as 10 minutes of one-on-one time to ensure space for feedback.