The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Current Classes and Workshops

Unraveling the Mystery of Mysteries
Chantelle Aimée Osman

Learn the principles of the most popular genre—mystery. From plot to character and beyond, this course will take you through the principles of mystery, suspense and thriller, and how to shape them into a great who-done-it.
Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Type: Craft Class, Generative Workshop
Genre: Crime Writing, Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult

Diving into the Wreck: Excavating Family Histories
Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel

For so many of us the family story is one that defines our young lives and beyond—what we either run from or toward for the decades after leaving home. In this three-hour mixed genre class, we will “dive into the wreck” of family narratives. What events in your family seem to define your life? What relationship with which family member? The narratives we hope to discuss can include those that seem to determine so many people’s young lives: trauma, abuse, neglect.

Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Lecture, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Hybrid, Memoir, Mixed Genre, Poetry

The tools of the trade remain relatively the same, but the size of the package – when it comes to writing “flash” – forces us to distill our stories into palatable, 750-word bites. In the first part of the course, we’ll discuss the features of the form – both memoir and its flash counterpart – emphasizing the elements that are standard to memoir as well as those unique to flash. In the second part of the course, we’ll read and review the flash memoirs of all participants in a traditional work-shop-style environment.
Date: Wednesdays, May 16 - 23, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Craft Class, Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Experimental, Flash, Hybrid, Memoir

Do you struggle to write natural, realistic dialogue? Are you confused about dialogue tags? How do you give characters distinctive voices? Learn how to write stronger, more believable dialogue scenes in this three-hour workshop with award-winning author and playwright, Amy Fellner Dominy. As a playwright, Fellner Dominy learned concrete tips and techniques to bring dialogue alive on stage. She'll show you how to do the same on the page.

Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Type: Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Screenwriting

This course teaches the philosophy that each creative work is a wonder, as worthy of awe as a supernova or speck of space dust. Our intention is not an idea of correctness – our intention is to leave workshop feeling invigorated, encouraged, and aware of the greatness already within the universe on the page.
Date: Mondays, June 11 - 25, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Workshop
Genre: Fiction