The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Piper Writers Studio Instructors

Expert writers with a passion for community

Our instructors are at the heart of what we do. 

To meet current instructors for the Piper Writers Studio, select a name from the list below.

For more information, you can meet past instructors or view upcoming classes and workshops

Meet Our Current Instructors

Photograph of María Isabel Álvarez
María Isabel Álvarez is a first-generation Guatemalan-American writer. She received her BA in English Literature and her MFA in fiction from Arizona State University. Her writing has appeared in Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, Sonora Review, Puerto del Sol, and Gulf Coast, among other venues, and won First Prize in Blue Earth Review’s 2016 Summer Writing Contest.

Awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and a finalist for The Hurston/Wright Amistad Award for College Writers in Poetry, María Fernanda is a recipient of several writing fellowships, including Callaloo.

Photograph of Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah Faizal is the New York Times bestselling author of We Hunt the Flame and We Free the Stars, and the founder of IceyDesigns, where she creates websites for authors and beauteous goodies for everyone else. When she’s not writing, she can be found designing, deciding between Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim, or traversing the world. Born in Florida and raised in California, she now resides in Texas with her family and a library of books waiting to be devoured.

www.hafsahfaizal.com


Courtney is a writer, editor, and accessibility expert in video games and education. They are the founder and editor-in-chief of Can I Play That?, a website that is making waves in the video game industry and giving disabled writers a platform of their own, as well as a transcriptionist for Epic Games. Courtney also specializes in helping writers to fine-tune their publicity assets for accessibility.

A Black Box

J Allen has received fellowships & scholarships from Tin House, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Community of Writers, & VONA, among others. Along with Jari Bradley & Willie Kinard III, J is a founding member of the Black queer gospel trio The Upper Room Collective.


Photograph of Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.


Chantelle Aimée Osman is the editor of Agora, an award-nominated imprint of Polis Books. Agora focuses on crime novels with a unique social or cultural viewpoint. The former Editor-in-Chief of RT Book Reviews Magazine and a free-lance editor for over 10 years, she also co-hosted the Crime Friction podcast, and has been an instructor at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Authors at Large and LitReactor.


Photograph of Corinna Cook
Corinna Cook is the author of LEAVETAKINGS, a lyric essay collection (University of Alaska Press 2020). She holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri.