The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Past Classes and Workshops

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Unraveling the Mystery of Mysteries
Chantelle Aimée Osman

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

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: Tuesdays, April 10 - 24 and May 8, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop

Some people think of the desert as a void, a place that’s lacking. On the contrary, the Sonoran Desert is a place of abundance, a landscape that’s facilitated transit, displacement, belonging, and diversity for far longer than Phoenix became the largest city inhabiting it. The 6th largest metropolis in the United States continues to change, to adapt to its new residents and realities. Almost 40% of Phoenix’s population is Latino, many of us immigrants from Northern Mexico, carrying stories, traditions, opinions, many finding ways to make our journeys transcend.

Date: Mondays, March 26 - April 9, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Craft Class, Generative Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir

In this writing and discussion-intensive course, students will explore how their personal stories relate to current issues in the national narrative on anything from global warming, mental health, parenting, social justice, prison reform, and more, much more.
Date: Friday, March 23, 2018, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 24, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Fiction

Teacher, author, and freelance writer John Calderazzo joins the Piper Writers Studio from Fort Collins, Colorado to provide two unique nonfiction workshops and help Valley writers develop their skills. Register for each course independently or for both to save

Date: Mondays, January 29 - February 12, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Crime Writing, Fantasy, Fiction, Memoir, Science Fiction

In this three-week workshop you will learn how to develop a timeline for writing your novel and stick to it. A series of discussions, worksheets,and presentations will help you develop that characters and pivotal story moments that define your story. From there we will build the connection points between the chapters and fill in the story beats that keep a reader engaged from start to finish.
Date: Tuesdays, January 23 - February 6, 2018, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Type: Craft Class, Discussion, Generative Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Storytelling

Using the results of scientifically researched, brain-based techniques, balanced with a variety of inspirational creative writing activities, wewill unlock story ideas and build skills that lead to personal narrative vignettes, as well as a culminating project called “Voice of theUnheard” Advocacy Story. Using primary and secondary research, participants will write and perform their advocacy story, and build an experiential project.
Date: Thursdays, January 18 - February 8, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Type: Craft Class, Generative Workshop
Genre: Poetry

In this class, we’re going to read like robbers. We’ll pay close attention to how some terrific older poems are made (most in English, some in translation). Inspired by these poems, charged by having attended to their craft, and perhaps startled out of some limiting contemporary styles and assumptions, we’ll make our own new poems to share.