The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series

Author talks and readings from some of the strongest voices in contemporary literature

Every year, the Distinguished Visiting Writer Series brings nationally and internationally recognized authors to the Phoenix metropolitan area for talks and readings, connecting local communities with the national scene.

Events take place throughout the Valley and are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.

To learn more about the series, you can select a visiting writer event from the list below. For more events, you can view all upcoming events

Upcoming Visiting Writers

Date: Friday, August 21, 2020 - 6:00pm
Location: Zoom
Genre & Forms: Fantasy, Romance

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for an evening of questions, answers and exciting conversation with authors Gordon and Ilona Andrews on Friday, August 21, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Zoom.


Date: Friday, September 18, 2020 - 6:00pm
Location: Zoom
Genre & Forms:

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for An Evening With Hafsah Faizal  on Friday, September 18, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Zoom.

Faizal will talk about her bestselling debut We Hunt the Flame, getting your foot in the door of the enigma of publishing, and writing while juggling a business—though she's not quite convinced she herself knows how.


Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 6:30pm
Location: Zoom
Genre & Forms: Children's Books, Fairy Tales, Folklore
James Riley, the New York Times bestselling author of the Half Upon a Time series, takes an in-depth look at the wonder and absolute weirdness of fairy tales, why we love them, and what it must be like to try to reconstitute an egg using only horse hooves. Spoiler alert: It can't be easy. He'll also do a reading from his fairy tale series, just to prove he knows what he's talking about, but we're not willing to commit one way or another on that last point. 

Join the Virginia G.


Global Medievalism into Africanfuturism
Nnedi Okorafor, Malik Toms

Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 3:00pm
Location: Zoom
Genre & Forms: African American, Fantasy, Science Fiction, World Literature

"Africanfuturism is concerned with visions of the future, is interested in technology, leaves the earth, skews optimistic, is centered on and predominantly written by people of African descent (black people) and it is rooted first and foremost in Africa. It's less concerned with "what could have been" and more concerned with "what is and can/will be". It acknowledges, grapples with and carries "what has been"."


Date: Friday, November 13, 2020 - 6:00pm
Location: Zoom
Genre & Forms: Fiction, Short Stories

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Burton Barr Central Library for a reading and talk with Carmen Maria Machado on Friday, November 13, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Zoom

Machado will also be teaching a workshop, Stories That Stand Still. More details about the class will be announced soon.