The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Welcome to The Piper Writers Studio

A home for creative writing classes and workshops

At the Piper Writers Studio, we believe in the power of your words. We believe in your artistic momentum and that education can transform dreams into realities. We encourage professional development in all areas of creative writing and literary business. We create opportunities for beginning writers, intermediate writers, seasoned authors, and those who don’t yet know they are writers. We welcome all levels of learners and seek to meet you where you are in your creative journey. We offer our communities high-quality educational experiences in multi-genre learning opportunities through diverse arrays of creative writing and literary business topics, faculty, delivery modes, and access points.

All classes are not-for-credit, and are intended to be open to the public. You do not need to be an ASU student to attend. Writers of all backgrounds, genres, and experience levels are welcome. 

Class sizes are kept small – usually between 8 and 16 students – in order to allow for more personalized instructional time with instructors and allow participants space to cultivate strong community connections to one another. 

Individual classes range from single afternoons to multiple weeks, are taught by local and visiting instructors, and are offered at various times throughout the year. While individual costs vary depending upon the content and duration of the course, classes are usually between $40-$160, with a number of discounts for various members of the community.

With a listening ear and an open door, we are honored to be a place where artists go to further their skills and build their imaginations. We foster creativity, one writer at a time.

Current Course Offerings

Promoting Your Poetry Book: What to Expect and Where to Begin

Thursday, May 4 @ 5:30 - 7:30 pm (Phoenix MST) - VIRTUAL


  • General $40
  • Student $20


Do you have a book of poems you’re hoping to publish, have a book that is forthcoming, or you may even have a book that was recently released and you’re wondering now whatHow do I connect with readers and promote this book? In this course, Laura Van Prooyen will share her experience as both author and publisher who focuses on how to build relationships around poetry and books. As a poet who published three books, each with a different small press, Van Prooyen can speak to the need for authors to be active in getting the word out. As the founder and publisher at Next Page Press, she can speak to the realities and expectations of small presses and the benefits of collaboration. In this course, you will receive “how-to” tips and thoughts for ways to build communities and participate in authentic promotion.


Laura Van Prooyen is author of three collections of poetry: Frances of the Wider Field (Lily Poetry Review Books) Our House Was on Fire (Ashland Poetry Press) nominated by Philip Levine and winner of the McGovern Prize and Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press). She is also co-author with Gretchen Bernabei of Text Structures from Poetry, a book of writing lessons for educators of grades 4-12 (Corwin Literacy). Van Prooyen is the Managing Editor for The Cortland Review, and she facilitates free online workshops with Community Building Art Works for healthcare workers and military families. She is the founder of Next Page Press and lives in San Antonio, TX.

Imagining Our Stories: The Marriage of Speculative Fiction and Black Feminine Storytelling with Candice Lola

4 Fridays, May 19 - June 9 @ 5:30 - 7:30pm (Phoenix MST) - VIRTUAL


  • General $160
  • Student $80


The Marriage of Speculative Fiction and Black Feminine Storytelling explores the symbiotic relationship between the Afro-feminine experience and speculative storytelling. This virtual guided discussion-based course examines classic works with speculative aspects by authors like Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, as well as more contemporary work from authors like N.K. Jemisin. We will read weekly passages to study the complexity these writers allowed their Black female characters and the relationships between the works themselves. We will also focus on new ways to craft stories by recreating examples of these works. This class includes exercises, reading assignments, class discussions, and peer reviews. Students can expect to leave with a unique connection to the course material, an introduction to fresh methods of storytelling, and a trove of resources for future reference. Open to beginning and intermediate writers. 

Candice Lola (she/her/hers) was first published at age 7, when her poem about friendship was published by her school quarterly. Since then she has earned an MA from NYU and published several horror stories, including the horror edition of Midnight & Indigo. She is also a writing instructor and a TEDxNYU presenter on the topics of Vodun and self-identity.

Break into Travel Writing with Mer Norwood

Saturday, May 20 @ 10 am - 2 pm (Phoenix MST)


  • General $80
  • Student $40


Travel writing doesn’t have to be an elusive dream - you can make travel writing a reality. In this course, you will gain practical, insider knowledge from an expert in the industry. You will learn to first build a foundation by developing your authority in a subject matter and building your personal brand. You will walk away with the formula for the “perfect pitch” and put it into practice to land your next travel assignment. Utilizing these tools will set you up for success to pitch to publications and organizations. You will also be asked to write about a recent travel experience, and receive feedback on your piece. Ultimately, you will learn all you need to know to actually get paid to write and travel.

After moving to Phoenix in 2016, I realized that I wanted to explore all the city had to offer, and share my findings with others seeking inspiration. In 2017, I started my blog, She Forks PHX, (now She Moves PHX) which provided a creative outlet for my writing, and gave me the opportunity to meet new people, try new things, and visit new places. In 2019, I became a Contributing Writer for The Phoenix New Times, and the following year, one for Downtown Phoenix Inc. I broke cultural stories that needed to be told, like my feature on women in beer brewing or the inaugural unveiling of the Asian District in Mesa. I also contributed stories that were featured in DTPHX’s Directory, distributed to the millions of tourists that visit Phoenix. In 2021, I delved even deeper into my craft, and produced articles for Best Western® Hotels and Resorts, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Tempe Tourism, Visit Gilbert, Discover Gilbert, and Discover Bisbee – to name a few. Over the course of my writing career, I have been featured in AZ Central, The Know Book: 100 Women to Know and Do Business With, Voyage Phoenix, Shoutout Arizona, and Canvas Rebel.

Teach with Piper

Educating and inspiring our writing community

Interested in teaching a class or workshop? The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is now accepting proposals for creative writing classes and workshops through the Piper Writers Studio.

Before you begin your application, be sure to have the following ready (as you won't be able to save and return to your application):

  • A brief bio (200 words or less)
  • Proposed course title
  • Proposed course description (200 words or less)
  • We will NOT ask you for a CV, writers resume, or list of your publications. Instead we will ask you to provide a short personal statement letting us know why you think you're a good fit to teach with us including what your involvement may currently be in our literary community.

We recognize that filling out an application like this can feel intimidating, especially if you're new to processes like this. To help, we will offer some advice along the way. You can also check out our FAQs or our PWS Instructor Informational Guide.

For other opportunities with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, you can apply for a Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference fellowship. For more information about course proposals, you can view past classes or contact Educational Program Coordinator, Joy Young, at

Pitch Your Course

Piper Writers Studio FAQ

What is the Piper Writers Studio?

The Piper Writers Studio offers classes, workshops, mentorships, and other educational opportunities for creative writers of all backgrounds, genres, and skill levels to help writers advance their skills, achieve their goals, and grow as creative writers and human beings.

What kinds of classes and workshops do you offer?

Every class is different. While some focus on generating new work, others focus on workshop, planning, or revision. We also cover numerous topics and genres including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, young adult, science fiction, mystery, flash, social justice, translation, and more. To learn more about what kinds of classes and workshops we offer, you can view our current classes or view our past classes.

Who teaches your classes and workshops?

Our classes and workshops are taught by recognized authors, writers, professors, editors, agents, and other professionals within the creative writing community. To learn more about our faculty, you can view our current classes or view our past classes.

Where are classes and workshops?

In person classes and workshops usually take place at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281) on Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus. For more information about getting to the Piper Writers House, visit our “About” page at and click on the tab “Getting Here.”

If a class or workshop does not take place at the Piper Writers House, more information will be made available on our website and disseminated via email to registrants. Please note that for virtual events we operate in Phoenix MST. As Phoenix does not observe daylight savings time, determining the correct time outside of Arizona can be somewhat confusing. To check the current time in Phoenix, Arizona, you can check the world time clock. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Coordinator for Educational Programs by email at

Where should I park?

We recommend parking in the Fulton Center Parking Structure off University Blvd (just east of College Ave on the North Side of University). The Fulton Center is the closest lot to the Center and less than five minutes away. Parking is $3/hr or $15 all day. For more information about parking, visit our “About” page at and click on the tab “Getting Here.”

How much are classes and workshops?

Every class is different. Costs range anywhere from $39-$300 depending on course offerings and time. For more information, you can view our current classes or contact the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at

When do classes and workshops take place?

Classes and workshops are offered throughout the year, usually on weekday evenings or weekend mornings and afternoons. For more information, you can view our current classes or contact the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at

When are classes and workshops announced?

Classes and workshops are generally announced two to three months in advance of each season—July for Fall, November for Spring, and March for Summer. To receive updates, you can like us on Facebooksign up for our mailing list, or check back on our website at

How do I register?

All registrations take place online through our website. To register for a class, view the list of current classes at, find the class you like, and click on the button “Register Here.” You should receive a confirmation email once registration is complete. If you have any questions about registering, contact  the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at

When does registration close?

Registration closures vary. A course may close approximately one week before the class is scheduled to begin, but may also stay open until the day the course begins. For more information, you can view our current classes or contact the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at

Do you offer any discounts?

The Piper Center currently offers two discounts: one for students and one for ASU affiliates. While discounts vary depending on the class, students typically receive between 20 and 25% off; ASU affiliates typically receive around 10%. Please note discounts cannot be combined.

To claim the student discount, select “Student Registration” in the registration form and enter your student ID number or other information where prompted and appropriate. Please note that students do not need to be students of Arizona State University to receive the discount, and are eligible so long as they are currently enrolled in classes at a high school, community college, university, or other educational institution.

To claim the ASU discount please contact  the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at Please note that any student, faculty, or staff member of Arizona State University is eligible to receive the ASU Affiliate discount as well as alumni and alumnae.

Do you offer refunds?

Refunds can be provided up to 24 hours before a class or workshop is scheduled to begin (minus a $25 fee). For more information, view our current classes or contact the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at

Do I need to have taken other creative writing classes or be a writer to take classes and workshops?

No. As long as you’re interested in creative writing and willing to learn, individuals of all backgrounds and skill levels are welcome to attend. Classes intended for writers with more experience will be indicated on our website. If you have any questions about a particular class, please feel free to view our current classes or contact the Coordinator for Educational Programs, Joy Young, at

Do I need to be an ASU student to take classes and workshops?

No. Classes and workshops are intended for all members of the community. That being said, ASU students are welcome at classes, too. 

Can I receive ASU credit?

No. All Piper Writers Studio courses are noncredit, professional development courses where no college credit is offered. For for-credit creative writing classes, visit ASU’s Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at  

Can I receive Professional Development / Continuing Educational credit?

Yes. All Piper Writers Studio courses are eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s). Please contact the Education Programs Coordinator for more information about CEU’s.

Can I teach a class?

You can apply to teach with Piper. To apply to teach a class, you will need to submit a course proposal. To learn more about course proposals, visit the "Teach with us" tab  at or contact Educational Program Coordinator, Joy Young, at