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Success Stories

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, through its many offerings, is committed to cultivating writers and the writing community. Below are some of the successes our enrollees have enjoyed:

Meg Dobson  

A long-time friend of the Piper Center, and a frequent Piper Writers Studio student, Meg Dobson’s story, Big Horn Carnivores, was the winner of the 2nd Annual Tempe Community Writing Contest’s Adult-Level Fiction Contest. Another one of Meg’s stories, Elemental Chaos, will be released in the Malice Domestic 2016 Bethesda MD anthology on April 28th.  Her work editing the 2015 Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuth Anthology paid off, with the story Politics of Chaos being nominated for a National Mystery Award.  Even more exciting, Meg recently received an invitation from R. L. Stein (of Goosebumps fame!) to compete for a Middle Grade Mystery/Horror anthology coming out in 2018.

Karen Odden

Student Karen Odden’s book A Lady in the Smoke launched on March 29, 2016! Learn more at her website and find her on Facebook

Young Adult Karen Odden, a New York University Ph.D in English Language and Literature, debuts her novel The Viscount’s Daughter. Pitched as “Downton Abbey With Trains,” The Viscount’s Daughter follows the unmarried daughter of a Victorian aristocrat who falls in love with a railway surgeon after the train she is on crashes outside London. The subsequent scandal—and investigation into the crash—brings long-buried secrets about her family and the darker machinations of the 19th-century British railroad industry to light. Congratulations on publishing your first novel, Karen!


Ricki Cleveland

YA student Riki Cleveland’s current manuscript was nominated for the Sue Alexander Promising Manuscript Award at the 2014 SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference.


Michael Ewing

Science Fiction student Michael Ewing’s first novel, Satan’s Gold, won first prize in the 2014 Emerging Writers’ Gateway Contest for best new crime fiction! The award comes with money, a week of residency  at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ MFA program and consideration for an agent contract. Moreover, Michael’s short story, Summer of 95, is forthcoming in Mature Women’s Guide to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Congratulations, Michael!