Creative Writing Classes & Seminars
Looking for a place to express your inner writer? In each of our three yearly sessions (winter/spring, summer, and fall), we offer creative writing classes on weekday evenings, weekday mornings, and the daytime on weekends. Classes range from those geared for novice writers or those with some writing experience who are looking for a structured environment in which to bloom to those geared for intermediate, advanced, or professional writers.
We offer classes for adults as well as pre-teen and teen writers. Genres and topics offered include a variety of creative writing classes in poetry, fiction, flash fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, storytelling, comic books and graphic novels, songwriting, food writing, science fiction, fantasy, children’s book writing, journaling, and multi-genre writing, as well as seminars in writers craft, research, and professional development.
Class size is usually capped at 8 or 9 students—classes with different maximum sizes are indicated in the class listing. We teach short seminars that meet once all the way to longer workshops that meet up to eight times.
Search our classes by genre, level, and time of day below.
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Join us and learn how to create a compelling love story that showcases a heartfelt, emotional connection between your main characters. In this course, you'll learn about the classic beats to every romantic story arc, and you'll gain insights on how to make the arc unique to your own story. We'll also discuss internal and external romantic conflict, and how to craft a love story that readers will adore.
August 20 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT
Setting in fantasy fiction is more than just the imaginary time and space where the plot happens, i.e. the neutral zone of conflict and action. In the best fantasy fiction, setting can approach the status of character, and in doing so holds the potential for externalizing otherwise obscured psychological, spiritual, and thematic concerns. Consider the Gothic labyrinth of Dracula's castle, the barren wastelands of Mordor, the claustrophobic decadence of King's Landing, the quirky eccentricity of Hogwarts: these famous fantasy zones…
August 27 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT
At the beginning of a novel, an author must hook the reader (whether the reader is an agent, editor, or the final reader). Middle grade author Sylvia Liu will share the key elements that opening lines, scenes, and chapters should include to engage a reader. She will provide craft tips and share examples of successful openings. Participants will have an opportunity to share their opening paragraphs for critiques.
October 15 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT
You may have a killer plot and amazing characters, but if your writing isn't on the same level, you’ll have a hard time getting your work in front of readers. Agents and editors get thousands of submissions per year, and the vast majority aren't read past the first few pages--if that far! So what distinguishes the writing of a professional from one that needs more TLC than they can give? This seminar will address a number of factors that make…
October 22 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT
Let’s explore the power of mythology and how subconscious tenets based on ancient myth pepper not only the symbols we use, but our plot points and themes. Most writers know mythology, but having a better understanding of its evolution and its sometimes startling connections to today--as well as how to recognize and utilize inherent mythological elements--will strengthen writing of any genre. We will traverse oral tradition, ancient mythology, and universal archetypes, applying these concepts to our own, contemporary pieces.
October 22 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT
According to H.P. Lovecraft, a horror tale possesses “a certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces.” He continues: “There must be a hint of that most terrible conception of the human brain–a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.” In other worlds, horror fiction dramatizes the sinister destruction of our ordinary, everyday lives. Strange. Why…
October 29 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This six-word story, supposedly written by Ernest Hemingway, is often used to demonstrate how a whole story can be embedded in a small moment—in this case, a classified ad. In our two-meeting workshop, we’ll look at a number of pieces of flash fiction in order to uncover the deeper stories embedded within. Then, after considering a number of possible opening lines for our own works of flash fiction, we’ll dive in. Time will be…
Sundays, October 30 - November 6 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT
One of the hottest trends in publishing is stories that combine genres, but crafting a narrative that sits comfortably on two (or more) shelves is easier said than done. Every genre has specific expectations attached, and if you as a writer blow them off, readers will punish you for it. This class will define the characteristics of various genres, explore popular blended plots, and identify overlaps and contrasts so you can be sure to hit all the marks and truly…
November 5 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT
(and publication possibilities you probably never thought of) Writing from the first person POV has advantages. Writers can connect more immediately with an audience, “stay in character” more easily, and thoroughly explore a character with nuance and depth. The Bell Jar and The Handmaids Tale demonstrate the power of this point of view. It is an automatic choice for the memoirist, obviously, but it requires a dexterous combination of skills to create a successful first person story or novel. The…
November 5 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT
Family. Secrets. Each word is fraught with its own complicated dynamics. Merged together, the concept of family secrets is ripe for exploration, particularly when we think about what it means to use our writing to reveal the truths of our lives. Deborah J. Cohan draws on her background as a writer, teacher, sociologist, counselor, and group facilitator both for abuse intervention classes and for workshops related to self care and creativity. Her experience in these different and overlapping arenas will…
November 6 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST
For thousands of years, the three-act structure has been the predominant method for telling stories. It's still the basis of plays, books, and movies because it works so well. But how does it work? In this session, we'll explore the driving elements of story, how to place key elements, where your subplots should begin and end, and much more. Mastering the elements of story structure helps you put words on the page--rather than spending your writing time trying to figure…
November 12 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST
Your core story has nothing to do with your chosen genre or the fictional landscapes you love. It has everything to do with the themes, conflicts and emotions that compel you. Discovering your core story will empower you because you will realize you can take it anywhere. Join us and reach your core.
November 13 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST
Accessibility for Those with Disabilities
The Muse Writers Center strives to be a fully accessible facility. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns or would like to request an accommodation.