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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.

Class at The Muse

Search our classes by genre, level, and time of day below.

Upcoming Events

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January 2020

The Snowglobe: A Midwinter Songwriting Retreat

The new year is the perfect time for beginning new projects, and exploring new angles of ourselves. In this one day Songwriting Retreat, we'll spend time on 3 aspects of the creative process: Dreaming, Building and Repurposing. We'll play with writing in new genres, and you'll be invited to shake things up and reinvigorate your established creative routines. In this day of imagination and discovery, you'll get the opportunity to start several new songs and share the process with a…

January 25 @ 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Skye Zentz

Food Blogging from Start to Finish

Learn how to share your food experiences--whether in a kitchen or a restaurant--through blogging with Virginia’s Secretary of Taste, chef and award-winning food journalist Patrick Evans-Hylton. We explore the essence of eating, and learn how to express your thoughts in a clear, concise and compelling way. We will be eating--and imbibing--and getting the most from all of our senses to fully appreciate food and drink through the written word and photography. In this introduction to food blogging, learn about the…

Sundays, January 5 - January 26 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

4 sessions

February 2020

Writing a Resume that Works

In this one-time workshop, you’ll get the tools you need to get your resume shaped up and ready for action. Bring your laptop and several postings for jobs that interest you, and learn the tips that will make your resume the one that’ll earn the interview. (After that, it’s up to you!)

February 1 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Alison Schoew

How to Write Creatively about Mental Illness: Pop Culture vs. Science

This seminar is designed for writers who want to improve their understanding of mental illnesses and write creatively about them. The class begins with basic facts about different types of mental health issues, then analyzes story lines and characters in popular books and shows such as: anxiety (Vertigo), depression (The Girl on the Train),  addictions (Mom), autism spectrum (Rain Man), and Alzheimer’s (Still Alice). Using a "Character Development Tool" provided in class, students will write a scene which includes a…

February 8 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Marilyn Barton

Developing Personal Power as Writers

In this workshop we will explore the sources of writer’s block, procrastination, and self-sabotage through the practice of deconstructing desires, habits, and deep rooted beliefs. This workshop will include an examination of the power of words. Participants will walk away with unique ways to organize their schedule and tools to remain positive when feeling overwhelmed.

February 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Anna Fitzgerald

Writing the Killer Plot

Does your plot provide the structure your work needs & deserves? Will your plot line grab the attention of readers/reviewers/agents? With this seminar, your story becomes more powerful, your characters reach their full potential. Writing the Killer Plot (WKP) works for fiction or non-fiction, and comes with unique perspective and concise diagramming tools. From early concept to your work in progress, WKP is for writers of all levels. Workbook© provided.

February 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Malcom Massey

Creative Block Breakers: Fun Recipes for Spontaneous Inspiration

Finding it hard to summon the muse lately? Are your characters, stories, songs or poems lacking variety or needing a little shift? Spend an afternoon playing with words, diving into unique writing prompts and finding some fun new ways to approach creative writing. We'll work on engaging our senses, and using a variety of stimuli to spark a variety of writing styles and creative activities. This class is open to literary, visual, and musical artists. Please bring a notebook; all…

February 9 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Skye Zentz

Write Anything: Six Tuesday Evenings

This general creative writing class is an invitation to hone your unique writing voice in a creative and open atmosphere. You will have the unique opportunity to explore what you enjoy, be it fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry. This multi genre workshop is an excellent first writing class as well as a place for seasoned writers to explore a different forms and techniques or work in whichever style of writing seems most appropriate for each inspiration. We’ll move through creative…

Tuesdays, February 11 - March 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Sarah Pringle

Creating a Web Presence and Blog

Are you ready to launch your writing career? You’ll need an online presence where readers can find you. Whether you are already published and need to create an online portfolio, or you are just getting started and would like to begin blogging, an author website and blog will help you begin to build your online platform. We’ll work through the step-by-step process of setting up the typical three-page author website, and we will examine ways to keep a blog fresh…

Saturdays, February 15 - February 29 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

3 sessions
Teacher: Belinda Elliott

Getting Started (or Restarted) on a Novel

Do you have an idea for a novel, but you’re not sure how to start writing it? Or maybe you’ve already been writing a draft, but got stuck, bogged down, and you can't figure out what to write next? It happens to all of us! Come along as we tame these demons using easy techniques, and help you start, or restart, your novel project and turn it into a finished draft.

February 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Rick Eley

Write Great Sentences

Great sentences are not simply building blocks, they reflect the nature of what they are expressing within a story. Understanding and designing sentences is key to developing your personal style and voice and to becoming the writer you set out to be. Sentences that sing move your readers through the rise and fall of syntax and provide the musicality of the story or poem the sentence reveals. This seminar will help you manipulate subjects and verbs, use the punch of…

The Glory of Fantasy: Creating Secondary Worlds

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory," writes J.R.R. Tolkien in 1947. "If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?" In this seminar, we will probe this compelling idea by briefly surveying "secondary world" fantasy, i.e. stories set in alternative mythical spaces where magic works, mythical creatures roam the wild, and otherworldly dangers await intrepid warriors and sorcerers. In discussion we will explore the conventions of secondary world fantasy, and in…

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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.