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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.

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Online Events & Classes

July 2022

Exploring Novel Plotting Methods: How to Easily Create a Story Blueprint

Are you starting a novel? Perhaps you're trying to bulldoze through one, without solid ideas of why and how the story unfolds. Or maybe you've already written a draft, but you're beset with problems trying to bring it all together. Many suffer under the false belief that something as complicated as a novel can be created without solid planning. But you can't build a house by winging it, slapping down boards wherever you like. You can't build the roof first,…

July 9 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT


Visual Journaling: Exploring the Imagination 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this seminar will help writers tap into a different type of creativity. We will take a quick break from structured writing and combine words with visual elements, also looking at other artists’ journals. This semester, we will try simple art techniques to explore our stream of consciousness and talk about how this can be incorporated in our writing practice. 

July 9 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT


Teen Writing Level 2

Teen Writing Class

Teen Writing Level 2 encourages students to expand their creative writing by challenging them to elevate their creative voices with new writing techniques.  During class, students learn in-depth literary craft techniques through lessons, exercises, and prompts. Popular topics include villain archetypes, magic system basics, how to write a fight scene, and more! At the end of class, students explore these new techniques by writing and sharing their work.  This class is open to teens ages 12-17 who have completed the…

Saturdays, July 9 - August 13 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

6 sessions

Writing Flash Fiction in One Sitting

“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 one-time 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…

July 9 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT


All About Author Platforms and Social Media

Building a platform and becoming familiar with social media is an important part of an author’s career. This workshop will cover: (1) what is an author platform and do you need one anyway? (2) online components of a platform: website, newsletter, blogs, and social media presence; (3) main social media sites useful to authors, with a special focus on Twitter and Instagram, and (4) ten signs of a successful platform. You will also learn the key thing to know about…

July 10 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT


Creative Writing Camp for Adults

Each hour in this fun, day-long Friday “camp” for adult creative writers, we’ll explore different aspects of writing and the writing life. During parts of the day, all attendees will write together as well as enjoy camp-wide addresses and workshops by former Virginia Poet Laureate Tim Seibles and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Desiree Cooper. Plus 12 breakout sessions will allow you to explore craft, professional development, and/or fun. Topics will include the writers life, point of view, prompt writing, detective stories,…

Writing Engaging Opening Pages

Hooking your readers (or agents and editors) at the start is one of the most important parts of writing a novel. This workshop will cover what you need to accomplish in the first pages of your book, including the three most important elements your beginning lines, scenes, and chapter must include. The instructor will use examples from well-known published books to illustrate these principles and may invite participants to share their first pages for critique and discussion.

July 16 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT


The Path to Publication: An Agent’s Point of View

So you've written your book, now what? Join us for a class on how to craft a grabbing elevator pitch, where to find an agent, what to do and say on an agent call, what you can expect from your representative, and everything that follows writing a book with literary agent Jessica Errera.

July 16 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT


Tell Me A Story

In this workshop led by National Book Award Nominee and former Virginia Poet Laureate, Tim Seibles, we will develop narrative poems that carry specific details and insights of remembered moments--particularly those from our teenage years. There will be both in-class and beyond-class writing/reading assignments. Come ready to write with a fever and feel your brain sizzle. Fiction writers also welcome.

Saturdays, July 16 - July 17 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

2 sessions

How to Submit Your Work to Magazines and Journals

You’ve crafted your writing; now it’s time to get it published! This two-session seminar will guide you through the world of submitting to literary journals and magazines from start to finish. First, we'll discuss our individual publishing challenges, review our work in an optional short workshop, and then start pulling together a submission while we learn about file organization, proper formatting, crafting a cover letter, finding markets that fit our work, and how to utilize social media. Then after we've…

Sundays, July 17 - July 24 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

2 sessions

How to Self-Publish Your Book

You’ve written a great book, but the query letter/literary agent/publisher game isn’t your cup of tea. Have you considered self-publishing? With print-on-demand, it's easier than ever to get your book into print—and e-books are even easier! From platform choice to formatting and cover design, this workshop will answer your questions and walk you through the process of getting your manuscript ready to market in both print and e-book formats.

July 23 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT


Twenty Ways to Immediately Improve Your Writing 

In this seminar we’ll explore twenty (or more) proven methods to improve your writing. Many authors struggle with the same issues, often without knowing why they struggle. We all want to produce tighter, meaningful, more exciting prose, but how do we do it? Learning these twenty guidelines is a great step toward creating material that captivates your readers. Writers of any level will appreciate these concepts I have (painfully) learned after much study, practice, and critique. Why not skip the…

July 23 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

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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.