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

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October 2021

The Comic Book & Graphic Novel Workshop

For comic writers and artists looking to hone their works in progress, this workshop will emphasize critique and accountability. While retaining an element of lecture from How to Write Comics & Graphic Novels, we will delve deeper into each student's comic project of choice, with the goal of polishing and revising our work. 

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Kristin Mehaffey

Songwriting 2

When a song lyric hits you, it can take you back in time. In that mystical blend of melody and carefully crafted imagery, we can, for a time, be transported somewhere else. In Songwriting 2, we’ll bridge the gap between the tune and the lilt of the line, while finding our own, unique narrative voices. We will write 4 original songs during the class and workshop them during weeks 3-6. Students will be invited to perform their work at a…

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

How to write a play: The basics of dramatic storytelling and more

The Muse and Norfolk Little Theatre are partnering to present a 4-week introductory course on the art of playwriting.  The course will focus on understanding basic dramatic structure: how do you keep a plot moving? What are the three things you should never have a character say? How do you show, not tell? How do you write “off-the-nose” and what does that mean anyway? How do you tell a story when all you have is dialogue?  These elements are, in fact,…

Sundays, October 10 - November 21 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Jean Klein

How to Write Comics & Graphic Novels (for Artists)

Comics are a magical blend of visuals and writing. Come explore this incredible medium of storytelling through sequential art! This introductory class will cover scripting, thumbnailing and layout, all the way to character design and getting your work into the world. Our sessions will comprise of fun exercises and lecture, along with some case studies and games to mix it up. Artists are encouraged to sign up as the class will feature a heavy drawing aspect. Excited? So are we.…

Thursdays, October 14 - December 9 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Kristin Mehaffey

Songwriting 1

Songwriting is an ancient form--one of the earliest means of passing on oral history. Over thousands of years, it has evolved into a many faceted art-form, a source of entertainment, catharsis or escapism. In this workshop, we will explore the songwriting process through listening, writing and editing. We will examine songs from a variety of genres and time periods to investigate what it is that makes a song “stick” with us or not. Through both individual and collaborative efforts, we will explore fun new…

Thursdays, October 14 - December 9 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

The Salvation of Science Fiction: Imaginary Technology

Writing in 1978 amid fears of nuclear apocalypse, Isaac Asimov wrote, "The core of science fiction has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all." Salvation. This is a compelling description of a popular genre pioneered in interwar pulpwood magazines, a mass medium traditionally allied with the same technological acceleration that brought about the very existential crisis that premises Asimov's statement. In our seminar, we will explore this ambivalence, seek to understand how SF celebrates…

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

Teacher: Jason Carney

Advanced Scrivener

Scrivener is a streamlined and user friendly word processor that offers more to the writer than Microsoft Word or Mac Pages ever could. It’s designed for writing projects. But you know that, already. You’ve started your project; you’ve written your story. You know how to create and organize your binder and maybe even have some experience with compiling. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In this seminar, participants will learn the deeper mechanisms, offering a whole new level…

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

Teacher: Chris De Matteo

Build Your Online Platform: Websites & Blogs

Are you ready to launch your writing career? You’ll need an online presence where readers can find you. In this class, we’ll work through the step-by-step process of setting up the typical three-page author website. Plus, we will explore how to start a blog and examine ways to keep a blog fresh and successful. Students should plan to bring a laptop to class to complete in-class exercises.

Saturdays, October 23 - November 6 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

3 sessions
Teacher: Belinda Elliott

November 2021

Five Amazing Ways to Improve Your Writing

Most writers, both new and experienced, have heard advice such as: “Write in the active voice; show don’t tell; don’t filter experiences; don’t use vague words.” Excellent wisdom, but how do you implement these ideas? What one word can you search for that highlights major improvement opportunities? What simple principle guarantees you’ll write in active language? Join us and explore five methods to improve any prose, build an “in the now” narrative experience, and create scenes that MOVE–keeping your readers…

November 6 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Rick Eley

Patience and Publishing: A Guide to Getting Published

Most writers dream of publishing a book with a hard cover, amazing cover art, and their photo on the dust jacket. But how do we get there? In this seminar, we will discuss various paths to publishing–the successes, the failures, and even more of the failures. We will learn strategies for presenting our stories to magazines, agents, and publishers, from choosing the best agency for your work to developing an attention grabbing query letter. We will also discuss specific markets…

November 7 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Patrick Dacey

Writing Police Reform

How have police forces and police work changed in the US over our 200 year history? And how do we make our stories of crime and punishment or social outrage and heroic sacrifices ring true to a reader, no matter the era? In this Research for Writers Seminar led by a noted police officer, take a journey from the policing concepts set forth by Sir Robert Peele in England to the reforms of today. We will discuss the role of…

November 13 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Mike Lovely

The Craft of Heroic Fantasy Fiction

Whether you’re writing swashbuckling fantasy or sending readers into another world of your own imagination, it’s essential to keep your plot moving without neglecting your characters. This workshop discusses the essential ways to bring your heroes and villains to life, convey a vibrant setting without slowing your pace, and fashion a tale that will have your readers eager to turn every page.

November 20 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

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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.