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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.

Past Events

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April 2021

Dark Memoir

Writing the Dark Memoir is designed for the student who is struggling to find a safe audience and space to voice and express work that divulges sensitive material. The writers may not feel comfortable sharing mature or explicit material in a traditional classroom environment such as topics ranging from sexual abuse, grief/ death, trauma, drug addiction, incarceration, deep family secrets, guilt or shame. You find a safe haven here to share and critique without judgment. Whether you are working on…

Saturdays, February 13 - April 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

Queries & Loglines

Are you preparing query letters, writing loglines, and trying to break into book publishing? Let literary agent Steven Salpeter walk you through the strategies to discuss and query your work effectively, and avoid the most common many authors make in the pitch, query and submission processes. This course will cover an overview of the book publishing process after your manuscript is written, including how to query a literary agent and how to talk about and pitch your work in a…

April 10 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Steven Salpeter

How to Write in the Voice of the Opposite Sex

Emotions are not gender specific. We all have them. It just takes a little work (okay, a LOT), to get into the head of the opposite sex. In this session, we'll explore techniques for how it can be done. But the emphasis of this class goes beyond gender. The goal is also to learn ways to follow one's curiosity about people of other races, ages, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds with an eye on creating interesting and varied characters. Please note:…

April 10 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: John DeDakis

Walk on the Wild Side

Why is mystical poetry so often lacking in mysticism? Why is literature of the sacred so often tepid, or even a drag? In this course, suitable for anyone, we will look at and plunder poetic passages from works by the Rolling Stones, Little Richard, the Doors, Blondie, the Clash, Simone Weil, the Go-Go’s, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, Dante, Sappho, Ann Carson, Robert Pinsky, Francois Villon, and Lou Reed. Others will elbow their way in, too, including but not limited to…

Saturdays, March 20 - April 10 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Tom Yuill

Projects, Passions, and Possibilities Writing Group

The All About You Writing Group: Projects, Passions, and Possibilities A Roundtable discussion open to all writers and generated by the interests of the participants to exchange and spread information. Peers describe current Projects and what they need or want to help them Update and Upgrade their work. No project at the time? Writers can describe the focus on their current reading or research Passion. The Forum encourages peer discussion and empowers attendees with Possibilities. Please register here to receive the zoom link: Meeting…

April 10 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Teacher: Fran Ward

Shape Shifting: Persona Poems and Shifting Voice

Let your poems run wild as you experiment with persona. We will get out of our own heads, put on the mask of persona and inhabit the voice of another through our poems. Whether you are working with historical subjects, fantasy characters, or even inanimate objects, we will look at capturing the authenticity of that speaker and allow a level of freedom, play and experimentation to your work. We will explore masters of the persona poem such as Ai, Cornelius…

Sundays, March 21 - April 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Kindra McDonald

Re-Imagine the World: Dilemma Stories to Enhance Problem-Solving

In a time when there only seems to be 2 options to every predicament, it is very important to increase our creative and critical thinking. In some African cultures, the development of these important skills is done through the use of dilemma stories. Dilemma stories are made to intrigue the listener, but not provide the "satisfaction" of a complete ending. It is up to the listener to decide how they should end the story, but unlike a "choose your ending"…

April 11 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Teacher: Sheila Arnold

Poems for Our Living and Breathing I (A Reading & Open Mic Series)

This April, join us for a two-part reading + open mic series in celebration of National Poetry Month. What is poetry's role in civic engagement, and in the world at large? A collection of celebrated poets will read poems addressing this issue. Luisa A. Igloria (Poet Laureate of Virginia 2020-22) will host, and offers the poem she wrote for the NY Times Thanksgiving 2020 feature as a starting point. This virtual event will be live on Zoom and a recording…

April 11 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

ASAP Creative Writing – Fiction

Fiction: literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people. Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) (asapasap.org) Please complete this after every outreach class meeting: https://the-muse.org/muse-teacher-end-of-outreach-form/

Mondays, March 22 - May 3 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Diane Zinna

Poetry 1

Whether you’re brand new to poetry or just need a refresher on the craft of writing poems, this class will focus on the fundamentals of what makes a great poem. With a strong emphasis on how to read a poem as a writer, this class mixes both traditional and formal poetry with modern contemporary examples and covers the basics of form and language. This class will help you build your toolbox of literary devices to begin crafting poems on your…

Mondays, March 15 - April 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Kindra McDonald

The Fiction Studio: Monday Evenings

The Fiction Studio continues with returning members, writers from the Advanced Fiction Workshop, and new members with professional fiction workshop experience. We will actively write and revise original short stories and chapters of novels as well as consider various aspects of the creative and professional life of the fiction writer. All members of the group will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop, with at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the session. New members…

Mondays, February 1 - April 26 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

7 sessions

The Advanced Poetry Workshop

The Advanced Poetry Workshop is an expansion of the principles and techniques learned in the Poetry Workshop. It is open to students who have completed previous workshop-level classes at The Muse or those who have extensive workshop or graduate-level experience. This class focuses on writing, criticism, and the exploration of contemporary poetic discourse. Students at this level are writing poetry with an increased focus on creating an individual voice and emotional richness. Students will be expected to submit regularly and…

Mondays, February 15 - April 26 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Noah Renn
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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.