Frequently Asked Questions
We hope this page will begin to answer questions you may have about The Muse Writers Center as well as its classes, programs, events, and outreach. This page will be a work-in-progress, and if you have a question to submit for consideration to be included, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
Types of Questions
The information we ask for is for internal use only, because many of our grantors ask for demographic information. We don’t share personal information associated with the aspects of your demographic information. It is only used for assessment and granting reports (without your name associated with it). For many of the questions, you are always welcome to choose the “prefer not to answer” selection.
We are located centrally in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area in an artsy neighborhood called Ghent in the city of Norfolk.
We picked a location central to the Hampton Roads area so that we could be accessible to all our neighbors. Students and events attendees come from all the 17 cities and counties in the area, including the Eastern Shore and Northeastern North Carolina, and the region’s sixteen military installations.
We are proud to be friends with many other writers centers around the country. You can search for writers centers, conferences, residencies, and retreats by visiting AWP’s directory of conferences and centers.
At places like The Muse, you'll find the same kinds of classes & workshops as in MFA programs, as well as introductory classes, special interest classes, and seminars in topics like submitting work, getting agents, setting up blogs, marketing, self publishing, research, and others. MFA programs are wonderful places to hone your craft as a writer, but many don't often touch on how to be a writer as a career. Of course, literary centers don’t offer degree programs, but many writers don't see themselves teaching at colleges or universities (where you would need an MFA), they just want to write and publish.
If you’d like to get back into a workshop, we offer workshops in most all genres. There are also advanced/professional workshops called studios, which are open by submission only. We also offer craft, research, and professional development seminars in areas such as submitting work, getting agents, setting up blogs, marketing, self publishing, language origins, speculative genres, world building and more. Plus, we host more than 400 events each year, including many networking and social events, readings, book launches, and open mics. We are open for you to come write, revise, and read four days a week.
Our space is open to the public to come and write, read, or meet other writers four days a week. We don’t charge a fee to come and use our space during our open hours.
It sounds like you are looking for a ghost writer, and we don’t offer that service. Instead, we’d like to teach you how to write the book that is inside you. Check out our introductory classes in fiction, memoir & nonfiction, or poetry and get started today.
We have three class sessions each year. a winter/spring session that generally runs February-April; a summer session (June-August); and a fall session (October-December).
After you’ve taken an introductory class, the next step is to take a Workshop. For instance, if you took Introduction to Fiction Writing, the next step would be The Fiction Workshop or another special-topic workshop. This is often the case with our poetry classes, where many of the intermediate workshops have a topical focus. You can search by class level in our class listings.
Absolutely. Many, if not most, of our students will take a workshop-level class several times to continue honing their craft and getting feedback on a work-in-progress. Some students enjoy taking the same teacher’s workshop several times, while other students prefer to learn from many different instructors.
It all depends on what you would like to write. If you’re note sure, check out our Write Now or Write Anything classes. If you know what you want to explore, the introductory classes in each genre are perfect ways to learn both the craft of writing and the craft of revision. Explore our classes.
Genre cross-training can be a very helpful tool in the writers toolbox. For instance, fiction writers can benefit from taking a poetry class to help with focus on language and the musicality of prose or a screenwriting class to reinforce plot, structure, and dialogue. Similarly poets can find a lot in a fiction or nonfiction class in terms of narrative and action. The benefits of learning a genre that you are unfamiliar with can reap a lot of benefits in the quality and depth of your work. And, sometimes you’ll discover that you have a knack for a genre you weren’t expecting.
We certainly hope so. Our student body is diverse, includes six to eighty-six-year-olds, and it reflects the unique characteristics of the Hampton Roads area. Approximately one third of our students and faculty are veterans, active duty, or military family members. Some students have always wanted to be a writer and have been working on it since they were younger, and some realize they’d like to write later in life. In our adult classes, some students are in college or right out of college, and some are just retired or long retired, with many in between. Some people were discouraged at a young age and told not to write (by a teacher or other adult) only to realize years later that they still feel the words burning inside them. Some are shy. Some are social. But all our students realize that language can hold something special. That it can change oneself and change others.
We have hundreds of events each year. Besides reading-type events, we host a monthly Writers Coffee Break, weekly Writers Happy Hours and many other networking, social events, and parties.
About Tuition Help & Scholarships
We are a nonprofit organization and we make it our mission to never turn anyone away from a class because of their financial situation. If you cannot afford our tuition price for a class, please register for the class and check the “tuition assistance” box at checkout. We will contact you and find out what is affordable for you. Please don’t feel shy about asking for help. Whether you need a little bit of help or a lot, we will make sure that you have the same access to creative writing education as someone who can afford the full price. Persons on tuition assistance are asked to be on our volunteer list.