- COVID-19 Warning and Policies
- Registration and Cancellation Policies
- No Harassment Policy/Standards of Behavior
- Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
- Statement on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
By attending a class or event at The Muse Writers Center, you acknowledge that there is an unknown risk of exposure to COVID-19 through exposure to contaminated objects, as well as through personal contact. Such exposure carries with it a certain degree of risk that could result in illness, disability, or death. You agree to release and hold harmless The Muse Writers Center, its board, teachers, staff, students, and attendees from and against all claims of damages and liability resulting from exposure to COVID-19. Registrants and attendees also warrant that they are abiding by their state and local laws regarding COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.
Generally, our Mask policy is:
- Fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask indoors at The Muse.
- If you are not vaccinated, you are required to wear a mask and observe physical distancing.
- If you are not feeling well, or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, have a fever, respiratory issues, flu-like symptoms, or a change in taste or smell, please don't put others at risk. Visit when you feel well.
- As we all get used to being together again, please be mindful of each other's personal space.
Please see our COVID-19/Re-Opening page for more information.
Important General Registration Information
- Pre-registration is required for all classes.
- Registration using our online form is required. If you must register by phone, please call 757-818-9880.
- We reserve the right to refuse registration to any student for any reason.
- By registering for a class, you agree to our terms and conditions, all our policies on this page, as well as being placed on the Muse's email list (if you are not already on it) at least through the duration of your class. You can always unsubscribe after your class is over. You also give your consent to allow us to use any class photos or photos or video taken in our center in marketing materials.
- We'll contact you about what you'll need to bring to the first meeting before your class begins.
- Most offerings will be held at The Muse Writers Center in Ghent, 2200 Colonial Ave. Suite #3, Norfolk, VA, 23517. Directions are available.
- Access to a computer and email normally required for all classes.
- Appropriate standards of behavior will be respected during all class sessions, including not interrupting other classes in session, otherwise students are subject to removal from the class with no reimbursement of tuition. Please see our No Harassment Policy/Standards of Behavior below for more information.
- To ensure the creation of a safe environment for all in which to write and learn, students and teachers will respect the confidentiality of material written by (and personal information about) fellow students and teachers.
- Class members will respect each others’ intellectual property rights. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
- If you have questions about whether a class is right for you, contact us or contact the class's teacher.
- No matter what kind of class you take, you will be a vital part of the class. Attendance and class participation is critical, as you will be helping both yourself and your classmates develop your craft. We do, however, understand that vacations and other scheduling conflicts pop up from time to time, and teachers will try to work with you to catch you up with what you missed.
- We offer classes for adults, teens, and pre-teens. Some adult classes are open to mature high school upperclassmen and are marked accordingly. Rarely, but in special circumstances, we make exceptions for other adult classes, but class teacher, parent, and administrator approval must be obtained in advance.
Payment Information, Tuition Assistance, & Payment Plans
- Credit card users should pay upon registration for a class.
- Those paying by check have five business days to mail a check to pay their tuition in full. Checks should be made payable to The Muse Writers Center.
- If you need tuition help, a payment plan, or more time to pay, please indicate that on the payment form. Someone will contact you to discuss a payment plan or the tuition assistance program. We will never turn a student away because of money. In exchange for receiving tuition assistance, you may be asked to help us out as a volunteer.
- Supporting Members of The Muse Writers Center will receive a tuition discount, which is indicated in the course description.
- When you sign up for a class, you're reserving a spot that prevents another writer from taking that workshop and being counted in the minimum number for enrollment, which sometimes determines whether or not the course will take place. If The Muse Writers Center itself cancels a class, all payments and deposits will be refunded in full.
- The Muse Writers Center cannot provide refunds, transfer payments, or offer makeup sessions for classes missed as a result of illnesses, job losses, scheduling conflicts, emergencies, lack of interest on your part, events beyond anyone's control, or any other reason. Please read the course descriptions carefully before registering for a class.
- If you need to cancel your registration for any reason:
- More than one week prior to the first class meeting: $50 cancellation fee for all multiple-session classes; $25 for one-meeting classes.
- Less than one week before the first class meeting: $75 cancellation fee for multiple-session classes; no refund for one-meeting classes.
- 48 hours or less before the first class meeting: No refunds.
- We created this refund policy because we severely limit the available spaces per class (usually 8-9 seats), and often have to turn people away due to lack of space.
- By registering for a class or attending an event, you agree to grant to The Muse Writers Center and its authorized representatives permission to record photos of your participation and audio or video footage of your experience of The Muse classes, programs, and events. You further agree that any of the material photographed or recorded may be used in any form, as part of the nonprofit's future publications, social media content, or printed materials. You agree that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.
Contact the office if you have any questions or concerns.
The Muse Writers Center strives to provide a professional and congenial work and learning environment and will take all necessary steps to ensure that the environment remains pleasant for all. An integral part of this type of environment is for all participants to treat each other with courtesy, consideration and professionalism.
The Muse prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other factor prohibited by law. The Muse will not tolerate harassment of any employee, student, teacher, intern, event attendee, or volunteer by any other employee, supervisor, vendor, student, teacher, intern, event attendee, or participant. Harassment can occur, and is prohibited, both in the workplace and off the premises, including at social activities conducted or sponsored by The Muse or at events where The Muse is participating.
All employees, teachers, students, interns, event attendees, and volunteers of The Muse must comply with this policy. Violations of the policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of the relationship with the Muse.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome or unwanted sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature from someone that creates discomfort and/or interferes with the job or learning experience.
Conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or participation as a teacher, student or volunteer, or other participant.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or participation decisions and/or retaliation affecting such individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Though sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct, some examples of specifically prohibited conduct include the following:
- Intentional physical conduct that is sexual in nature, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another person’s body or poking another person’s body;
- Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, sexually-oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience;
- Preferential treatment or promises of preferential treatment to an employee, student, teacher, intern, participant, or volunteer for submitting to sexual conduct;
- Repeated unwelcome requests for a romantic relationship;
- Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional materials, reading materials or other materials that are sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic; and
- Retaliation for sexual harassment complaints.
Harassment Other than Sexual Harassment
Harassment, other than sexual harassment, is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion because of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other factor prohibited by law when the conduct:
- Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work, participation, or academic performance;
- Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, academic environment, or event environment; and/or
- Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s opportunities.
Such harassment may include, but is not limited to:
- Verbal abuse, ridicule, including slurs, epithets, and stereotyping, offensive jokes and comments;
- Threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; and
- Displaying or distributing offensive materials, writings, graffiti, or pictures.
Criticism of a participant’s work in a classroom setting is not generally considered harassment in violation of this policy. Appropriate standards of behavior as described above are expected in all classroom settings. If any participant is uncomfortable with the content of a class discussion or material exchanged, please communicate these concerns to the Executive Director.
Procedure for Complaints
If anyone associated with the Muse believes that he or she has been subject to, or has observed, an incident of harassment or unwelcome attention as described above, he or she may address the situation directly and immediately to the harasser, if possible. If the inappropriate conduct does not cease, or if the employee, teacher, student, intern, participant, or volunteer is unable to address, or is uncomfortable with addressing, the alleged harasser directly, he or she should report the incident to the Executive Director, who will immediately notify the Human Resources Committee of the Board of Directors (the “HR Committee”), which will undertake an investigation into the incident. If the incident involves the Executive Director, the incident should instead be reported directly to a member of the HR Committee. The members of the HR Committee are identified on the website posting identifying the Board of Directors.
It is important to report any and all concerns of harassment or inappropriate conduct as soon as possible. The Muse must be made aware of the situation so that it can conduct an immediate and impartial investigation and take appropriate action to remediate or prevent the prohibited conduct from continuing. Reports will be handled confidentially to the extent possible; however, the identity of the complainant is usually revealed to the respondent and witnesses. The Muse will take steps to ensure that the complainant is protected from retaliation during the period of investigation. All information pertaining to a complaint of harassment and the investigation into the same will be maintained in secure files separate from an employee’s personnel file and teacher/student files and will only be shared on a need-to-know basis.
The Muse prohibits retaliation against any individual bringing forth a good faith complaint, assisting in an investigation, opposing harassment or otherwise exercising rights protected by law. Any employee, teacher, student, intern, participant, or volunteer who violates The Muse’s policies against discrimination, harassment or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate discharge from employment or participation in the organization’s classes and programs.
If you have any questions about this policy or its application, or about harassment of any form, you are encouraged to contact The Muse’s Executive Committee at email@example.com.
The Muse Writers Center ("The Muse") is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to prohibit unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other factor prohibited by law.
The Muse is dedicated to both the letter and spirit of the equal employment opportunity laws. Specifically, we are committed to recruiting, hiring, training and promoting qualified persons to all job titles without unlawful discrimination and to administering all personnel actions, and social learning and recreational programs, without unlawful discrimination. All participants, applicants, independent contractors and employees will be evaluated on the basis of their ability, experience, competence, qualifications, references, and performance of their positions.
The Muse Writers Center is committed to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive nonprofit organization.
We will be inclusive of all persons and not limited by race, ethnicity, class, sex, gender, gender identity, transgender status, marital status, age, sexuality, pregnancy, disability, medical condition, education, spiritual beliefs, creed, culture, tribal affiliations, national origin, political beliefs, veteran status, and/or financial means.
The Muse will strive to reflect on and celebrate the diverse and distinct cultures and values held by our students, teachers, staff, board, volunteers, participants, and attendees, while being mindful and acknowledging the disparities, inequities, advantages, and disadvantages that exist and have existed in their experiences.
As an organization, we will promote opportunity and access for all to our classes, events, programs, services, and outreach. For any classes with an associated tuition fee, financial assistance will always be available.