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VA 23517 United States

April 2021

Fiction 1: Tuesday Mornings

We all have stories to tell, whether we’ve never written anything before, or we’re dusting off the old writing muscles and getting back in the game. This class is a foundational course to get started or begin writing fiction again. We will learn and explore all of the essential fundamentals of the craft of fiction writing. We will discover and begin to understand how to write an active scene, define a character, and move your story from A to B,…

Tuesdays, March 2 - April 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

8 sessions
Teacher: Jacob Gregory

Write Now! with The Muse Writers Center – for Kids & Teens!

Find The Muse and WRITE NOW! Do you wonder if you can write? Have you always wanted to write a story? Are you looking for a little inspiration? Do you need a little creative motivation? Well, we believe that everyone has a story and everyone can write it. You just need some inspiration and motivation! Come on down, join us and Write Now! A talented Muse teacher will lead you through an easy, fun, and creative workshop full of writing…

Tuesdays, September 8 - April 13 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

8 sessions
Level:

The Fiction Studio: Tuesday Evening

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…

Tuesdays, March 2 - April 27 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

8 sessions

The Creative Nonfiction & Memoir Workshop: Tuesday Evenings

Returning members, new writers from Introduction to Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, and new members with CNF writing experience will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of writing that polishes the truth. We will learn the power of the first person and the limitations & benefits of writing in the third, practice and refine research and memory habits and techniques, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and…

Tuesdays, February 16 - April 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Cynthia Davis

Write Anything

This general creative writing class is an invitation to hone your unique writing voice in a creative and open atmosphere. You will have the unique opportunity to explore what you enjoy, be it fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry. This multi-genre workshop is an excellent first writing class as well as a place for seasoned writers to explore different forms and techniques or work in whichever style of writing seems most appropriate for each inspiration. We’ll move through creative exercises, prompts,…

Tuesdays, March 9 - April 13 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Sarah Pringle

The Screenwriting Workshop: Tuesday Evenings

This workshop will focus on the all-important revision process in screenwriting, with members sharing the successes and difficulties encountered in the scripting process for feature-length, short, or TV scripts. You will have at least three opportunities to turn in pages of a screenplay for group review, workshop, and discussion—all in an atmosphere of mutual exploration and understanding. This class is open to continuing members as well as students who have either taken the Introduction to Screenwriting class, completed an early…

Tuesdays, February 16 - April 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Diane Fine

Creative Nonfiction & Memoir 1: Wednesday Mornings

“True Stories Told Well,” is the definition given by Lee Gutkind, the founder and publisher of Creative Nonfiction Magazine of the 4th genre known as Creative Nonfiction. Whether it be a memoir, the personal essay, or a literary journalistic article in The New Yorker, the truth can be told in a compelling way that keeps the reader engaged. In this class, we will move toward uncovering the true stories about ourselves and the world and telling them well. We will…

Wednesdays, March 3 - April 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

8 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

ASAP Creative Writing Nonfiction

Non-Fiction: memoir, personal essay, and literary journal style writing (literature based in fact). 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/

Wednesdays, March 24 - May 5 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Desiree Cooper

The Poetry Workshop

The Poetry Workshop continues with returning members, new members from Introduction to poetry Writing, and new members with poetry writing experience. .Members of the group will actively write and revise original poems, focusing on elements of craft and analyzing select poems by our best poets that effectively model those elements. All group members will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop. Your instructor will make every effort to tailor the submission schedule to your individual goals. Please note:…

Wednesdays, February 17 - April 28 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Suzanne Rhodes

Screenwriting 1: Wednesday Evenings

This course is designed as both an introduction for students who are new to screenwriting, and as continuity for those who have already started writing a screenplay and wish to further develop their scripts. No matter your level of experience, everyone will benefit from the groups’ members sharing their experiences they encounter. Class activities will include: discussing and developing story ideas, and sharing comments and suggesting solutions; an introduction to the three-act structure and the critical importance of the first…

Wednesdays, March 3 - April 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

8 sessions
Teacher: Matt Friedman

Creative Nonfiction & Memoir 1: Wednesday Evenings

“True Stories Told Well,” is the definition given by Lee Gutkind, the founder and publisher of Creative Nonfiction Magazine of the 4th genre known as Creative Nonfiction. Whether it be a memoir, the personal essay, or a literary journalistic article in The New Yorker, the truth can be told in a compelling way that keeps the reader engaged. In this class, we will move toward uncovering the true stories about ourselves and the world and telling them well. We will…

Wednesdays, March 3 - April 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

8 sessions

Writing Through Trauma and Grief

Sharing our stories of trauma and grief through the cathartic act of writing can bring healing, hope, and acceptance. This 6 week course will explore the five stages of trauma—victim, survivor, thriver, server, empowered server—and give individuals an opportunity to assess where they are in their journey. We will be given ample time to craft and share origin stories of trauma and/or grief and provide encouragement and feedback to one another for personal use or professional publication. Please note: This…

Thursdays, February 18 - April 29 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

Teen Writers Fellowship Winter/Spring 2021 Workshop

Fall workshop for those who have completed the Teen Writers Fellowship in 2019 or 2019 and 2020, and have not yet graduated from high school. Only Fellows who match these criteria are eligible for this workshop. Fellows will need to be signed into their Muse accounts in order to register. If you have issues with signing up please contact our Youth Coordinator Remy Smidt at rsmidt@the-muse.org. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a…

Thursdays, March 4 - April 15 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Jessica Kelley

Fiction 1: Thursday Evenings

We all have stories to tell, whether we’ve never written anything before, or we’re dusting off the old writing muscles and getting back in the game. This class is a foundational course to get started or begin writing fiction again. We will learn and explore all of the essential fundamentals of the craft of fiction writing. We will discover and begin to understand how to write an active scene, define a character, and move your story from A to B,…

Thursdays, March 4 - April 22 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

8 sessions
Teacher: Abi Putnam

Start Writing, Keep Writing… Write Now

Creative writing is fun! And finding your voice doesn’t have to be hard work. It’s just a matter of letting your words and ideas flow onto the page without tinkering and re-tinkering your way into a creative cul-de-sac. In this class, you’ll write--in the moment--to cues and prompts and then share your work in a safe and positive environment. (You can always opt out.) You can write in whatever form inspires you, from prose (memoir, nonfiction, fiction) to poetry. Class…

Thursdays, March 4 - April 22 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

8 sessions
Teacher: Alison Schoew

Poetry of Self-Compassion

English poet, David Whyte, describes self-compassion as a form of faith, a way in which to converse with the world, and as poets, we can only best perform this act with innocent eyes. In this class, we will attempt to do just that. We will grant ourselves permission to wonder again, to gaze at the world freshly, to recognize our innate curiosities as our own spiritual journeys and to return to those curiosities with sacred ferocity. And in turn, hopefully,…

April 17 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Amanda Gomez

Making Historical Writing Real

Do you have an awesome idea for a piece of historical fiction, but it’s set in ancient Rome and your only knowledge of the period is based solely on the movie “Gladiator” or Monty Python’s “Life of Brian?” How about if you have a killer idea for a medieval story, but the brutality of “Braveheart” and “Game of Thrones” is all you can think of?  Maybe you want to set it more recent, like World War II; was the world…

April 17 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Chris De Matteo

The Method Writer: Stealing Techniques From the Actors’ Toolbox

Writers share a lot with our artistic cousin, the actor: we strive to bring characters to life and transport our audiences with good stories. Unlike painters, who have paint, brushes, and canvas to aid in bringing their art into existence, or musicians who have their instruments, the actor and the writer have only themselves. They don’t play the instruments; they ARE the instruments. We will explore philosophies and exercises put forth by some of the most highly esteemed theatre professionals:…

April 17 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Alicia Dekker

20/30 Writers Club

The 20/30 Writers Group is a writing group for young adults sponsored by The Muse Writers Center in Ghent, Norfolk. Each monthly meeting has a Question and Answer session with a guest writer who will give writing advice, lessons, and prompts. Join us as we improve our writing skills while building connections with each other. Register to attend the Zoom meeting. Join our Facebook Group for more info and keep up to date. Hosted by Derek Spohn

April 17 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Image-Repertoire: Solving the Enigma of Desire (Second Session Added!)

In this workshop we will read love poems, poems of longing, poems about the love for one’s hometown and other objects of affection, and we will generate a series of prompts that we can use during and after the workshop to further reveal and develop our associative image-repertoires of desire. In the straight-talk of poetry craft, the image system is a set of images used throughout a poem or larger work that belong together in some way. Barthes’ image-repertoire, however,…

April 17 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Joy Priest

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

World Building: Oceans & Waterworlds

Our global ocean defines our world and makes life possible, and our search for life elsewhere is based on the premise that this will hold true on other worlds as well. But how and why is the ocean so important to life on Earth, and will other living worlds also need oceans? In this Research for Writers seminar, we will explore the many layers of our ocean, from its sunlit surface to the frigid and lightless seafloor. We will examine…

April 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: John Aguiar

Teen Writers Class: Monday Evenings

In this workshop, you can explore multiple genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry. We’ll get started with creative exercises, prompts, and readings, and have ample time to share and comment on each other’s work. We will also learn about the workshop structure and students will have the opportunity to have the writing workshopped with the whole class. You can learn a new genre or sharpen your skills while working on something you are already writing. Come hone your unique writing…

Mondays, February 22 - May 3 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Sierra Foltz
Level:

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

Nonfiction in a Flash

In this workshop, creative nonfiction and memoir writers will explore the genre of flash creative nonfiction (between 500 and 1,000 words). We will discuss and discover the many craft elements that make flash nonfiction an engaging, experimental and exciting genre! Every session we will generate and critique our small memoir and nonfiction stories and essays and focus on the unique opportunities that flash gives every creative nonfiction writer. Working in a shorter form allows you to take a fresh look…

Mondays, February 8 - April 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Cristina Foss

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 Poetry Studio

The studio continues: Members of the group will actively write and revise original poetry, with a special emphasis on the careful review of members' work, the examination of the literary and commercial marketplace, and the submission of work for publication. Work will be submitted in advance of each meeting. All poems submitted will be critiqued during that meeting. After registration, attendees will be sent a separate email with payment instructions. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate,…

Tuesdays, February 16 - May 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

4 sessions

The Advanced Screenwriting Workshop

This workshop will focus on the all-important revision process in screenwriting, with members sharing the successes and difficulties encountered in the scripting process for feature-length, short, or TV scripts. You will have at least three opportunities to turn in pages of a screenplay for group review, workshop, and discussion—all in an atmosphere of mutual exploration and understanding. This class is open to continuing members as well as advanced screenwriting students. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate,…

Tuesdays, February 9 - April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Diane Fine

The Fiction Studio: Wednesday Mornings

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…

Wednesdays, February 10 - April 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Kelly Sokol

Writing YA Fiction Workshop

In the last couple decades, the publishing world has seen an explosion of literature written for younger audiences, many of which have adult crossover readers. This workshop will explore the unique pacing, character, and elements of writing fiction about teens, for teens. Members of the group will actively write and revise original short stories and chapters of novels and submit material for review. You will have at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the session. This intermediate…

Wednesdays, February 24 - May 5 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Erin Beaty

The Fiction Workshop: Thursday Mornings

The Fiction Workshop is for new members from Introduction to Fiction Writing and members with fiction writing experience. Members of the group will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of fiction writing. We will refine the understanding of POV and the limitations & benefits of those choices, learn revision on the sentence level, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and master writing active prose. All members…

Thursdays, February 11 - April 22 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Sylvia Liu

2021 Teen Writers Fellowship Class Winter/Spring Session

Summer class for accepted members of the 2021 Teen Writers Fellowship. You must be an accepted fellow to register for this class. Instructors: Jessica Kelley and Synnika Lofton.   *Student's parent or legal guardian must complete Student Release in order to participate in the class. Please review this document with your parent & have them sign & return to staff@the-muse.org   Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection and a computer…

Thursdays, February 25 - May 6 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Remy Smidt
Level:

The Fiction Workshop: Thursday Evenings

The Fiction Workshop continues with returning members, new members from Introduction to Fiction Writing, and new members with fiction writing experience. Members of the group will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of fiction writing. We will refine the understanding of POV and the limitations & benefits of those choices, learn revision on the sentence level, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and master writing active…

Thursdays, February 25 - May 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Alicia Dekker

Comics & Graphic Novels 1

Comics are a magical blend of visuals and writing. Come engage this incredible medium--whether you draw or not! We'll cover comics from the ground up--from scripting the story to getting it out into the world. Topics include character design, the relationship between a writer and an artist, layout, and so much more. The course will comprise of fun exercises and lecture, along with some case studies and games to mix it up. No experience required. Let's make comics! Please note:…

Thursdays, February 25 - May 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Morgan Sawyer

The Creative Nonfiction & Memoir Workshop: Friday Mornings

Returning members, new writers from Introduction to Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, and new members with CNF writing experience will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of writing that polishes the truth. We will learn the power of the first person and the limitations & benefits of writing in the third, practice and refine research and memory habits and techniques, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and…

Fridays, February 12 - April 23 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

On Writing Grief

In this class, we will explore ways to write experiences of grief, particularly our own. Which structures are best to hold what we have to say? How does fictionalizing a close experience of grief affect the way it is received and how we write it? We will explore concepts of sentimentality and reader resistance. We’ll consider how sound, sentence structure, and story building can all be used to communicate feeling. Together we will read very short selections from a variety…

April 24 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Diane Zinna

Writing a Sense of Place

This seminar is designed for writers who wish to develop the sense of place in their fiction. Through an engaging process of providing examples, sharing ideas, and writing prompts, writers will further develop the sense of place in their stories by exploring their characters and their view of the world. We will study such writers as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Louise Erdrich, Larry McMurtry, and James Baldwin. Students will write or revise a scene, discovering how to build worlds through imagery,…

April 24 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teen Writers Class: Saturday Mornings

In this workshop, we will explore the fundamentals of craft. How do you write a gut punch of an ending? What makes a sharp image? Through creative exercises, prompts, and readings, we will address questions like these and hone our skills as storytellers. This is a perfect class for writers seasoned and new. Come find your writing voice within a fun and warm literary atmosphere. *Student's parent or legal guardian must complete Student Release in order to participate in the…

Saturdays, February 6 - April 24 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Remy Smidt
Level:

Making the EP: A DIY Beginners Guide to Recording and Releasing your Music

Join Emmy Award-winning songwriter & producer Skye Zentz on an afternoon journey through the process of writing, organizing, and strategically releasing your music from home! We’ll cover every side of the process, from song choice and concept development to recording software, release platforms and some hints on mixing and arranging like a pro. All students should have some songwriting background but no musical instrument proficiency is necessary. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have…

April 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Skye Zentz

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

A Punctuation Refresher

“Let’s eat Grandma” or “Let’s eat, Grandma.” Commas might not save lives, but they sure help clarify written work. Can you imagine reading a story with no punctuation? It would be like driving with no traffic signs to guide you. Those little commas, semicolons, apostrophes, hyphens, quotation marks and periods help us navigate written work. Correct use of punctuation marks is governed by specific rules. Learn them in this seminar. When you submit your work, you don’t want editors to…

April 24 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Teacher: Linda Carol Cobb

Sensitivity Reading 101

Is a character from your story a part of a marginalized group? Do you want to make sure that you are representing them in a sensitive and respectful way? In this course, we will go over the importance of reading for sensitivity of marginalized groups, how to read your own work for sensitivity and how to research what marginalized groups want in representation. In addition to learning about proper representation, you will have the opportunity for a free sensitivity reading…

April 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Creative Writing INDOC: Putting Military Stories on the Page

This specialized creative writing class is free for all active duty, veterans, family, and caregivers of the U.S. Armed Forces. About this Event Learn everything you need to know to start sharing stories with The Muse Writers Center. As a member of the United States military, you are bound to have many unique experiences. Rather than trying to explain to someone that they "had to have been there,” learn the skill of creative writing and put your stories on the…

April 24 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Level:

The Image-Repertoire: Solving the Enigma of Desire

In this workshop we will read love poems, poems of longing, poems about the love for one’s hometown and other objects of affection, and we will generate a series of prompts that we can use during and after the workshop to further reveal and develop our associative image-repertoires of desire. In the straight-talk of poetry craft, the image system is a set of images used throughout a poem or larger work that belong together in some way. Barthes’ image-repertoire, however,…

April 25 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Joy Priest

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

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

Write Now! with The Muse Writers Center

Find The Muse and WRITE NOW! Do you wonder if you can write? Have you always wanted to write a story? Are you looking for a little inspiration? Do you need a little creative motivation? Well, we believe that everyone has a story and everyone can write it. You just need some inspiration and motivation! Come on down, join us and Write Now! A talented Muse teacher will lead you through an easy, fun, and creative workshop full of writing…

Tuesdays, September 22 - April 27 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

9 sessions
Teacher: Alison Schoew

May 2021

Writing While White: How to be a Voice of Change

These are confusing times to be a white writer with inclusive intentions. How do you address diversity in your work? What do you have permission to write about? How do you create realistic nonwhite characters? How do you be an ally when white voices are subject to so much scrutiny? This session will be a safe place to get some of your questions answered and develop a new lens through which you can be a powerful voice in the quest…

May 1 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Desiree Cooper
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