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VA 23517 United States

January 2021

Why Scrum; How to Double Your Nonprofit’s Impact in Half the Time – A training and coaching service provided by Agile in Nonprofits

Training seminar Susan and Shawn will attend. https://demo.nonprofitlibrary.com/scrumfornonprofits?utm_campaign=Free-Webinar_Agile-in-Nonrprofits&utm_medium=email&utm_source=constantcontact  

January 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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

February 2021

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 Great Sentences

Great sentences are not simply building blocks, they reflect the nature of what they are expressing within a story. Understanding and designing sentences is key to developing your personal style and voice and to becoming the writer you set out to be. Sentences that sing move your readers through the rise and fall of syntax and provide the musicality of the story or poem the sentence reveals. This seminar will help you manipulate subjects and verbs, use the punch of…

February 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Jean Klein

Teen Writers Class: Saturday Mornings

In this workshop, you can explore fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and more. Each meeting, teachers will lead different breakout groups, focused on different genres, with creative exercises, prompts, and readings. You can learn a new genre or sharpen your skills while working on something you are already writing and have ample time to share and comment on each other’s work. Plus, we’ll have a visit or two from our comic book writing teacher to work with visual stories. Come hone…

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

6 sessions
Teacher: Remy Smidt
Level:

Start Songwriting Saturday

Songwriting is for everyone! It is not an elite art form, reserved solely for professional musicians, it happens to be one of the most ancient forms of oral tradition and an intensely accessible social and creative outlet. In this 2-1/2 hour workshop led by local singer-songwriter Skye Zentz, we will dive straight into the world of lyric-craft, pairing old forms with our own original words, discussing the building blocks of clear language, imagery and symbolism. We will write, edit and…

February 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Skye Zentz

Opening the Veins and Living to Write About It

Description coming soon.  Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.    

February 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Desiree Cooper

The Poem as Museum of Discovery and Surprise

What do you do after you learn that an orca whale mourned her dead calf for 17 days before letting it go; or that in the wild, gorillas make up little songs to themselves as they eat? What do you do when you learn there is a whole museum dedicated to hairballs; or that the family operating Doumar’s Drive-through in Norfolk thought up the waffle cone, which made its debut in the 1904 World’s Fair where humans from other cultures…

Sundays, February 7 - February 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Luisa A. Igloria

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. You can learn a new genre or sharpen your skills while working on something you are already writing. Come hone your unique writing voice in a creative and fun atmosphere. *Student's parent or legal guardian must complete Student Release in order to participate in the class.…

Mondays, February 8 - April 19 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Sierra Foltz
Level:

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

The Advanced Fiction Workshop

The Advanced Fiction Workshop continues with returning members, writers from The Fiction Workshop level, and new members with advanced fiction workshop experience. Having learned and refined the essential craft elements of fiction writing, it is time to actively write and revise our original short stories and chapters of novels. We will continue to master the art of constructive critique in our workshop, offering thoughtful suggestions that will lead to meaningful revision of our work. All members of the group will…

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

6 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
Teacher: Remy Smidt
Level:

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

The Fiction Workshop: Wednesday Mornings

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…

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

6 sessions
Teacher: Alicia Dekker

The Advanced Young Adult Fiction Workshop

This workshop will work with advanced writers to explore the unique elements of writing for teen and young adult readers. 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 advanced workshop is open to all writers who have read at least three young adult novels within the last two years (title recommendations…

Wednesdays, February 10 - April 21 @ 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

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 11 - April 22 @ 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 11 - April 22 @ 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

Writing the Light in a Dark Time

In this workshop we will explore the theme of light—indeed a timely topic in times like these—and how it manifests itself in human experience: the light of nature, of science and Spirit, art and human personality. Light in all these manifestations is understood by its contrasting darkness, like the gold and the shadows in Beowulf. As novelist and poet Ursula Le Guin put it simply, “When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.” The poetry we consider here—that…

Saturdays, February 13 - March 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Suzanne Rhodes

Facing Your Fears

Not only is writing a lonely process, it can be downright scary. And, when it comes to mustering the courage to share our work with others, fear can turn to terror. In this session, we'll look at understanding what frightens us--and how to get beyond those fears so we can get words on the page. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam…

February 13 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: John DeDakis

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

The Literary Art of Pulp Fiction

On August 28, 1935, The New York Times published an editorial titled, "Fiction by Volume." It begins, "There is another publishing world, little known and certainly officially unrecognized, in which volume of production is more important than literary quality." The writer was describing "the pulps," the cheap magazines with garish and colorful covers of mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and horror with sensationalistic titles like Black Mask, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, and Love Story Magazine. In a time before television, "the…

February 13 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Jason Carney

No Knowledge of Shakespeare Required

In 1972 the Globe Playhouse Trust commissioned 13 poets to write poems for, to or about Shakespeare for a pamphlet titled Poems for Shakespeare.   In this class, we are going to imagine ourselves as one of these 13 poets! On the first day of class, I will ask each of you to present an occasional poem celebrating Shakespeare. This might take the form of a limerick, or it may take the more serious form of an Elegy, or it may…

Saturdays, February 13 - March 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Steven Blythe

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 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

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 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

The Fiction Workshop: Tuesday 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…

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

6 sessions
Teacher: Diane Zinna

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

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

The Advanced Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop

In this advanced workshop, experienced students working on personal essays and memoir chapters will receive guidance, support, and feedback. We'll continue to shape experiences and their meanings on the page; discuss higher level elements of craft and structures; and create strategies for revision. We’ll also use prompts, exercises, and discussions based on readings by notable authors, to generate new scenes and stories. Each member of the group will have at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the…

Thursdays, February 18 - April 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Shawn Girvan

Surviving a Critique

External feedback on your work is the most important way to grow your writing skills. But many writers fear public readings and critiques, hampering their advancement and self-editing process. Join us for this workshop and sidestep the spotlight while still reaping the benefits of a (semi)public critique. Attendees will send in two pages of their work, which will be anonymously read and critiqued during the workshop. No one must claim their authorship, and all the better if you don't! You'll…

February 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Rick Eley

10 Things to Take Your Writing to the Next Level

What are ten things we can start doing today to make our writing come alive on the page? Diane Zinna has been teaching her “ten things” for years, and will deliver short lessons for each of them in this fast-paced seminar. Her exciting list includes foundations you may have missed, tricks for thrilling openers and memorable endings, and techniques that’ll make your characters, worlds, and language come alive for your readers. Please note: This class is an online class. To…

February 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Diane Zinna

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 and give writing advice, lessons, and prompts. Join us as we improve our writing skills while building connections with each other. This week's guest author: TBA Please register here to receive the zoom link: https://the-muse.org/muse-free-event-class-registration/ Join our Facebook Group for more info and keep up to date. Hosted…

February 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Resume Writing Workshop

In this two meeting workshop, you’ll get the tools you need to get your resume shaped up and ready for action. On your laptop, please have several postings for jobs that interest you, and we’ll Zoom together to learn the tips that will make your resume the one that’ll earn the interview. (After that, it’s up to you!) Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device…

Sundays, February 21 - February 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

2 sessions
Teacher: Alison Schoew

Young Writers Workshop

In this afternoon workshop for writers ages 9-11, we will engage with creative writing and expression in multiple genres. Each session students will be provided with unique prompts and exercises to explore their creativity, with opportunity to share their work. Every class will be a little different, with rotating teachers giving guidance according to their specialty. We’ll cover such topics as Poetry, to Fiction, to Comics, Music, and more! Come engage with this diverse set of workshops, sure to tickle…

Sundays, February 21 - March 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Remy Smidt
Level:

Teen Writers: Writing the Short Film

Learn what goes into writing movies by starting with a short! In this class, you will analyze films and the art of visual storytelling, drill down into Three Act Structure, and learn how to dramatize conflict and resolution. We will do in-class writing exercises and share our work for positive group feedback. You will finish the class with a better understanding of characterization, plotting and writing dialogue PLUS a script for a short film, between 3-10 pages long. Please note:…

Sundays, February 21 - March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Diane Fine
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, February 23 - April 13 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

8 sessions

Writing Ethnically Diverse Characters

Are you an author who wants to write own voices stories or wants to write point of view (POV) characters who do not share your ethnic background, but you’re not sure if you should? In this seminar, we will explore the hard questions of making that leap. Students will engage with critical race theory, creative writing, and explore the current publishing landscape as they engage in writing exercises where they can arrive at a confident conclusion for themselves. Be prepared…

February 27 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Journaling 1: Engineering Surprise for Creativity and Self-Discovery

Surprise is an important element in any writer’s work. One reason? It’s a good lie detector. When we’ve failed to surprise ourselves, it’s often because we haven’t surrendered control. Instead, we allow our fears to dictate where we should go, what we should think, and especially how we should write. The danger in this passivity is we lose ourselves, which is why surprise focuses our attention. It demands action. Surprise is what helps us loosen our grip on the world,…

Saturdays, February 27 - March 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Amanda Gomez

Great First Pages

Description coming soon.  Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.    

February 27 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Steven Salpeter

Narrative Structure and Organic Creativity: Telling Your Story

So, if you’re like me, you have twenty different ideas about a hundred different stories that have been told a million times. That said, whether in a long piece of fiction or a short personal essay, there are specific tools writers use to structure their story into a narrative. Likewise, the reader needs to follow you, and they, too, come to your story with their own ideas, stories, and past experiences, which they tell and re-tell in their own way…

February 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Patrick Dacey

March 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 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 2 - April 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Sarah Pringle

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

Flash Fiction 1

In a world where attention spans are shrinking, novels are formatted to fit the screens of our handheld devices, and our daily witticisms are limited to 140 characters, it’s no surprise that the Flash Fiction story format has taken off. As Dorothy Parker once said, “Brevity is the soul of Flash fiction.” Just kidding, she said, “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” But the point is, brevity is even more important for a story with a 500-1,000 word limit. Join…

Wednesdays, March 3 - March 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Abi Putnam

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

Screenwriting 1: Thursday Mornings

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…

Thursdays, March 4 - April 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Matt Friedman
Cost: $230.00

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

Energizing Your Story with Images and Detail

In this course, we will review how details and imagery can energize a story. Often, description can be nonessential exposition, here we will analyze how to avoid this common trap. This class will be collaborative, with a mix of close-readings and in-class exercises. Together we will determine what separates good detail from great. Students who sign up for this course have the option to submit up to 15 pages of prose for feedback. Please note: This class is an online…

March 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Remy Smidt

Weaving the World: Roleplaying Games as Spontaneous Story Generators 

Roleplaying games are a unique form of collaborative storytelling, as players explore an imagined world through the eyes of their characters. They are also fantastic inspiration generators for writers, weaving dynamic, spontaneous, and deeply immersive stories.  In this seminar we will use writing prompts and dice rolls to create some basic elements of an imaginary world together, then create our own characters by choosing a few evocative details. In the second half of the session, we’ll dive into the world…

March 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Gabriel Robinson

Race and Reader Intimacy

Description coming soon.   

March 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Desiree Cooper

Experimental Forms: Prose, Poetry, and Beyond

This seminar will engage with exemplary prose, poetry, and visual art with a particular interest in hybrid and experimental forms to help broaden our understanding of what constitutes a story. We will consider experimental movements such as Dada and Oulipo as well as contemporary experimental writers and artists who work to dissolve our conception of genre boundaries. These readings will potentially inspire multimedia possibilities in our own writing, as the class will allow time for students to generate their own…

March 7 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Sierra Foltz

Storytelling 1

In this 4-meeting workshop we will find the stories that live inside us all. We will examine the ingredients needed to tell a personal story in such a way as to make it leap off our tongues and into the mind of a listener. Together, we’ll explore the various types of storytelling and gain insight into the growing professional community of storytellers. Join us for this interactive and participatory class. No previous storytelling experience is needed. Even if you aren’t…

Sundays, March 7 - March 28 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Sheila Arnold

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…

Mondays, March 8 - April 12 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

6 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

Using Framing Devices in Story

A frame contains. It is a border, a canister, a window into a place you are not in but can see into. Frames on the wall and the page are similar, and writers can use this parallel to create their own frames through the organic process of connecting emotional and narrative content with an appropriate frame, through craft choices. Using the text Meander, Spiral, Explode by Jane Alison, I will explore different ways framing devices can be developed and executed…

March 13 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

How to Stage a Crime Scene

“There is nothing like first-hand evidence.” (Sherlock Holmes) Tales of crime and punishment often take central stage in our stories. In this Research for Writers Seminar led by a noted police officer, you’ll be able to better understand and write your own characters and plot-lines, whether you are writing crime stories, mysteries, or courtroom dramas, or simply need a better understanding of what happens in court to make a specific character or story-line ring true. Topics covered include: police response,…

March 13 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Mike Lovely

The Perfect Ending

“There’s nothing on Earth like really nailing the last line of a big book,” Alex de Campi said. “You have 200 pages to tickle their fancy, and seven words to break their heart.” But how does an author achieve this? It is no easy task, given that endings must, as Chekhov said, “artfully concentrate for the reader an impression of the entire work.” In this seminar, we will identify elements of satisfying endings, explore the pros and cons of various…

March 13 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Alicia Dekker

The Shorter Poem: Sure as a Karate Chop

  It is easy to underestimate the complexity and resonance of shorter poems. In reading and writing haikus, tankas, sonnets and anything in between, we find that the discipline required to make it happen in a short poem simply intensifies our moment-to-moment engagement with poems of any length. In this workshop led by National Book Award Nominee and former Virginia Poet Laureate, Tim Seibles, we will read and discuss various short poems by established authors and, from this, we will…

Saturdays, March 13 - March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

2 sessions
Teacher: Tim Seibles

Ten Tips for Writing for Today’s Popular Fiction Market

Jayne has been writing for the ever-changing popular fiction market for over thirty years. In this seminar she will summarize the ten most important things she has learned during her career. Bring your questions! She will discuss current and emerging trends as well as how to reinvent yourself when the market changes on you or when you hit the wall -- because there is always change and always a wall. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must…

March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Jayne Ann Krentz

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 Snowflake Plotting Method

Do you want to write a novel, but you’re stuck figuring out how to start? Or maybe you already have a great synopsis–but how do you convert that into ninety-thousand words? In this workshop, we’ll explore a near-effortless way to take a simple idea and build it into a story of any length and genre, fiction or nonfiction. Whether you write novels, short stories, or screenplays, Snowflake is the best way to create the foundation for your work. With this…

March 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Rick Eley

The Nuts and Bolts of 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. You can organize your books, chapters, short stories, scenes, character sheets, setting descriptions, outlines, and anything else you can think of all in one easy-to-access document, which allows you to seamlessly switch between each element. To use the program to its full capacity, new users to the program need to know where…

March 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Chris De Matteo

All About Author Platforms and Social Media

Building a platform and becoming familiar with social media is an important part of an author’s career. This workshop will cover: (1) what is an author platform and do you need one anyway? (2) online components of a platform: website, newsletter, blogs, and social media presence; (3) main social media sites useful to authors, with a special focus on Facebook and Twitter, and (4) ten signs of a successful platform. You will also learn the key thing to know about…

March 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Sylvia Liu

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

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 and give writing advice, lessons, and prompts. Join us as we improve our writing skills while building connections with each other. This week's guest author: TBA Please register here to receive the zoom link: https://the-muse.org/muse-free-event-class-registration/ Join our Facebook Group for more info and keep up to date. Hosted…

March 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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

The Worlds Next Door: A Grand Tour of Our Solar System

In recent years, so many planets have been discovered outside our solar system that the worlds close to home seem overlooked, if not taken for granted. But despite the attention further out, even the planets closest to us have a wealth of surprises, and each of them is fascinating and mysterious in its own right. In this Research for Writers seminar, we will look past the familiar names--Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn--to see each planet as a unique and often dynamic…

March 21 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: John Aguiar

Getting into the Creative State of FLOW

Learn the brain state of FLOW and how it relates to creativity. In this class you will create a mind map of your optimal creative state and what that looks like in your schedule, habits, and practices. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.

March 21 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Anna Fitzgerald
Level:

Creating a Web Presence and Blog

Are you ready to launch your writing career? You’ll need an online presence where readers can find you. Whether you are already published and need to create an online portfolio, or you are just getting started and would like to begin blogging, an author website and blog will help you begin to build your online platform. We’ll work through the step-by-step process of setting up the typical three-page author website, and we will examine ways to keep a blog fresh…

Saturdays, March 27 - April 10 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

3 sessions
Teacher: Belinda Elliott

Visual Journaling 1

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this seminar will help writers tap into a different type of creativity. We will take a quick break from structured writing and combine words with visual elements, also looking at other artists' journals. This semester, we will try simple art techniques to explore our stream of consciousness and talk about how this can be incorporated in our writing practice. Using  Participants will learn how to make their own colored Suminagashi inks,…

Saturdays, March 27 - April 10 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

3 sessions
Teacher: Christine Rucker

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. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with…

March 27 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

How to Self-Publish Your Book

You’ve written a great book, but the query letter/literary agent/publisher game isn’t your cup of tea. Have you considered self-publishing? With print-on-demand, it's easier than ever to get your book into print—and e-books are even easier! From platform choice to formatting and cover design, this workshop will answer your questions and walk you through the process of getting your manuscript ready to market in both print and e-book formats. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students…

March 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Teacher: Lisa Ray

Ukulele Performance Workshop

This class will build upon the fundamentals of Ukulele playing while growing your confidence and performance skills. We'll mix in some fun new chords and incorporate a variety of strumming and picking patterns, developing our own personal playing styles. This class will culminate in a UKEBOX Open Mic where each student will have a chance to prepare, arrange and perform a song of their choice for a supportive audience of ukulele lovers! Ukulele for Beginners (or a comparable level of…

Wednesdays, March 31 - April 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

4 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

April 2021

Creating Believable Dialogue in Fiction

This seminar is designed for writers who want to sharpen their ability to write engaging and realistic dialogue. The class begins with examples of dialogue from various writers such as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Jamaica Kinkaid, Toni Morrison, Kelly Link, and Lorri Moore. After some examination and discussion, students will work on prompts and write a scene including dialogue that reveals character development. Students will have a chance to share and provide feedback for each other’s work. Please note: This…

April 3 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Split Open: Women Writing Ourselves

Muriel Rukeyser once said, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” As women, we are taught to minimalize our needs, our wants, and our presence. This workshop is geared for you to take up space again. Open to anyone who identifies as a woman, as well as to writers of all levels and genres, students can hope to write and share through creative exercises, journal prompts, and readings. Please note:…

April 3 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Teacher: Amanda Gomez

Confessions of a Genre Agnostic

Description coming soon.  Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.  

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

Teacher: Desiree Cooper

Growing Organic Characters

Tired of filling out those biographical forms on your characters, just to find yourself with a list of ho-hum details that don't create anything exciting? Maybe you're asking your characters the wrong questions. Characters don't pop full-blown from a writer's imagination. They begin with a spark, a hint of something intriguing--just the right thing to grab a reader and a publisher... until they get buried under a mound of irrelevant details. In this seminar, you will learn what questions to…

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

Teacher: Jean Klein

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

Queries & Loglines

Descriptions coming soon. Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.  

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

Teacher: Steven Salpeter

How to Submit Your Work to Magazines and Journals

You’ve crafted your writing; now it’s time to get it published! This two-session seminar will guide you through the world of submitting to literary journals and magazines from start to finish. First, we'll discuss our individual publishing challenges, review our work in an optional short workshop, and then start pulling together a submission while we learn about file organization, proper formatting, crafting a cover letter, finding markets that fit our work, and how to utilize social media. Then after we've…

Sundays, April 11 - April 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

2 sessions
Teacher: Shannon Curtin

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

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 and give writing advice, lessons, and prompts. Join us as we improve our writing skills while building connections with each other. This week's guest author: TBA Please register here to receive the zoom link: https://the-muse.org/muse-free-event-class-registration/ Join our Facebook Group for more info and keep up to date. Hosted…

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

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

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

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

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

The Art of Writing Fighting

A good fight can tell a great story. Whether it’s two boxers in the ring or a sword fight between arch rivals, every fight tells a story. But what story does it tell? And what story do you want it to tell? In this seminar, we’ll go over the big and small details of writing a fight scene. Whether it is hand-to-hand, sword-to-sword or jet-to-jet, we’ll go over positioning, dialogue, tracking movements and how to tell a bigger story with…

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

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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