Creative Writing Classes

Creative Writing Class at VMFA Studio SchoolStudents are taught in a supportive environment, seminar-style so that they can explore and learn to write in a variety of formats.  Creative Writing classes are small with a maximum of ten so students can receive feedback from the instructor and classmates.

Instructors Amy Ritchie Johnson and Douglas Jones teach most weekly classes.

Class Schedule


[31] Creative Nonfiction

Mon, Sep 23 - Nov 25, 10 am - 1 pm, (10 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Amy Ritchie Johnson

Creative nonfiction, which is becoming the primary literature of the century, crosses many genres, including essay, memoir, and blog. This class will explore what constitutes creative nonfiction, using personal narrative and cultural conversation while strengthening writing skill and confidence. Readings, exercises, and weekly assignments are also included.

 
$210 (VMFA members $190)


[32] Memoir Writing

Tue, Sep 24 – Nov 26, 10 am – 1 pm (10 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Douglas S. Jones

Willa Cather wrote, “Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can happen to one again.” Ernest Hemingway wrote, “Memory is hunger.” This class merges these two notions: that memories are heightened experiences, and that they make us hunger for more. The instructor offers students encouraging feedback and specific writing prompts to help develop ideas. 

$210 (VMFA members $190)


[33] Exploring Fiction

Thu, Sep 26 – Dec 5, 10 am – 1 pm (10 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Amy Ritchie Johnson

We are all storytellers. In this class we will experience the joys of writing stories of our own making and explore how the characters and events we write about can enrich our everyday world. Writing prompts, assignments, and discussion of the craft of fiction will benefit writers and readers of any level of experience.

$210 (VMFA members $190)


[34] Nature Writing

Fri, Sep 27 – Oct 25, 10 am – 1 pm (5 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Amy Ritchie Johnson

Explore the pleasures of writing from nature as we find it in plants and flowers, the garden, and landscape. Nature writing has a long, illustrious history in both nonfiction and fiction forms. We'll look at literary examples, write from the world around us, and explore the VMFA Sculpture Garden and galleries for inspiration.

$160 (VMFA members $140)


NEW! [35] Writing from the VMFA Collection

Fri, Nov 1 – Dec 6, 10 am – 1 pm (5 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Amy Ritchie Johnson

Creative writing and visual art have a deeply interwoven relationship. Come enjoy the opportunity to look closely at artworks from the VMFA's permanent collection and translate the experience into written work in the form of a short story, essay, poem, or play. 
We'll share weekly writing assignments in class, discuss the nature of looking closely at art, and explore writing craft.

$160 (VMFA members $140)


[36] Fairy Tales, Revisited

Mon, Sep 23 – Nov 25, 7 – 10 pm (10 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Douglas S. Jones

Why do folktales and fairy tales have such a remarkable staying power? Author and mythographer Marina Warner suggests that it’s “because the meanings they generate are themselves magical shape-shifters, dancing to the needs of their audience.” In this class we’ll read and discuss fairy tales, both traditional and revisionist. We will then explore ways to reimagine and repurpose them in our creative writing.

$210 (VMFA members $190)


[37] Writing the Shadow

Thu, Sep 26 – Dec 5,  7 – 10 pm (10 sessions) | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Douglas S. Jones

Each of us has a dark self. Sometimes we glimpse it in dreams; sometimes we come to know it in our thoughts or imaginings. The aim of this course is to draw it out and see what students can learn from it. Students explore ways in which a realization of the shadow can open up creative avenues for use in various writing exercises, including guided imagery, dream work, and active imagination.

$210 (VMFA members $190)


[38] Blog Writing

Sat, Oct 19, 10 am – 4 pm | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Amy Ritchie Johnson

Learn about blog themes, how to set up a blog, and even blog marketing. Through valuable writing exercises, discover ways to keep up the momentum of your posts and improve your creativity.

$90 (VMFA members $75)


[39] Memoir Writing Workshop

Sat, Oct 26, 10 am – 4 pm | Studio School, 2nd floor Conference Room
Douglas S. Jones

Willa Cather wrote, “Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.” Ernest Hemingway wrote, “Memory is hunger.” This workshop merges these two notions to demonstrate that memories are heightened experiences and that they make us hunger for more. The instructor offers students encouraging feedback and specific writing prompts to help develop ideas.

$90 (VMFA members $75)