The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia (VA) is an organization for Hampton Roads writers, new and experienced, to come together in creative writing classes, readings, and special events.
Muse Creative Writing Classes are designed by our teachers for writers of all ages, backgrounds, and experience. Beginning classes welcome novice writers as well as those with some writing experience who are looking for a structured environment in which to bloom. Advanced classes, or studios, offer a community and guidance while working on a literary project and follow the graduate level workshop model, where current work is distributed to all members of the studio for helpful criticism and advice. Offerings include those in poetry, fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, playwriting, comic book writing, children's book writing, and grammar.
The Muse's instructors are all working writers and published authors who have taught courses at colleges, universities, and other community organizations.
At the end of each workshop or studio session, The Muse hosts free, public readings in the Norfolk, Virginia (VA) area, which give all of our workshop and studio participants the opportunity to present their work to a supportive audience. Always well attended, our readings bring together the literary community here in Hampton Roads to celebrate our writers accomplishments.
The Muse is dedicated to broadening community awareness and support of the literary arts. In addition to offering writing classes, The Muse is a resource center and a place for all writers in the Norfolk, Virginia (Hampton Roads, VA) area to come together, share ideas, and figure out what language can hold. Come to one of our events and learn more about us.
Support The Muse through AmazonSmile!
Of course, we urge you to support your local bookstore (please shop at Prince Books), but when you buy anything from Amazon (from computers and TVs to games and clothes), now you can earmark .5% of your purchase as a donation to The Muse Writers Center. It's easy!
When you shop at Amazon Smile, youíll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as at Amazon. To shop at AmazonSmile and support The Muse, simply go to smile.amazon.com/ch/56-2532348 from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.
You use the same account on Amazon and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
Thank You for your support of The Muse Writers Center!
Muse Tuition Assistance & Scholarships
Application & Donation Information
Tuition Assistance for Muse Classes
The Muse Writers Center is honored and grateful to announce the establishment of the Tuition Assistance Fund. The Tuition Assistance Fund will allow The Muse to offer our community writing classes to students regardless of their ability to pay tuition. To date, the fund has provided tuition assistance to hundreds of students and has received donations from hundreds of additional generous persons. Please contact the office for more information or to apply (you will be asked to volunteer in exchange for receiving tuition assistance). Donations to the fund are very welcome, and all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Scholarships for Muse Students for Conferences & Craft Development
The Muse Writers Center is very pleased and proud to announce the creation of The Julia Hislop Conference & Craft Development Fund. Named in honor of a fine writer and longtime friend of The Muse, The Fund will support writers in their ongoing education through participation in writers conferences and other craft-development opportunities. Dr. Julia Hislop was a life-long learner who believed everyone should try new things, explore new interests, and rejoice in learning. These scholarships are available to current and past students at the Muse Writers Center to help pay a portion of their tuition, expenses, and/or conference fees. Please contact the office for more information. Donations to the fund are very welcome, and all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Apply now for support for Conferences & Craft Development
- We will award funding at levels determined by need and available funds.
- Past winners are welcome to apply, but priority will be given to first-time applicants.
- Applications are accepted year-round. Download the application (Word).
Scholarships for Muse Students for College and Graduate School
The Muse Writers Center is excited to announce the establishment of the Joan Rorke-McClure Futures Scholarships through a generous donation from William McClure. Joan Rorke-McClure was a leading physician, lover of education, and friend to The Muse who always encouraged and helped foster a passion for learning. These scholarships are available to current and past students at the Muse Writers Center to help pay a portion of their tuition/expenses for beginning or continuing undergraduate or graduate study in creative writing or a related field. You can help make a difference by donating to the scholarship fund. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
2015-2016 Application Deadline: August 28, 2015
- We will award three $500 scholarships for each coming academic year.
- Past winners are welcome to apply, but priority will be given to first-time applicants.
- Download the application (Word).
Congratulations to our 2014–2015 Winners!
- Evan Hartley: undergraduate student, pursuing B.A. in cinema, fashion design, and creative writing at Old Dominion University. "The Muse fosters my talents and challenges me to become a better artist. Since I was twelve, my dream has been to be part of the film industry. The Muse has encouraged me to try art forms like acting and screenwriting... The Muse has given me a safe environment to explore my creative potential."
- Tessa Solee: undergraduate student, pursuing B.A. in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. "Until I began at the Muse, writing was something I did for myself only, and something I never considered to be a skill or talent of mine. I had also never taught anyone successfully in my life. My writing classes helped me realize that I could do something real with words, and improv classes allowed me many opportunities to teach improv, and I discovered that I loved both. Because of this, Iím now studying to be a teacher, in order to teach teenagers the power of words—comedic words, foreign words, poetic words, the works. Itís my dream."
- Karen Tatum: undergraduate student, pursuing Masters degree in writing at Johns Hopkins University. "Because Muse instructors have published and currently work in the field, they provide relevant information about the market. They respect students' work but they don't sugarcoat what needs to be done to improve the work. They provide constructive criticism in a respectful way. They genuinely care about making students' time and money for classes worthwhile. They provide a continuous support network that makes students feel safe to share and confident to get published. New course offerings in Self-Publishing and Querying an Agent have resolved initial concerns I had about leaving academia and becoming a writer. I have decided to devote myself full-time to developing my skills because I feel reassured to have these instructors' continued advice and support. In short, I would not have resigned from a tenured university position and pursued a writing career if not for the Muse's quality instruction and inspiration."
Congratulations to our 2013–2014 Winners!
- Emily Duquette ($500 winner): graduate student, pursuing MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at Old Dominion University. "The Muse has offered me a place to develop my skills in this time between creative writing programs. The community at the Muse has given me a support system that has reinforced my decision to go to graduate school and pursue my career as a poet."
- Pamula Floyd ($500 winner): undergraduate student, pursuing BA in English (creative writing and journalism) at Old Dominion University. "It's been wonderful getting feedback from the other students. They have helped me in reducing my doubts over the idea to write a memoir."
- Hayley Daniels ($250 winner): undergraduate student, pursuing BA in Theatre (creative writing minor) at James Madison University. "The Muse's Improv and Sketch comedy classes have inspired me and reinforced my desire to pursue a career in comedy. After graduating from JMU, I intend to move to Chicago and take classes in improv and sketch comedy at Second City. Performing and writing comedy is my passion and the Muse has provided me the resources to hone my skills."
- Cindy K. Stone ($250 winner): undergraduate student, pursuing BA in Communications (with creative writing classes) at Old Dominion University. "I have loved writing as a form of expression since primary school. But after decades as a single mom working full-time, I wrote only for business applications. Taking courses at the Muse has re-ignited my passion for the craft of writing, and challenged me to continue revising and improving (my word work and myself). Plus, I am convinced there is no cooler, campier, more interesting collection of souls gathered anywhere else in Hampton Roads than at the Muse."
Congratulations to our 2012–2013 Winners!
each recipient received a $500 scholarship
- Leslie Samuels Entsminger: graduate student, pursuing graduate classes in Creative Writing (fiction) at Old Dominion University. "Because our family moved so frequently, my studies were interrupted and I was unable to start into an MFA program... When my husband retired and we moved into the Hampton Roads area in September 2010, I came across an advertisement for the Muse and signed up for Beginning Fiction. The class was a welcome diversion from the anxieties of the move and building, and as time went on, I felt a renewed happiness in expressing myself through writing. Earlier this summer, I realized that I was going to turn sixty in a few years. I reasoned that it would be better to reach this age with an MFA rather than not... I would not be following this path had not my earlier path intersected with the Muse."
- Cassie Pinner: graduate student, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Emerson College. "The Muse Writers Center served as the catalyst that allowed me to reconnect with my childhood passion and provided me with the knowledge that I could make writing into a career. At The Muse, I begrudgingly read poems that had never been uttered aloud to a room full of strangers, and I became invigorated by the overwhelming openness and support that I was met with. I found myself sharing my work more often and with more people, which allowed me to consider the possibilities of my talent. Without this network of listeners I donít think I would have begun to consider an MFA Degree, much less apply... With my completed MFA Degree, I will be pursuing both professorial opportunities as well as positions at publishing companies. I will also be eternally seeking opportunities for my work to be published and trying to create communities for poets to find solace in, like I did at The Muse."
- Sarah Pringle : graduate student, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at Old Dominion University. "My experience at the Muse has reinforced my decision to teach creative writing and pursue a creative writing MFA. I love being part of the Muse writers community and fell very comfortable and welcomed at all events and classes. In particular, my involvement with the Muse this summer helped me to stay passionate and inspired while making tough decisions for my future; the opportunities I have been given at the Muse are a major factoring reason in why I decided to continue at ODU."
Congratulations to our 2011–2012 Winners!
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each recipient received a $500 scholarship
- Lauren Hurston: graduate student, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Old Dominion University. "When I first started classes at The Muse, I had only a vague idea that I wanted to become a writer and what the writing life would entail... I felt the need for an artistic community with similar interests to my own, and The Muse has provided that for me. I am consistently inspired by the teachers and my fellow students, and I consider many of them my mentors and my dearest friends. The workshops helped me become a better writer in that they were thorough, yet enjoyable, the teachers were diverse and knowledgeable, and the quality of creative guidance was excellent. I feel fully prepared and confident to pursue a creative writing program because of the support from The Muse writing community, and for that, I am truly grateful."
- Tori Kerr: undergraduate, majoring in English & Creative Writing at The George Washington University. "Prior to the Muse I thought my career as an English major would slant in the direction of struggling artist/writer or teacher. This is what I had come to expect due to societal stigma against scholars of the arts... I was not aware of the number of opportunities an education in literature could provide, such as book, magazine and newspaper editing and publishing—not to mention nonprofit work as well..."
- Rachel Thompson: graduate student, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing (fiction) at Vermont College of Fine Arts. "If it were not for the Muse, and more specifically Lisa Hartz, I would not be pursuing an MFA, and I would probably still be miserable and not sure why. The Muse has given me the confidence to go after something wholly impractical that I am obsessed with—I am so grateful for all you guys have already given me. I love teaching (thatís my non-writing job) and hope one day to teach writing instead of (or in addition to) Spanish."
Grant from The Miller Oil Foundation
A big thank you to The Miller Oil Foundation for a $1,000 grant to help support The Muse Writers Center's teen writers program. We very much appreciate it! Top of page.
other literary events around hampton roads
A good resouce for all Norfolk/Hampton Roads area Literary events, including readings and open-mics is Pete Freas and The Chesapeake Bay Poets. Top of page.
submit your work to The Quotable
The Quotable, a new literary magazine founded by Muse students is now accepting submissions. Visit their website for submission guidelines. Top of page.
submit your work to AltDaily
AltDaily, Hampton Roads' news, arts, and culture alternative, is now accepting poetry, short story, and creative nonfiction submissions. Preference is given to content about, and of, the Hampton Roads region. Please only send one email with no more than three attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Top of page.
the muse finds a home in west ghent
The Muse is excited to be renting our own space in West Ghent. Our new Muse Writers Center is situated diagonally from Orapax (Greek) Restaurant on the corner of Redgate Ave. and Orapax St. All of our Creative Writing Classes will be held at this location. Directions and maps to our new location are available. Top of page.
the muse granted non-profit status
We are excited to announce that The Muse Writers Center is now a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. We are now beginning the process of applying for grants so we can have a permanent home for classroom space, readings space, meeting space, and a writers' resource center. Also, we will soon announce a Muse Membership program, members being eligible to receive discounts on classes and use of future space and resources. We will update this website soon with more information. Top of page.