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Master Classes

Conference registrants who are actively writing and looking for ways to develop their work can elect to join a Master Class. Master Classes, which meet the same time as Write Here classes, add six hours of morning instruction, spread over three days, in a group of no more than 10. Master Classes are strictly capped and are likely to fill early.

The format of each Master Class will be determined by the faculty member. Manuscripts by class members will be an important part of the discussion, and additional reading may be assigned; these are not purely workshops, and faculty will not line edit manuscripts. Manuscripts (up to 20 double-spaced pages of fiction or nonfiction, up to four poems) are due no later than January 29, 2012.

Master Class registrants must indicate the genre requested (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry). Master Class tuition, combined with submission of the manuscript, entitles the registrant to a place, if available, in a Master Class in the genre chosen—not in a particular faculty member’s class. That said, registrants are invited to indicate faculty with whom they’d like to work, in order of preference.

Write Here Classes

General registration includes morning discussion classes we call Write Here. Each class will include a combination of prompts and exercises and opportunities to practice them—a wonderful way to get the beginning of new drafts on paper.

Master Class Faculty



FICTION: Robert Boswell, Pam Houston, Mat Johnson, Antonya Nelson, Alix Ohlin


NONFICTION: Bernard Cooper


POETRY: Carolyn Forché, A. Van Jordan, Eleanor Wilner


Click HERE to meet the Master Class faculty.

If all Master Classes fill, additional classes might be added; but enrollment in each class is strictly capped at 10. A place will be held for you when we receive your Master Class tuition. If we do not receive a manuscript in the appropriate genre by January 29, your place will be forfeited.

Master Class participants will receive copies of the manuscripts by other class members in advance of the conference and be expected to read them in preparation. Please bring them with you to the conference.


  • All students will read their class peers’ work and any additional work provided for the class prior to the conference.
  • Students will maintain a respectful, collaborative environment that supports diversity and encourages other writers.
  • Students will be open to constructive critique.
  • Master Class Faculty have the authority to dismiss any student whose participation is detrimental to the group.

Master Class Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Submit your manuscript of creative work to Tom McDermott at between JANUARY 1, 2012 and JANUARY 29, 2012. If your manuscript in the appropriate genre is not received by Januuary 29, your place will be forfeited

Your work must be saved as a PDF, in a 12-point (preferably Times New Roman) with 1 inch margins around the page. Prose should be double-spaced (up to 20 pages, but not more than one story, chapter, essay, or excerpt), poetry single spaced (up to 4 pages, with one poem per page).

Review the Work of Your Peers

A special, private webpage will be created to allow you to download the manuscripts of your fellow Master Class students prior to the conference. The link to this page will be emailed to registered participants approximately a week after the manuscript submission deadline. Please contact the Piper Center for Creative Writing if you have not received the download link by February 10. You are expected to download, print, and read the work in preparation for lour Master Class. Bring your copies to the conference, as new copies will not be provided.

Master Class

Write Here Class