Fantastic Writer's Salon

What can we, as writers, learn from a fanciful children’s movie?

At the height of Potter Mania, 6 hr after Deathly Hallows was published, it sold 5000 books a sec. Deathly Hallows sold more books in the first day than any other author that YEAR.

Fantastic Beasts, Rowling’s first foray into screenplay writing, grossed $814 million worldwide. The film was nominated for 5 BAFTAs (British equivalent of an Academy Award), including Best British Film, winning Best Production Design. In this country the movie took two Academy Awards,winning Best Costume Design, and becoming the first Wizarding World film to win an Academy Award.

Clearly, J. K. Rowling resonates with a large audience of people. I believe that's because she is one of the most complex and layered writers of our time. I mean to convince you today that the more you dig into her work, the deeper the meaning, the more complex and interesting her work becomes.

Join us on Sunday, November 18 to watch the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts saga, Crimes of Grindelwald. We will hold a writer's salon at 2:30 pm at Nancy Brehm's house, 925 Sinagua Heights Dr. in Flagstaff.

I'll give a brief presentation about the peculiarities of Rowling's writing and things to consider while watching the movie. I'll cover how Rowling hooks you with:
  • Genre Bending Worldbuilding
  • Confirming your Postmodern Beliefs
  • Masterful Narrative Slow Release.
Rowling has been called the most important Christian writer since C. S. Lewis. I'll talk about how she delivers meaning:
  • Meaningful Resonance
  • Ring Composition
  • Subversion of stories we share in common
  • Characters and elements that symbolize larger concepts
  • Literary Alchemy
  • Dante's Divine Comedy

At 4 or 4:30 pm we will watch the movie together.

After the movie we'll meet back at Nancy's house for BBQ sandwiches, while we discuss the film.

Please RSVP at if you think you're coming so we can get an approximate head count. You can let us know right up to and including Sunday the 18th.

A Path to Creativity Workshop with Sandra Marinella

Your Story Matters

Ignite you passion for writing down the self in ways that will tap into your personal creativity. This 5 hour workshop will help you find the stories you need to tell while giving you the chance to explore a path to your personal creativity. There will be opportunities to share your writing in a nurturing environment. This workshop will engage writers of all levels, novice to advanced.

After the workshop there will be a book signing and Meet and Greet at Oakwood Restaurant.

Sandra Marinella is an award-winning writing instructor and author of The Story You Need to Tell, an inspirational guide to transformational storytelling. The book is the result of Marinella’s pioneering work with veterans and cancer patients, her years of teaching writing, and her research into its profound healing properties. Riveting true stories illustrate Marinella’s methods for understanding, telling, and editing personal stories in ways that foster resilience and renewal. She also shares her own experience of using journaling and expressive writing to navigate challenges including breast cancer and postpartum depression. Each of the techniques, prompts, and exercises she presents helps us “to unravel the knot inside and to make sense of loss.

Profits from her work support cancer research. 

Find out more at

Book Signing

Sandra Marinella will be signing her book, The Story You Need to Tell.
There will be gifts & treats & a talk by the author.
Saturday, August 11
5:30 – 7:30pm
Bright Side Bookshop
18 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001


Saturday, Oct 13th, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Continental Rm., 2nd Floor
2380 N. Oakmont Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Price $55

Lunch on you own at Oakwood Restaurant

Register with Nancy Brehm:


Or Send Registration Form and Check to:
925 N. Sinaqua Hts. Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Virginia G Piper Center Summer and Fall Courses

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU is proud to announce new creative writing classes and workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, flash, hybrid forms, and more for Summer and Fall 2018:

Start Date
Class & Instructor
July 10
Aug 4
Aug 4
Sep 4
Sep 8
Sep 10
Sep 15
Sep 24
Advanced Fiction Workshop with James Sallis
Sep 29
A Deeper Image: A Poetry Workshop with Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Oct 2
Oct 4
Oct 20
Oct 27
Nov 16

All classes take place at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281). Hours and costs vary. Discounts are available for students and ASU affiliates. To learn more and register, you can download a flier, find classes on facebook, visit our website at

Writing Workshop: Characterization and Dialogue by Susan Pohlman

Writing Workshop

Sorry. This workshop is full.
Use the "Contact Us" tab in the lower right to be added to the waiting list. 
Watch for our next workshops in Oct.

Saturday, August 25 2018
10:00 am-4:00pm
Continental Country Club
Continental Room
Second Floor
2380 N. Oakmont, Flagstaff

Cost $55

Characterization and Dialogue

What makes a character jump off the page and keep an agent, publisher or reader hooked all the way until the end of the book? How does a writer create believable, compelling, and effective dialogue?

Understanding characterization and dialogue is crucial to effective storytelling. Come enjoy a day of camaraderie and craft as we unlock the secrets of great writing.

In this cross-genre hands-on workshop we will explore techniques for creating characters that your readers or audience won't soon forget.

Susan Pohlman

Facilitator Susan Pohlman, author, editor, and ASU writing instructor, is the founder of The Phoenix Writers Network. Her memoir, Halfway to Each Other, has won numerous awards. Her essays have been published in a variety of publications.