Creative Writing Classes & Workshops

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Are you secretly dreaming about writing? Now is your chance to take some steps toward that dream.


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 From Notes to Narrative: Building Stories from Our Daily Liveswith Warren Glynn
Aug 4 Experimental Games of Found Writing: A Workshop with Justin Noga
Aug 4 Jump Start. Reset. Recharge. Fiction Writing Intensive with James Sallis
Sep 4 Writing from Dreams: A Multi-Genre Workshop with Kelly Lydick
Sep 8 Between Inventory and Invention: A List-Poem Workshop with Carolina Ebeid
Sep 10 In a Flash: An Exploration of Flash Fiction for Curious Readers and Working Writers with Patrick Michael Finn
Sep 15 Where the Devil Is: The Craft of Specific Detail with Tara Ison
Sep 24 Advanced Fiction Workshop with James Sallis
Sep 29 A Deeper Image: A Poetry Workshop with Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Oct 2 The Body Electric, Memoir-Style with Andrea Avery
Oct 4 The Big Picture: Writing Your First Screenplay with Beverly Smith-Dawson
Oct 20 Performance Narrative: Literary Wordplay Breaks into Stageplaywith Walonda Williams
Oct 27 At Work in Sound and Vision: A Poetry Workshop with Dan Beachy-Quick
Nov 16 Two Workshops: Poetry of Witness, Poetry as Trace and Poetry of the Body with Andrea Scarpino


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 http://piper.asu.edu/classes.

Saluting Independence Day and Independent Businesses

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In the July edition of BookNews, you’ll find out about the latest books from Dan Fesperman,  Linda Castillo, Keith McCafferty, Brad Thor, Joe R. and Kasey Lansdale, Paul French, Beatriz Williams, Christina Alger, Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson, Ace Atkins, Daniel Silva, David Rosenfelt, Nancy Atherton, Linwood Barclay, Flynn Berry and and so much more! Click here to view the PDF

The Poisoned Pen’s Book Clubs

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Once in a while, it’s time to remind you about the Poisoned Pen’s Book Clubs. July is perfect as the dividing point in the year.

The new cycle begins with July to December, earning members of each club but Mystery of the Month a $25 Gift Certificate to spend in January. January seems a long way off but we already see a wealth of wonderful books publishing then.
Here’s what you need to know about the Book Clubs.

Book Clubs

Too busy to pick out books? Let us send our selections to your door. We have a variety of automatic-selection book clubs designed to provide you with fresh and exciting books each month in a variety of crime and other fiction.

British Crime Club

For the reader of British mystery, traditional and contemporary, trade paperbacks or unsigned hardcover books published in the US or the UK. One paperback or hardcover per month. More info »

Cozy Crimes Club

For the reader of Cozy Crimes. Members of this club will receive books published in the US or the UK. Six signed hardcovers per year. More info »

Discovery Club

For the reader who likes to discover new fresh fiction. One paperback or hardcover per month. More info »

First Mystery Club

Excellent for collectors interested in hot new voices, but also for readers who want to try something new without just guessing what’s worthwhile. Range is US, UK, or Canadian. The First Mystery Club will be one signed first per month. More info »

Hardboiled Crime Club

For the reader who revels in noir crime fiction. Patrick is the staff member who generally picks the books, although, as with all our book clubs, all staff make recommendations. Most Picks are US eds. Monthly. More info »

History Paperback Club

A monthly paperback selection includes mass market and trade pbk fiction. We look for first novels or first books in new series or just something a bit different. US or UK titles. Monthly. More info »

History/Mystery Club

For the reader who delights in historical fction, almost always historical mystery though we’ve been known to sneak one or two great historical fictions into the lineup. Picks are often UK. eds. Monthly. More info »

Modern First Editions

Any significant fiction. It can have a mystery element but is not considered a crime novel. Though we look for new works the Pick can as well be from an established author. Picks are almost always US. You may check new monthly releases on our website or subscribe to our monthly Booknews. Monthly. More info »

Mystery of the Month Club

Need a gift for someone who is difficult to buy for? Would you like to treat yourself to a surprise? We have the perfect gift for you, a gift that lasts the year though. More info »

SciFi/Fantasy/Horror Club

This club is smaller, 6 books per year, and all signed hardcovers. For fans of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. More info »

Surprise Me! Club

This is great fun, a book with unexpected delights whether in subject or in style. It can be a first novel but more usually is from an established author with something fresh. Usually a US ed. Monthly. More info »

Thriller Club

One First per month, mostly signed. More info »

Michael Bennett’s Things That Make White People Uncomfortable

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Football player. Activist. Philanthropist. Those are all words that describe Michael Bennett, along with author. He was recently a speaker at Town Hall Seattle. We can share the program with you, however, we’d like to share the book first. You can order Things That Make White People Uncomfortable through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2tAQ9Gy

Bennett book

Here’s the summary.

Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He’s also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable.

Bennett adds his unmistakable voice to discussions of racism and police violence, Black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Following in the footsteps of activist-athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett demonstrates his outspoken leadership both on and off the field.

Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin,Things that Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for our turbulent times, a memoir, and a manifesto as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.


For the first time in its over twenty-year-long history, the 1000-seat venue Town Hall Seattle sold out two nights in a row! The occasion? NFL player Michael Bennett, promoting his book Things that Make White People Uncomfortable, on June 18 and 19, an event you can watch here. The popularity of the events was unsurprising, considering that Things that Make White People Uncomfortable was a New York Times bestseller for the month of May in the Sports and Fitness category.

Megan Abbott in Hollywood

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Well, Hollywood may have just caught on that Megan Abbott’s books will make good  movies, but savvy readers have known about her books for a while. You can find them in the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2ItIuyB


If you haven’t read one of Abbott’s books before, check them out before they are turned into films. Here’s Daniel Canfield’s article for EW.com. “Is Megan Abbott Hollywood’s next big novelist?” http://bit.ly/2IrFTFi

Nero Award Finalists

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Here’s an award that isn’t quite as well known as the Edgars, the Agathas, and the Anthonys. According to Wikipedia, “The Nero Award is a literary award for excellence in the mystery genre presented by the Wolfe Pack, a society founded in 1978 to explore and celebrate the Nero Wolfe stories by Rex Stout.” This year’s winner will be presented with the award at the Black Orchid banquet on Dec. 1 in New York City.

Congratulations to all of the finalists. Look for their books in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Of course, an extra congratulations and hat tip to Warren C. Easley, whose Blood for Wine is published by Poisoned Pen Press.

Blood for Wine

Here are the nominees.

  • The Dime by Kathleen Kent (Mulholland Books/Little, Brown)
  • The Lioness is the Hunter by Loren D. Estelman (Forge)
  • Gone to Dust by Matt Goldman (Forge)
  • August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho)
  • Blood for Wine by Warren C. Easley (Poisoned Pen Press)


And, just in case you want to check it out, here’s the summary for Blood for Wine.

Cal Claxton’s old farmhouse sits high in Oregon’s Red Hills, home of scores of wineries and some of the most coveted acreage for growing the pinot noir grape in the world. Former Los Angeles prosecutor Cal settled in this haven to reboot his life as a widower, growing a small practice that includes some pro bono work in nearby Portland. Life is good, filled with food, wine, and friends. But this beautiful area is not the idyllic haven it appears to be.

When Cal’s neighbor, Jim Kavanaugh, the owner and gifted vintner of an up-and-coming winery, is accused of murdering his wife, his freedom-and the grape harvest-is suddenly in jeopardy along with his reputation, and his business begins to slide. No gentleman farmer, this puts the rugged winemaker’s property, his only financial asset, in play. When a blackmail plot is hatched against the owner of adjacent land, it begins to look like a brutal game of real-life Monopoly is underway.

Cal agrees to defend Jim, a good friend, which pulls him reluctantly into the blackmail plot. Emotions are running high over Lori Kavanaugh’s bloody death. There is no shortage of suspects. There may be more than the one game in play. And defending Jim might well make Cal the next target of a vicious, cunning killer.

Paul Doiron & A Celebration

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Join author Paul Doiron at the Poisoned Pen on Sunday, July 1 at 2 PM for a 4th of July celebration, an ice cream social, and a signing of his new book, Stay Hidden. We hope you can attend, however Doiron’s books are available through the Web Store if you miss it. http://bit.ly/2KqPe53

Paul Doiron
Sunday, July 1st
Ice Cream Social!
A Fourth of July Party with photos of and discussion of National Parks plus the role of Game Wardens from Maine to Wyoming
 The Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Paul Doiron  



Stay Hidden (St Martins $26.99) Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch #9. Our copies come with an essay by CJ Box on why he too chose to write about a Game Warden.

A woman has been shot to death by a deer hunter on an island off the coast of Maine. To newly promoted Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch, the case seems open and shut. But as soon as he arrives on remote Maquoit Island he discovers mysteries piling up one on top of the other.

The hunter now claims he didn’t fire the fatal shot and the evidence proves he’s telling the truth. Bowditch begins to suspect the secretive community might be covering up the identity of whoever killed the woman, known as Ariel Evans. The controversial author was supposedly writing a book about the island’s notorious hermit. So why are there no notes in her rented cottage?

The biggest blow comes the next day when the weekly ferry arrives and off steps the dead woman herself. Ariel Evans is alive, well, and determined to solve her own “murder” even if it upsets Mike Bowditch’s investigation and makes them both targets of an elusive killer who will do anything to conceal his crimes.