Three steps to a smoother writing style — Nail Your Novel

This week Joanna Penn invited me to her podcast to talk about writing style and voice, which you can see in a few weeks’ time. We got so involved in the subject that we didn’t finish her question list and this point didn’t make the cut. So I thought it would make a useful post. […]

via Three steps to a smoother writing style — Nail Your Novel


30 May |Women Writers & The Art of the Short Story: A Tribute to Lucia Berlin


Lucia Berlin (Image found via GIS)


Join us on Monday, May 30th (Memorial Day), in celebrating the life and work of author Lucia Berlin (1936-2004). This event will feature JCU professor Elizabeth Geoghegan, Italian screen and fiction writers Chiara Barzini and Francesca Marciano.

Event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Room G.G.1 in JCU’s Guarini Gampus.

Click here to RSVP and for more information on this event .

Lucia Berlin stories are inspired by her early childhood in various Western mining towns; her glamorous teenage years in Santiago, Chile; three failed marriages; a lifelong problem with alcoholism; her years spent in Berkeley, New Mexico, and Mexico City; and the various jobs she later held to support her writing and her four sons. Sober and writing steadily by the 1990s, she took a visiting writer’s post at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1994 and was soon promoted to associate professor. In 2001, in failing health, she moved to Southern California to be near her sons. She died in 2004 in Marina del Rey. (From the John Cabot University Website)

How Does a Poet Write short #fiction? — Daily (w)rite

Best Small Fictions Guest edited by Robert Olen ButlerAs part of my ongoing guest post series in this blog, we heard from Jude Higgins last week. Today, it is my pleasure to welcome the wonderful Dee Cohen, a poet, photographer and prose author who speaks about writing, and her piece in the The Best Small…

via How Does a Poet Write short #fiction? — Daily (w)rite

John Steinbeck: Magic in Story Writing. (A Quote) — ronovanwrites

“If there is magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the […]

via John Steinbeck: Magic in Story Writing. (A Quote) — ronovanwrites

JCU Offers Graduate Courses in Creative Writing (Summer 2016)


If you have been thinking about studying creative writing and have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, then why not study with us in Rome this summer?  John Cabot University in agreement with American University will be offering four graduate courses in creative writing during the Summer Institute.  This summer’s offerings are:

  • CW 550 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
  • CW 554 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
  • CW 558 The Art of Literary Translation
  • EN 585 Advanced Creative Writing and Literature: How to Read Like a Writer

Courses will be taught by professors from both JCU and American University.  They include poet David Keplinger, author Elizabeth Geoghegan, and poet and translator Elena Buia Rutt. Please, visit the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation to learn more about these courses.

In Rome in the Coming Months? Join Us! (Upcoming Events)

Eleanor WilnerTuesday, April 26, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM, Reading by Poet Eleanor Wilner.  

Eleanor Wilner is the author of seven books of poems, including Tourist in Hell (University of Chicago Press) and The Girl with Bees in Her Hair (Copper Canyon Press). Her work is widely anthologized, most recently in The Best American Poetry 2014. (From


peter-hughesTuesday, May 31, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM, Reading by Poet Peter Hughes.  

Peter Hughes is a poet and the founding editor of Oystercatcher Press. His Selected Poems was published by Shearsman in 2013 along with ‘An intuition of the particular’: some essays on the poetry of Peter Hughes, edited by Ian Brinton.  (From


Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM, Reading by Author Charles Lambert.

Charles Lambert was born in England, but has been living in Italy since 1980.  In 2008, his first novel, Little Monsters, was published by Picador, and his second novel, Any Human Face, was published in 2010 (Picador).  His most recent work, The Scent of Cinnamon and Other Stories, a collection of short stories was published by Salt Publishing.



Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM, Reading by Author Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi is the author of the 1992 novel A Guide for the Perplexed and Septimania (April 2016, The Overlook Press), as well as many plays and opera libretti that have been performed internationally. (From



susan-minotWednesday, June 15, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM, Reading by 2016 Writer in Residence Susan Minot.

Susan Minot is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer, poet, and screenwriter. Her first novel, Monkeys, was published in a dozen countries and won the Prix Femina Étranger in France. Her novel Evening was a worldwide best seller and became a major motion picture. (From


Other Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 6:30-8:00 p.m, Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, CW Institute Faculty Reading and Welcome Party.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, CW Institute Reading.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, CW Institute Reading.

Monday, June 20, 2016, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, CW Institute Craft Talk: 2016 Writer in Residence Susan Minot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Secchia Terrace, CW Institute Student Reading and Farewell Party.


To learn more about attending, visit the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation Events Page

Article | Author Dacia Maraini at JCU


Renowned Italian author Dacia Maraini presented her latest work Extravagance and Three Other Plays last Tuesday, February 2nd, at JCU’s Guarini Campus.  The plays, originally written, were published by the John Cabot University Press as a dual language volume, with the English Translation by Italian Studies Professor James Schwarten.  Read More

Blog |WritingContests: Contests, Fellowships & Residencies

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If you are looking for another source for current and upcoming contests, fellowships and residencies, then visit fellow WordPress blog WritingContests.  Since 2006, WritingContests has aimed to provide information for aspiring and established writers, regardless of age, or as is stated on the blog:

“information about creative writing contests, poetry contests, literary magazine theme issues, writing residencies, grants, fellowships etc. Now accepting creative writing contests news and announcements!”

There are even listings about job opportunities, whether that is writing for a teen magazine or for the AARP.

Check out some of their recent posts:

Happy Writing!