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


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.

Blog |WritingContests: Contests, Fellowships & Residencies

Featured Image -- 2798

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!


ResArtis’ Upcoming Deadlines for International Writing Residencies


Thinking about applying to a writing residency in 2016? Although some deadlines have already passed, there are still quite a few upcoming ones, especially outside of the US. Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Iran, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Thailand are just some of the countries in which there are still opportunities.

Of course, some of these writing residencies may have an associated cost for staying there while others may be free,  and certainly there are application fees to be paid.  However, if you are looking to experience a new environment and culture while having the freedom to write, then these residencies might just fit the bill.

Current listed deadlines start as early as today, December 15th, and go through to mid-2016.  There are also listings for open calls to residencies in various countries, such as Iceland, Finland, China, Italy, Japan, and France.

Please, visit for more information.

Good Luck & Happy Writing!

Jan 2016 | Upcoming MFA Creative Writing Program Deadlines

pin write what you wish

Thinking of applying to an MFA in Creative Writing program next year?  Well, the deadlines begin as early as January 1st! So, now is the time to prepare (if you haven’t started already): get those recommendation letters together, polish up your written submission, give yourself a hug and cross your fingers as soon as you’ve put the application in the mail or hit the Submit button if applying online.

If you do not yet have a specific program in mind, then check out the Poets & Writers’ MFA Programs Database. There you will find not only a listing of upcoming deadlines, but also information on each program’s core faculty, program size, residency level (low, full), genre focus, and contact information.

Programs with 1/1/2016 Deadlines:

  • Arizona State University
  • Stony Brook Southampton
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Missouri, Columbia (MFA & PhD)
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • University of North Texas (MFA & PhD)
  • University of North Texas
  • University of South Florida

Good Luck & Happy Writing!

31 Dec 2015 |Submissions Deadline: The Truth About The Fact (Nonfiction)


Loyola Marymount Univetsity‘s The Truth About the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction is seeking submissions for their annual nonfiction publication.  Submissions are due by December 31, 2015.

The Truth About the Fact is a book-like literary journal that features life-based writings and art (currently seeking black and white art) of “a wide range of people and lifestyles.” Their aim is create  publication that is “pervasive, powerful, and all-inclusive.”

To learn more about this upcoming submission deadline, please send inquiries to:  You can also visit The Truth About the Fact‘s website.

riverSedge: Now Accepting Submissions

Image from riverSedge. Click to visit their website.

We’re back! To start of our return, here is a new call for submission:

Until March 2016, riverSedge: A Journal of Art and Literature, published by the University of Texas Pan-American, is accepting submissions in the following categories: prose, poetry and art.  Beyond seeking your submissions, riverSedge is holding a contest, and all submissions (with the exception of reviews and interviews) are eligible to win a prize.  riverSedge has noted that if you are a writer of dramatic scripts or graphic literature, you are still eligible for the contest, and will be judged under the category of prose.

What are the prizes? riverSedge is offering three $300 prizes, one for each of the categories named above.

Want to learn more?  Visit the riverSedge website. If you are ready to submit, then click here to submit.


Reblog Friday | 3 Books on Writing for Aspiring Writers

Friday Fun — What One Book Would You Recommend?.

A great list compiled by the writers of the NHWN blog.  Some books include Brenda Ueland’s Bird by Bird.  Although not a technical book, a personal favourite is Writers Write by William Meikle for motivation and getting over emotional roadblocks along the way to developing your craft.

If you are looking to get into the mind’s of great writers–after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery–then I would check out Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose.

What books have you found helpful?  
Comment here or on the link above!
Happy Writing!


June 2015 | A Month of Literary Events at JCU!

Carlos Dews (center), Director of the Institute of Creative Writing and Literary Translation, and Chair of the English Language and Literature Department.

Carlos Dews (center), Director of the Institute of Creative Writing and Literary Translation.

If you are in Rome and love literature, then attending the events offered by John Cabot University’s Summer Institute of Creative Writing and Literary Translations is a must!  Every week in June the Institute offers readings by renowned writers, such as the Institute’s Writer in Residence, Edmund White.  

Most events will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  For the current schedule, see below or visit our Events Calendar for the most up-to-date information.


Monday, 1 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, a lecture by Oonagh Stranksy.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, a reading by Matthew Kneale.

Monday, 8 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, a reading by Adelaide Basile.

Monday, 15 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, a reading by the Faculty.

Monday, 22 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, a reading by Michael Carroll.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, a reading by Students.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, Craft Talk by Writer in Residence, Edmund White.


15 Jun 2015 | Deadline: Curt Johnson Prose Award! (December Magazine)

Yesterday, April 1st marked the opening for submission for the Curt Johnson Prose Award. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

This year’s contest will be judged by the Institute’s 2012 Novelist in Residence Joyce Carol Oates and nonfiction author Albert Goldbarth. Below is the official information from December Magazine’s website.

1st Prize: $1,500 and publication
Honorable Mention: $500 and publication
All finalists listed in Fall/Winter 2015 Awards issue.

Submit one story or one essay per entry between April 1 and June 15, 2015. Each entry should not exceed 8,000 words. Name and address on cover letter only. Submit online at or by mail at PO Box 16130, St. Louis, MO 63105.