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


Women Write War: 4 Books — Arabic Literature (in English)

“Is there a difference between men’s and women’s war stories?”

via Women Write War: 4 Books — Arabic Literature (in English)

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

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!


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!

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.


15 Dec 2015 | Submission Deadline: The Quaker (All Genres)

Click to submit your work!

If you are seeking new opportunities to publish, take a look at The Quaker, the two-year old undergraduate art and literary journal published by the Program in Creative Writing at Malone University. Although going into its third year, this is the first time that The Quaker has opened its submissions call nationally!

Open to writers of all genres, including nonfiction (essays, reviews, etc), or as they put it “good writing in any and all forms.”

Deadline is December 15, 2015.

Also, according to their submission page, “each semester one author is chosen to be honored with a $100 Editor’s Prize for an outstanding contribution to the journal.”

So, why not submit?

Happy Writing!

Article |Hemingway on Worry and Writing


As is my wont, each morning I read something to encourage my writing.  Oftentimes, it is a simple quote that does the trick to get me centered and feeling able to battle my twin demons of writing: procrastination and writer’s block.  This morning was no different, except the type of quote I read.

It was not an inspirational, “Go get ’em, Tiger” kind of quote, but a reality check about living as a writer, especially one without means. Here is the quote:

Financial security then is a great help as it keeps you from worrying. Worry destroys the ability to write. Ill health is bad in the ratio that it produces worry which attacks your subconscious and destroys your reserves. (Ernest Hemingway, 1958)

The quote comes from an interview with Ernest Hemingway, published by The Paris Review in 1958, which can be read, in its entirety, by clicking the link below.

Hemingway hit the nail on the head when stated that worrying interferes with our ability to write, specifically worry caused by financial or health concerns.  In fact, this quote reminded me of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need, which states that in order for human beings to self-actualize, several needs must be met:

Image found on Click to read the article “Our Hierarchy of Need”

In the Hemingway quote, he targeted the two aspects from the second level of need that writers, being humans, must face: having financial security and maintaining good health.

Regardless of where you are on your writer’s journey, if you are currently having a challenging time writing, take a moment to consider if you are meeting your real life needs.  Real life worries are nothing to scoff at, and may be at the root of a block you have encountered.


The Paris Review is a literary magazine featuring original writing, art, and in-depth interviews with famous writers.

Source: Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 21, Ernest Hemingway

Do Your Writing Exercises!

Writer Jamie Lee Wallace reminds us of why you should continue honing your writing skills after you leave the classroom or perhaps by returning to the classroom.  Practicing writing is not just for beginning creative writers, all writers, regardless of success, should embrace the rudiments of creative writing.  You can read the article by clicking the link below.

Source: Short and Sweet Advice for Writers – Do Your Writing Exercises