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)


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!

In Lagos, Nigeria? Have 150 Words in You? You Could Win a Novel, Pair of Shoes & Perfume (Contest)

Image from BellaNaija.com. Click to learn more about this contest.

Every morning, I search Google’s News Section for “creative writing.” It’s a quick way to access interesting information on current happenings in the world of creative writing.  This morning provided me with the above contest, “Atoke’s Creative Writing Giveaway.”

Who is Atoke and why is there a giveaway?

Atoke, who apparently goes by first name only, is a Nigerian lawyer and writer/blogger for BellaNaija.com.  Her work has been published in magazines in Nigeria, the UK, and the US, and Atoke was the recipient of the Dylan Thomas Creative Writing Scholarship.  She holds a Masters in Creative Writing, and spends her weekends cooking. You can follow her on twitter @Atoke_).

The Giveaway is Atoke’s way of sharing her love of reading, and the novel that is featured is one of her favourites for 2014: NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names.

Entry is simple. Visit the Atoke’s Creative Writing Giveaway post and write your 150-word entry in the comments section, beginning with the words He looked in the bag and saw a pair of green Gbemisoke shoes…”

Yes, if you are not living in Lagos, Nigeria, winning this competition is impossible. However, challenge yourself today to write a 150-word microfiction with that opening!

Happy Writing!

24 Jul 2015 | Have $5 to Spare? Sixfold Short Story & Poetry Awards Deadline (Contest)

Enter Sixfold‘s Short Story and Poetry Contest for the chance to win $1,000.  Sixfold is a unique approach writing contests because the judges of the contests are the participants as well as anyone else with a computer and penchant for literature and critiques.  As Sixfold puts it:

All-writer-voted and open to all, Sixfold three-round manuscript voting is the most rigorous, thorough, fair, and transparent editorial selection process available. To create each issue, hundreds of writers vote to select the best fiction and poetry manuscripts with much more discernment than any other editorial.

As the process is quite rigorous, we recommend you visit their website for a full description of what is required and what expect.

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.

RSVP: cwinstitute@johncabot.edu

26 May 2015 | Reading by Author and Poet Kevin Brophy

Author Kevin Brophy. Image from John Cabot University Website. Click to read more about this event.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm  | WHERE: Guarini Campus, Aula Magna

Kevin Brophy, Ph.D. is a professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Melbourne, where he teaches poetry and short fiction.  Brophy is the author of thirteen books of fiction, poetry and essays, most recently Walking: New and Selected Poems (John Leonard Press 2013), which was shortlisted for the WA Premiers Prize for Poetry. He was 2009 co-winner of the Calibre Prize for an outstanding essay. His collection of short fiction, What Men and Women Do, was runner-up for the Christina Stead Award, and in 2005 he was awarded the Martha Richardson medal for poetry.  Read More…

3 Feb 2015 | Reading by Serbian Author Andrija Matić at JCU

Andrija Matić. Image from AndrijaMatic.com. Click to visit his website.

On Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 6:30pm, as a part of the Institute’s Reading Series, Serbian author Andrija Matić will be giving a reading at John Cabot University. Matić will be reading excerpts from his novels and short stories.

Matić has a Ph.D. in English Literature and he is the author of three novels, a collection of short stories, and a nonfiction book on T.S. Elliot. His latest work is the novel A Black in Five Images, published in 2013.

Tues., 3 Feb. 2015, 6:30-8:00p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus

John Cabot University, via della Lungara 233, Rome

Visit his website: AndrijaMatic.com

15 Mar 2015 | Deadline: Young Romantics Poetry & Short Stoy Competition

John Keats. Image from The Guardian. Click image for contest details

John Keats. Image from The Guardian. Click image for contest details.

On January 5, 2015, The Guardian announced its latest competition, the Young Romantics creative writing prize, aimed at young writers (ages 16-18).

  • Genres: Fiction (short story) & Poetry
  • Prize(s): Week-long creative writing course; £100 book tokens; and publication. Deadline: March 15, 2015.

Below is an excerpt from the announcement:

“Young Romantics is a competition which asks writers aged between 16 and 18 to enter their poems (max. 20 lines) and short stories (max. 1,000 words) – the only condition is that your work must take their inspiration from the work, lives and ideas of the Romantic poets, and they must refer to the theme of the competition, which this year is Lost Angels.”

Jan – May 2015 | New Year…New Creative Writing Contests (No Entry Fee)

Featured Image -- 2679

TIP: Start Submitting Your Writing

Now that the holiday celebrations are over, it is time to pull our completed and almost completed works and prepare to enter the many creative writing contests happening in 2015.  To get you started, we’ve provided you with a quick list:

  • Nelson Algren Short Story Contest (multiple opportunities to win 2nd & 3rd place)
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Prize(s): $3,500 (1st); $1,000 (2nd); $500 (3rd)
  • Deadline: Jan. 31, 2015



Remember, these contests have NO entry fee.

So, you have NO excuses not to enter.

Happy Writing!

Creative Writing Prompts



As the year comes to a close, many will spend time creating resolutions for the new year, the grand to-do list of things to accomplish over the course of the next 12 months.  Usually, these lists are generalized to all aspects of our lives: health, finances, relationships, etc.

What, however, would a creative writing resolution list look like?  What would you include or exclude?  What are some goals you wish to accomplish over the next 12 months?

So, this is our creative writing prompt for you (a.k.a. Free Write Fridays):

Write a 600-word short story about a lesson you’ve learned in 2014,

and what resolution it has prompted you to make for 2015. 


Looking for other creative writing prompt ideas?

Visit: Build Creative Writing Ideas

Happy Writing!

Regular Posts on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays!