Italy Writes

Italy Writes 2016 announces WinnersItaly Writes
On June 16, JCU's Italy Writes, a nation-wide English language creative writing competition for high school students whose primary language of instruction is not English celebrated young talent. Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Merva welcomed participants. She congratulated the finalists, their teachers and their parents for the support they give to these young writers.

JCU Writer in Residence, award-winning Susan Minot, in presenting the awards, addressed the winners, their parents and teachers. Minot offered words of encouragement and inspiration. In her talk, she described how profoundly influenced she was at a young age by a reading of American novelist William Faulkner's novel 'The Sound and the Fury'. It was then that she appreciated the power of words felt that creative flame that drives a writer. She wanted to do that with words, too.

Ms. Minot said she was happy to participate in this ceremony to celebrate and support the creative writing efforts of these students. All artists, she pointed out, need encouragement and support regardless of their degree of accomplishment.

Italy Writes 2016 received 63 submissions from students attending 20 different high schools in 7 Italian cities. Works of Fiction or Non-Fiction from Anzio, Ivrea, Latina, Milan, Naples, Pomezia and Rome.

The panel of judges included JCU professors and a professor from  the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.

As part of the Italy Writes Award, each student schedules a meeting with Professor Tara Keenan-Thomson, director of JCU's Writing Center. Professor Keenan met with all eight finalists individually to help them revise their winning piece and select the excerpt for reading at the ceremony. Professor Keenan-Thomson announced the winners:

Fiction Category:
1 st Place (€300 gift certificate) – Lea Pietrosante, Liceo Scientifico Statale 'Plinio Seniore', Rome for 'The Sun Beats Down Hard',
2nd Place (€200 gift certificate) – Leonardo Monterubbiano, Liceo Scientifico 'E. Majorana', Latina, for 'About the Vacuity of Words and the Necessity to Preserve' ,
3rd Place (€100 gift certificate) – Angelica Tajani, Liceo Linguistico Immanuel Kant, Rome, for 'The Ride',
Honorable Mention - Muriel Vittori, Liceo Musicale Scientifico Farnesina, Rome, for 'Eat Me',

Non-Fiction Category:
1st Place (€300 gift certificate) – Elena Placanica, Liceo Classico 'Dante Alighieri', Rome, for 'The Female Outcast in Theatre' (Elena was awarded 1st Prize in this category at Italy Writes 2014),
2nd Place (€200 gift certificate) – Vittoria Castiglione, Liceo Classico 'Dante Alighieri', Rome, for 'Refugees: When your Homeland isn't Home Anymore',
3rd Place (€100 gift certificate) – Marco Guarnieri, Liceo Scientifico 'Keplero', for 'Can War be Avoided?'
Honorable Mention - Annalisa Feliziani, Liceo Classico 'Dante Alighieri', Rome, for 'Dead Men Walking. Mafia Kills, Silence Too'.

Read the excerpts of the Italy Writes 2016 finalists here.


JCU announces Italy Writes 2017. Download the application form. Deadline for submissions:  1 April 2017. Only finalists will be notified and will be invited to read a brief excerpt from their work at the Award Ceremony during the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation Summer Institute in June 2017.

Building on the tremendous success of JCU's Italy Reads program that began in 2009 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), JCU has launched Italy Writes, a national English-language writing competition for Italian high school students that includes on its panel of judges professors from one of America's most highly-ranked creative writing centers: the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.

Italy Writes engages high school students in the development of their English creative-writing skills and is open to all students enrolled in Italian high schools that do not have English as the primary language of instruction. Students compete annually for awards for the best creative writing piece in the genres of fiction and nonfiction. This national competition will take place each spring and the winners will be announced in June at an event sponsored by JCU's Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation.

According to Professor Carlos Dews, Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature and Director of the Creative Writing Institute, "Finding creative expression in a language other than one's own is an exciting exploration of the emotions at the core of the human spirit. Following the lead of Italy Reads, JCU hopes to continue our tradition of providing support for English language learning in the Italian high school community." Italy Writes is wholly funded by John Cabot University.

Instructions regarding how to participate in Italy Writes are available here.

For Italian high school teachers of English who would like to join the more than 45 Italian high schools already participating in Italy Reads, please write for information.

Clicca qui per la versione italiana

Learn more about studying English Language and Literature at John Cabot University in Rome. Learn more about studying Creative Writing at John Cabot University in Rome.

See who won Italy Writes 2015
ee who won Italy Writes 2014
See who won Italy Writes 2013
See who won Italy Writes 2012