CWIT 340: Italian Tales and Stories: Creative Writing Through Literary Models

Instructor: Antonella Valoroso - Ph.D.
Credits: 3
Course/Lab Fee: 30€ (Course reader fee announced by the Print Shop)
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: Creative Writing, English, Italian Studies-Interdisciplinary, Literature

Course Description

In this course we will explore the process of transforming sensory impressions, individual feelings, personal experiences, and factual information into engaging and effective works of creative fiction and non-fiction. Students will read from a cross-section of Italian authors dealing with a wide range of topics and issues and will generate their own writing through a series of exercises designed to help the writer tap into fresh levels of awareness and creative energy. Class time will be devoted to discussing and analyzing assigned readings, and to the exploration of writing strategies and techniques. Students will also be involved in a series of ‘literary walks’ aiming at enhancing their ability to gather information from the exploration of natural and urban Italian landscapes.


Students will be required to produce weekly compositions of two or three pages, as well as articles to be published online. By the end of the semester they will also complete individual projects that will be published in a literary anthology. The course includes a workshop with the internationally acclaimed performer Mario Pirovano. Pirovano is also the English translator of Dario Fo, the most recent Italian winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.



Course Objectives / Learning Outcomes

  • To acquaint the students with the voices and visions of Italian writers of 19th , 20th and 21st century.
  • To explore the main peculiarities of literary genres such as the novel, the short story, the historic nonfiction, the investigative journalism, the newspaper and magazine article.
  • To explore the writing process in general and personal strategies for generating effective work.
  • To produce fresh and engaging personal essays.
  • To review the mechanics of writing and hone editorial and proof-reading skills.


Course Materials

Mandatory course reader


Previous Student Literary Anthologies

Spring Semester 2014: We Came To This City

Fall Semester 2013: Imagining

Fall Semester 2012: Stare