The centerpiece of each day will be a two-hour workshop, held mid-morning. Each of these workshops will be mixed-genre, fiction and memoir, and taught by Dani Shapiro, Richard Russo or Jim Shepard. After the workshops, students will have time to explore the charming village of Positano, or make day trips to nearby attractions such as Pompeii and Sorrento; or simply relax, write, think, swim in the lovely pool of Le Sirenuse, or enjoy its extraordinary world-class spa. Each workshop participant will also have a private conference with Dani, Richard or Jim over the course of the conference. Evenings will be devoted to readings and discussions. One evening, Hannah Tinti , editor and founder of One Story magazine, will give a talk about publishing. Another evening, Hannah, Dani, Richard and Jim will have an open conversation about the literary life. Michael Maren (Dani’s husband), an accomplished screenwriter, will be available to talk about screenwriting, and all things Hollywood . Still another evening, there will be a guest reading by esteemed writers passing through Italy . We’ll also reprise “open mike” night, during which students will be given the opportunity to publicly read their work. The final evening, Antonio Sersale will fete us with an extraordinary farewell dinner.
Dani Shapiro‘s most recent book is the national best seller, Still Writing. She is also the author of the best-selling memoirs Slow Motion and Devotion and the novels Black & White and Family History. Her short stories and essays have appeared in One Story, The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Elle, Bookforum, Oprah, Ploughshares, among others, and have been broadcast on This American Life. Dani has taught creative writing at the best writing programs in the country, including Columbia University, New York University, The New School, Wesleyan University, and the BreadLoaf Writers’ Conference. Many of her students have gone on to publish novels and short stories.
Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, most recently The Book of Aron, and four story collections, including Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Tin House, the New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope: All Story, and Playboy, and five of his stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, two for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and one for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Williams College.
One Story is a literary magazine that publishes one short story at a time. Every three weeks, a finely printed work of short fiction is delivered to subscribers in an envelope. One Story publishes eighteen issues a year, and seeks stories that are strong enough to stand on their own; fiction that is well written, exciting, and unique. Its intimate format connects each reader to one writer, and personalizes the experience of reading a short story. Founded by Maribeth Batcha and Hannah Tinti in 2001, One Story Magazine has fast become one of the best places for writers to publish. Articles about One Story have appeared in Time Out New York, Newsweek, O-The Oprah Magazine, Jane Magazine, and The New York Times. One Story has been included in the Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Pushcart Prizes, Best New Stories from the South, and recently won the prestigious Fountain Award.
Karen Russell has taught twice at Sirenland. She is the author of the short story collections, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, which won the Bard Fiction Prize, and the novel Swamplandia!, which was a New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2011 selection and winner of the New York Public Library’s Young Lions fiction award. She is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and and received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant in 2013. Karen has taught creative writing and literature at Columbia University, Williams College, and Bryn Mawr.
Anthony Doerr is the author of the short story collections The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace and All the Light We Cannot See. Doerr’s fiction has won four O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, three Pushcart Prizes, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, three Ohioana Book Awards, the 2010 Story Prize, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
Meg Wolitzer’s novels include The Interestings; The Uncoupling; The Ten-Year Nap; The Position; and The Wife. She is also the author of a novel for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman. Wolitzer’s short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. In September 2013, along with singer-songwriter Suzzy Roche, she will be a guest artist in the Princeton Atelier program at Princeton University.
Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Last Days, a New York Times bestseller. His memoir, Townie, was published in February 2011 with W.W. Norton & Co. and is now available in paperback. A #4 New York Times bestseller, it is a New York Times “Editors’ Choice” and is listed on many “Top Ten Non-Fiction Book” lists of 2011, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Esquire magazine. Townie also received the “2012 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature”. Andre’s work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994, The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and The Best of Hope Magazine. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of The Orchid Thief, Saturday Night, and other books. Her latest book is Rin Tin Tin: The Life and theLegend.
Ron Carlson is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the novel The Signal. His novel Five Skies was selected as one of the best books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and as the one book Rhode Island for 2009. His selected stories is A Kind of Flying, (W.W. Norton ), and his short fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harpers, The New Yorker, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Epoch, The Oxford American and other journals, as well as The Best American Short Stories, The O’Henry Prize Series, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and dozens of other anthologies. A graduate of the University of Utah, Mr. Carlson is Director of the Graduate Program in Fiction at the University of California, Irvine. Graywolf Press published his book on the process of writing: Ron Carlson Writes a Story. Among his awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and the Cohen Prize at Ploughshares, the McGinnis Award at the Iowa Review and the Aspen Foundation Literary Award.
John Burnham Schwartz has taught fiction writing at Harvard, The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Sarah Lawrence College, and he is the literary director of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, one of the leading literary festivals in the United States. His most recent novel, Northwest Corner, was published in 2011 by Random House.
Peter Cameron is a novelist and story writer. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Paris Review and many other magazines and journals, as well as several volumes of the O. Henry Prize Stories. He is the author of five novels including Andorra, The City of Your Final Destination, and Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You. He has taught fiction writing in the MFA programs of Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and The New School, as well as undergraduate students at Oberlin, Bryn Mawr and Yale. Peter lives in New York City, where he is the publisher of Wallflower Press.