Skip to main content

My Adventures in Italy ... (Part I)

Ciao! I arrived in Italy this past week for the International Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and it has been non-stopping walking and talking since then. I saw Rome briefly during a long layover and got to do some basic sightseeing.

Ciao! I arrived in Italy this past week for the International Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and it has been non-stopping walking and talking since then. I saw Rome briefly during a long layover and got to do some basic sightseeing.

I memorized about a hundred words and phrases in Italian and was very proud of myself. But it was all for nothing when I stepped into my first cafe and had a Roman woman say "Prego," and shoot me a look like "God, I hope you're not an American who can't speak Italian to save your life."


Trevi Fountain in the
heart of Rome (Roma!).

Image placeholder title

I then flew to Bari on the east coast of Italy, where I was picked up and driven with other presenters and attendees to the south central region of Italy—where Matera is. The city itself is a world heritage site and old as can be. It's famous for the communities that were carved out of caves over thousands of years.


The stone communities (Sassi) of Matera
are thousands of years old and have
been developed by each generation here.

Image placeholder title

My panels have gone well so far, and I've met with writers and heard some book and article pitches. About half of the pitches were in Italian, and it's quite a thing to have someone explaining their book, and then have that explanation told through a translator who then has to translate your reaction.


The Italian woman in the middle
is telling me about her romance book
and looking for advice. The woman
on the left is translating.

Image placeholder title

So far, it has been a lot of work and my sleep schedule is chaotic, but the country is amazing. I will be posting a lot more in the coming days—interviews with agents and panel summaries.

Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Author John Cameron discusses how nonfiction history and historical fiction are more similar than they are different.

Bob Eckstein | Publishing Survival Tips

Top 10+ Survival Tips for Publishing

Poignant advice from some of the funniest people in publishing.

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

New York Times bestselling author Zac Bissonnette discusses the process of writing his new cozy mystery, A Killing in Costumes.

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

Every writer’s publishing story is different. Here, author Sharon M. Peterson shares her journey from writing to publishing.

Jeff Adams | Writer's Digest Indie Author Spotlight

Jeff Adams: Publishing Advice for Indie Authors

In this Indie Author Profile, romance novelist Jeff Adams shares his path to independent publishing and his advice for others considering that path.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Writer's Digest July/Aug 2022

The WD Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The bestselling author of Mexican Gothic shares her approach to world-building, character development, and what she’s learned about the business of writing in this interview from the July/August 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

Thinking of starting your own newsletter? Let freelance writer Sian Meades-Williams lay out 9 pros and cons of writing a newsletter.

How to Write a Compelling Premise for a Thriller

How to Create a Compelling Premise for a Thriller

Learn how to create a compelling premise for a thriller or mystery novel by asking a simple question and tying it to a specific circumstance to set the stage for a thrilling read.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Plan

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Plan

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters make a plan.