april 17—24, 2018
Send a cover letter and up to 20 pages of fiction or nonfiction to: email@example.com
Only six students will be accepted. Acceptances will be sent on a rolling basis, so the sooner the application is received the better.
Giancarlo DiTrapano is editor of Tyrant Books and New York Tyrant. He has published books by Atticus Lish, Marie Calloway, Scott McClanahan, Clancy Martin, Brian Evenson, Eugene Marten, Blake Butler, Michael Kimball, Sam Michel, Ken Baumann, and others. He was written for Playboy, Vice, and other outlets. He taught fiction writing and editing at Catapult. He lives in Rome.
Chelsea Hodson is the author of the forthcoming essay collection Tonight I'm Someone Else and the chapbook Pity the Animal. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Bennington College and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony and PEN Center USA Emerging Voices. This winter, she is teaching at Catapult in New York and as an Alumni Teaching Fellow at Bennington College.
Workshop will meet for two hours every morning and each student will have the opportunity to workshop a manuscript up to 20 pages. Both Giancarlo DiTrapano and Chelsea Hodson will be present for each workshop meeting—fiction and nonfiction will be workshopped together. Each workshop will also involve a lesson from either Giancarlo or Chelsea—past lessons have included topics such as: how to write a great first sentence, how to use the physical body as a writing tool, and how to go about editing a book-length manuscript.
Before arriving in Italy, each student will be expected to print, read, and mark up the other students' manuscripts and respond with a one-page letter to each student. These letters will guide our discussions.
Testimonials from some of our inaugural workshop students in October 2017:
I travelled to the workshop from Australia because I wanted my writing to have the same intensity I find in Chelsea Hodson’s work and in every release from Tyrant Books. Giancarlo and Chelsea put me on the right path. They were generous with time, attention, and took us out to see Medieval monasteries and coastal towns crumbling into the Mediterranean sea. In a long line of bad decisions, attending Mors Tua Vita Mea wasn’t one of them. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. ——Paul Dalla Rosa
If you want your writing life to stay the same, Mors Tua Vita Mea is not for you. The workshops and craft exercises will challenge you, the faculty will encourage you, your cohort will inspire you, and you'll come away better for it. I not only grew as a writer at Mors Tua Vita Mea, I felt validated as one. The guidance I received from all corners was invaluable. Then, top it all off with food, wine, and the breathtaking Italian countryside? MTVM is worth every penny. ——Jessica Hatch
Mors Tua Vita Mea was an amazing experience. I went with an idea of who I was as a writer, but I left with a clearer sense of what I wanted to achieve. Giancarlo and Chelsea's advice was valuable and constructive, and I cannot recommend this workshop enough. ——Alex Gaertner
Villa DiTrapano is a private gated residence located on sixteen acres in Sezze Romano, Latina, Italy. Originally built in the 17th century and in the DiTrapano family since 1932, the villa has been fully renovated and now operates as a luxury rental year-round. It has all the amenities you'll need: high-quality bedding and sheets, wireless internet, a fireplace, air conditioning, bathrobes, hair dryers, a coffeemaker, and a security system. Each student will have their own bedroom in the villa.
There is one bedroom at the villa with two twin beds (pictured below left). If you and a friend would like to rent this room together, let us know on your application. If you are both accepted, the cost of your stay will be reduced.
There is also a separate garden apartment located across the pool (green room pictured below). This apartment offers more privacy and has its own bathroom with a shower. For a small extra fee, you can reserve this apartment instead of a private bedroom in the villa.
$2900 USD is the total cost for tuition, a private bedroom at Villa DiTrapano, all transportation (including to and from the airport and all field trips), breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The only additional cost is airfare to Rome, which is the responsibility of the student.
If you are accepted, a nonrefundable $500 USD deposit is due by February 1, 2018. The remainder of your balance will be due by March 1, 2018.
In the afternoons and evenings, our own personal tour guide and history expert (and also Giancarlo's husband) Giuseppe will join us as we embark on nearby field trips. Some of the activities from our first workshop included: seeing the two thousand year old ruins and skeletons of Ercolano, eating a private four-course lunch at the top of a mountain in Roccagorga, swimming and drinking cocktails at the beach in Sperlonga, visiting the ancient ruins of Terracina, eating pizza and gelato in Naples, and more. This is the perfect trip for someone new to Italy, since all you have to do is get in the car and let Giancarlo drive you to the next tourist-free destination while Giuseppe tells you all about it.
On days when we have extra spare time at the villa, Chelsea will lead optional writing exercises with prompts designed to help you generate new material and overcome writer's block. Over meals, we will also have group discussions about things like the publishing and business aspects of writing as a career.
Each workshop participant will have the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with both Giancarlo and Chelsea to discuss their manuscripts in more detail, go over personalized reading lists, and think about next steps.
For our first workshop in October 2017, we had the pleasure of a lunch with publicity extraordinaire Lauren Cerand, who was visiting from New York. Our second workshop's special guest will be announced closer to the workshop date.