About Writing the Best Way of All--In Italy!
Rome! And it's a
low-cost (Frugal!), cooperative effort!
The Roman Writers' Retreat
From our Roman Retreat of
2010 Book of Memories: l. to r. Eve Caram,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Catherine Yesayan.
Writers' Resources Pages a la
for Rome Retreat Information on This Page)
media release disseminators
content providers, and sites that accept book and author
information at no cost.
how-to books for writers, reference books and books of inspiration for writers only! Any one will
make a great companion to The Frugal Book Promoter and The
Frugal Editor! It includes a list of helpful free e-books and
some CDs you can learn tons from, too!
For the FREE Muse
Online Writers Conference.
a list of writers' conferences.
The Big and the Cozy. A
list of book
fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions. Your aid to planning
you can count on, and articles on how to promote using contests.
For a list of book fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions.
Your aid to planning ahead.
list of small publishers.
For a list of book publicists.
For a list of major review journals
some that review POD-published books--and an article with suggestions
for getting reviews.
For a list of writers' programs at US universities.
is a new Master of Science in Publishing listed!)
Writing Oriented Organizations,
Promotion Services, Agents, Legal Help, Illustrators, Indexers, Writing
Help, Editing, Event Planning, Author Friendly Radio, TV, Publishers,
Author-Oriented Newsletters, Author-Related Charities, Author-Friendly
Reviewers and Websites and More!
book on frugal Publicity is a 'classic.' I have it, I've read it, I've
recommended it, I believe in it, & I've met you... and I can easily
talk about it." ~Deborah
October 23-30, 2010
The Roman Writers' Retreat was imagined as a casual
writers' conference where authors could follow their dreams by
two UCLA Writers' Program instructors Eve LaSalle Caram and
Carolyn Howard-Johnson on their
cross-town foray to Eve's Novel I class on campus. (The drive in traffic
is a long one!). Eve had just taken a Villa in Italy and it seemed as if
doing something similar and sharing expenses with other writers would be
a great way to explore and be inspired by Rome, the city of dreams.
We found our Italian villa, after some ups and downs. The initial steps
have been taken and we have places available in a beautiful apartment
for only ten authors. We have room for only three more.
CHANGE IN PROPERTY. CHANGE IN LOCATION.
NO CHANGE IN AMENITIES OTHER THAN WE GET MORE FOR THE SAME PRICE.
This is the picture of the villa. It is located in Rome, across from a
park, near a hotel with restaurants, within a 10-15 minute walk to
public transit, with plenty of parking for anyone who would like to rent
There is free access to a Wi-Fi network in the ample
living room for those who bring their laptops, a considerable savings
over internet cafes or most hotel business centers. Heat,
electricity and more importantly the air conditioning are
included in the price along with a maid service and a driver with van
to take us into the heart of Rome or other places in and around Rome
each day and then pick us up and bring us back to our palatial villa.
If weather allows we will conduct some of our seminars around the pool
(an amenity the downtown location didn't have).
Otherwise there is a spacious "tavern" (like a family room) and a couple
of living rooms for us to use for that purpose! There is also a
terrace with a barbecue.
Inside there are 6 suites supplied with en suite bathrooms, air
conditioning, Satellite TV LCD and Sky decoder, WIFI flat connection,
safe, personal courtesy kit, hairdryer, bed linen and bath..
the main floor there is a big living room, a modern kitchen, a studio
with fax, printer and PC and a terrace with barbecue.
Meals are the responsibility of each of us and we'll have a plan
costs for those who prefer to share a good dish of pasta or
quick breakfasts. There is a hotel with
restaurants across the street and we are located near a park as well.
There will be no change from the original price quoted you.
These rooms are $1500 for the week (along with all the amenities of
the townhouse!); that is about $214 per night, much less than a simple
hotel room in New York (or Rome, for that matter).
The flat is easily found from TransAntlantic flights into Leonardo di
Vinci at Fiumicino. Unlike the prior location, there is parking
available for cars if you should choose to rent one, but there is no need
to do so.
Here are some of the bedrooms. There are ample bathrooms facilities
located throughout the home, many as part of the bedroom suites.
Here are some snaps of the living rooms (note the plural! (-: ) The
blue living room is on the left. The red living room on the right.
Other views including laundry room, staircase, pool, grounds, example
of the bathroom in the "Augusta" bedroom and the one in the "Domina"
bedroom (all the rooms are named! I kid you not!).
This is the "tavern." Look! a fireplace in case we have a chilly
I think we will have a grand time. Remember, this is a casual
retreat. Eve and I and our guest speaker Jo Linsdell have planned
several seminars but are open to ideas as needs arise. We will also
arrange critique groups for those who want to work that way. Please note
the special arrangements Jo has made for us at a restaurant in Rome
Early Planning Bulleting Board
Plan to carry a cell phone of your own in Rome. To arrange for
reservations, taxis, etc., on your own. Remember, this is a shared
experience. Eve and I do the seminars, but the sightseeing, food,
transportation, etc. are on your own or shared experiences with other
participants you want to work with or be with.
July 06: It is lovely to
have Jo Linsdell with us. Though she is a guest lecturer, it is like
having a personal host and guide! I mentioned the tour busses available
in Rome. Here is her insider's advice:
"The special tour buses really aren't necessary as Rome public
transport will take you anywhere and tickets are much cheaper (€1 for 75
minutes, €4 for a whole day unlimited use. Week passes are also
I'll put together a short handout for everyone with some Rome tips. A
kind of welcome pack."
Wowee! Thank you, Jo!
September 10, 2010. As you can see,
we have a change of venue. Details above. Think you'll love the changes!
Register NOW for best and easiest air
Eve LaSalle Caram, MA, is a
longtime and popular instructor for UCLA Extension
Writers' Progam where she won their Outstanding
Award in Creative Writing. She is a novelist, essayist,
and poet whose latest novel, The Blue Geography, was a
finalist in the Texas Review novel contest. Ms. Caram's
other novels are Dear Corpus Christi; Wintershine; and
Rena, A Late Journey. She edited Palm Readings, a
multicultural anthology of fiction by Southern
Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been an
instructor for UCLA Extension Writers Program for several years. She is
a multi-award winning author of This is the Place, and
A Collection of Stories Remember and her fiction, nonfiction and
have appeared in national magazines, anthologies and review journals
both online and in print. She is a popular seminar leader at conferences
like Dayton University's Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, San Diego
State's world renowned Writers' Conference and Call to Arts! EXPO. She
also appears in national TV commercials. Her HowToDoItFrugally series of
books for writers have become staples in the libraries of many writers.
You can learn more about her on about any page on this site. (-:
Photo by Randy Detroit.
These two instructors are donating
their time to this retreat. Jo Linsdell, founder of the free
online conference PromoDay will also be presenting. They are planning seminars (but not so many
as to interfere with inspiration time!) on the craft of writing, the
building of platforms and the marketing of fiction and poetry as well as
less structured opportunities where attendees can share and learn from
one another. Seminar topics will be announced at a later date.
Reservations and Terms
Do know that this is not a full-blow
writers conference, though the essential qualities of seminars taught by
professionals certainly exists. Rather this is a heart-of-Rome
Retreat--very small (only eight beds and possibly invited guests for the
seminar portions. Further it is a
Choose retreats, classes
and conferences featuring well-qualified instructors. In
these times of fast information, probably the best way to do
that is to find instructors vetted by major universities.
Find at least one tip on writing,
promotion or tech on every page .
effort. We (eight!) share costs of the gorgeous
townhouse Eve and I found and the two of us (possibly
others, too) are donating our expertise with our fellow
authors. Seminar topics will be announced later but will
include a session on dialogue and one on book marketing
with me and sessions on the craft of writing with UCLA
Writers' Program award-winner Eve.
This is the way we want it to work:
We have two prices for the
townhouse accommodations. $1500 and $1300. The lesser price is for a
downstairs room that is less elaborately (though certainly
adequately!) appointed. That is for one week. Beds are queens so
must be shared. This is someone's home, not a hotel. Each room has a
bathroom. See above for details on this gorgeous property in the
center of historical Rome.
If someone prefers a room or
his/her own (no sharing of bed), that price will be double.
Because we have so few spots
available and because or planning is volunteer, 1/2 is due upon
committing to this program and is nonrefundable. This policy
reflects the one we committed to in renting the townhouse.
On April 1 the rest of your
payment will be due. After August 1 that portion will also be
nonrefundable unless we find someone to take your place. We will
keep a waiting list.
You will make arrangements with
Carolyn and your checks will be sent to Carolyn at Carolyn
Howard-Johnson, PO Box 1101, LaCanada-Flintridge, CA 91012-1101.
Participants are responsible for their
own touring/entertainment outside of the seminars, their own air flight,
their own food, their taxi to and from Rome's airport (40 minutes--I've
taken it and it one beautiful ride that can go past the coliseum).
Expenses incurred as a group (say a pasta night if we have a willing
cook among us or light breakfasts to save dollars--er, euros) will be
Seminars taught by Eve Caram and
If there is enough interest I may
use the knowledge gleaned in my not-so-formal education in
anthropology to lead a group to a nearby museum of Etruscan
artifacts . We may do some writing exercises based on the day's
Informal evening rooftop chats,
Dinner and seminar at a well-known
Roman restaurant, Ristorante La Romantica, planned for us by Jo
Lindell (additional charge). We will display and sell our books to
patrons of the restaurant interested in them.
Note: This is not school, but a
retreat. Nothing (other than prompt payments and caring for the
property) will be expected of anyone.
If you bring a laptop, WiFi is
OTHER (Tentative) PLANS
Seminar topics will be announced but
will include both craft and marketing.
We may have a fireside chat program
led by invited speakers including participants, again a volunteer
We may extend the program (either
before or after) to a villa on the Amalfi coast. The plan will be
similar to the one above. Please let us know if you are interested.
Jo Linsell-Feliciano is a writer
living in Rome and founder of the online conference PROMO Day
who has agreed to speak to our group. (Ahhhh, the wonders of the
Web). There is a chance she can arrange for a get together at a
restaurant she is connected with. (http://www.ristorantelaromantica.it).
Wait until you see the pictures! Just click on the link. There will
be more on this, of course.
Note: Do know that October is considered shoulder season in Rome. There
will be relatively few tourists but we may run into chilly weather. Plan
to pack warm jackets, sweaters, umbrellas and hats, just in case. But
also pack lighter clothes. Rome does have a Mediterranean climate (similar to Los Angeles'
weather), after all. Having said that, this came from Eve's Living
Language Daily Phrase and Culture calendar (Andrews-McMeel):
"Rome (Roma), the eternal city and the capital of Italy,
enjoys the typical
Mediterranean climate. The weather conditions in Rome are at their most
comfortable from April through June, and from mid-September to October.
However, it is probably in October that one can enjoy Rome at its best:
during the season of the so-called Ottobrate. The word ottobrate can be
roughly translated as "beautiful October day" and identifies a
sunny and warm day. During the ottobrate Rome is immersed in a magic
and the sunsets are absolutely amazing; the sky is filled with thousands
colors and the clouds shine like gold. While visiting Rome in October,
can also enjoy the Festa Internazionale del Cinema di Roma ("Roman Film
Fest"): a great festival, or perhaps a better translation--a great feast
movie lovers and for all the people who work in the movie industry."
Subject to change. All classes/events are voluntary.
Saturday October 23.
ARRIVE Welcome from our hosts at 5 pm, discuss house, rules, etc.
Set up a table at the house for us to share our books, services,
etc. with one another. Bring bookmarks, fliers, books to give away
or for sale. Open evening to do as you wish, unpack or sleep.
Sunday October 24 Day:
Open during the day (on your own) for church/temple/etc for those
who need that. Explore environs of nearby park, route to public
transit (more to come on this along with our available driver), take
tours or whatever you wish. Early dinner on your own.
Evening of Sunday Oct. 24:
7 pm group get together to talk writing, share
our works in progress, with Eve Or
7 pm to 10 pm individual consultations, by advance
Some of you have said you'd like individual help. Individual
Consultations on publishing, writing. or promotion with Carolyn
1/2 hour increments
. (We can spend more time on each session if
few of you utilize this option.) Openings from 7 pm am to 10 pm. No
charge but I will charge a cancellation fee if I set aside time and
you decide not to come. $25. seems fair. Also, if you want to talk
marketing or editing, it would be helpful if you've read The Frugal
Book Promoter (www.bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoter
or The Frugal Editor (www.bit.ly/FrugalEditor
We can get lots more covered in a short time and easily narrow
options down to what is best for you.
Monday October 25: 10 am.
to noon. Eve Caram's Class on voice with a discussion of what
makes a strong voice and a particular voice and a handout of
examples, followed by four or five class exercises (just short
10 to 15 minute writing promps people would do on the spot.)
Monday October 25 Evening: Dinner
early (about 5 pm) with
Linsdell speaking later.
This restaurant evening
is planned by Jo Lindsell, founder of the internationally known
free (online) Promoday for authors. Plan on 20 to 30 Euros for
dinners. Wine or drinks may cost more. You may display and sell
your books. You bring books for sale (suggest 3 to five), 25 or
so bookmarks, fliers, or business cards. After dinner Jo will
speak on the wonders of online marketing and online learning
opportunities. See more on the restaurant on this page. See more
on PromoDay at
Tuesday, Oct 26:
Eve Caram: 9:30 am. One hour. More Voice:
voice as it is possibly altered by travel--the traveler's
voice--how perceptions change with travel, particularly
perceptions about home and about belonging.
Carolyn:10:30 AM: Secrets to Great
Carolyn 7 pm. Elements of memoir. Ways to
use life experiences in your memoir or other writing--from
poetry to nonfiction. Includes some on journaling. Bring
your travel journals.
Wednesday, October 27
9:30 am: Eve Caram. 2 hours. In the garden
weather allowing. Participants do some short writes that
involve mythical or historical figures--or for that matter
anything that has affected them in Rome during our time
there. Eve will bring copies of two stories; people can
read them (or not)--both set in Rome on the Spanish steps
but with central characters that have opposite reactions to
Evening 8 pm. 2 Hours.
Carolyn. Essentials for selling your book. Building a
platform and your query letter. Participants may use The
to learn to write a query and we will critique it. Bring 10
copies for the critique process. Remember queries should be
only one page.
Thursday, Friday October 28 & 29.
Open for overnight travel to nearby spots that may require
Evening of Friday the 29th:
Goodbye dinner. To be decided. If we have someone who wants to try
their hand at cooking for the group, that would be fun. We can go
out. Whatever we decide to do, it will be Dutch. Please have enough
cash (meaning easy change to reimburse the person who pays the
entire bill on the time they do that)
in Euros to pay for your
own meal, drinks, tips. Eve suggests: "maybe in the restaurant of
the hotel across the street (if it's any good.) Or--and this is just
an idea--at a lovely little restaurant I know about a block and a
half from the Trevi Fountain--we'd have to share expenses for a taxi
to town and back of course. But we could all throw our good-bye
coins in and know we would return to Rome.
Saturday, October 30: Leaving.
Some will be leaving too early for us to give them hugs. Those
who don't leave early, (including Lance and me), could have a
simple breakfast--rolls, coffee or whatever--around the pool or
in the kitchen. Just hang out, talk writing until it is time for
us to go. Lance and I will need to check out of our villa.
Note: Please remember we have kitchen
facilities. If you bring food, we will share it. Track your
expenses. We'll probably divide expenses for staples like
cereal, milk, bread, coffee, tea--the stuff we'll eat in the
mornings and for lunch to keep expenses down. People may opt out
of this plan if they wish.
Click here for other
resources for writers.
Your aid to planning ahead:
A list of book fairs,
tradeshows, conferences and conventions.
more links for reading and writing stuff, visit Carolyn Howard-Johnson's
Writers and Readers
One of the most
frequently mistakes writers make is switching genres without
taking a class or thoroughly researching new techniques and
structure required by that genre.
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion, or
tech on every page of this Web site.
(For resources and links
galore, grab yourself copies of the
Frugal Book Promoter
The Frugal Editor.)
Click here for Carolyn's first
person essay, "Beating Time at Its Own Game."
Selection of Carolyn's Past
2008, 09, 10, 11
Panel moderator, 2007
National Span College
Fellows presenter, 2007,
Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11
University of Dayton Erma
Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008
Sisters in Crime,
Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho
Valley College Spring 2014
Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010
Three Panels 2013
Seminar Speaker, 2014
Keynote, 2013; 2014
Secrets of Great
Studies have shown that
business people who travel increase their income by doing
so; writers who travel find inspiration and networks to
further their careers (though I know of no studies to that
Find tips on writing, promotion, or
tech on every page of this Web site.
Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
101 Best Website list.
The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.
The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.
Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More
The New Book Review
Master's in English.org Online Universities'
101 Essential Sites for Voracious
Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for Sharing with Writers blog.
Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008)
and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor
New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor
Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award
Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.
A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military
Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010
Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010.
MWSA also gave a nod to
She Wore Emerald Then,
a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.
Named #! on Top Ten
Editing Books list.
New Generation Book Awards 2012,
The Frugal Book
Promoter; Finalist 2010
The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor
The Oxford Award
alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of
service to her community and who, through the years,
devotes her talents to improve the quality of life
Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for
Los Angeles Book Festival 2012
Winner Diamond Award
for Achievement in the Arts
California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of
And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry.
See the awards page on this site.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter
and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers
"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a
tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with
Writers newsletter is most useful for me--and for my
students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of
writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another
100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to
get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author
"A decade of bettering writers' careers
with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."
Conducts Individual and Group Consultations on
E-mail for info.
Cover art by Vicki
Thomas, Poetry by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Pulse is full of poems that describe love from the eyes and
hearts of young and old. We see love in its youthful stage, stirring the
hearts of man and woman alike and tying a bond that even death cannot
break. As we continue reading, we understand that love deepens into an
awesome, but quiet joy as the couple grows older. These poems renew our
faith in love as they remind us of our own experience with this most
sought after emotion."
Lucille P Robinson for
Third in the Celebration
of Chapbooks with Magdalena Ball,
Imagining the Future is written expressly for fathers "and
other masculine apparitions."
She Wore Emerald Then is a book of Moods of Motherhood:
thirty poems by award-winning poets Magdalena Ball and Carolyn
Howard-Johnson, with original photography by May Lattanzio. A
beautifully presented, tender and strikingly original gift book, ideal
for Mother's Day or any day when you want to celebrate the notion of
motherhood in its broadest sense. Share this collection with someone
Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational on this Web site.
is an e-chapbook and paperback
published in the time-honored
of poets everywhere.
This collection of
ecologically oriented poems traverses a wide terrain, moving
from the loss of species to the beauty of the natural world,
from drought to the exploration of alternative planets. It's
an exhilarating collection that breaks boundaries and leads
the reader deep into the personal heart of perception.
Released by award winning poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and
Magdalena Ball to celebrate Earth Day, this is a collection
of poetry that weaves the personal with the universal.
Photograpy by Ann Howley.
“Whatever your age these
poems celebrating women will
speak to you of times to look forward to or to remember. These are not
poems to be read once. They will stay with you forever.”
~ Nancy Famolari, author.
Tracings is winner of the Military Society of
America's Award of Excellence and named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten
Best Reads of 2005
Imperfect Echoes is
Carolyn's newest poetry book. Writing Truth and Justice with Capital
Letters, lie and oppression with Small.
Cover and interior
art by Richard Conway Jackson
All proceeds go to Amnesty International
are not enough compliments I could give to Carolyn.
She is certainly a mentor of mine and such a
tremendous inspiration! What doesn't she do, and do
well, after all? Talented as a writer/author, she is
also an amazing marketer/promoter who is generous
with her time and talent with other publishing
professionals. Carolyn is a STAR in the publishing
community and I give her the highest recommendation
I can give to any colleague I have. If you want a
passionate professional who delivers, Carolyn is
~ Bev Walton-Porter