Linda Lappin

award-winning writer and writing teacher

The Soul of Place A Creative Writing Workbook - a little miracle of inspiration, says Kaia Van Zandt

Linda Lappin


  Linda Lappin, award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, travel writer, literary translator was born in Kingsport, Tennessee. She received her B.A. from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. and her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop where she studied poetry with Donald Justice, fiction with Ian McEwan, and translation with Daniel Weissbort and worked as a translation assistant to Paul Engle and Hualing Nieh at the International Writing Program.

A former Fulbright fellow to Italy, she currently divides her time between the US and Italy, where she has taught English in Italian universities for over twenty years. Her essays , reviews, and short fiction appear regularly in US periodicals. Her short fiction has been broadcast by the BBC World Service Radio.

Her first novel,
The Etruscan
originally published by Wynkin DeWorde in Galway, Ireland, was runner up in the fiction category for the 2010 New York Book Festival and short listed for the 2011 Next Generation Indie Award in fiction.
Her second novel, Katherine's Wish ( published by Wordcraft of Oregon , 2008) based on the life of New Zealand writer, Katherine Mansfield received the gold medal in historical fiction from the IPPY awards, and was a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year in fiction. Her third novel, a mystery, Signatures in Stone set in the sculpture garden of Bomarzo the Monster Park published by Pleasure Boat Studio won the 2014 Daphne Du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America for mystery and and suspense writing
Active as literary translator, she has translated Carmelo Samona' and Federigo
Tozzi. She has received two NEA grants in translation and the Renato
Poggioli Award in Translation from PEN.

Through the Centro Pokkoli , she has organized writing workshops in Italy for the Kenyon Review, the Converse College Continuing Education Program, and other institutions

She has worked as a radio speaker and interpreter for RAI 1 and is currently associate international editor for Del Sol Journal . Her forthcoming books include Genius Loci: A Writer's Guide to Capturing the Soul of Place and Postcards from a Tuscan Interior
She is a member of the AWP, the EACWP, the Authors Guild, and the Katherine Mansfield Society

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Books, Essays, and More

A New Mystery Novel Set in Bomarzo published in 2013 by Caravel Books, an Imprint of Pleasure Boat Studio
Runner up in Fiction, New York Book Festival, 2010 "Haunted... vivid... entrancing"... Kirkus Reviews Click here to read reviews, watch videos, and download the free Readers' Guide for Book Groups. The revised edition is now on KINDLE
Katherine's Wish "A dazzling bit of fictional sorcery" David Lynn, editor Kenyon Review A new novel about the lives of Katherine Mansfield and her circle Gold Medal Winner in Historical Fiction, IPPY Awards
Writing Women's Lives
Essay on the life of the artist, Jeanne Hebuterne, wife of Modigliani
An essay about Katherine Mansfield

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Kaia Van Zandt - reviews Linda Lappin's The Soul of Place: A Creative Writing Workbook - Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci. "A little miracle of inspiration"

News on My Upcoming Workshop on the Greek island of Andros @ the Aegean Arts Circle June 23rd -July 3rd 2017

Greece is our ancestral home– we were born to its sun, sea, and islands – to its penchant for speculation, exploration, philosophy, and myth – its relentless searching for the essence of things, and its celebration of the mind, body, and senses. The great Greek myths probe the depths of our psyche to reveal the conflicts and energies that fuel our lives.

Greece is a storied territory. As Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor once claimed, you cannot walk across its terrain without tripping over some sacred spot drenched in history or myth. Each of its six thousand islands is a world unto itself. A well-spring of creativity pours from its soil. How can writers tap into that source?

Join me on the Cycladic island of Andros for a creative writing workshop sponsored by the Aegean Arts Circle for writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, and literary travel writing. This multi-genre prose workshop will focus on the process of world building in our writing. How do we construct convincing and authentic worlds from words? We will be exploring the links between identity, story, and place in fiction and nonfiction. We will also investigate a few mythic structures and patterns that have provided a rich matrix for storytelling over the eons.
Participants are invited to bring a novel chapter, personal essay, short story, travel essay, or memoir to the workshop which will be discussed during the week, addressing issues such as voice, structure, point of view, style, cohesion, beginnings, and endings.
We will work on writing prompts designed to unleash creativity and help us discover sources of inspiration and unmined material within our environment. We will draw some ideas from my new craft of writing book, The Soul of Place – A Creative Writing Workbook: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci (Travelers Tales, 2015), winner of the gold medal in the Nautilus Book Awards in the category of creativity.

Dates June 24th July 3rd, 2017
Fees : $2,400 (U.S.). Fees include nine night stay in a single air-conditioned room with private balcony overlooking the sea at hotel in Andros, breakfast & dinners made just for our group by hotel chef each day, van pick up/drop off Andros port-Andros Hotel, workshop fees, round trip ferry tickets Athens/Andros.
Does not include airfare to Greece.
For more information or financial arrangements, please contact Amalia Melis at
For a glimpse at previous workshop activities, see Linda’s blog at the Plymouth University Place-Writing Blog
Writing Workshop Andros, Day 1, July 2016
Andros Workshop, Days 2-3
Andros Workshop, Days 4-5
For a sampling of the writing exercises we did during the workshop, Lappin writing prompts Islands are 4 Writers

Now out from Travelers Tales: Linda Lappin's new creative writing workbook. "Inspiring," -- Book Riot

Linda Lappin wins the Gold Medal in the Nautilus Awards

for her new book The Soul of Place - A Creative Writing Workbook: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci
taking the top prize in the category CREATIVE PROCESS. Now in its 18th edition, the Nautilus Award distinguishes 24 categories of books supporting green values, high-level wellness, and spiritual growth. Previous winners include Julia Cameron of the Artist's Way series, Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain ), and Barbara Kingslover. For the complete list of Nautilus winners for books published in 2015, click here

Linda will be leading a workshop in Andros Greece in from June 24th to July 3rd 2017 for the Aegean Art Circle Click the link for details and watch this space for more news. For a report on last summer's workshop, check out Toureme, Plymouth University's (UK) place-writing practices blog by clicking here

Read Linda's recent review in Rain Taxi of Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax, a moving portrait of a poet and seeker who found his spiritual home on Greek island of Patmos.

Follow Linda's new Psychogeographical Blog the magic library of bomarzo

Linda Lappin was recently interviewed by Travel Writing Guru Rolf Potts, author of the global bestseller Vagabonding. Read the interview on Rolf's site here: Rolf Potts talks to Linda Lappin about writing your journey.

The Soul of Place -- A Creative Writing Workbook: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci Published by Travelers Tales

Linda Lappin talks to Shauna Gilligan about THE SOUL OF PLACE Click here to read the interview

"Insightful exercises for writers of all levels"
National Geographic Intelligent Traveler
"A Workbook for all Creatives"
"A great new resource for writers" Dr. Jessie Voigts, Wandering Educators
"A conscious way to explore the power of place" WanderLit
"Lappin's book feels like a life guide" Candice Ransom
"This book will change your writing" Wandering Educators
"Invaluable advice for the writer and traveler" Lavinia Spalding
"Deeply intelligent & Inspiring" Susan Tekulve, Serving House Journal


2014 DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARDS! "Scary and satisfying
...I loved this novel....Lappin's people are as dangerously compelling as her Italy." -- Nina Auerbach *****amazon reviews
"Readers looking for an intelligent summer mystery will find much to savor here."—Wilda Williams, Library Journal
Written in an elegant, relaxed style, with a plot that peels back slowly, the book bewitches... Mystery Scene Magazine
"Lappin is a modern day Agatha Christie with prose that is like eating dark chocolate or sipping a glass of fine wine — the story continues to entice your senses and simply gets better and better the more you partake. I Love a Mystery
"Recommended! " Midwest Book Review

"Linda Lappin's Signatures in Stone boasts a remarkable knitting of mystery and romance, a delicate and intricately concocted layering of mysteries" Gently Read

"Lappin has populated a dilapidated villa and its adjacent park of grotesque sculptures with a vivid group of victims and suspects who turn out to be mysteries in themselves, While the primary pleasures of Signatures in Stone are its places and its people, the story itself satisfies because its twists are engrained in the chasms of its setting and its characters." Walter Cummins , Rain Taxi

Read the review from Library Journal Read Review Here

Read a Preview on GOODREADS

Read a chapter from We Wanted to Be Writers

The Etruscan Wynkin Deworde 2004, Frank 2006, KDP 2013 Haunting...Vivid...Entrancing -- Kirkus BUY THIS BOOK


Second Place Fiction, New York Festival of Books 2010 "Mystery, fear, betrayal
and uncertainty abound as Harriet’s story unfolds against the backdrop of Etruscan tombs and cemeteries. Influenced by D.H. Lawrence’s travelogue Etruscan Places,Lappin elegantly brings the characters, Italian countryside and surroundings to life in vivid, engrossing prose. A solid, well-written tale wrought in entrancing detail." Kirkus

" Lappin’s gift for atmosphere places her amongst the finest writers of gothic art, not genre." Southern Indiana Review

"In this gorgeously detailed, wickedly fun novel, Lappin celebrates and plays with these varied interpretations of Harriet’s story, cleverly exploring how the ambiguous text of a woman’s life can be thwarted by gender and social position, become lost, and eventually survive. " Prairie Schooner

I was enthralled by Lappin's Italy... and by that god/demon/boar that flits through its landscape" Nina Auerbach, critic, author of Our Vampires, Ourselves

"Illusion and reality weave a mysterious web in the life of Harriet Sackett, eccentric photographer and traveller. The thin line between illusion and reality is captured in Linda Lappin's account of an American woman's experiences in 1920s Tuscany." Book View Ireland

Linda Lappin talks to Shauna Gilligan about The Etruscan and Italy here:Interview with Shauna Gilligan

Katherine's Wish (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2008, KDP, 2012 ) historical fiction ISBN-13: 978-1877655586 BUY THIS BOOK ON KINDLE


A Novel About the Life of Katherine Mansfield
Gold Medal Winner, IPPY Awards. Honorable Mention Hoffer Awards

"Katherine’s Wish is first and foremost the compelling story of an artist fighting against time. Long after the last page, thoughts of her linger like an exotic scent, as if, anticipating other guests, she simply stepped from the room to display a vase of flowers or a platter’s mounded figs. --Joyce J. Townsend, Rain Taxi

"Linda Lappin has immersed herself in Mansfield's life, and merged from it with a story to to narrate on her own terms, a fiction charged with the enthusiasm of a good researcher, and carried through with a novelist's verve." Vincent O'Sullivan, editor The Letters of Katherine Mansfield Vol V

"The more Katherine Mansfield approaches death, the more she comes to life in Linda Lappin’s Katherine’s Wish. Lappin’s achievement is to succeed where medicine failed and, through her words, give Katherine Mansfield ongoing life. " Walter Cummins The Literary Review

Lappin's intensely imagined novel will satisfy readers unfamiliar with Mansfield as well as those already intrigued by her. Desmond O' Grady, South China Post