Linda Lappin

award-winning writer and writing teacher

The Soul of Place now available at the fabled ABBEY BOOKSHOP in Paris

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 is a member of the AWP, the EACWP, and the Authors Guild

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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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Linda Lappin
Hello, I am a novelist, travel writer, poet, literary translator, and writing teacher. I am originally from Tennessee, but my current home is Italy, where I have lived for over three decades, dividing my time between Rome and the Tuscia, a wooded enclave of ancient Etruscan towns perched on the edge of dizzying canyons – very much off the beaten track.

The essence of my reading, writing, traveling, and research has led me to realize that
places inhabit us just as we inhabit them. They may have personality, emotion, agency, and the power to transform lives. They transmit stories and imagery across time, which we can receive, elaborate, and transmit again in our own new form.

I write about places and displacement, quests and loss, the search for self and the search for home. I occasionally lead workshops in Europe, in Greece, Italy, and Paris, based on my book The Soul of Place A Creative Writing Workbook: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci, which won the Nautilus Award in 2015 in the area of creativity.

I have published three award -winning novels: The Etruscan, a gothic tale set in 1922, Katherine’s Wish, dealing with the life of Katherine Mansfield in France, and Signatures in Stone, a mystery set in the Sacred Wood, the 16th Century sculpture garden of Bomarzo, which won the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Best Mystery of 2013. My travel/ place-writing has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Scroll down to read about my books, workshops, and upcoming events. Follow the link to my blog
the magic library of bomarzo

Upcoming Events with Linda Lappin
Evenings with an author: Linda Lappin, The Soul of Place
Tuesday 17 October 2017, 19:30
Location :  The American Library in Paris

In a bit of a departure from other evening events, this one will be not just an author speaking about her work, but also a kind of workshop for attendees interested in creative writing. Writer Linda Lappin will interact with the audience members and discuss -- and do--creative writing, based on her creative-writing book The Soul of Place. Those who attend need not have a creative project; it promises to be an interesting evening just to  look at the creative process of others.

The workshop is over, but you may view here some of the prompts featured.
Six Place Writing Prompts-American Library in Paris Workshop

Aegean Arts Circle Workshops on Andros

For two summers running I have had the pleasure of leading workshops for the Aegean Arts Circle in their summer residence in Andros. What better place than an island in the Cyclades to nourish the spring of inspiration?

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?

Come to Andros to find out!

A Report from the Aegean Arts Circle Worksho on Andros GR 2017 may be read here Writing Workshop Report Andros 2017
Our multi-genre prose workshop focused on the process of world building in our writing. How do we construct convincing and authentic worlds from words? We explored the links between identity, story, and place in fiction and nonfiction. We also investigated a few mythic structures and patterns that have provided a rich matrix for storytelling over the eons.

For a sampling of the writing exercises we did during the previous 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

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.

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