College Scrivere (Writing)

Short Stories, Novels & Everything Else

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22 assigned vacancy

19 assigned vacancy

A few things you should know before you choose Scrivere

You don’t need to have read all the world literature classics to enrol in this College. You don’t even need to have read a lot. Unbelievable, isn’t it? If you’re wondering why, it’s simple: we’ll take care of that whilst you’re here – we’ll make sure that you read.

But you have to be the type of person who, when you’re feeling excited or upset, or when you’re happy about something, instead of calling a friend you write it all down. And you also have to be a bit of a solitary creature, or at least capable of being on your own and focusing intently on something for a long time. This will be a useful attribute if you’re planning to be a writer.

Please note: this College is just for native Italian speakers or bilingual students.

What you’ll be doing over the two years

You will work on refining your technique. We’ll ask you to write things you’re not expecting, from a football match report to an inaugural speech by a CEO. You’ll study the structure and techniques on which stories are based. You’ll also practise putting the right emphasis on what you write; it’s not just about having the right technique, we want the heart and soul of the story to come out through your words. Sometimes, we’ll want you to make us fall off our chairs.

You’ll learn how to use your body; for example, finding your voice or regulating the pace and breathing of your writing through physical activity (walking, running, swimming, etc.). This will help you think “holistically”, so that your characters have a physical presence and not just thoughts. You’ll do practical experiments too, which seem to have nothing to do with writing, but don’t worry – it’s all part of the plan.

You’ll apply your writing to actual work situations; there will be opportunities within the school (how to prepare a theatrical reading), or you may collaborate on projects with external organisations (companies, publishing houses etc.).

Finally, of course, you will work on your stories, and you’ll be given plenty of tools to help you: all the baggage you’ve accumulated in the run-up.

What you’ll be able to do by the time you leave

  • with all the practice you’ve had in class, you’ll be able to present yourself to your listeners and write as if you had a vast audience listening to you, conducting an ongoing discourse with your readers. Your words are not meant to stay in your head, they’re meant to be read by voices that are not your own, to be heard by people who do not know you, and whom you may never meet;
  • you’ll be able to write for a living, using it as a tool for your work, because you will have learned to apply it to any situation during the two years you spent studying;
  • you’ll have started a writing project (a novel or a collection of short stories), and you’ll have flexed the muscles you need to use to complete it.

Master 2018-2020

Alessandro Mari

Who is he?
Alessandro Mari was born in 1980, he lives in Milan and he’s mainly a writer and a translator. He got a degree in Foreign Languages in 2015 and he also graduated at Scuola Holden. Some years later, he understoood that he had to choose his path: he could go on studying books or he could try to write his own novels. He chose the second one.


What did he write?
His first novel is Troppo umana speranza (Feltrinelli, 2011) that won the Premio Edoardo Kihlgren Opera Prima Città di Milano and the Premio Viareggio Narrativa 2011. His second book is Gli alberi hanno il tuo nome (Feltrinelli, 2013), and then he wrote L’anonima fine di Radice Quadrata, a novel “about young adults”, not only “for YA”. He published a graphic novel with Francesca Zoni, Randagi. Da Zero (Rizzoli-Lizard, 2016); together with Marta Perego he hosted two seasons of Effe come Festival, a TV show about cultural festivals in Italy. He collaborated with Radio 2 and he translated in Italian many books, such as Just Kids by Patti Smith, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max, the autobiography of Jimi Hendrix and Uncommon Type, a collection of short stories by Tom Hanks. His last novel is Cronaca di lei (Feltrinelli, 2017).


However, the Master ad honorem of College Scrivere is, and always will be, our headmaster Alessandro Baricco. It’s very difficult to present him because he doesn’t like talking about himself, even if he has published essays and novels all over the world. He has directed a film, worked on TV and written theatre plays.  He’s on Twitter @BariccoAle and on Facebook. As for the rest, he’ll get in contact with you.

Here’s a list of people who dropped by College Scrivere during the last years: Charles D’Ambrosio, Ben Lerner, Jonathan Lethem, David Grossman, Erica Jong, Margaret Mazzantini, Jeffery Deaver, Merritt Tierce, Nicola Lagioia, Chris Bachelder, Han Kang, Harry Parker, Andrea Bajani, Don Delillo, Alessandro Mari, Akhil Sharma, Benjamin Sutherland, Marco Missiroli, Andrea Tarabbia, Davide Longo, Elena Varvello, Emiliano Poddi, Vincent Raynaud, Stephen Amidon, Donald Antrim, Tom Drury, Violetta Bellocchio, Don Winslow, Philipp Meyer, Andrew Wylie, Emmanuel Carrère, Sam Lipsyte, Irvine Welsh.