Note: This event is for women only.
Part of the ASCOLTA! initiative. For more info see

Saturday 14 March 2020, 11AM-4PM (1-hr break for lunch); Max of 16 participants; Fee: $45 CO.AS.IT., 199 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC 3053

Storying our lived experiences is a vital personal and public activity. It enables individual stories to breathe life into social issues and it connects societal and cultural changes to the lives of real people. Taking courage and inspiration from the Ascolta! Forum, this creative writing workshop for women is led by award winning writers and creative writing teachers, Elise VALMORBIDA and Anna Maria DELL’OSO. Elise is the recipient of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction (2019) for her novel The Madonna of the Mountains. Anna Maria Dell’oso has over four decades of writing experience in journalism, fiction and social commentary. Anna Maria and Elise will jointly facilitate a creative writing workshop for women exploring migration legacies.

Anna Maria DELL’OSO is a Sydney-based writer and teacher of creative writing, born in Melbourne, Australia to Italian parents from the Abruzzo region of Italy. Anna Maria’s book Songs of the Suitcase (HarperCollins) won the Steele Rudd Award. Anna Maria’s early career was in journalism, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald for 28 years. She has been published in many anthologies, most recently in the Griffith Review, where two of her stories, “Local Spirits” and “Return of the Rings” specifically explore themes of hybridity, transnationalism and italianità. With a deep interest in the therapeutic value of creative writing, Anna Maria has a Diploma of Counselling and is in the second year of a degree in psychological science. She is also working on several writing projects: the music-based Beating Time, and Geppetto’s Daughter, set in Italy.
Elise VALMORBIDA grew up Italian in Australia, and lives in London. She is a graduate in English language and literature, an experienced teacher and multi-published author. In 2019, she won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction for her fourth novel, The Madonna of the Mountains. Published in the UK/ANZ by Faber & Faber, and internationally in several languages, The Madonna of the Mountains was The Times ‘book of the month’, a New York Post ‘must-read’, an Edward Stanford Awards nominee, and one of the Walter Scott Prize ‘Academy Recommends’ List. Elise’s popular non-fiction work, The Book of Happy Endings, is published in four languages and four continents. For her work as script consultant, producer, and author of SAXON: The Making of a Guerrilla Film, Elise won the Edinburgh International Film Festival Trailblazer award. She teaches creative writing at Central Saint Martins, Faber Academy, Arvon and Guardian Masterclasses. Her latest book, an inspirational creative writing guide, will be published in early 2021. Find out more at