Individual members

The EACWP has an alternative membership for “individual members”, open to all the CW teachers and people related to the CW discipline, in general. These are our EACWP current individual members:

Reijo Virtanen (Finland)

Reijo was born 1959 in Oulu, Northern Finland. He holds a degree in Philosophy (Jyväskylä University 2004) and a master degree in Arts and Comparative Literature (Oulu University 1990). Currently, Reijo is making his doctoral thesis about satirical writing. He has worked as a journalist and art journalist and as a teacher and scholar in the Department of Literature of Oulu University.

Nowadays, he is the head of the Department of Creative Writing in Oriveden Opisto (Orivesi College of Arts) and, also, works as a CW teacher. His literary specialities concern Non-fiction writing, Arts journalism, Humor and satire.

Alain André (France)

A former French literature teacher, he founded in 1985 the main French creative writing school, Aleph-Écriture <>. He worked there as a creative writing teacher and a general manager from 1985 to 2011. His essays and elements of methodology are still a founding reference for the school. Now pedagogical manager of the school, he’s in charge of annual programmes and shared work inside pedagogical teams. As an EACWP member, he was in the Board from 2010 to 2016 and vice-president of the association from 2013 to 2016. He hosted the first EACWP International Pedagogical Conference in Paris in 2012. EACWP creative writing schools in Finland, Spain or Italy invited him several times for workshops and lectures.

As an essayist, he published technical books (such as Littérature française – histoire et anthologie, Hatier, 1987) and 3 essays about creative writing and its teaching: Babel heureuse. L’atelier d’écriture au service de la création littéraire, Paris, Syros-Alternatives, 1989, and Aleph, 2011); Écrire l’expérience: vers la reconnaissance des pratiques professionnelles, wih co-author Mireille Cifali (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2007, 2011); Devenir écrivain, Paris, Leduc-s, 2007, 2018).

As a fiction writer, he published novels (Rien que du bleu ou presque, Denoël, 2001, La Passion, dit Max, Thierry Magnier, 2007), translations, short stories and experimental texts (L’Archipel amoureux, “Formules”, 2000).

Linda Lappin (US / Italy)

Novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. She publishes widely in US periodicals and travel anthologies. Upcoming projects include a memoir, Postcards from a Tuscan Interior, sections of which won a Solas Award from Travelers Tales, and Genius Loci: A Writer’s Guide to Conjuring the Soul of Place, a craft of writing book. She teaches English at the University of Rome. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and is a member of the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) and of the European Association for Creative Writing Programs (EACWP).

Lea Iandiorio (Italy)

Lea Iandorio was born in Wimbledon and has been living for twenty year in a little place called Manocalzati in the South of Italy (near Naples) and now lives in Turin with her family. Lea was a student in the first class of Scuola Holden in Turin in 1994. She studied Arts and then Business Administration. Currently she is Senior Cultural Strategy Consultant after sixteen years as COO of Scuola Holden. She has founded a magazine online called exlibris20 (, a “place” where common people writes about book as passionate readers and where it’s possibile to discuss about how and if it’s possible to educate to read.

Luis Luna (Spain)

Luis Luna (Madrid, 1975) holds a PhD in Romance Philology and a degree in Hispanic Philology. Luis works as a teacher in Escuela de Escritores (Madrid) and as an editor of the fragmentary poetry collection of Amargord editions. He also belongs to the Editorial Board of Heterogénea magazine. His poetry books are Cuaderno del Guardabosque, Al Rihla (El viaje), Territorio en penumbra, Almendra (in collaboration with Lourdes de Abajo and the illustrations of Juan Carlos Mestre) and Umbilical. His poetry collection has been published in the US under the title Languaje Rooms.

Joie Davidow (US / Italy)

She is the author of Marked for Life (Harmony), and Infusions of Healing (Fireside). With Esmeralda Santiago, she is the co-editor of two story anthologies Las Mamis and Las Christmas (both Alfred A. Knopf). She was a founding editor of three award-winning publications: L.A. Weekly, L.A. Style and magazines. Her latest project is a historical novel, An Unofficial Marriage, about the lifelong love between 19th-century opera star Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Russian author Ivan Turgenev. She is currently founder and the editor of a weekly online magazine, Davidow makes her home in Rome, Italy, where she teaches workshops in creative writing, mentors writers’ peer group meetings, and works as a writing coach, book doctor and translator.

Georgia Makhlouf (Lebanon)

She has obtained a doctorate degree in Communication from EHESS/Paris and has worked for a number of years as a consultant in marketing research and communication strategies. She has also taught in various universities and conducted projects in the field of publishing.

Her life is now divided between two countries and three professions: she lives between France and Lebanon, and is a literary journalist, a university professor and a teacher in the field of creative writing. She is a member of the editorial board and Paris correspondent of L’Orient Littéraire. She is a founding member and president of Kitabat, Association Libanaise pour le Développement des Ateliers d’Ecriture.

Enrique Páez (Spain)

Master in Literature, and PhD Literary Theory postgraduate (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain). Currently he lives for writing and teaching. He won the Spanish National Narrative Lazarillo Prize in 1991, and has nine published novels. His books have been translated into ten languages, and they have sold over a million copies. His long essay book Writing: A Guideline of Narrative Techniques is a benchmark in studies of creative writing fiction in Spain and Latin America. From 1993 to 2008 he directed the Creative Writing Workshop of Madrid. More information

Beatriz Montero (Spain)

Beatriz Montero, author of The Secrets of Storytelling, is a writer and a storyteller. Coordinator in charge of the International Storytelling Network / Red Internacional de Cuentacuentos (RIC). She has participated in major Storytelling Festivals in four continents. She has published several children’s novels, and adult stories. She has told stories every day on the TV show “The Snack”, El Día TV, for two years. Her Storytelling Channel Youtube has more than 4 million visits. More information

Philip Meersman (Belgium)

President of the Belgian Branch of the International Academy of Zaum, Co-ordinator of the Belgian and European Championship Poetry Slam and the European Poetry & Slam Network. He studied Art Sciences and Archaeology at the Free University of Brussels and is specialized in the International Avant-Gardes (including all these Neo’s), and the visual, sound and performance forms of poetry. He gives workshops on poetry writing, poetry performing, poetry on location and on all these border areas of literature.

As a multilingual poet/performer Philip Meersman pushes boundaries of poetry in both written and spoken form, drawing on current affairs, sociopolitical and environmental issues. His poems range from narrative and traditional form, to directives for performance pieces, to concrete studies of sound, individual words and even letters themselves. His work has been performed in more than 11 countries and translated into 13 languages. He published two poetry books, one in Holland (in Dutch) and one in the USA (in English) and writes also essays on visual and sound poetry as well as on poetry performances and festivals. He is a cofounder of DAstrugistenDA, artiestencollectief JA!, BruSlam and organizes the Annual Brussels International Underground Poetry Fest, dedicated to experimental poetry. In 2012 he became laureate of the “D. Buliuk award for outstanding achievements in the field of avant-garde art and the avant-garde in research” awarded by the International Academy of Zaum in Russia.

Mariana Torres (Spain)

Mariana Torres was born in Angra dos Reis (Brazil) in 1981. She teaches Creative Writing since 2004. In Escuela de Escritores is in charge of the department of Teacher’s Training. As a writer she has published in several anthologies and won prizes. Her first book, “The secret body” will be published in 2015 by a Spanish publishing house. More information

Terhi Forssén (Finland)

Terhi has studied literature and Finnish language at the University of Jyväskylä where she works as a lecturer in written communication. She has studied creative writing at the Orivesi College of Arts and attended workshops at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop (NY). As a teacher she has specialized in mentoring peer groups. In 2015 she has co-developed a new creative writing workshop open to all university students. Terhi is currently writing drama and poetry. She has worked as editor and proofreader in several publications.

Sieneke de Rooij (The Netherlands)

Sieneke de Rooij is a writer, editor, Creative Writing Consultant, and Creative Writing Teacher in the Netherlands. She was an editor for various Dutch publishing houses; her own books, articles and apps have been published since 2000. She organizes workshops and courses for students of all ages and coaches writers working on their manuscripts.

As of 2013, she acts as an advisor for new writing initiatives in the Netherlands. In 2014, Sieneke de Rooij started a new education for Creative Writing teachers with poet and CW teacher Margriet van Bebber; Dactylus | Academy for Creative Writing Teachers is now training 12 students a year to be creative writing professionals and providing courses and masterclasses for specialisation.

Blanca Acevedo (Spain)

Blanca Acevedo, author of the Bildungsroman Perro o pistola, is a Spanish writer, educator and researcher. She holds an MFA from the University of Seville, where she is also a member of the research group on Literature and Creativity. In her creative work, she likes to explore the boundaries between genres and arts, as she did in her work Qarmen, exhibited in 2011. She is now writing the wild story of a ludicrous woman, engaging in conventional storytelling for an unconventional character.

Her current research focuses on the teacher’s Poetics: the conscious and unconscious stances and beliefs in literary theory, aesthetics, ideology and pedagogy that shape their practice.

Pascal Biras

Pascal Biras graduated as a French Language Teacher and French-Italian Translator. He started his career as a translator in Italy but later found his passion in language teaching. He has lived in Turkey and in Hungary, teaching French as a Second Language. It was his experience in a secondary school, teaching teenagers that inspired him to come up with the idea of the Collective Oral Novel, ROC (Roman Oral Collectif). ROC, which combines creative writing, constrained writing and language teaching, involves small groups of around 10 students creating a novel orally, as a group activity in the language classroom. While the students invent the characters and build up the story line from lesson to lesson, the teacher acts as a guide and prepares the transcript of the oral novel.

Biras and his young learners have published more than 5 novels, ranging from oral biographies to epistolary novels. He has also attended a number of teacher training seminars and workshops as a presenter, promoting ROC. At the moment, he is working towards his PhD in Language Teaching Methodology.

Besides working as a language teacher, he leads a drama group in a Hungarian secondary school, staging plays in French with his students. He is also involved in preparing exam materials for the DELF DALF French language exams.

Cal Smyth (UK)

Cal has lived in Serbia, Japan, Mexico, Italy and the UK. He has met wanted criminals, dealt with visa scams and escaped NATO bombing. He’s had two crime novels published and self-published the satire Bad Teacher, based on his experience of teaching English to foreign students, asylum seekers and refugees. Described by the poet Carole Satyamurti as ‘hilarious and serious’, the novel dissects immigration and life in the UK.

In 2015, he was awarded a Literature Wales Writers’ Research Bursary for his forthcoming Balkan Noir thriller See You in the Obituary. With the aid of Serbian publisher Aleksandar Šurbatović, Cal interviewed a police inspector in Belgrade. This meeting revealed first-hand information about the Balkan drug route and corruption. Cal was assisted by a linguist with a bullet in her leg who provided insights into the Serbian underworld.

Cal has an MA in Screenwriting, teaches Creative Writing and ESOL. He is currently in collaboration with final year Business students to carry out author marketing and he is at work on his new social media murder mystery Like, Love, Kill. He has two ex-wives and lives with his son.

Christina Thatcher (US / Wales)

Shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition in 2015 and a winner in the Terry Hetherington Award for Young Writers in 2016, Christina Thatcher’s poetry and short stories have featured in a number of publications including The London MagazinePlanet MagazineAcumen and The Interpreter’s House.

Thatcher grew up in America but has made a happy home in Wales with her husband, Rich, and cat, Miso. She is a PhD student and postgraduate tutor at Cardiff University where she studies how creative writing can impact the lives of people bereaved by addiction. Thatcher keeps busy off campus too by delivering creative writing workshops across south Wales, running projects for organisations including Making Minds and the Welsh Writers’ Trust and coordinating literature events for the Made in Roath Festival.

To learn more about Thatcher’s work visit her website: or follow her on Twitter: @writetoempowe

Dolly Garland (UK)

Dolly Garland is fiction and non-fiction author. Her stories have been published online and in print, most recently in Fight Like A Girl Anthology and Dark Half of the Year anthologies. She is the founder of Kaizen Journaling ( where she teaches people how to use journaling for creativity and personal development. She is the author of 365 Days of Journaling, Journaling to Self Awareness in 30 Days, and A Journal of Letters: 30 Days of Explosive Creativity. You can find her at or on Twitter @DollyGarland


Jesús Pérez Saiz (Spain)

Jesús Pérez Saiz (1967, Villadiego, Burgos), Master in International Relations (Johns Hopkins University, Bologna and Washington D.C.) and BA in Law (Universidad Complutense, Madrid). He is a professor in Escuela de Escritores and founder and director of Escuela de Escritores Burgos. He has studied with Mario Vargas Llosa (“En torno a Los Miserables“) and is an expert in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (UIMP-Instituto Cervantes).

He has published short stories in different collections, participated in the anthology Balas perdidas (Adamar Ediciones, Madrid, 2005) and published Un itinerario como el de cualquiera (Burgos. 2012). Jesús worked also on a prospective book titled El futuro de España (Taurus, 1996) and Europa: globalización y unión monetaria (Siddharth Mehta), and in lectures on Democracy and Develpment, in FRIDE. He has written a number of lectures and op-ed articles for El País and Tiempo magazine and Diario de Burgos.


Kristiine Kikas (Estonia)

Kristiine studied English (Tallinn University 2013) and holds a master’s degree in Comparative Literature and Cultural Semiotics (Tallinn University 2015). At the present, besides teaching English at the School of Humanities of Tallinn University, she is also writing a Phd research in an attempt to develop a method for non-representational reading of poetry. After several years of participation, as of 2016, Kristiine coordinates the creative writing course at the summer school of Tallinn University. (Photo: Dmitri Kotjuh)

Jennifer Steil (US / France / UK)

Jennifer Steil is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her novel, The Ambassador’s Wife (Doubleday, 2015) won the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Best Novel award and the 2016 Phillip McMath Post Publication book award. It has been published in several other languages, including Italian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Polish.

Jennifer’s first book, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Broadway Books, 2010), a memoir about her tenure as editor of the Yemen Observer newspaper in Sana’a has been published in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Poland, and the US.

Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Oberlin College, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Master of Science in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

She has taught writing at many universities in many countries, including the University of Algiers in Algeria, SUNY Plattsburgh, Bournemouth University in England, the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, the University of Central Arkansas, and several state universities in Tennessee. She also teaches online classes.

Tatjana Portnova (Russia/ Spain)

Tatjana is a lecturer at the University of Granada (Russian Center). As well she is a PhD
student in the Faculty of Pedagogical Sciences, and her research is on the impact of
creativity on language learning. She is working as a creative writing teacher at the
University of Granada&#39;s Cultural Center – Casa de Porras and is a coordinator and a teacher at Taller de Escritores de Granada. Her interest in learning and teaching languages led her to work on a project based on a creative writing program designed to improve writing skills for students learning English, Spanish, or Russian as a second language. Tatjana has also taught creative writing at public schools Sagrada Familia – RR Pureza de María (Granada), I.E.S. Alonso Cano (Dúrcal) and C.E.I.P Gómez Moreno (Granada).

Carlos Castro Rincón (Venezuela/ Portugal)

Bachelor of Literature (UCV, Caracas, 2010) and Master in Creative Writing (US, Seville, 2012). He has published Objetos perdidos, winner of the X Contest for Authors Unpublished by Monte Ávila Editores Latinoamericana (Caracas, 2013) and Paradero transparente, finalist of the 27th Loewe Award for Young Creation (2014), published by palimpsesto 2.0 (Seville, 2015). He has taught Poetry, Storytelling, Novel, Reading and Essay workshops at Casa Tomada, a space for cultural education in Seville.

In 2017 he was a panelist for the Didactics of Language and Literature table of the VI International Multidisciplinary Congress on Educational Research, at the University of Deusto, organized by the AMIE. In 2012 he was professor of the I Summer Course «Creative Writing and Disability», coordinated by the SACU of the University of Seville. In 2018 he was the first finalist of the XVII Premio Transgenérico de la Fundación para la Cultura Urbana, with his diary La maqueta de los días invisibles.

Currently lives in Lisbon and teaches, learns and edits at

Jessica Foley (Ireland)

Jessica works as an artist, researcher and teacher. She is a co-founding member of the Orthogonal Methods Group and is currently writer-in-residence at CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Future Networks and Communications.  Since 2013, Jessica has pioneered a research-creation method called  Engineering Fictions, and its twin Stranger Fictions, with e​ngineering researchers and ​artists. Working contingently with people and contexts, materials and texts from across the worlds of contemporary art and design, education and engineering, Jessica’s work focuses on opening up possibilities for embodied criticality and creative thinking and practices in ways that can support processes of change, healthy relations of difference and the enlargement of generosity and community.

Jessica’s transdisciplinary practice is informed by her education in Graphic Design (B.Des. LSAD), Art and Design Education (H.Dip. LSAD), Contemporary Art (MA Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD)  and Telecommunications Engineering (PhD. CTVR/TCD).

In October 2018, Jessica will begin a two-year Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship with Maynooth University, exploring the function of fiction in parsing the worlds of ‘smart cities’ and ‘internet of things’.  /

Danièle Petrés (France)

Born in 1962, Danièle lives in Paris. She holds a degree in Art History (Sorbonne, 1984) and a master’s degree in Communication and Political Sciences (Sorbonne, 2011). After being a video director, she worked as an IP rights jurist, and as chief editor in a trend agency. She has been teaching creative writing as writer-in-residence (in Tours), for Aleph-Écriture (Online training of authors) and Poitiers University (Master in radiophonic documentary). She currently works as chief editor of Aleph-Écriture literary review: 

She is a writer of short-stories in the field of humor, published by Denoël: Happiness in homeopathic doses (2002), I am going to miss you (2005) and a novelist: The lecture (2005). She has written several theater plays. Upcoming projects include workshops on autobiography, publication of a memoir book mixing texts and images, and a collection of short-stories.

Christine Leang (France)

Christine Leang arrived in France in 1980 as a political refugee. From a very young age, she found refuge and meaning in literature and writing. In 2005, she left Paris for Shanghai, going to the land of her ancestors on an identity quest. After several years of struggling to get by, she finally thrived as a writer, with her first book Embarquement pour la Chine published in 2013. A Chinese translation was released in 2016.

She founded L’atelier d’écriture by Christine in 2014 and has been teaching creative writing ever since, first in Shanghai, now in Paris and Casablanca where she is based. Her students are spread around the world. Christine holds a Master Degree in American Literature from Sorbonne University.

You can learn more about her at or at L’atelier d’écriture by Christine