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    Carla (C.J) Spataro

    Program Director

    Headshot of Carla Spataro, MFA Program Director.

    Carla (C. J.) Spataro is the editorial director and co-publisher of Philadelphia Stories magazine and PS Books. She is a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship winner for fiction.

    Her short stories can be read or are forthcoming in: Iron Horse Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Wild River Review, XConnect, The Baltimore Review, Mason's Road, 4' 33" (an online audio journal based in London), Permafrost, and others.

    Nominated for a Million Writer's South Award, she was also twice named a finalist in the Philadelphia City Paper Fiction contest, and was a finalist in the Mason's Road contest.

    Her work was featured three times in the InterAct Theatre Company's "Writing Aloud" series (which was Philadelphia's version of NPR's "Selected Shorts.") As an editor, Carla has edited the fiction for three "Best of" Anthologies for Philadelphia Stories and edited the fiction and non-fiction for Forgotten Philadelphia and Extraordinary Gifts: Remarkable Women of the Delaware Valley. Her work has al so been included in the anthologies, Another Breath and 50 Over 50.

    Educational Background

    • MFA, Creative Writing
      • Thesis: Bent and Blue: Stories short story collection emphasizing place and a variety of narrative styles, including micro-fiction and the long short story.
      • Rosemont College
    • MM, Vocal Music Performance
      • Michigan State University
    • BAA, Vocal Music Performance
      • Area of Concentration: Opera
      • Central Michigan University

    Selected Awards

    • Nomination, “Best of the Net” for “Rapture of the Deep” Cahoodadoodaling, 2018

    • Finalist, Curt Johnson Prose Awards, December Magazine (Judge Anne Tyler), 2018

    • Finalist, Larry Brown Short Story Award, Pithead Chapel, 2018 

    • Finalist, Sequestrum Reprint Award, 2017 

    • Honorable Mention, Switchgrass Review Coastal Wellness Prize,  2017 

    • First Place Winner, Iron Horse Literary Review Fiction Trifecta, 2017 

    •  Pushcart Prize Nomination for “Incarnations” Permafrost , 2016 

    Selected Publications


    • An Introduction to Reading Aloud” Writers on Writing guest Blog Post (2014)
    • “The Top Three Reasons Why Your Stories are Not Getting Published”Philadelphia Stories 3:3 (2006): 17.
    • “Ten Basic Rules for Polishing Short Fiction” Writers Conference at Penn 2 (2006): 373-378.

    Short Fiction--Journals (as C.J. Spataro)

    • “The World As We Know It” December Magazine (2019)
    • “Bohemian Rhapsody” Italian Americana (2018)
    • “Tony the Tiger” Phantom Drift (2018)
    • “The Rush of Water” Pithead Chapel (2018)
    • “Seven Rules for Surviving a Zombie Apocolypse While Running a Private Zoo” Switchgrass Review (2017)
    • “Rapture of the Deep” Cahoodadoodaling (2017)
    • “The Twi-Lite” Iron Horse Literary Review Trifecta (2017) e-single
    • “Incarnations” Permafrost (2016)
    • “Blue Sky and Pig Boy” Painted Bride Quarterly (2013) (as Carla Spataro)
    • “Stalkerrazzi” Mason's Road (2011)
    • “What I did on my Summer Vacataion by Simon Willcox, Jr.” 4' 33" (2011) online audio
    • “Tweak” 322 Review (2010)
    • “The Opposite of Winter” 322 Review (2010)
    • “What I did on my Summer Vacataion by Simon Willcox, Jr.” 322 Review (2010)
    • “The Vegetable at Sunset” The Baltimore Review (2010) 57-63

    Short Fiction--Anthologies (as C.J. Spataro)

    • “Bent and Blue” various, ed. 50 Over 50. Philadelphia: PS Books, 2016
    • “Swimming, Singing, Standing” Melissa Tevere, Tara S. Smith, Carla Spataro, Courtney Bambrick, ed. Extraordinary Gifts. Philadelphia: PS Books, 2014
    • “The Vegetable at Sunset” Jennifer Citron, Emily Gavigan, Anja Pfister, ed. Another Breath. Philadelphia: PS Books/RC Press, 2014
    • “And I am Once Again with You” Melissa Tevere, Courtney Bambrick, Carla Spataro, ed. Forgotten Philadelphia, Art and Writing Inspired by Philadelphia Heritage Sites. Philadelphia: PS Books, 2012

    Poetry (as C.J. Spataro)

    • “Trinacria,” and “Santa Lucia” Ovunque Siamo (2018)

    Professional Memberships

    • AWP Vice-Chair Mid-Atlantic Regional Council, 2019 

    • Council of Literary Magazines and Presses