The public is invited to join Rhode Island native Ann Hood – the best-selling author of 14 novels, three memoirs and books for young adults – for an afternoon of conversation and writing from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Salve Regina University.

The free event, which celebrates the launch of the Newport MFA at Salve – the state’s first low-residency master of fine arts degree program in creative writing – will be held in Bazarsky Lecture Hall at O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue. Hood, who serves as the founding director of this new 48-credit MFA program, will offer a glimpse into her writing process and conduct short break-out sessions of personal writing and discussion.

The event will be followed by a reception of desserts and beverages, and Ann Hood will be available to sign her books. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to:

“The Newport MFA is thrilled to throw open the doors and invite all literary types to join us in our first public event,” said Jen McClanaghan, Salve’s writer-in-residence and The Newport MFA’s program director. “Not only are we celebrating our new degree program, we are gathering to talk about the writing life while fostering community among local authors, poets, memoirists, those who aspire to be, and those who just love to read.”

The Newport MFA begins in June, offering aspiring writers the opportunity to pursue the terminal degree in their field by attending eight-day residencies in Newport twice a year (with an optional winter residency being offered in Havana, Cuba) that will connect them with established professionals in a location steeped in literary history. Henry James, Thornton Wilder and Edith Wharton are among those to be inspired by Newport.

For more information or to reserve your spot, call the Office of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at (800) 637-0002 or email

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).