Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday.

Who writes Desk Notes?

I’m Charles Schifano, and I’m a writer and teacher. The best way to read my new writing is through Desk Notes. If you are passionate about language, I think that you will enjoy Desk Notes.

To get started, here are a few of the most read issues:

  • WhisperIn the São Paulo summer, the air is salty and thick and the rains are always just minutes away.

  • Losing a LanguageHow did Nabokov struggle with languages? Have you ever struggled to write in a second language?

  • The Problem With Contemporary WritingTo care about the state and quality of writing today is to scream into a void while knowing that the void does nothing but laugh.

  • A Border Town Where there begins because here has ended. What makes a border town?

You can find every past issue here:

Language is the foundation of Desk Notes, but there’s no limit to the scope—the most common subjects are writing, travel, reviews, politics, and, occasionally, personal stories.

My teaching focuses on writing instruction, the English language, and narrative technique. My classes have straightforward objectives: How can we improve sentence structure? What will help us tell better stories? I’ve worked with fiction writers, business professionals, and academic students. My group lectures focus on journalism and fiction, as the best techniques from both can improve storytelling.