Thinking of Anais Nin: Donna Ippolito

Donna Ippolito

Donna Ippolito is executive editor of Thinking of Anaïs Nin, the official Nin website. As an editor at The Swallow Press in Chicago, she knew and worked with Ms. Nin on various publishing projects. The idea for the site was born during a passionate conversation between Moira Collins, Valerie Harms, and Ippolito at Valerie’s Connecticut home some years back.

She has been writing, editing, and teaching others to write for over 20 years. Her editing experience includes every kind of non-fiction and fiction manuscript of interest to the general reader–from novels and poetry to cookbooks and mountain-climbing guides, from psychological self-help and Native American lore to consumer advocacy and the search for the Loch Ness monster. Some titles include A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars, and Interviews of Anaïs Nin, edited by Evelyn Hinz Anaïs Observed, based on the film by Robert Snyder, Collage of Dreams: The Writings of Anaïs Nin, by Sharon Spencer, The Creative Journal by Lucia Capacchione, The Wounded Woman, by Jungian analyst Linda Leonard, Cuchama and the Sacred Mountains, by W. Y Evans-Wentz, Mexico Mystique, by Frank Waters, Encounters with Zen, by Lucien Stryk, and many others.

From 1985 to 2001, she was editor-in-chief at FASA Corporation, a Chicago publisher that packaged best-selling science fiction and fantasy novel lines for Penguin Books and Time-Warner. These included the popular BattleTech, MechWarrior, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Vor series. Most of the writers were first-timers, and some, like Michael A. Stackpole, went on to become New York Times best-selling authors. To date, the series have sold 2,000,000+ copies in the U.S., with an equal number of foreign-language editions in print.

Prior to that, she was editor at The Swallow Press in Chicago, a small but prestigious publisher of both literary and commercial titles. The Press was the publisher of Nin’s fiction and other works about her. She currently teaches writing for Long Ridge Writers Group in West Redding, Connecticut ( She also is a freelance editor and writer who helps writers get their book manuscripts in shape.

In 2003, Ippolito’s investigative article on how the nation’s top 100 charities spend their donation monies appeared in Consumers Digest. As a senior editor for the magazine, she also acquired and edited articles on funeral fraud; the truth about long-term care insurance; warehouse-club buying; how to avoid pest-control rip-offs, and others.

Her many years of teaching range from traditional classroom settings to adult education. Using techniques to stimulate creativity, Ippolito has taught both adults and high-school students in Chicago and suburbs, including workshops given under grants from the Illinois Arts Council. She also lectures on publishing and writing. In 2002, she began giving workshops on “The Wisdom of Dreams.” She is currently at work on Dream On, a book based on several long-running dream groups as well as private sessions with individuals. See her website at

Her fiction and nonfiction include Erotica (with 26 drawings by Adele Aldridge and calligraphy by Moira Collins) from Artists and Alchemists Publications; “Why, What’s the Matter Adam?, a retrospective on novelist Maude Hutchins in Oyez Review; Uprising of the 20,000, original historical research from Motheroot Publications; and assorted reviews in East West Journal, Small Press Review, Sunday Clothes, Journal of the West, and others.

Ippolito was a founding editor of Black Maria, a quarterly journal of women’s writing that was reviewed favorably in Library Journal and received a grant from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines. She is a member of Chicago Women in Publishing and has been listed in Contemporary Authors, Encyclopedia of Short Fiction Writers, and Poets & Writers.