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Ways With Words Festival of Words and Ideas at Dartington Hall Italy - Writing and Art Holidays Southwold Words by the Water – the Lake District

Italy - Writing and Art Holidays

In late September each year Ways With Words organises art and writing workshops and discussion groups in Italy. These are relaxed, informal holidays hosted by Ways With Words' directors, Kay Dunbar and Stephen Bristow. There are taught courses for beginners as well as the more experienced and visits to nearby cultural centres. There's lots of flexibility and choice, swimming in the pool, boules, walking, mushrooming and of course, wonderful Italian food usually eaten al fresco.

Nothing is compulsory; participants can use the time and place as they wish. We want everyone to find the right pace for themselves, to be able to savour the beautiful environment and to go home totally refreshed.

Dates for 2017 are:
16 - 23 September and 23 - 30 September

Our tutors for 2017 are as follows:

Mark is an established author and journalist - and also a talented watercolourist. He has tutored for Ways With Words in Italy where his teaching style has been greatly appreciated by previous course members. Mark’s work spans a wide cross-section. He has been a travel writer (Happy Sad Land, and No Worries), written a number of articles for a variety of national newspapers and magazines, and been a ghost writer for several different books. His first project as a ghost writer was Jack and Zena, the true story of a mixed race couple who eloped to escape Zena’s arranged marriage. After writing companions to various TV series including Castaway and 1900 House Mark then went on to write Somebody Someday, the official biography of Robbie Williams, and Tribe, a companion to Bruce Parry’s TV series of the same name. His most recent book, Fest, is a crime fiction novel set at a literature festival.

Blake Morrison is Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths in London. he has written family memoirs, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and libretti, as well as adapting plays for the stage. His memoir When Did You Last See Your Father was also made into a film. This wealth of experience, and his position as Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, means that he is well placed to offer guidance in writing. Blake spent over fifteen years working as a literary editor, and continues to write for several magazines and newspapers including The Times Literary Supplement, the Observer, the Independent on Sunday and the Guardian.

Mary Knott has been a painter and illustrator for most of her life. She is a warm, generous and experienced tutor who will be setting you various artistic challenges and encouraging you to try new things. Also she will be on hand to provide support for those with individual projects. Mary has tutored on our Italian holiday courses for many years and is a respected and much-loved tutor.

Charles is an outstanding figurative painter who has had several exhibitions of his work; a film-maker and an experienced teacher. He was previously the Dean of the Arts at the University of Cumbria. Since retirement he has lived in Le Marche, about 2 hours from Villa Pia. Altogether he has worked in UK art colleges for more than 30 years. During that time besides being an artist, he has also been a designer, illustrator and writer in publishing and television. This will be the fourth year that Charles has been a tutor on this course. His commitment, insight and gentle encouragement is much appreciated by course members.

(NB Because of a previous engagement, Charles will be joining the group on the evening of Sunday 24 September. Kay Dunbar will work with the artists during the day prior to Charles' arrival.)

Each week there will be one book group and one ideas-based discussion group. These will be run by a combination of writing tutors and the Ways With Words’ directors: Kay Dunbar and Stephen Bristow. The books and discussion topics will be sent to you well in advance of the holiday so that you have time to read the books and gather your thoughts.

During each week of the holiday there will be a day trip to a nearby town of historic and artistic interest. Transport to and from these places is included as part of the package, but you will be responsible for covering the cost of lunch on these trips.
Week One : Day trip to Citta di Castello (about 20 mins. from Villa Pia).
Week Two : Assisi (about an hour from Villa Pia).

Travel to / from Italy is not included in the cost of the holiday, however we do provide coach transfer from Pisa airport to the villa at the start of the holiday (and the reverse at the end). Customers will be given details of the flights which our coach will be meeting on booking the holiday.

Some people choose to travel independently to Villa Pia: driving, hiring, by train. We can offer some advice over these options and can provide instructions for finding the villa if you are travelling by car.


To find out more about this holiday course and to make a reservation please contact us on (01803) 867373 or go to our Contacts Page where you can send us an email.


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