Spend a week completely dedicated to your craft, being inspired by the scenery of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy and nourished by its sun, cuisine and wine. With a strong focus on your own goals and work, award-winning authors Samantha Harvey and Emma Hooper will guide you through a course of mentored workshops, craft and technique lectures, and one-to-one tutorials, as well as informal industry advice sessions.
Extracurricular time can be spent writing in your own personal studio space in the villa’s historic stables, or exploring the surrounding landscape, rich with inspiring history, architecture, flora and fauna.
Fly to Bologna from where you will be collected by minibus. Group collection and drop off times will be arranged by email.
You can find more details on how to get here. For the more adventurous, you may want to allow time for a longer visit which could include the nearby cities of Modena, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Parma and Ferrara, Piacenza and Mantova, read more about the area here.
Samantha Harvey is the author of four novels; The Wilderness, All Is Song, Dear Thief and The Western Wind. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award and the James Tait Black Prize, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Baileys Prize, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the HWA Gold Crown Award. She won the AMI Literature Award and the Betty Trask Prize. She lives in Bath, UK, and is a Reader in creative writing at Bath Spa University.
The Guardian’s “New Face of Fiction,” Emma Hooper is an author, musician and academic. Her best-selling debut novel Etta and Otto and Russell and James (2015) was published in 23 territories and 18 languages worldwide. Her second novel, Our Homesick Songs (2018) was longlisted for The Giller Prize. Her other publications include work for McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Guardian, Bloomsbury Academic, and Elle Magazine.
As a musician she has performed with numerous artists including Peter Gabriel and Newton Faulkner, and has released two solo albums as Waitress for the Bees. She’s a reader in creative writing and music at Bath Spa University.
Louise Davis has been a chef for over 30 years, and will be preparing delicious meals for us. Her Mediterranean cooking style is based on local produce and the freshest fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden.
Running the villa and supporting the course is host Fiona Geilinger, an artist, short film maker, dancer and garden designer. She studied art by pupillage, with painter Nick Bodimeade and has an MA in Art and Design by Independent Project, University of Brighton. Find out more about Fiona’s work at
Helping out with driving and other odd jobs during the course will be Steve (Spike) Geilinger. He is a freelance director, working mainly for the BBC, making documentaries about fine art, architecture, history and food. Most recently he has been making the series ‘Britain’s Lost Masterpieces’ with Bendor Grosvenor for BBC Four.