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13/08/2015: Arte Umbria

Welcome to everyone who has signed up for the newsletter in the last few weeks. It's lovely to have you aboard. I'm thrilled by how easy my lovely new website makes the sign up.
I had the most fantastic week in Italy, running a course for Arte Umbria. There's something about a classroom halfway up a mountain with views over the tree-clothed slopes.
The weather was hot, with a few dramatic storms to calm things, but there's plenty of shade on the terrace and in the house and grounds. And plenty of places to write, in company or alone.
Whether you're writing a novel, novella, short story or serial, the course aims to help you focus on your story telling and writing techniques via interesting and interactive workshops, tutorials, tutor review, peer review. Private writing time and one-to-ones make for a varied and stimulating week.
I love tailoring the course around its participants, meeting individual as well as group needs, encouraging the flexing of writing muscles and investigation of the world of publishing.
From 2016, we're opening the week up to writers who might like to use the week as a retreat, too.
This year we went to Perugia for our day off. The hosts drove us to the bottom of the funicular railway that begins in the suburbs and we were carried through six stations to the city at the top, full of fascinating buildings, astonishing views, cafés and gelaterias. We watched a wedding, ate a fantastic lunch at a pavement café called Lunabar Ferrari (picked by me), and rounded out the afternoon in a bar overlooking the city walls.
If you fancy joining me next year, the course is already booking at, 13-20 July 2016. You'll be welcome!

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