Creative Writing at Masseria Impisi, Ostuni, Puglia, Italy

 TUITION: At Chalk the Sun we know that writing is a personal journey and we teach accordingly with an emphasis on one-to-one feedback and customised tuition.  Course content is geared to your needs once you have enrolled and completed a detailed questionnaire. With just seven or eight students, our tutor/student ratio is probably higher than any other residential courses.  We can cater for all writers from complete beginners to novelists and screenwriters on their final drafts.  Our tutors join students for dinner and readings every evening so there’s lots of opportunities for informal discussion of your ideas as well as one-to-one tutorials and the optional morning workshops.

Book early for 6 – 13 May 2018 

Our tutor team for 2017 will be headed by Chalk founder Ardella Jones with possibly a second specialist tutor to be confirmed. You can see Our Tutors’ Profiles here.  The courses start with an ideas-generation workshop and individual goal-setting tutorials. As well as the morning workshops and daily  feedback sessions, you will have opportunities for one-to-one sessions with different tutors.  Afternoons can be spent writing, exploring, lunching or lazing in the autumn sun. In the evening, we will share supper and our creative work and receive more feedback from the tutors over a bottle of wine. ACCOMMODATION: Shared twin/double rooms in the main house.  The rooms are light and elegant, simply furnished and air conditioned with en suite wet rooms. Towels are provided. The bedrooms open onto the shady colonnade with views of the garden and olive groves.  There are two well-equipped kitchens to prepare breakfast and snacks and a TV den with English DVDs and books. We plan to arrange rooms so that people share with another student of the same sex,   but if you really want a room of your own there will be a supplement of £200.00. Only one single available each trip. The fresh water pool is large and built into the rock.  The grounds are extensive with pergolas and arbours, hammocks and sun-loungers. There is also a roof terrace for Bellinis at sunset. Italian electricity supply is at 220 volts. You will need an adaptor from your plug to a two-pin continental socket if you want to bring your laptop.    There is a reasonable wi-fi connection at Masseria Impisi. Hairdryers are available.   There’s a washing machine and iron in the laundry room for your use.

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FEES & FLIGHTS: The fee of £950 will include accommodation in shared twin rooms, food and drink, and tuition for 7 days.  Group lunch will be provided to welcome us and on departure day. On working days breakfast and lunch are self-catered.  A home-cooked three course dinner, using locally-produced organic ingredients, with wine from the Ostuni growers’ co-op, is provided every evening. On the final Saturday, when we have an optional trip to Ostuni market, students can try one of the many local restaurants for lunch or stay home and self-cater.  Cocktails are served every evening before dinner. Vegetarians and special diets catered for on request. There are two fully-equipped kitchens for preparing breakfast and snacks. You will need to book your own flight and arrange travel insurance. Most participants will be taking the Easyjet morning flight Gatwick/Bari.  Group airport transfers from/to Bari are included in the cost; transport at other times or from other locations must be arranged yourself.  The residential course can accommodate eight students only.  You can secure your place for £250 non-returnable deposit payable by bank transfer or cheque. Balance payable by 1st August 2017.

LOCATION:  Just 3 kilometres from Impisi is the ancient town of Ostuni, one of the most stunning towns in Southern Italy. The maze of winding streets makes for a fascinating stroll and there are wonderful views of the sea and hills.  A visit to the pre-historic cave where The Mother of Ostuni, a 28,000 year old woman,  was discovered recently is a must.   On the Adriatic coast there is the tiny port of Villanova, as well as rock hewn villages and sandy coves crystal clear water. The beach is an easy cycle ride away (there are bikes to borrow free of charge) or you can book a taxi to drive you to the beach or town. Between Bari and Brindisi (with their international airports) is the site of the ancient Messapian city of Egnazia.  The ancient city of Lecce, the Florence of the South, is about an hour away by train. We are happy to help with trips and taxis.

WEATHER: Typical daytime temperatures for May are 20 – 25c / 68 – 74f . It’s warm enough to swim but evenings drop to 10 – 14c, so you will need some long sleeves and a cosy top at night.  Umbrellas are provided but rarely needed.

 For more photos and information check: www.ilcollegio.com

See the creation of Masseria Impisi in Channel 4′s Grand Designs (S08E07) on Youtube