Ready to plunge into your writing and be inspired by Italy? Dreaming in Umbria is designed to support and challenge you as an artist, while also pampering you with luxurious lodgings, exquisite Umbrian food and wine, natural beauty and encounters with fun and friendly people. After a delicious breakfast, our days will begin mid-morning with an interactive, intensive two-hour writing workshop taught by novelist, Martha McPhee, in the stylish Roccafiore conference room. In the afternoons participants – with the guidance of Italianist Christina Ball – will have time to explore the charming hilltop town of Todi, attend excursions to nearby culinary and architectural sites; attend cooking classes and wine tastings; or simply relax, write, dream, swim in the lovely Roccafiore pool, or enjoy a treatment at its celebrated spa. Martha will hold private conferences with each student at least once over the course of the week and Christina will be available to help with language or travel questions both before and during the course itself. In the evenings, student readings and discussions on publishing and the literary life will follow sumptuous dinners. Dreams will surely follow.
MARTHA McPHEE is the author of the novels Dear Money, L’America, Gorgeous Lies, and Bright Angel Time. Her work has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2002 she was nominated for a National Book Award. Her novels have been Best Books of The Year on The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune lists. Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Newark Star Ledger, Vogue, More, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, Traveler, Travel & Leisure, among many others. McPhee is a tenured member of the English Department at Hofstra University. She lives in New York City with her children and husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold.
Read Martha’s article about her experience in Umbria – Unforgotten Italy – in More Magazine.
Find out more about Martha and her numerous publications on her website.
CHRISTINA BALL is the owner and director of Speak! Language Center and the creator of multiple Italy language and travel experiences such as Two Weeks in Todi, Opera in Italia and, with Martha McPhee, Dreaming in Umbria. Christina has either lived, studied in or traveled to just about every one of Italy’s 20 regions including Bologna (as a Fulbright Scholar), Cortona (as resident interpreter to a study abroad program), Rome (as a study abroad student), Pisa (as a home owner and sabbatical resident) and, of course, Todi in Umbria. In 1998, Christina earned a doctorate in Italian Language and Literature from Yale University. She has been teaching all aspects of Italian language and culture – from the basics for travelers to creative writing in Italian – for 22 years. Her true passion is helping people find inspiration for their own lives and work through unique educational and travel experiences. Christina can’t wait to introduce you to the cultural wonders of Umbria!