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Casa Fontana – Creative Writing course and Writers’ Retreat

The first bed and breakfast in Barga, Casa Fontana opened its door to its guests in 2004. Since then Casa Fontana has pioneered the way for many other bed and breakfast establishments in this area to follow in their footsteps

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The winter season is gradually coming to an end and things are starting to move here in Barga.  Some people are even looking further forward –  the very successful bed and breakfast establishment Casa Fontana run by Ron and Susi Gauld in Barga Vecchia, for instance is already gearing up towards the end of the next summer season with a new program of events for the end of September and into October 2020 

They will be working with Karen Campbell, the award-winning author of “The Sound of the Hours”, with a  Creative Writing course and Writers’ Retreat from the 30th September to 7th October 2020.

They will be offering a 5 night course with tuition, and half board accommodation at Casa Fontana B&B. There will also be a 7 night option with the additional time providing further support and mentoring by Karen.  For information about Casa Fontana go to:

As Ron Gauld says ” You’ve got the bones of your story or novel, but how do you flesh it out – or pare it back? Perhaps you have a guddle of notes and ideas, but need a structure so it all makes sense. Or maybe you just need that spark to get your writing started, and keep the fires burning!   Taking inspiration from the stunning scenery and rich history of this little-known part of Tuscany, and using structured workshops, exercises, free writing time, ‘working’ walks and one-to-one tutorials, we’ll look at how you build a story. We’ll cover place, plot, character, and how to pull the strands of your work into a cohesive whole, including the all-important editing process –  giving  you the tools to take your writing forwards ” 

Your tutor and mentor Karen Campbell is a Scottish writer, and graduate of  Glasgow University’s Creative Writing Masters course. She won a Scottish Arts Council New Writers’ Award, and the Scottish Variety Best New Writer Award 2009. Before turning to writing, Karen was a police officer in Glasgow, and her first four novels focus on the people behind the uniform. Her fifth novel “This is Where I Am”, about a Somali refugee living in Glasgow, was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, and has been optioned for TV, as have her police books. Originally from Glasgow, Karen now lives in Galloway, in south-west Scotland, where she completed her sixth novel Rise, looking at Scotland in the run-up to the 2014 Independence referendum.  Karen also teaches creative writing, and was recently awarded a Creative Scotland Artist’s Bursary for research into her most recent novel, The Sound of the Hours set in Italy in World War 2. The book tells the story of a US Buffalo soldier, and a Scots-Italian girl living in Barga. More at


Articles about Karen in Barga can be seen here   Image of KarenCampbell copyright chris dooks

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