A six day writers retreat in the mountains of Tuscany.

June 4-10 and September 10-16, 2017.

Take time to rest, to dream, to try.

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The Art of Writing is a writers retreat in Tuscany run by critically acclaimed author and journalist Lisa Clifford. Our 2016 June 19-25 guest leading tutor was award-winning author Conrad Willams.

Our Summer 2017 retreat will be held from June 4-10 and our Autumn 2017 retreat will be held from September 10-16.

We are talking to several UK, American and Australian writers about joining us in Tuscany for these weeks. We will let you know on this page as soon as our 2017 tutors are confirmed. Sign up for our mailing list to be among the first to know.

The Art of Writing offers morning lectures on writing and afternoon individual coaching sessions. Our aim is to nurture you, your writing skills and your project. We want to inspire you to write more and teach you how to improve, without feeling intimidated. Be it a novel you hope to see published, help with a story that’s stalled, an idea that you need time to dream about, or even a blog that you want to improve: this retreat is about refining your skills.

Workshops discuss:

  • Writing from a sense of place
  • Character development
  • Structure and drafting
  • Memoirs and research; collecting, collating and recounting stories
  • Point of view and dialogue
  • Daily evening aperitivo with literary interviews and discussions

We also explore the constantly changing world of E-books and self-publishing and what could be the best indie route for you.

The Art of Writing retreats are international. Our past attendees have been from Scotland, England, America, Italy, South Africa and Australia. We encourage non-native English attendees to write in whatever language they prefer but ask that our attendees have an excellent grasp of English.

Depending on your personal goals, Lisa Clifford will guide you on where to publish and how.

Cocktail hour is shared every evening before dinner with fellow attendees and visiting authors. There is also time for relaxation by the swimming pool and for walks in the Tuscan woods and countryside.

You’ll stay in your own private apartment complete with living room, worktable and Wi-Fi inside and on your own terrace. Some people may like to share their apartment with a friend and that will reduce their cost. Visit the Price page for more information on costs and sharing apartments.


Our price includes transport to Casentino, six nights accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner plus morning and afternoon coffee/tea breaks at Borgo a Caiano, as well as all tuition. The Art of Writing also includes an afternoon tour of the local area, a unique and undiscovered part of Tuscany. We’ll finish at Lorenzo Cipriani’s farm where you’ll make ricotta and pecorino before tasting Tuscany’s cheeses and salame.

Apply here

Praise for past retreats (be sure to visit our Testimonials Page for our gallery photos of our retreats!):

‘I’ll always remember Lisa’s cluster board. It’s the light bulb moment and I find it enormously helpful the moment I utilise this prompt. It opens up with so much possibilities and steer me in much more dimensions and directions than I had before… Conrad provided tools to open up emotion to give/highlight individual characteristics of personalities to my story which I overlooked before. Morag was most encouraging. She gave valuable advice on presentation and layout of stories… I have benefited so much. Now, I have guidelines and tools to work with. Not only would I recommend friends, I can’t wait to enrol on the next course.’

— Betty Lee, Sydney, Australia

‘Thank you so much for an amazing opportunity! I’ve loved it!’

— Rachel Weissenstein, Houston, USA

‘Thank you so much. My experience exceeded my expectations — a rare experience these days.’
— Shirley Fletcher, Lake Cathie, Australia

‘Superb. Brilliant. Encouraging. Motivating.’

— Michelle McNiff, USA

‘I enjoyed the variety. And I feel that the instructors were very generous and open with their methods and suggestions… It was also a great experience to be in an intimate and friendly setting with other writers. Inspiring!’

— Donna Stadler, California, USA

‘Excellent and the camaraderie among participants was great and the sharing was generous. Wonderful combination of relaxation, inspiration and rejuvenation. I’ll always remember the wonderful feeling when people gave encouragement about my My Italian Destiny.’

— Lynn Kirkland, New Zealand

‘This course was an astonishing experience. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Do it!’

— Andrea Burns

‘The teachers were very insightful and educated in various parts of the business, from the writing process to getting out there.’
— Nsikan Akpan

‘The teaching was excellent, insightful and, I hope, life-changing.’
— Diane Dewey

‘The teachers were dedicated, well-prepared and knowledgable.’
— Susie Stenmark

‘Jim is such a wonderful and inspiring teacher. He is pushing some of the class into unknown territory. The classes have been well constructed and with a clear and definite aim.’
— Henrietta

‘Extremely valuable. I learnt so many skills and exercises to develop my writing. I found the one-on-one helpful and inspiring. Now I have a priceless reading list of writers in my genre and style. A mind-expanding week with inspiring creative company.’
— Margaret

‘Loved everything about the week. Fabulous workshops, a great venue and food. The bonus was being around such a fascinating group of very lovely individuals. What a high. Hopefully I’ll come back to another Art of Writing, maybe 2016 when I have a few ‘chapters’, or whatever they are, under my belt.’

— Monica Watson-Peck

‘A HUGE thank you for what you have created with The Art Of Writing. Last week had such an impact on all of us, I don’t think anyone anticipated the quality of the teaching and the amount of valuable lessons we would get through in such a short time. You have a fabulous team behind you and all it offered was just amazing and beautifully done.’
— Rose Gilder

‘The quality of tutelage was stellar. Each contributed with their own experience and area of expertise. I’m so happy to have kickstarted my writing journey with this course. Thank you for creating an inspiring, creative and safe haven for like-minded people.’
— Sansa

‘Everything was absolutely perfect: better than I had expected. Jim, Emma and Lisa were fantastic. I feel I benefited greatly from my week.’
— Orna

‘Our workshop was magical. Thank you hardly seems adequate for such a life-changing experience.’
— Kate Anders

‘This is a wonderfully tranquil site and conducive to camaraderie and inspiration!’
— Anne Patricia Rahman

‘The week exceeded my expectations. Loved it!’
— Christine Harris

‘This has been one of the most practical courses I’ve attended for writers – including Oxford, ACFW Phoenix and others. I found what I needed to transition from YA fiction to writing for adult women.’
— Elaine Fraser

‘So enjoyed: the overall structure of the retreat, particularly the combination of workshops and writing time; numerous tutors available for chats and consultation; positive relationships between these tutors which set a joyful, supportive and creative tone for the group; setting and accommodation. Jim is a champion, Emma brilliant and Lisa the master conductor.’
— Suzanne

‘Thank you for a wonderful workshop. I can now say “I am a writer”!’
— Judith Morris

‘Fully packed, comprehensive and fun.’
— Fred Orr

‘Your generosity, careful planning and attention to everyone created a cocoon for us. I’ve felt comfortable, challenged and have had time to write in picturesque solitude. There’s nothing I can think of to make these memorable days better.’
— Anne

‘The choice of lecturers/tutors: fantastic…ALL!’
— Susie