New 2024 Writers' Studio
in the Berkshires
with Mary Hall Surface
June 21 - 27, 2024
Building on the success of my Writers’ Studio in Italy, I am launching a second location for June 2024 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in the heart of the beautiful Berkshires. This scenic region, which has attracted artists and writers for generations, offers a host of inspiring destinations for close looking, wondering, imagining, and writing. We will visit the homes of writer Edith Wharton and Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole and Frederick Edwin Church. Other possible stops include the garden of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once tended by poet Mary Oliver, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and walks and hikes with literary associations and extraordinary views. I will craft vivid prompts inspired by the lives and works of Berkshires-inspired writers and artists to generate your own creative and reflective writing. World-famous performance venues, including Tanglewood and Shakespeare & Company, offer nearby opportunities for your enjoyment as well.
"Mary Hall has crafted a one-of-a-kind program that engages the mind and satisfies the soul."
2023 Amalfi Writers' Studio Participant
Thomas Cole's Studio
Our writing sessions will be based in the comfort of the living room of our lodgings, the historic Wainwright Inn, built in 1766. We will have exclusive use of the Inn so you may enjoy the wide porches and common areas as well as your antique-filled rooms for writing, reflecting, and relaxing. Two rooms are in the adjoining carriage house. Guided by my art and literature-inspired prompts, we will write on the grounds of historic homes, and in gardens, galleries, and cafés as you respond to the landscape, history, and architecture that surrounds you. We will do an informal reading of our work, if you desire, to conclude our time together.
Wainwright Inn, Great Barrington, MA
"My six days with Mary Hall Surface and my fellow travelers in the Writers' Studio was worth every penny and every minute. I filled three notebooks and I am still mining that material. As an instructor, Mary Hall is supportive, illustrative, and truly helpful. And her method of teaching us how to see, how to look at art and the vistas that surround us is immeasurably helpful to me as a writing traveler."
2022 Amalfi Writers' Studio Participant
More Program Details:
The Writers' Studio in the Berkshires begins in the late afternoon on Friday, June 21st and concludes with breakfast on Thursday, June 27th, 2024.
To inspire our writing, we plan to visit:
Cedar Grove, the historic home and studio of painter Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of American painting.
The Mount, the stately home and exquisite gardens and grounds of writer and landscape designer Edith Wharton, the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Olana, the beautiful estate of Hudson River School painter Frederick Edwin Church, featuring a villa that combines Victorian, Moorish, and Persian design and gardens that overlook the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains.
A final writing session at Millay Arts, an internationally known artist colony adjacent to Steepletop, the home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay where the poet Mary Oliver once worked.
We also hope to include:
A visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum in the picturesque village of Stockbridge.
A stroll through Naumkeag, a Gilded Age "cottage" and gardens in Stockbridge.
A hike in the footsteps of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville to the summit of Monument Mountain.
Café writing time in the historic village of Hudson, New York.
2022 Amalfi Writers' Studio Participants
The rhythm of our days will include 1 – 2 daily writing workshops of 2 – 3 hours, either at our Inn in Great Barrington or in a historic site or natural setting.
The schedule will provide free time for personal writing as well as time for exploring galleries, bookstores, and shops in the towns of Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, and Hudson.
Participants will have the option to gather for informal reflection and sharing of work with Mary Hall and one another throughout the week. Please note that the program is not designed to offer formal critique or one-on-one workshopping of participants’ writing.
Participants may choose to attend an evening performance at one of the Berkshires' many performing arts venues. We will provide options and help arrange for transportation. Participants will purchase their own tickets.
Limited Spaces available.
Please register by March 3, 2024.
Please register using this link. If unable to use a
June 21 - 27, 2024
$3100 per person, double occupancy.
$400 single supplement.
Limited availability for single rooms.
$450 supplement to stay at The Barrington once rooms fill at Wainwright Inn.
6 nights of hotel with hot breakfast, six days of instruction with class-based excursions, an opening reception and dinner, two light suppers, and two box lunches.
Free parking is available or roundtrip transportation will be provided from the Hartford, CT or Albany, NY on June 21 and 27 based on group arrival and departure times.
Please do not book any travel until given the "green light" on March 14 or before.
Olana State Historic Site
2023 Amalfi Writers' Studio Participants
Mary Hall near Katterskill Falls,
a site that inspired a Thomas Cole landscape.
Mary Hall at Edith Wharton's home, The Mount, Lenox, MA.