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2023 Writers' Studio

with Mary Hall Surface

at the

Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival

July 19 - 25, 2023


Imagine spending a week creatively writing inspired by art and literature on Italy's exquisite Amalfi coast. And enjoying live classical music concerts in the evenings. My new program, now in its second year in collaboration with the extraordinary Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, will take our close looking, wondering, imagining, and writing to a whole new level. You can also add on a studio art class, a Mediterranean cooking class, and trips to Pompeii and Capri. 

"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 Writers' Studio Participant 

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"Mary Hall is a gifted teacher and delightful companion. Our week with her was a memorable one of of discovery, imagination, ideas and reflection."

2022 Writers' Studio Participant

Program Description:

We'll seek inspiration in the landscape and character of a region known for attracting generations of writers and artists. We'll reflect on writings by authors such as John Steinbeck and Virginia Woolf and works of art by artists like John Singer Sargent and M.C. Escher that capture their response to the singular beauty and culture of Amalfi, Ravello, and more. I will craft vivid prompts inspired by these writings and artworks to generate your own creative and reflective writing. We'll tour places that inspired writers and artists of the past. We'll write in gardens, lemon groves, villas, and cafés as you respond to the landscape, architecture and art that surrounds you. We'll do an informal reading of our work, if you desire, to conclude our time together.

More Program Details:

The Writers' Studio begins in the late afternoon on Wednesday, July 19th and concludes with breakfast on Tuesday, July 25th.


The rhythm of our days will include 1 – 2 daily writing workshops of 2 – 3 hours, either in the festival host-town of Maiori or in a neighboring location. Our locations may include:


In Maiori, all within easy walking distance:

  • A lemon grove and garden next to Hotel Reginna where the festival office is located.


  • A rose garden with historic fountains of Palazzo Mezzacapo where Caruso, the famous opera singer performed. 


  • A terraced lawn on seaside bluff overlooking the water, with a bird’s eye view of the coast and an opportunity to visit a noted succulent garden.


Neighboring locations, with travel by van included:


  • Ravello, the famous artists’ retreat in magical hillside town with breathtaking views of the coastline


  • Outdoor café under the medieval porticoes of Cava de’ Tirreni.


  • The cloister of the beautiful Amalfi Cathedral.  


Writers' Studio workshops will be scheduled to accommodate an add-on excursion to Pompeii, as well an add-on studio art class and Mediterranean cooking class. You may also add on an extra night (July 25) to visit the famed island of Capri.

You can choose to have a very full schedule on some days or to have more free time for personal writing and wanderings on other days.  The daily schedule will be set once all the evening concert venues are finalized.   We anticipate 2 writing sessions in neighboring locations.


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.


I encourage you to participate in the Optional Dinner Meal plan as that will give you the chance to enjoy engaging with the full festival community.  Dinners are planned for locations convenient to the evening concerts, which in 2023 will feature all piano programs by the Institute’s international faculty and Young Artist Series.  


Program Full.  2024 Dates will be announced soon. 


July 19 - 25, 2023


$3100. (6 nights of hotel + breakfast, six days of instruction with class-based excursions, two receptions,  festival concerts and festival events). Cost does not include airfare.



Optional Dinner Plan

Optional Excursions with Guide to        Pompeii

Studio Art Class

Mediterranean Cooking Class

Extra Day/Night to visit Capri


Pricing Information and Policies

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