INSPIRED BY PLACE: a Generative Writing Workshop in Civita di Bagnoregio
Saturday, June 20 – Saturday, June 27, 2020

7 nights total; 5 days of instruction, 1 day of excursion

Looking up at the Marchesa's house and the V. Porta S. Maria

Looking up at the Marchesa’s house and the V. Porta S. Maria

Deepen your writing and explore the connection between journey and place in this immersive, generative writing workshop in the Italian hill town of Civita di Bagnoregio, in Lazio, just north of Rome.

Writing in and about a village as ancient as Civita provides an opportunity to observe and explore the elements that make a specific place unique: layers of history, nature, mythology, human culture, and the built environment across time. A discovery of place through writing helps to cultivate skills that writers can use to ground their work on any topic.

This intimate workshop will weave observation and readings, journey and reflection. Exercises and prompts will inspire our process as we practice skills in image, voice, language, structure and narrative. Daily “pilgrimages” and a day-trip to the nearby hill town of Orvieto will add context and richness to our work. 

The workshop is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, prose or poetry. This experience is ideal for writers looking to enliven and deepen their practice. As Helene Simonsen notes, Whatever you are doing, if you want something else to happen, you need to pause.”

Workshop Leaders:
Gabriela Denise Frank and Sharon Mentyka are past Civita Institute Fellowship recipients who have lived and worked in Civita di Bagnoregio.

Gabriela is a writer of essays and fiction. Her work contemplates identity, sexuality, gender, aging and the built environment. CivitaVeritas: An Italian Fellowship Journey, is a collection of essays and prose poetry during and about her residency in Civita di Bagnoregio in 2010. An alumna of Artist Trust’s EDGE Development program for literary artists, her work is supported by residencies, grants and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Mineral School, Invoking the Pause, 4Culture and Jack Straw. 

Sharon is a graphic designer and writer practicing in Seattle. Her historical fiction book Chasing at the Surface received the 2016 National Outdoor Book Award (NOBA) in the Children’s category. Think Smart, Be Fearless: A Biography of Bill Gates will be published in October 2019 by Sasquatch Press. As the 2012 Civita Institute Astra Zarina Fellowship recipient, Sharon created Civita Immaginata, a series of storytelling maps, using visual means to create an ‘atlas’ designed to envision Civita through multiple lenses, some of which included culture, geography, food, history and the built environment. 

Workshop Lodging
Workshop participation and lodging are paid directly, as a contribution, to the Civita Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit with an architecture, arts and education focus. This contribution includes a one-year membership to the organization.   

The Civita Institute’s facilities are beautifully renovated, rustic stone apartments located in the heart of Civita di Bagnoregio. Participants will also have access to the adjacent garden and library. All apartments are fully furnished with full kitchen, bathroom, and linens and are stocked with grocery basics. Apartments are reserved on a first-come, first-served basics when the workshop deposit has been received.

Pricing information to come.

Workshop Cost:
US $900 per attendee

Registration opens October 20, 2019

Location: Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy (Lazio) – approximately 65 miles north of Rome