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Master Class in Tuscany

April 20 to 29, 2019

Please explore the details of this class below, and sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future opportunities.

The Tuscany Master Class offers a convergence of Hedgebrook’s retreat experience with the unique opportunity to study with a renowned writer in a small-group workshop and enjoy being in residence in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Here writers will receive a taste of Hedgebrook’s “radical hospitality,” along with devoted time, space, and a new landscape and culture that will both nourish and inspire.

New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth George joins Hedgebrook as faculty for the 2019 spring Tuscany master class. Elizabeth offers a workshop on the craft of writing in general and of writing the crime novel in particular. Participation is limited to 8/9 writers to ensure individual attention and to create an intimate, supportive writing community.

Taking Your Writing to the Next Level: A Master Class on the Crime Novel and other forms with Elizabeth George

This course assumes that you already know the nuts and bolts of the craft of writing in general and of writing the crime novel in particular. So what we’re going to be looking at are the various ways that you can take your writing upwards, to a level that goes beyond light airplane reading–in crime writing this is called “a light-hearted romp through murder”–and challenges the reader to think, to feel, to wonder, and to experience. We’ll be looking at landscape of place, landscape of character, the psychological underpinnings of both character and crime, as well as causality, structure, setting and theme. We’ll be assessing what you’ve already written and developing techniques to self-evaluate and to improve. There will be group sessions, assignments, individual sessions with Elizabeth, and voluntary readings. Plus wine. There will be wine.

Hedgebrook in Tuscany

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley novels, a series that takes place largely in the UK. She’s published internationally, her books have been adapted for television by the BBC, and she has taught across the United States as well as in Europe. She’s a frequent guest participant at writers’ conferences and retreats as well as a public speaker. She’s published twenty crime novels, four young adult novels, a non-fiction book on the craft of writing, a book of short stories, and she has edited two anthologies. Plus she likes dogs in general and her own in particular.

For more information, visit http://www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com/

Hedgebrook in Tuscany

Dates and Prices

Dates: April 20-April 29, 2019
Priority Deadline to apply:  November 8, 2018
Location: Tuscany, Italy
Fee: $4400 to $5400, depending on accommodation preference.

Application Schedule

November 19, 2018: Notifications sent
November 29th, 2018: Deposits due
January 30th, 2019: Full payment due
The Master Class arrivals can begin Thursday April 18th.

An ancient medieval borgo in the heart of Chianti, the villa grounds are just three miles outside of the village of Panzano and within an hour’s driving distance to the Florence airport. Its position on a hillside overlooking the Pesa Valley offers exceptional views of the prized vineyards of the Conca d’Oro, a tapestry of olive groves, vineyards, woods and country estates in all directions. Building was begun on this house approximately one thousand years ago. In the medieval period, it evolved into a ‘borgo,’ or small village, clustered around an interior courtyard and protected by a typical Tuscan ‘torre’, or tower.

Today the restored property has 11 bedrooms, an outdoor pool, and beautiful gardens with a bocce court and many private areas to enjoy the views and atmosphere in peace and quiet. There are several common areas, a large kitchen and living room, and three terraces.  There is wireless internet accessible from most rooms, as well as a movie theatre and an extensive collection of films and books.

Hedgebrook in Tuscany

The Retreat Experience

Each writer will be housed in their own room at the villa with delicious meals and amenities provided. During their stay, writers will enjoy the sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside, free time for afternoon day-trips to explore nearby sites in Italy, and an intimate workshop limited to a small group size of 8-9 students.  All class participants are free to arrive up to two days early to recover from jet lag and settle into the Italian countryside.  Arrivals can begin on Saturday, April 20.  Master Class sessions will begin Monday, April 22, 2019.

Fees and Policies

The cost of the class varies from $4400 to $5400, depending on the accommodation.  (Travel and alcohol are not included)

Some rooms have private baths w A/C. Some share a bath with one other writer. All rooms are private bedrooms in the villa. Some rooms have a writing space in the room, others have a space elsewhere in the villa. Accommodations for up to 9 nights, all meals provided daily at the villa, all workshops and a personal one-on-one session with Elizabeth George.

Accommodation Details

Price $5400 – Full Suites with private baths, workspace ensuite

Price $4900 – Simple Suite with shared bath, workspace ensuite

Price $4400 – Single Room with shared bath, workspace either in room or villa


If selected, you will be required to send a non-refundable deposit of $1500 to Hedgebrook by November 29th to hold your spot. The balance must be paid in full by January 30, 2019.  Not included – airfare, transportation to/from the villa, optional field trips, liquor, wine, and meals outside the villa.


Class participants are responsible for their own travel. The closest airport is Florence, Italy. One can easily rent a car at the airport. Having your own transportation allows you to intimately experience the Tuscan countryside and we can provide you with directions to various nearby sites and hill towns. Hedgebrook can also assist in arranging drivers for hire to meet you at the airport and transport you to and from the villa for an additional charge (@100 Euros). The villa is about one hour from Florence and the airport, 20 minutes from Greve and a stone’s throw from Panzano!

To arrive at the villa on Saturday, April 20th requires a flight departure from North America on Friday, April 19th.

Refund Policy



Please note: The application is accessible via SlideRoom. Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed below, and classes often fill with a waitlist. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Hedgebrook staff and teachers, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply as soon as possible. We anticipate decisions will be finalized within two weeks of the priority deadline.

If you have questions about whether this Master Class is appropriate for you or your project, or any other question about the Series, please be in touch with us at 360-321-4786.



The priority deadline is November 8th (rolling applications still accepted after November 8th)
Notifications will be sent out by November 19, 2018
Deposits due by November 29, 2018
Payment in full due by January 30, 2019
The Master Class arrivals can begin Saturday, April 20th.

Class sessions start Monday, April 22nd.

The morning of Monday, April 29th is the departure day (by 12 noon).

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