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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long should my writing sample be?

A: Not more than 2500 words. Upload the file using the designated place on the application form.  Your sample can be in any prose genre—fiction, creative nonfiction, or a hybrid prose form.


Q: How long should my statement of purpose be?

A: In a simple statement of not more than 750 words, tell us about your goals for this workshop. We want to know something about your reading life and any other information about yourself that you feel is important. Your statement will help us decide which workshop group will best suit your needs.


Q: Is there financial assistance available?

A:  We cannot provide financial assistance at this time.


Q: Can I change or edit my application after I submit it?

A: No. You can only update your contact information. Once you click the submit button, your application is filed for review.


Q: Why is there a $250 application deposit?

A:  A $250 application deposit indicates that the applicant is serious about attending. If you are accepted and do not pay the balance of the fee by March 3, your deposit will not be returned. Applicants whose writing samples are not accepted by the Workshop will be refunded the application deposit.


Q: What kinds of rooms are available in the inn?

A: You may have a private room with private bath, or you may share with another participant a private suite with a shared bath. The rooms in the suites are not divided by a wall, but they are separate/private spaces.
 You may also share with another participant a twin bed room with bath. (These options are first-come, first-serve.)

  • Private room with private bath ($2900.  Early bird enrollment = $2650 all inclusive)
  • Share a private suite ($2700.  Early bird enrollment = $2450 all inclusive)
  • Non-workshop partner of participant ($1800.  Early bird enrollment = $1650, all meals plus excursions)


Included in these costs are the Workshop; all meals; local excursions to Gulf of the Poets and Pontremoli; and a tour, reading, and reception at the castle of Castiglione. Additional local excursions will be offered on an as-requested, fee-for-service basis.


Q: What sort of meals are provided?

A: Meals at the inn will be chef-prepared, with vegetarian options. The inn offers a full (self-serve) breakfast and a buffet lunch; dinner is served, with wine included.


Q: Is there Internet access at the inn?

A: The inn offers free Internet access in specified areas of the building.


Q: How do I get to the Workshop?

A: Participants choosing to rent a car or arrive by train will make such arrangements on their own. For participants wishing to be picked up and delivered to Rome, Milan Malpensa, or Pisa airports, transportation by private bus or van will be arranged on a fee-for-service basis. Participants arriving by train at the local (Villafranca/Bagnone) station on June 2 will be picked up and brought to the inn. On June 8 they will be brought to the station after lunch.


Q: What local excursions are included in the Workshop cost?

A: Two excursions are included. You will have (1) a guided tour of a beautiful private villa and a unique museum of ancient stele (mysterious statues dating from several millennia B.C.) in the nearby medieval town of Pontremoli, and (2) a tour of the Gulf of the Poets, one of the loveliest stretches of the Ligurian coast—including a walk around the town and castle of Lerici, a lovely fishing village on the sea. Dinner in local restaurants will be provided as part of both excursions.


Q: Must I attend the excursions?

A: The choice is yours, of course! The two excursions are provided as part of the Workshop cost; additional excursions are offered on an as-requested, fee-for-service basis. Such additional excursions may include a walk on a nearby stretch of the Via Francigena, a visit to a handcrafts center in a nearby village, a visit to a local ethnographic museum, and a visit to the city of Lucca.


Q: Can I bring a partner or family members?

A: You may bring a partner who will share with you a private room in the inn. Your partner will not be able to participate in the workshop but will have all meals and the two excursions. See the Fees section for the cost of bringing a partner.

If you wish to bring additional family members, accommodations for you and your family will be found either in the inn, in an adjacent home belonging to the inn, or in one of several beautifully restored properties in the village of Castiglione. Fees for such lodging will be determined based on the number of additional family members. If you wish to extend your stay, we will provide accommodation in Castiglione upon request.


Q: What exercise and personal-care options are available?

A: The inn is on a country road; walking this road is easy, safe, lovely, and relaxing. A massage therapist will be available during the week.


Q: Is there a Liability Waiver?

A: Yes. On the application form, you must sign your agreement with the following standard statement:

Limitation Of Liability

I acknowledge and agree that Lunigiana Literary Retreats (LLR) acts only as an agent, and assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the services of any hotel proprietor or hotel service. In the event that it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well-being of the participants, or for any reason whatsoever, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, to change times and days of classes or change classroom venues, such alternatives may be made without liability to LLR.

Further, LLR accepts no responsibility for loss of tickets, nor for the loss of personal articles and effects, nor for personal accidents, injury or death, nor for losses or additional expense due to delays or damages in transportation or other services, quarantine, sickness, strikes, war or warlike conditions, weather, or any other causes or for any of the above arising due to participant’s participation in the Workshop.

LLR shall under no circumstances be liable to any participant for indirect, consequential, incidental, punitive, or special damages, including but not limited to lost profits, even if it has been apprised of the likelihood of such damages occurring.


Q: Should I have travel insurance?

A: We recommend travel insurance. It is best to purchase such insurance within 24 hours of enrollment for the Workshop. With this insurance you can protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances that might prevent your attendance. We suggest a plan that offers coverage for medical and dental emergencies, lost baggage, missed connections, and trip cancellation, should you or a family member have a medical problem that prevents you from attending.


LLR is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or reimbursement of airline tickets in the event of Workshop cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.