Why Greece? Why Corfu?
I n his book about Corfu, Lawrence Durrell wrote: "Other countries may offer you discoveries in manners or lore or landscape; Greece offers you something harder – the discovery of yourself". His younger brother Gerald said it was "like being born for the first time". And Henry Miller, when he visited Corfu, spoke of "paradise" and "the true centre". Corfu remains an inspirational place where, despite modernisation, it is possible for the adventurous and enquiring mind to bring stories, poems, streetscapes and landscapes to life: to discover yourself as a writer.

Corfu attracts writers, artists, musicians, lovers of the fine arts – anyone and everyone who is willing to enter into its seductive embrace. Oscar Wilde wrote a poem during a short visit. Others, like Edward Lear, Robert Dessaix, Emma Tennant, Francis King and Deborah Lawrenson, came, saw and were conquered. In the 1930s it was the "unregretted home" of two of the century's most successful authors, Lawrence Durrell, author of The Alexandria Quartet and his brother Gerald Durrell who celebrated Corfu in his memoir of childhood My Family and Other Animals.

The successive occupations of the island by Venice (1393-1797), France (1797-1815) and Britain (1815-1864) have given us a palimpsest of cultures. Corfu is on the cusp of history, just as it is on the cusp of the Greek mainland and of mysterious Albania.

Corfu is one of the most distinctive Greek islands – a cosmopolitan city on the edge of a landscape smothered in life-giving olive trees, with sacred springs, breathtaking hillsides and magical seascapes. Corfu offers you the chance to describe the quality of the Greek light, or the sea's blueness or the aroma of wild thyme and oregano. And it also invites you to explore the many deep layers of its hidden spirit in the historic city with its arcaded Venetian streets and medieval laneways or in the many unspoilt villages of the interior. They can reveal the love, art, philosophy and science which have made the island renowned in both classical and modern times.

Corfu has bred many literary talents, from the Ionian School of Poetry in the eighteenth century onwards. Dionysios Solomos, author of the national anthem, was the father of modern Greek poetry, while the novels of the aristocrat Konstantine Theotoki marked the beginning of the modern Greek novel. The polymath Theodore Stephanides was one of the island's most beguiling writers, as well as becoming the mentor of the young Gerald Durrell.

In this creative melting-pot your own literary talents will be honed in conjunction with your fellow-students and with the sympathetic advice and experience of our unparalleled Writing Tutors. They have been selected for their internationally acclaimed expertise in their chosen field and for their proven capacity for nurturing emerging talent. They are poets, novelists, playwrights and critics, but above all they are writers, absolutely committed to offering you their skills and humanity during the valuable time you will spend with them.

To paraphrase Lawrence Durrell, other writing workshops may offer you tranquil locations, inspiring vistas, folk festivals and local cuisine. WRITE IT IN CORFU offers you all this and more: the means to find the "true centre" of you, the writer.

“The old town is set down gracefully upon the wide tree-lined esplanade, whose arcades are of French provenance and were intended to echo the Rue de Rivoli. You rise each morning to a new day, a new world, which has to be created from scratch. Each day is a brilliant improvisation with full orchestra – the light on the sea, the foliage, the stabbing cypresses, the silver spindthrift olives... Everything absurd, everything tragic, and everything gay seems to have happened here... You wander about in the soft dusk of the old Venetian town, with its odours of magnolia and sudden draughts of garden scent. The little capital is most bewitching at dusk, and a walk about the battlements will end at some café where you can dine and watch the moon rise over the mainland – as brilliant as it is serene.” Lawrence Durrell, The Greek Islands
So... come join us and
Write It in Corfu!

Medusa

"She is something which profoundly hushes the mind and heart of the observer who is not insensitive to myth embodied in sculpture. The insane grin, the bulging eyes, the hissing ringlets of snake-like hair... She is there not to cause madness but to avert it. Increasingly one is forced to read one's own fair meanings into all this stratified jumble of myths. It is here, face to face with the Corfu Medusa, that you begin to realize the almost unimaginable antiquity of the Greek land and the Greek tongue."
Lawrence Durrell, The Greek Islands You can meet the Medusa at Corfu's Archaeological Museum.

Kouros head from Mon Repos

Kouros
This small head of a kouros (youth) from 530 BC is to be found at "Mon Repos", the former summer home in Corfu of the Greek royal family.

Oriental Figure

oriental figure
Corfu also hosts Greece's only Museum of Asian Art – located in the former Palace of Sts Michael and George.