Relaxing and inspirational: Jon’s verdict on our scriptwriting course

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Members of this year’s Scriptwriting course with Laurence

Our thanks to Jon Holmes for a delightful and amusing article in yesterday’s UK Sunday Times about his time as our guest on Laurence Marks Scriptwriting course here earlier this year.

Jon joined 10 other would-be scriptwriters last September for an intensive week-long course to learn about the secrets of successful scriptwriting for TV, screen and stage. It was a fun-filled week and the participants were so inspired that no fewer than six of them have already booked up to join Laurence (who will be joined by his comedy partner Maurice Gran) for next year’s scriptwriting course in May.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
The hills are alight: a writing course guest in full Sound of Music mode in the mountains near the Watermill

In his Sunday Times article, Jon writes: “The Watermill at Posara is a collection of restored millhouses originating from the 17th century and set around a sunny courtyard, with a vine-clad veranda and a rose-covered pergola. It’s enjoying a second life offering creative holidays: week-long courses with experts imparting knowledge on everything from Italian language lessons to knitting and painting. Rather than a shawl or a watercolour of the watermill, however, my companions are aiming to create the new Fleabag by Friday.

“‘You’re not going to create the new Fleabag by Friday,’ says Laurence, over home-cooked river trout with chestnut leaves and rosemary. The produce is local, and Bill and Lois, the expat owners, create fine Italian dishes, served with the region’s vino.”

Jon says: “If creativity is your thing, I can see why this kind of holiday would appeal. The mix of work and play is about right, the setting is relaxing and inspirational, and time seems to stand still — save for the distant village bells, which serve as an hourly reminder that my page is still blank.”

Jon’s article is witty and insightful, and you can read it all by clickìng here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

But why not come and see for yourselves and learn the secrets of successful scriptwriting from those Masters of comedy drama, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran? They will be with us from Saturday 2 May to Saturday 9 May 2020. We are delighted to welcome both of them: We know them as entertaining and inspiring friends, but the British Comedy Society describes them as ‘living legends!’

Laurence and Maurice are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. And in a new incarnation, they’ve written hit stage musicals, such as Dreamboats and Petticoats and Save the Last Dance for Me, as well as film scripts and award-winning stage, TV and radio plays. And it’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well. They are currently engaged in writing a series, with Michael Dobbs, (the creator of House of Cards) on Winston Churchill’s secret and mysterious wartime valet!

Their unique course at the Watermill will give you insights into writing comedy and drama for TV, stage and screen and it will help you to craft your work from original idea to final script. While the course will focus on scriptwriting, the insights into structure, plotting, characterisation, dialogue etc. are applicable to any genre.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

But if you want to bag your place, you’d better get your skates on: not only do we have those six re-bookers, but they have already been joined by one other aspiring scriptwriter. So, we only have four or five places left.

If you would like to learn the secrets of scriptwriting from the Masters, now is the time to book your place, especially as we have an Early Bird Discount Offer: £75 (English pounds) off this inspiring creative writing course if you book before 31 December 2019. (But as we said, it is probably wisest to book now, since we are expecting heavy demand.)

If you are an aspiring scriptwriter, or indeed, would like to write in any dramatic genre, Laurence and Maurice’s course is the place to be, and they promise you will leave a much better writer than when you came!

To recap: our Scriptwriting course with Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran will run from Saturday 2 May to Saturday 9 May 2020. Come and join us on the road to scriptwriting success.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Listening to words of wisdom on the vine verandah.

Safely bring back your precious oil paintings from a Watermill holiday

Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Oil painting by Vicki Norman called September in Posara

Some of our painting guests that have told us that they are a little chary of trying oil painting on a Watermill holiday, because they are concerned about how they’re going to take their paintings home with them.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our oil painting tutor Vicki Norman has sent us some  tips on how to transport wet oil paintings in your luggage. It’s really a very simple and safe way to get your precious pictures home. 

All you need need of some map pins (or panel pins) and a roll of masking tape. Don’t worry if you forget to bring them, we can provide them at the Watermill. So, let’s begin:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

The first step is to lay your wet painting on a stable flat surface and carefully but firmly push a pin into each corner. Then, balance another wet painting of the same size face down onto the plastic caps of the panel pins to make a pair. See above. Note: you only need pins in one painting from each pair!

Next: Insert pins into the front of your third wet painting and place it back to back with the uppermost painting of the first pair, then carefully balance another wet painting face-to-face and so on until you have created a stack of pairs of wet paintings:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Vicki says: “Then, use the masking tape to secure all the way around the outside edge of the stack, repeat this on each of the four edges until you have nicely secured block of paintings. Place the paintings inside a plastic bag or wrap them in some way so that no other item in your luggage can slip between the wet surfaces of the paintings.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

She adds: “I have transported up to 20 paintings in this manner in my suitcase checked into the hold on many occasions. If you are concerned you can carry them in your hand luggage where you can keep an eye on them.”

Vicki has made a one-page, illustrated PDF of these tips and we will send you one: just ask in the comment section below. Our thanks to Vicki for providing these tips.

Here are the dates and links for Vicki’s course here next summer:

Vicki Norman
20 – 27 June 2020 
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please click here
Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Vicki’s vivacious painting of Laundry Day.