Monday June 13, 2016 at 8:00 AM EDT
Thursday June 23, 2016 at 9:00 PM EDT

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Ken Feinberg, Owner


Cortona, Italy   

Why Cortona, Italy?

Ken studied in Cortona while at UGA, and really connected with the town.  The warmth of the people and the vibrant tranquility of the village has always stayed with him, and has called him back for a few visits over the years.  He has maintained friendships with locals and those friendships can now benefit you as some of Ken's friends will help host us and make our stay in Tuscany more enjoyable.


Ken Feinberg
Creative Studios of Atlanta


Q.  Do I need to speak Italian to go on this trip?

A.  No.  All classes/workshops will be conducted in English, and we will have english speaking guides on all excursions who can also act as interpreters as needed.


Q.  Is there a payment plan for this program, or do I need to pay everything when I register?

A.  If needed, you can make payments in 4 installments.  If you pay when you register, you can elect to pay with a credit card via PayPal, with cash, with a check, or with a cashiers check.  If you elect to make payments, you need to submit post-dated checks with your "Writer Enrollement & Travel Agreement" as outlined in the agreement.


Q.  I can't find the "Writer Enrollment & Travel Agreement" that I need to fill out & send in to complete my registration.  How can I get one?

A.  Easy.  Either search your email for the confirmation email you received after registration & follow the link OR, if that doesnt work, email accounting@csatl.com and a PDF will be emailed to you.  After that, print it, fill it out, and mail to Creative Studios of Atlanta; 274 North Main Street, Studio A; Alpharetta, GA 30009


Q.  Can I bring a companion on the retreat who does not want to take the writers workshops?

A.  We encourage you to reconsider travleing with non-participating companions on this retreat.  While you will have time on your own away from the group, we suggest you use that time for personal reflection, artistic exploration, and independent writing blocks.  If you have a companion who wants to join you, we suggest that they choose to become full participants of the program even if they do not intend to become a professional writer.  Since we will be employing techniques that both beginning & seasoned writers can use, anyone and everyone can benefit from this experience.


Q.  What writing tools should I bring with me?

A.  A journal, a sketch pad, and a laptop or tablet that is compatible with the latest version of Final Draft.


Q.  Can I come earlier, or stay longer if I want to travel in Italy or Europe before or after the retreat?  

A.  Yes.  Since the flight is not included, you can do whatever you want.  Monday, June 13 is a travel day.  The program in Cortona begins with our "Welcome Wine Reception"  on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  You may arrive and/or leave on your own via the Venice airport or another location via bus, car, or train & bus (the train does not arrive directly in Cortona).  Florence, the city from which the group transport departs from; is beautiful, rich in art and history, and is worth exploring.  A common comment made by participants who did not spend time in Florence is that they wish they had arrived a bit early and spent time there.


Q.  Do I have to meet you at the airport in Florence, or can I meet you in Cortona?  Likewise, do I have to go to Florence with the group after the retreat ends?

A.  You do not need to meet us at the airport, nor do you need to return to the Florence airport from Cortona; but there is only 1 group transportation provided, and that is to/from the airport.  Any travel not desribed in the inclusions is not part of the cost of the program, and would be the participants responsibility.  In the past, there have been a few late flights, and the group transportation can't wait, so we do suggest arriving in Florence early in the morning, or a day early to avoid missing the group transport.  A bus from the heart of Florence to the airport is currently 6E, and a taxi is 20E.


Q.  What happens if I miss the group transport to Cortona?

A.  You will receive specific instructions at the orientation outlining how to arrive in Cortona on your own via taxi, bus, and/or train and the fees involved for each mode of transportation.  Also, at the orientation, you will be asked to sign a form indicating if you would like a CSA representative to wait for you in Florence & accompany you to Cortona with the understanding that you would be responsible for all fees incurred for their food/transportation/lodging, or if you would feel comfortable arranging your own transportation without the help of a CSA representative if you miss the group transportation.


Q.  Can I alter any part of the package?

A.  The package is a group package and the prices have been discounted to a group rate; however; you may elect not eat the group meals and/or to not attend any or all of the group excursions if you choose.  


Q.  If I have food allergies, can you accomodate my needs?

A.  If you notify us well in advance of any food allergies, we will do our best to accomodate your needs while offering the best variety we can in the meals you will eat.  Tuscn food is world renowned for their fresh ingredients and amazing flavors.  Please, be considerate of our hosts & their culture and introduce yourself to the wonder of Tuscan cooking.  We appreciate you limiting your special requests to true food allergies.


Q.  Why are all breakfasts & lunches included, but dinners aren't?  Why didn't you make it "All-Inclusive"?

A.  Like the rest of Tuscany, and Italy for that matter, the food is phenomenal and we feel that you should be able to experience multiple venues of your choice in addition to the food we provide to you.  We also believe that you need time for yourself that is not group time; and the evenings are a wonderful time to explore the area and do some personal refelction.  In this way, you are free to choose when you eat, when you explore, and when you write.


Writers Retreat in Tuscany, Italy

Come experience the quaint mountainside village of Cortona and treat yourself to a 11-day Writers Retreat "Under the Tuscan Sun".

Join CSA and Ken Feinberg, for a one-of-a-kind writers experience in the scenic beauty of Tuscany.

CSA 2016 Writers Retreat Video

Every participant will join us in Cortona, Italy for a creative work/study/vacation experience.  Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer, you will be motivated & inspired by the adventure, history and culture in this quaint Etruscan village atop a mountain in central Italy.  

Daily morning writing sessions with Ken Feinberg will include methods from the Artist’s Way and other creative processes, allowing you to expand your writing techniques. Writers will attend daily afternoon Tuscan excursions designed to "fill the well" of their imaginations.  These excursions will be followed by un-scheduled evenings during which participants can explore, dine, and write.  Writers will bring their updated works to class daily.  Come add to your toolkit as you delve into the exploration of story.  

Using professional screenwriting software, you can also convert one or more stories into short screenplays and pitch one at a table read to Golden Globe nominated Italian Director Giacomo Arrigoni and Instructor Ken Feinberg who was just honored with Best Director at the International Family Film Festival in Nov, 2015

This dynamic duo will select multiple short screenplays to shoot during the CSA Acting Intensive the following week. Seven shorts were produced in 2015; one of which was honored with an award at the WIFTA Short Film Festival.  All 7 shorts were screened at the 2015 Gwinnett Center International Film Festival.

If writers elect to go to Cortona a few days early on their own, they will also have the unique opportunity to enjoy an annual village-wide medieval celebration that occurs right before our retreat.

All participants must be 18 years of age or older.  

This retreat is limited to 20 participants.

Create the opportunity for one of your stories to be produced as a film in picturesque Cortona, Italy!


Your Trip Includes: 

  • a link to "Unlocking Your Writer's Toolkit", a downloadable introduction to Ken Feinberg's writers retreat and preliminary writing exercise,
  • an email sent to you right before your departure containing information about each actor who will be participating in the acting intensive with their current headshots,
  • a link to a cultural orientation video and packing guide,
  • a pdf version of documents used to create the cultural orientation video, including: The 2016 Writers Itinerary, Cortona Travel Basics, Useful Addresses & Phone numbers for Cortona, the poem "An Ode to Luggage", The Cortona Trip 2016 Italian Culture Workshop Vocabulary, and Heather's Italian Travel Tips
  • group ground transportation between the Florence Airport / Cortona, 
  • a welcome wine reception,
  • 9 nights lodging with a scenic view of the valley (at Hotel San Luca)
  • all breakfasts
  • all lunches, 
  • 2 group dinners with a glass of wine
  • a walking tour of Cortona & hike (to Santa Margherita) w/picnic lunch in the park,
  • daily classes & workshops in Cortona, 
  • a Tuscan cooking class, 
  • a guided tour of the local art museum (The Diocesean)
  • an Etruscan-civic museum tour (The MAEC)
  • an Italian street market experience, 
  • a group excursion and wine tasting in beautiful Montepulciano,
  • the possibility of a stop at local grain or olive farm (pending availability),
  • an art demonstration, and  
  • IMDB credit if your script is selected for production.

Writers Agree to Provide (Not Included):  Laptop, Airfare, Departure Taxes, Passport, Travel Documents, a Laptop, 8 Dinners, any personal expenses and/or purchases, any individual excursions and/or transportation.

*All Fees based upon double occupancy.  Add $30/night to upgrade to a single. 

*excursions are subject to change if local circumstances prove impossible.

Become Inspired.     Come to Italy.

Investment: $2999.00

For more information,

email ken@csatl.com or call Ken at 678-481-8191

Space is limited, do not delay.

Watch the CSA Writers Retreat behind the scenes video now, and go to www.csatl.com to read testimonials and see clips of the 7 films made from some of the 2015 scripts


Register Now!

More Info about the Medieval Celebration that is right before our retreat: 

The Medieval Festival of the Archidado is an annual medieval celebration Cortona celebrates from Friday until Sunday.

It is the re-enactment of the medieval wedding between Francesco Casali, lord of Cortona, and Antonia Salimbeni, noble woman from Siena in 1397.  The wedding was elaborate; with important kings and queens attending.  The magnificent celebrations lasted for several days. Since then, the city commemorates the noble wedding every year with festivities.

For a few days a year, Cortona goes back to the Middle Ages with street decorations, ladies and knights, pages and flag throwers, archers, and many other historical figures in medieval costumes. 

The best crossbowmen of each borough challenge each other at the Archidado Jouster to win the “gold bolt”.

The festivities open with a spectacular evening flag-throwers show; to determine who are the best flag-throwers in town.  Throughout the weekend you can taste medieval food and watch artisans working as they used to in the Middle Ages. On Saturday there is a historical re-enactment of the wedding between Francesco and Antonia; with music, dances and flag-throwers.

On Sunday the Provaccia (the jouster’s trial) takes place; when the crossbowmen practice their best shot.  The Archidado Jouster ends with the awarding of the Gold Bolt to the borough with the highest score.  The winners skills are lauded with dancing and a special dinner.



In other news, a big congratulations is due to your instructor, Mr. Ken, and his film Santa's Boot Camp which he co-wrote, produced and directed!