Reading of the works

In-house fantasy (and fantastic) writing course & competition organized by the Holden School of Turin

-from Monday 31st July to Saturday 5th August 2017-


The idea

What do many Celtic fans of the Montelago community have in common? The passion for fantasy literature: not only Tolkien and Martin, but also Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and writers of all nationalities who have recounted tales of wondrous worlds. Many of those passionate readers are also writers: either at play or work, with the intention of keeping their manuscripts secret or looking for a publisher. Whatever the intention, the Montelago Celtic Festival, on the occasion of the 15th edition which takes place on the Colfiorito alpine plains in the municipality of Serravalle of Chienti from 3rd to 5th August 2017, is launching a fantasy writing course and competition: five days to write a fantasy story of any kind (fantasy, gothic, horror, science fiction) which makes reference to legends and the recent seismic events in the Apennine region of Umbria-Marche.


The course

The course will be in residence at a 4-star Colfiorito hotel that will provide participants with half board for the 5 days scheduled. On the first day, Tuesday, August 1st, to loosen the bones and orient yourself to the fantasy world of Sibyls and fairies, and to learn about the essential aspects of the Apennine territory where the Festival takes place, there will be meetings with teachers, scholars and local historians. The next day you start writing under the guidance of Loredana Lipperini, lecturer of the course. The objective for each participant is to write an original story based on the teacher's themes that is no longer than two (2) A4 pages in 12-point Times New Roman. The final draft must be delivered to lecturer Loredana Lipperini by 13:00 on Friday 4th August.


The competition

On Saturday 5th August at 11:00 in the Tolkien Tent located at the Montelago Celtic Festival, all stories will be publicly read by an actor and heard for the first time by a jury of experts who will determine the winner of the first edition of Montelago Storytelling. The winner will be awarded the Montelago Storytelling Prize and a trip for two to Ireland courtesy of the Domizioli travel agency in Macerata.


The school

Founded in 1994, Holden is a school for storytellers and is named after Holden Caulfield, the sixteen-year-old protagonist of J. D. Salinger's novel The Young Holden. It’s a place for people that aren’t exactly normal. In a sense, choosing the name signified a commitment, and the school has a very unique way of nurturing students, using methods, principles and rules that would be difficult to find elsewhere. Currently, there are between 250 and 300 students that study with us, depending on the year. To run the School every day involves about fifteen people, dozens of collaborators, and hundreds of teachers. Holden is a private school in the sense that it does not receive public subsidies, it lives for its work, and is owned by four partners: writer Alessandro Baricco, Eataly creator Oscar Farinetti, publisher Carlo Feltrinelli, and Andrea Guerra, one of the best managers in Italy.


The lecturer

Loredana Lipperini is a writer, Radio Rai3 presenter, ardent Stephen King adherent (for the Italian versions of his work, she wrote the introduction to his book On Writing and edited the anthology of stories The Bazaar of Bad Dreams), and teaches fantasy literature at the Holden School in Turin and at Bottega Finzioni in Bologna.



Ten seats are available for this first edition so you will have to book very quickly. The cost is €400, including course, board and lodging in double room with half board, and entrance to the Festival, to be paid by bank transfer to the following IBAN: IT84U0570413400000000001929

Beneficiary: Arte Nomade srl (organizer of Montelago Celtic Festival)

Cause: Iscrizione corso e concorso Montelago Storytelling 2017 (Montelago Storytelling 2017 course and competition registration)

To register, send the application form and proof of bank transfer by email to, which will be followed by an email confirmation of receipt.

Entry forms and the course program can be downloaded from or


Please note

Remember to bring your laptop; we provide wi-fi but not computers.

Come by car, it will be much easier for you to get to the festival & explore the surrounding area



05 August 11.00

MONTELAGO STORYTELLING 2017 Reading of the work of the Holden school students and Montelago Storytelling 2017 prizegiving