Programme for 2019

Storytelling and Posttraumatic Growth/ Erzählkunst und posttraumatisches Wachstum

With/Mit  Minka Straube, Martin Straube and Micaela Sauber

4th-11th May/Mai 2019

Languages /Sprachen: English and German – Deutsch und Englisch

 Intensive Seminar with 3 experts on the  Island of Crete in a mythical surrounding, strong and healing nature and Greek hospitality. Hosted by Friends of Amari.
Intensiv Seminar mit 3 Experten auf der Insel Kreta in mythischer Atmosphäre, umgeben von starker, heilkräftiger Natur und griechischer Gastfreundschaft. Gastgeberin sind „Friends of Amari“

We invite storytellers, therapists, educators and teachers to develop methods and repertoire for their work with migrants and refugees, with vulnerable people in different situations in any age. There will be space for individual questions and work as well as designing projects to wherever your heart leads you. 
Wir laden Geschichtenerzähler*innen, Therapeut*innen, Erzieher*innen und Lehrer*innen ein, bei uns Methoden zu entwickeln und ihr Repertoire zu erweitern für die Arbeit mit Migranten und Geflüchteten, mit traumatisierten Menschen in verschiedenen Situaitionen und jeden Alters. Es wird Raum geben für individuelle Fragen und Arbeit und zum entwickeln von Herzensprojekten.

To book /Hier buchen: 
For more information on the course please email Micaela Sauber/ Für mehr Informationen schreiben Sie bitte ein email an Micaela Sauber: 
For information about Friends of Amari and the venue, please email Stella Kassimati:

Prices and to book. ALL prices are in EUROS. Please disregard the £ sign. 

Buchung und Preise. Alle Preise sind EURO Preise. Die Pfund Zeichen bitte ignorieren.

Price includes: tuition, excursions, accommodation and full board starting with dinner on 4/05 and ending with breakfast on 11/05/2019.
Not included in the price: Travel to and from Amari; Personal and travel insurance; Drinks with meals eg wine.

Im Preis inbegriffen sind: Studiengebühren, Ausflüge, Unterkunft und Vollverpflegung beginnend mit warmen Abendessen am 4.05. und endend mit dem Frühstück am 11.05.2019.
Nicht im Preis sind die An und Abreise nach und von Amari, Kranken- und Reiseversicherung, Getränke (z.B. Wein) zu den Mahlzeiten.


Personal Storytelling Intensive

With Sue Hollingsworth and Stella Kassimati

15th September – 6th October 2019

This 3-week storytelling training focuses on the telling of real life, autobiographical stories to tell to a group of listeners. By the end of the course you will have the skills necessary to shape and craft any story that you want to tell, whether it's around the kitchen table to your family and friends or to a hall or school packed full of people.

 Many people these days have a story to tell: it might be an important moment in their lives, something funny or sad that involved members of the family that are not with them any more, or their personal involvement in a larger, historical happening.

But there are many questions about how to do this well:

How can we share a true story so that it is not just egotistical?

How can we tell a story as if it were a gift to our listeners?

How can we move people, touch them and help them to see more clearly what it is to be human?

How do we shape our life stories so that they will be remembered and passed on?

How can we stand in our voices and words and be completely present, revealing our whole selves?

The course will include practical story crafting and coaching in small groups. There will be maximum of 12 students to ensure individual attention. Some storytelling experience is beneficial but beginners will also be considered. A good working knowledge of English is required.

Prices and to book. ALL prices are in EUROS. Please disregard the £ sign. 

Price includes: tuition, accommodation and full board except weekend meals. Included are meals on Saturday 5th October. Course ends after breakfast on Sunday 6th October.
Not included in the price are weekend meals - Friday and Saturday supper and Saturday and Sunday lunch; personal and travel insurance; drinks with meals eg wine; travel to and from Amari.  

Or if you have any questions, please email:  


Programme 2018: 

The Dreaming of the Night Sky

21 -28 September 2018

With Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden

Every culture has looked up at the sky and seen its own myths reflected back to itself in the configurations of the stars and the waxing and waning of the moon. In this week-long workshop Hugh and Daniel will be exploring the stories of the constellations, the planets and the moon, drawing on the traditions of many peoples. The emphasis will be on developing and telling stories. All participants will contribute to a performance at the end of the week. If the weather is kind it will be under the great dome of a Cretan sky.

Prices and Booking   (All prices are in euros. Please disregard the £ sign)

 Expenses NOT included in prices:

- Travel to and from Amari
- Personal and travel insurance cover
- Personal drinks, e.g. wine with meals


 The Swan Queen and the Archer of Fire:

a mythteller intensive with Dr Martin Shaw

4 – 10 October 2018

This is a very rare opportunity to work intimately with Martin Shaw (the group is limited to 15) in the most beautiful and magical of landscapes.

Over the week you will hear and study myths, folk tales and fairy tales, from ancient Greece to the boreal forests of Eastern Europe. In the centre of this enchanting experience is the question: what is the role of the storyteller in the 21st century? How do we learn to carry stories well? What could eloquence look like?
In the mornings you will explore a story from a telling from Martin, in the afternoons stroll the archaic Cretan landscape composing praise poems to be memorised like a bardic student of old, and in the evenings we gather and we feast. That is just as wonderful as it sounds. There will also be several visits to sites of particular significance.

Every day will begin with an Orphic Hymn from Shaw’s new versions of these exultations to the lively Gods and Goddesses of the Arcadian world.
This is for anyone with a love of story, its relationship to landscape and the exfoliation of language as a link between the two. It is not a training in storytelling as much as it is the development of a sophisticated mythic literacy to carry further into your own life and work. 

Practical details:

You will arrive in the quiet village of Amari (located in the Valley of the Gods and steeped in ancient myth) in the late afternoon on Thursday October 4th.
After a guided tour of the village and time to settle in, Martin will begin this intensive week.  The course will finish on Tuesday afternoon before a final feast and departure on Wednesday 10th.

To book a place or for more info, please contact   .
The course is being hosted by the Friends of Amari. 


Speaking to the Stars: The meeting place between Myth and autobiographical storytelling

28 July till 4 August 2018

with Roi Gal Or  and  Stella Kassimati

Join us for 8 days in this Ancient Cretan landscape to explore the dwelling places of Homer's Gods and Goddesses by the sea, in caves and on mountains. Together we will discover the meeting place between Myth and autobiographical storytelling, bringing to life our personal journey , celebrating human freedom and responsibility and how they are deeply connected with nature.

In the writings of Homer (1000 BC), the Gods were intimately involved in human affairs, controlling and guiding the destiny of human beings, but humans had very limited freedom. Today individual freedom is of great value, often at the expense of our relationship with the natural world.  Our freedom is essential, yet we long for connection, guidance and inspiration at a time when it seems the Gods and Goddesses have grown silent.

In the village of Amari, cradled in the foothills of the majestic Psiloriti (Idi) mountain, we will walk the paths of the ancients, creatively and playfully discover new ways of communicating with ourselves, with nature and with each other.

 Prices and Booking   (All prices are in euros. Please disregard the £ sign)

 Expenses NOT included in prices:

- Travel to and from Amari
- Personal and travel insurance cover
- Personal drinks, e.g. wine with meals


The Charm Offensive
For Members ONLY

20 – 26 August 2018

With other members!


Memoir writing and poetry course


9 – 16 September 2018


With Dawn Garisch


We all have a story to tell from our own lives about how we became who we are.  Stories about the way we were born, or about how someone helped us. About how we got ill, or overcame a terrible loss. Stories about how someone we loved hurt us, or how a political or spiritual circumstance almost broke us. Stories about how we were bullied, about how an accident changed the course of our lives, or about how we were able to make a difference in someone else’s life. These stories are often invisible to others. They might still influence the way we think and feel in ways we don’t fully understand.


Writing about your own life can help you connect with the story you are living, and it can help to heal trauma. It is a powerful way for us to communicate, and to grow compassion for ourselves and for each other. The tools we need to write effectively are also tools we need to live more creatively and less anxiously.


Join us in Amari, a place steeped in a tranquility that allows you to absorb and live the rich history that lives within its very bones. You don't have to look far to find history stretching back over the folds of time and, in a unique setting like Amari, you can place yourself in time, among your ancestors and allow history to speak its wisdom to you. There is the space, that is becoming increasingly hard to find in this world, to think, to write and to just drink in all that is wondrous in our world.


Over eight days we will find refreshing approaches to put our personal stories down on the page. On one of these days we will focus on tools to use in poetry.


Beginner writers are welcome.


Writer’s retreat:2 day extension to think, to write and to just drink in all that is wondrous in our world.


Prices and Booking   (All prices are in euros. Please disregard the £ sign)


 Expenses NOT included in prices:


- Travel to and from Amari

- Personal and travel insurance cover

- Personal drinks, e.g. wine with meals

- Excursions

-2 day retreat, 17-19 September, on bed and breakfast basis


Just Being in Amari

29 March – 4 April 2018

This week is a 10 year anniversary special, a celebration for people who have been to Amari and wish to return and just be there, no courses! Enjoy being in Amari, walking the mountains, picking wild field greens, milking sheep and connecting to self and place. Please bring whatever you’d like to share and offer the group. Stella and Glenys will coordinate the week and make cunning plans based on what we want to do.

Come and spend time in Amari just to be. The minute you step foot in the Amari valley, whatever woes tried to follow you there will just slip away. Come and spend a week drinking in the tranquillity of the mountains, drinking delicious local wine and eating heart warming local dishes. and, best of all, be on the receiving end of the infamous Greek hospitality. What a way to get the year off to an inspiring start. 


 Αγκαλιάζοντας τον Αδάμαστο Εαυτό Μας

Σεμινάριο μόνο για γυναίκες

10 – 15 Απριλίου 2018

Με την Στέλλα Κασιμάτη

Μια εβδομάδα για να γνωρίσουμε ένα από τα σπουδαιότερα παραμύθια του κόσμου.  Χρησιμοποιώντας δημιουργικές ασκήσεις και προσωπικές αφηγήσεις θα βυθιστούμε στις  εικόνες της ιστορίας και θα εξερευνήσουμε τη δική μας σχέση με το μαγικό παραμύθι, τη σημασία και τη μαγεία του. 

Στον 21ο αιώνα, τι σημαίνει για μας, τις γυναίκες,  να αγκαλιάσουμε τον αδάμαστο εαυτό μας; Τι συνέπειες θα έχει στην καθημερινή μας ζωή; Ποιος μπορεί να είναι ο αντίκτυπος αυτής της πράξης στις προσωπικές μας σχέσεις, στη δουλειά μας και στην κοινωνία μας;

Το εργαστήριο είναι κατάλληλο τόσο γι’ αυτές που έχουν κάποια εμπειρία στην αφήγηση, όσο και για τις πρωτάρηδες στην αφήγηση που είναι πρόθυμες να ταξιδέψουν στον κόσμο της εικόνας και της σημασίας μιας ιστορίας.


 The Inner Wheel: Storytelling and the Greek Temperaments

9 – 16 June 2018

With Sue Hollingsworth and Stella Kassimati

Join Founder of Friends of Amari, Stella Kassimati and Patron, Sue Hollingsworth for a 10 year Anniversary special - a celebratory course for people who have been to Amari and wish to return and those who have always longed to go but haven't managed it yet!  During the week we will explore questions such as:

How can an understanding of the 4 Greek temperaments help bring more variety and spice to our storytelling? What undiscovered parts of ourselves could we bring to the stories we choose to tell and how might that change the way we tell them?

This is a course for storytellers with some experience who would enjoy being stretched in a supportive, playful atmosphere which includes individual coaching. The timetable will allow for a free day where we might go to the beach, visit some special sites or anything else we might dream up between us. Featuring the sumptuous Greek food of extraordinary cook Maria, the stunning and peaceful scenery of the Amari Valley and a deep dive into the art of storytelling with both Founder and Patron – what more could you ask for?! 



We have lived wonderful weeks in Amari:

2018: Celebrating our 10th anniversary!
29 March - 4 April 2018 - Just being in Amari with Stella Kassimati and Glenys Newton
26 April - 2 May 2018 - A Nordic ALBA Gathering 
28 July - 4 August 2018 - Speaking to the Stars with Roi Gal-Or and Stella Kassimati 
21 - 28 Septmeber 2018 - The Dreaming of the Night Sky with Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden
4 - 10 October 2018 - The Swan Queen and the Archer of Fire with Martin Shaw, School of Myth

23 April - 13 May 2017 - Personal Storytelling Intensive with Sue Hollingsworth and Stella Kassimati 

2 - 7 May 2016 - Καβάλα στην Μεγάλη  Αρκούδα with Sue Hollingsworth and Stella Kassimati
13 - 19 October 2016 - The Soul's High Adventure with Martin Shaw, School of Myth

15-18 July 2015 - Brainstorming ideas for the future of Friends of Amari
4 - 11 August 2015 - Speaking to the Stars with Roi Gal-Or and Stella Kassimati

8-15 May 2014 - Speaking to the Stars with Roi Gal-Or and Stella Kassimati
23 July - 4 August 2014 - Art Exhibition Tour in the Amari Valley 

18-25 July 2013 - Speaking to the Stars with Roi Gal-Or and Stella Kassimati 

16-23 July, 2012 - Speaking to the Stars with Roi Gal-Or and Stella Kassimati
27 October - 2 November, 2012 - The Odyssey  with Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden

1-8 June, 2011 - Mixing the Muses with Michael Harvey
30 July - 5 August, 2011 - 1st Story Feast

13-20 August, 2010 - Gathering of Friends
24-30 October, 2010 - Myth and Music with Hugh Lupton and Ross Daily

13-21 July, 2009 - Bring your Stories to LIfe - Biographical Storytelling 

13 - 21 August, 2008 - Bring your Stories to Life - Biographical Storytelling
27 Aug - 3 Sept, 2008 - The Dionysian Week with the Gods

28 Aug - 4 Sept, 2006 - Pioneering Week

See Past Workshops