Welcome. My name is Valeria Vescina. I’m an author, reviewer and creative-writing tutor, as well as the literary director of a long-running festival of music and words. I’m from Puglia (Italy), was educated in Switzerland and the UK and lived for many years in London, before settling back in Switzerland.
After a successful career in management, I gained an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. My first novel, That Summer in Puglia (Eyewear Publishing), had its debut at the FTWeekend Oxford Literary Festival 2018; it’s now in its third print run. I’m currently finishing my second book, Behind the Veil, a tale inspired by real-life events in sixteenth-century Southern Italy. My short story Pianissimo appearead on the Royal Philharmonic Society’s website; The Bonfire was the runner-up in a Cazart flash fiction competition; Accidental Musicians featured at The Vortex’s ‘Words & Jazz’.
I believe the arts and humanities are central to the well-being of every person and society, so I’m a board trustee and Literary Director of the Hampstead Arts Festival (‘HAF’), I’ve been involved with the literary charity First Story for years and have been teaching creative writing since 2013 to audiences of all ages and levels of experience. My lectures and workshops include the ones for the Literaturhaus Zentralschweiz, De Montfort University, Middlesex University, NAWE (the National Association of Writers in Education), the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and St Paul’s Girls’ School. I also run writing retreats (you can check out future ones here). I speak four languages and review fiction for the European Literature Network, as well as opera and Lieder for Seen And Heard International. I’m an arts & culture contributor to the School of Advanced Study‘s Talking Humanities.
I also have a Bachelor degree in International Studies from the University of Birmingham and a Sloan Master in Management degree from London Business School. I worked for many years at senior level in Strategy, Marketing and Organisational Behaviour functions. Born to an art dealer and an art historian, history and the arts have been a constant, essential presence in my life. I trained in bel canto for too long to admit, so don’t be too astonished if I dream of one day writing an opera libretto. In the meantime, links to my opera reviews can be found among the ones on this page.
Photo of the author: © Julia Warszewski. All rights reserved.
Photos on Hampstead Arts Festival posters: © Robert Wilson, © Ruth Crafer, © Sarah Lee and © Sheila Burnett.
Photos from Hampstead Arts Festival events: © the author.