Kathryn J. Abajian
Writing Instructor

A native Californian, Kathryn grew up near Los Angeles and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she taught English for thirty years, first at the high school level, then finishing as a tenured professor of composition, literature and creative writing for Diablo Valley College. Throughout her career, she often served as a department chair and on curriculum committees and was honored by the San Ramon Valley Chamber of Commerce as the Educator of the Year.

During this time Kathryn began research into the art and life of a Utah landscape painter, resulting in the publication of First Sight of the Desert: Discovering the Art of Ella Peacock in 2005. The book blends Peacock’s life story as an early feminist artist with a memoir of Kathryn’s life changes during a decade of research.

Kathryn leads the Heart of Memoir Writing Retreats throughout California and in Italy each year for her program, Italy, in Other Words.  Her travel, food, memoir and arts essays have appeared in various publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, American Art Review, Salon, and Travelers’ Tales anthologies.

Kathryn now writes and teaches locally in her home on California’s Central Coast. For a flavor of her instruction, visit Kathryn’s former blog, ~the art in the heart.

photo credit, Christine Mallet


Linda Prospero
Cultural Guide

A Princeton, New Jersey writer, Linda has been traveling throughout Italy for forty years. She has lived for extended periods in Rome and visited most of Italy to see family and explore Italian culture. Linda’s background knowledge and fluency in the Italian language offer participants valuable insight into Italian culture.

Multi-talented as a cook, photographer, writer and emerging artist, Linda spent her career as a journalist. Her articles have appeared in publications ranging from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times to the Times of India. She is the author of the popular blog, Ciao Chow Linda.

But her real love is Italy–its food, art and literature.




Contact Kathryn HERE
If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to write.
We can arrange a time to talk on the phone as well. 

find details about California workshops and more at  The Heart of Memoir