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The Fire Salamander by Lara Phillips - 2017 Ravello Tales Award


It is an oppressive hot summer’s day in Ravello with the fires on the mountains and in the nearby towns in the background. From the multi-coloured swarming crowd of tourists and inhabitants of the town some voices and characters stand out: Margaret, a young British widow, is chasing her literary ghosts, writing in a notebook a possible plot of a possible tale that will never be published; Ann and Jack, her teenage niece and nephew, strong and independent, are getting to grips with the problem of helping a boy of their own age but on the run from a far-distant country; Gennaro, an old farmer, resists heroically the flattery of those who want to steal his land, while he still hopes to find his missing son. The fires lick the characters’ lives, pulling them apart and pushing them together. All of them are drawn along by a powerful Mother Nature who wants to regain her own omnipotent role.
Lara Phillips was born and brought up in the north-east of England. She studied English at Oxford University before working as a teacher in Japan for several years and travelling widely in Asia, Scandinavia and Europe. Lara is also a qualified medical herbalist and maintains a love of plants and the natural world. Alongside this she has a keen interest in Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse myths and legends, Shakespeare, and contemporary fiction. She has lectured and run workshops for literary summer schools on such topics as herbal medicine in the Renaissance, the garden in children’s literature, and monastic herb gardens. She has also taught drama and directed several amateur theatre productions including Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard and Arabian Nights. Lara lives with her two children and cats, and currently teaches English in a school in Newcastle.

Call for Ravello Tales Award 2018


If you’re of the writing breed, you probably keep a small notebook on hand to scratch down story ideas. Or maybe, you become impulsively entwined in writing the premise of a story in your phone’s notes.
Ravello Tales is an award given each year by the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage and the Ravello-Scala Tourist Board, to promote unpublished short narratives inspired by the history, events, characters or places of Ravello.
Anyone can compete sending - by the 15th of November 2018 - a short narrative in English inspired by Ravello (12.000 words as an indication) together with his/her bionote (150 words). The award will consist of the publication of the winning short narrative, plus a 1-week stay in Ravello for two persons. Additional narratives, even if not awarded, may be included in the final publication, at the Tourist Board discretion.
Follow your inspiration, submit before the deadline and keep writing!
See the Call for Ravello Tales Award 2018 and download “The Fire Salamander” by Lara Phillips, the winner of 2017 Ravello Tales Award on:


MAY 14 A guitar in frack

MAY 16 Contaminations for two

MAY 23 An All-Gershwin evening

JUN 30 Musikanten plays the Beatles

JULY 12 Palladino & Di Ienno

JULY 18 Ludovico & Valluzzi

JULY 30 Giuseppe Ganzerli

AUG 02 Tresca e Apicella

AUG 06 Something About the Moon

SEPT 19 Loiacono & Valluzzi

OCT 06 A Touch of Latin

OCT 11 Protest of Love and '68