This site offers information about my writing, my work in Kosovo, and how to book me as a speaker for groups in the UK.

I am one of the co-founders of The Ideas Partnership charitable NGO, which unleashes the power of volunteers in Kosovo to address challenges in the environment, education and cultural heritage, and to support the Roma,  Ashkali and Egyptian community in Fushe Kosove. This year, The Ideas Partnership was chosen by Prime Minister Theresa May as one of the 'Points of Light' for volunteering around the world. Get in touch through Facebook or by email  (  if you're interested in volunteering with us or offering other support.


My experiences and adventures in Kosovo since 2006 have inspired a range of writing, and  April 2017 saw publication of my new book, The Silver Thread; a journey through Balkan craftsmanship

From the mines in the cantos of Dante, to the prizes stolen in the wars of the 'nineties, a silver thread winds through Balkan history. This book unravels its most intricate tanglings from the viziers' luxuries in Istanbul and the incongruous filigree fashion show in the Albanian highlands to the serious Yugoslav-era silver schools. En route I visit those who live from lifting the silver from the earth, craftsmen who produce lacy creations from dull sticks of raw material, impoverished collectors who've sold their homes in order to preserve exquisite pieces of jewellery when their governments won't bother, and a brave new generation of women working fragile miracles with hard metals to secure their independence.

The book is available for £7.50 (inc. post and packaging) payable by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque. Orders can be placed by contacting

There is also information about my previous books Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo, Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo and The Rubbish-Picker's Wife; an unlikely friendship in Kosovo.  You'll also find links to my  published poetry,  and to  my journalism on life and culture in Kosovo and Albania including my recent pieces on BBC Radio 4's 'From Our Own Correspondent telling the story of manhole covers in Kosovo or Kosovo's sportsmen's ghostsAlbania's adventurous pelicans and the 'ill winds' of Montenegro or a previous Radio 4 piece about the  'Trouble-shooting Teddies of Tirana'  which is available to listen to or to read as an article on the BBC website.

I wrote the text for this new TV ad for tourism in Albania which gives some gorgeous glimpses of this beautiful part of the world, elaborated in my piece on Albania for TravelPulse

My piece about the 10 kinds of book you should take with you when you travel was recently published on the Female First website. How many of the 10 are in your rucksack this summer?

Buy  Edith and I, Travels in Blood and Honey and  The Rubbish-Picker's Wife;  an unlikely friendship in Kosovo on Amazon.
Find out information here about having me as a speaker at your school or group  (over the last few years I've spoken in schools,  universities,  BBC Radio 4,  ABC Radio in Australia,  beekeeper groups,  bookshop signings and ticketed events,  a cookery demo at the London Book Fair,  women's groups, branches of U3A and the English Speaking Union,  and to foodies,  literary festivals,  museums,  a lifeboat station and a jazz club).

You can also watch
the video produced by LandRover featuring me in the Accursed Mountains of Albania, my 2015 TEDx talk
or my TEDx talk from September 2017.

Contact me on  or follow me on Twitter  @ElizabethGowing  

[photo credit: UNV Kosovo]

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