“Write Your Story” Writing Retreat

This Writing Retreat is for writers

  • desperate to write without distractions, interruptions or restrictions
  • who find themselves grappling with writer’s block
  • are struggling to tap into their creative flow
  • whose muse seems to have taken an extended vacation
  • are staring at a blank page, unsure of where to begin or how to proceed
  • who struggle to carve out dedicated time for writing amidst the chaos of daily responsibilities
  • feel isolated and would like to share and discuss their work and receive constructive feedback
  • always wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Join us in the sunkissed southwest of France where the “Write Your Story” Writing Retreat is an antidote to creative stagnation, offering you a supportive environment where inspiration flows freely, where you’ll reignite your passion for storytelling and rediscover the joy of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Say goodbye to writer’s block and immerse yourself in your writing without the distractions of modern life.

Surrounded by the serene beauty of the French countryside, you’ll cultivate a state of flow where words effortlessly pour onto the page, leading to unprecedented levels of productivity, you’ll gain valuable insights and perspective to propel your writing to new heights and you’ll emerge from the retreat feeling empowered, inspired, and ready to share your story with the world.

We all have a story to tell.

As writers, we are an introspective, often self-critical lot, who would like to make sense of life and if possible, help others to make sense of their lives too, with our writing.

During this powerful and possibly life-changing writing retreat, you will find out how you can make this happen.

During the Write Your Story writing retreat, you will have the irresistible opportunity to write, without interruptions and distractions, amongst idyllic surroundings, in this unspoilt and forgotten part of the deepest rural south of France.

This writing retreat is different from other retreats. It’s not just about writing. Of course, it’s about improving your writing, finding your own voice, developing a regular writing habit, etc. but it is also about writing your own story to help you understand who you are and connect with the real you. It is about editing your own story in such a way that your past is empowering instead of debilitating. It is about enabling you to process and then incorporate challenging events in your past into your writing.

Scheduled Dates: 1-5 May 24, 22-26 June 24 More dates are in the pipeline, if interested, please send an email to welcome2gascony@gmail.com

.

As a writer, what could be more important than making sense of your past and understanding how it shapes who you are?

“The stories we hear, the stories we tell and the stories we write, shape our identity. Our stories shape our futures.”

Margaretha Montagu

Why include Camino de Santiago de Compostela walks?

To follow in the footsteps of great writers like Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage (1987), Jack Hitt, Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain (1994), Hape Kerkeling, I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago (2009), Hemingway, Ernest, The Sun Also Rises (1926), David Lodge, Therapy (1995), Shirley Maclaine, The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit (2001), James Michener, Iberia (1968), Cees Nooteboom, Roads to Santiago (1996, English edition), Conrad Rudolph, Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela (2004) and Walter Starkie, The Road to Santiago (1957).

Each full day consists of one walking and two writing sessions:

  • A Walking Meditation – Many writers found inspiration to write best-selling books during the often life-changing experience of walking manageable sections of the Camino. de Santiago (11 – 13 km/day)
  • A My Masterpiece writing session – time to work on your own project: – your goal could be to write a certain number of words, edit a percentage of a manuscript, study an amount of research material etc.
  • A Change Your Story, Change Your Life writing session: re-write the story of your life – processing past trauma with the healing power of story writing – so that you can turn your experiences and emotions into a novel (fiction or non-fiction)
  • Last day: How to self-publish session – I firmly believe that now is the best time to publish your own book. I have self-published 6 so far, with another in the pipeline. In this session, I explain how I did it.

The program is NOT set in stone and each session is optional.

We are all born storytellers – this retreat will help you to tell your story in such a way that it will not only help you, but will help others too – whether you want to write fiction (mysteries, romance, horror, dystopian, young adult etc.) or non-fiction (memoir, biography, self-help etc.)

Your story matters.

Your story, in your own voice, can make a difference to other people’s lives. By writing your story, you can share fear, frustration, sorrow and joy and find common ground with others so that you can connect and communicate with them.

On this retreat, you will discover how to:

  • Combine writing and walking to release writing blocks,
  • Process and use real-life experiences to enrich your writing,
  • Claim your own unique writing voice,
  • Relax and recharge your writing (and all other!) batteries
  • Self-publish your book

Do you long to write a book/screenplay, but you don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you have lost your writing mojo? Or maybe you think you do not have any stories worth telling? This retreat will inspire you to write your story and empower you to incorporate a lifetime of experiences, emotions, characters, settings and plot twists into your writing.

Why should you go ahead and reserve a spot on this retreat? Because creating a coherent narrative of one or more past experiences frees you to be the author of your future. Processing our own emotions and experiences noticeably enriches our writing.

Even if you are scared that you will never write anything good enough to publish, if you never seem to be able to find 10 free minutes to devote to your writing, if you have been struggling for the last 10 years to finish your first book,

Now is the time to start taking your writing seriously.

.

What could be better for your writing than getting away from the endless demands of everyday life and investing all your time and energy in yourself? 

Step 1: Review the costs and decide when you would like to attend this retreat

The cost of this 5-day-4-night retreat is 999€ (single room) and 1999€ (2 guests in a shared room).

Fees include comfortable accommodation in a single or double room in a 200-year-old French farmhouse, for 4 nights, scrumptious brunches and dinners on full days (except for dinner on Day 4), continuous wi-fi access, all walking and writing sessions and transport to start and from the end of each Camino walk. Retreats start from 18h on the first day and end at 11h on the last day.

Fees do not include transport costs to Nogaro, our closest town, or personal health insurance/travel insurance (we highly recommend insurance cover in case you need to cancel) or dinner on Day 4 (we have this meal in a restaurant nearby to support local small business owners- it’s usually about 15-30 euros, depending on your choices) or any optional massages.

Step 2: Inquire about availability: email welcome2gascony@gmail.com

This retreat is suitable for all levels of writers, from beginners to experienced, and for all types of writing. To ensure everyone gets individual, quality attention and the time to ask questions, I limit our groups to a maximum of 4 guests.

Step 3: Review your Travel Options

The most convenient way to travel here, depending on where you are coming from, is by air to Toulouse airport. Several of the low-cost airlines fly to Toulouse airport (2 hours by car from the retreat.) From Toulouse airport, there is a train to Auch (50 min from us by car). Airport shuttles and trams connect Toulouse airport and Toulouse train station. From the train station in Auch there is a bus service to Nogaro (costling exactly 2 euros from Auch to Nogaro!)

Alternatively, there is now also a very reliable carpooling website in France that several of our guests have used successfully. It is called Blablacar(dot)fr. It is often possible to get a lift all the way to Eauze/Nogaro from the airport for less than 20 euros.

NB. Please note that if you want to use public transport, you need to arrange it well in advance.

Another very popular option is to rent a car on arrival at Toulouse airport, especially if you intend to stay with us a couple of days before a retreat as the region has much to offer a discerning tourist. Taxis are also available, either from Toulouse or from Auch.

Step 4: To secure your Booking, pay your Deposit (asap, places are limited)

Once we have confirmed availability, you can secure your booking by paying a 25% deposit. The balance of payment is due at least 30 days prior to the start of your retreat. You will be sent all the information you need to pay your deposit by e-mail.

A warm welcome awaits you amidst the Armagnac, Saint Mont and Cotes de Gascogne vineyards in the sun-blessed southwest of France.

.

Please note: As our deposits are not refundable and our cancellation policy is firm, we strongly recommend the purchase of adequate travel insurance.  Any cancellation received in writing up to 30 days before the holiday starts will result in a loss of 50% of the holiday price. Any cancellation made in writing less than 30 days before the holiday starts, or once the holiday has started, will result in a total loss of funds. Depending on availability, you can choose to transfer your booking to another date without incurring any additional fees. We reserve the right to cancel the holiday (if we do so your deposit will be refunded in full).

Please read our Terms and Conditions

Description frequently updated.