Writing, Wine & Wellness in Southwest France

Southwest FranceSeptember 24-30, 2020  •  7 Days/6 Nights

September 24-30, 2020  •  7 Days/6 Nights


Writing retreat in France. $4195

Presenting a Writing Workshop in the Southwest of France coupled with a relaxing vacation. Jumpstart your inspiration and capability with three different writing instructors each with their own speciality and wind down each day by experiencing some extremely beauty, sipping some delicious wine next to where its produced and rest your head in a gorgeous Chateau.


Cara Black

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 19 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which are set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Wash-ington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to inter-national culture. She regularly teaches writing students.

Lindsey Tramuta

Lindsey is a Paris-based journalist and author who moved to Paris from Philadelphia 12 years ago. Her publications include: The New York Times, The New York Times T Style Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, the Wall Street Journal, Afar Magazine, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, the Financial Times Weekend Magazine, Fortune, Martha Steward Weddings, and Travel & Leisure. Her bestselling book “The New Paris” looks at key changes in Paris over the last decade and was released on April 18, 2017.

Sylvia Sabes

Ms Sabes is a copywriter for advertising clients such as Cartier, Dior, Lan-come and Hermes. She also is the Luxe City guide Paris resident editor, AFAR’s resident editor in Paris, she writes for the BBC and is currently writing Fodor’s France guide. She has penned numerous blog posts as well for a myriad of travel orient-ed online magazines and websites including Girls’ Guide to Paris.

Thursday 9/24th

Arrive by 3pm and check-into Chateau la Caussade or Chateau Carbonneau and receive your personal journals.

5-6:30 Tea-time at the Chateau. Each instructor will tell their own writing story and attendees will introduce themselves stating their goal for the week. Following our introductions we’ll start off with a quick 1/2 hour creative writing challenge to get the creative juices flowing.

7pm Drinks by the pool at la Caussaude

8:15 Dine at La Terrasse Rouge and try some of their own superb wines.

This avant-guard restaurant is located at the Chateau La Dominique  just outside of the medieval village of St Emilion.

Friday 9/25

10-12:30 instruction @ Doni’s place outside by the Dordogne river (weather permitting).

12:30 – 1:30 lunch at Le Priolet alongside the Dordogne River, allowing time afterwards to digest in the hammock or lounging by the pool.

2-3pm Optional bike ride around the area or kayaking down the river or perhaps you’d like to enjoy a leisurely stroll for inspiration.

*Anyone who prefers, can go back to the Chateau during this open time.

5 pm Wine tasting at Chateau Carbonneau

6-8pm Head back to the Chateau for rest, relaxation and journaling.

7:45 Tonight we’ll enjoy our aperitifs at your Chateau allowing some time to share some your writing.

Tonight we’ll savor a catered French meal at the Chateau.

Saturday 9/26

10-12:30 Writing instruction at our Chateau.

1pm Lunch at our local truck stop to experience local color. This is the ideal place for some character study. It is filled with your typical French characters who look as if they’ve stepped right out of Peter Mayle novel.

2:30-3:30 Visit the humanist writer Michel de Montaigne’s Chateau Here we’ll discover the life of this French Renaissance philosopher known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre.

4:30-6:30 Writing modules, instruction available from all three teachers.

8:30 pm Dinner at our Founders favorite restaurant in the area, Caffe Cuisine located in the charming riverside village of Branne.

Sunday 9/27

For those who desire – Early am rise as we head off to the market with our own French chef, Marc.

10-12:30 Writing instruction @ the Chateau. If the weather is agrees, we’ll move the writing class outside.

Lunch in St Emilion at a crêperie followed by a tour of the underground church, one of only two monolithic churches in France.

After our tour we’ll head to Clos Jacobins where we’ll discover their ancient limestone cellars to enjoy a very special wine tasting.

4:30 – 6pm Leisurely stroll around town to further discover this medieval UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll have time to shop as well as write in our journals at a local café.

7pm Tonight we’ll dine on market fresh ingredients at Doni’s home outside along with river whipped up for us by our personal French chef.

Discussion over drinks and dinner about our writing including a time to ask questions of our instructors who by now have become trusted mentors and friends.

Monday 9/28

10-12:30 Instruction at the Chateau.

Lunch here on the premise on baguette sandwiches and fresh fruit.

1-3:30 Head out to see ancient Roman ruins as well as the Jardins de Sardy water gardens. *Optional trip to the Hotel Grand Barrail Spa.

4-6pm Tea time and discussion. At this time we will be invited to share some of our initial writing for constructive analysis.

6-7:30 Relax back at the Chateau

8:15 Dine outside on the terrace at the Chateau Carbonneau on homemade Paella.

Tuesday 9/29

10-12:30 Writing Instruction at the Chateau.

Picnic lunch today amongst the vines.

2pm Depart for the Unesco World heritage site of Bordeaux

Visit the contemporary art museum, take a petite historical walking tour with stops to taste Bordeaux’s iconic canelé pastry.

Enjoy an early local seafood dinner in town.

Back to your Chateau for a local dijestif. There will be time tonight to share our work and what we’ve enjoyed most about this inspiring week.

Wednesday 9/30

Breakfast and depart

Writing Instruction Modules

Hours of total instruction: 18 hours (approximately)

Tuesday pm 1.5 hours

Intro from each writer and then participants have a chance to introduce themselves. Instructors will introduce a prompt to get you writing.

Wednesday 2.5 hours

Developing a sense of place, finding the angle.

Thursday 2.5 hours

Show don’t tell – Descriptive writing. Asking the question What IF?

Thursday 2 hours PM

Permission to find your voice; having an opinion and a point of view. How to personalize your writing by talking about what you are passionate about.

Friday 2.5 hrs AM

Creating a character, a heroine and a villan. Characters and their im-portance from non-fiction POV.

Friday during dinner at my house: a time to read some of your work from the week and to ask for help, suggestions and feedback

Saturday 2.5 hrs Am:

Developing your Story Arc & Outline in both fiction and non-fiction.

Saturday pm session: 2 hours

About Time, finding the time to write plus Writing in Chronological order vs Non-linear writing. The strengths of each.

Sunday 2.5 hours

The Business of writing -Getting an agent, Pitching a story, writing a proposal and a query letter

Note: During each 2.5 hour session we will work for 1 hour and 15 minutes then take a 15 min break and then work for another 1 hour. When it’s just 2 hours, we’ll take a shorter break just 10 minutes at the completion of the first hour.

Submit the details. We will contact you within 24 hours.

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Want to share Room? :

Hold your spot for any one of our tours for just $250 which is fully refundable up to the time of final confirmation and booking.
As soon as you reserve with your credit card Girls’ Guide to Paris will reach out to you by phone to set up the next steps.

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