at a Private Château
Get away from everything, and just write your stories
at a private château in France.
November is National Novel Writing Month - also known as NaNoWriMo.
Every story matters.
Let's start writing yours.
We'll take care of everything else.
Three meals a day prepared for you & maximum five other writers. We'll bring your coffee or tea (and maybe a little pastry, too) right to your desk in your private room, if you'd like.
Come and wander the French countryside to let the ideas percolate. Chat to other writers, relax in front of the fire over aperos in the evening, or keep on writing.
Ditch the distractions, leave the daily details to us.
If you’re seeking time and space to yourself to explore your creative writing, consider this your invitation!
How often do you get to stay at a private château in quintessential France, and explore your dreams?
You deserve some space for yourself, to escape the daily distractions (let alone the stress of the daily news cycle). Your job, your family, the housework consume a lot of your day - maybe it's time for just you and your writing.
Live your French experience, find new inspiration, connect with your writing community, and tell your stories.
Your Private Château
The Château de Saint-Germain-des-Prés is our year-round home. We're not open to the public, or as a B&B.
The tower, containing a stone spiral staircase, and parts of the château date to the 16th century. The 'blazon' or crest of a noble family is carved over the tower door.
Enjoy the château common rooms, your spacious private bedroom with king bed and writing desk, and 15 ha of private grounds during your stay. Wander the quaint little town of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, or the surrounding quiet roads.
Share meals prepared by your hosts, celebrating all that French cuisine offers, including delicacies from our Périgord region - truffles, walnuts, local cheeses, and other specialties.
Start Your Writing Residency Today!
One Week Residency
November 5th - 11th 2023 or
November 12th - 18th 2023
6 nights & 7 days
Two Week Residency
November 5th - 18th 2023
13 nights & 14 days
Something special you can use during your stay & take home after will be waiting for you!
Reserve your spot by completing the registration form below. We'll be in touch with 24 hours confirming space is available (don't forget to check your spam or junk folder for email from admin(a)manorandmaker.com), and sending the link for your deposit page.
About Your Hosts
We are Sara & Stephen Cole, Canadians who dreamt of moving to Europe, and France in particular. In 2020 we were working from home when Stephen turned to Sara and popped the question she was longing to hear, “What would have to be true for us to buy a chateau in France?”
We toured some properties and found the one that captured our hearts, Château de Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A year later, we made the move to France to start our new adventure in our beautiful Château.
We created “Manor and Maker” to reflect the two sides of our adventure. One, to live as chateau owners with all the ups and downs and two, to pursue our passions as makers, creating art in all its forms. We invite others to come together, united by their passions, to share in this adventure. We invite you to join us too, as we bring our dreams to life.
Welcome to Manor & Maker.
"I had a wonderful experience at Chateau de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, aka Manor & Maker. What Sara and Steve are doing is so very special. I felt so at ease there, so welcomed, and so supported, and it turned out, that was absolutely essential. Honestly, stress and starvation aren't the keys to artistic freedom -- encouragement, safety, and good food are. I needed time and space to let my creativity return and regrow and that's precisely what I found there. I'll be back as soon as I can!" -- Ella G.
"I couldn’t have asked for a better week—great company, great conversation, great food! Sara and Steve were so kind, providing a beautiful room where I could work on my writing. And one of their little dogs, Dexter, would check up on me. If he deemed it a productive day, he would then take me on a walk. The French countryside is beautiful, and the people are warm and friendly. A week well spent!." -- T. C.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not published yet. Is this residency for me?Absolutely! NaNoWriMo is for beginners and experienced writers alike! Write at your own pace & get inspiration from new surroundings; your time at the retreat is your own.
Where are you located & how do I get there?We are in the town of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Dordogne, postal code 24160 (there are a couple of more places of that name in France!). Here's our guide on how to get to us. We offer pickups from Limoges Benedictins Gare (may be scheduled with other guests' arrivals) or Thiviers Gare.
Do I need to speak French?No, your hosts can help you with all local needs. It's always nice to be able to say 'hello' (Bonjour!) and 'thank you' (Merci!) though, isn't it?
Can I bring a partner?We only recommend this if your partner is a writer too, and will be able to similarly dedicate themselves to the writing community on-site. Your partner can come (& stay in your room) for an additional 50% of the cost. Drop us a line if you think this is for you.
What will the weather be like in November?Day time temperatures are around 12C (54F) with night time lows around 3C (37F). You can expect a mix of sunny & rainy days, with average monthly precipitation around 82mm (3.2 in). Of course, these are averages, so temperatures could be warmer or cooler, rainier or sunnier during your stay. It's a great season for all your cozy knitwear!
What if I get sick and can't come? (Cancellation Policy)We strongly recommend 'cancel for any reason' travel insurance. We do not offer refunds for any reason, due to advance planning costs. Travel insurance protects your investments, and helps alleviate disappointment if your plans have to change.
What isn't included in the cost?- Writing instruction or guidance on NaNoWriMo - you can structure your time however you wish - Airfare from your home town to France - Train connections to and from Paris, Bordeaux, Limoges or Thiviers - Car rental (recommended if you want to explore the area) - Travelers Insurance - Any extra tours, meals, or excursions off the property, should you choose to roam - Transportation & lodging outside of the NaNoWriMo dates, should you choose to arrive early or stay later in France - Anything you buy off-site of the chateau property