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Writing Memoir @ the Chateau

Tell your story your way. 

Join our writing events in 2023 to develop your life story with a like-minded group of supportive writers and expert instructors. 

Events

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Writers' Group

Join this regular group meeting at the Chateau to share your writing & take part in exercises to challenge your ideas.

Senior Book Club

Prose Memoir Residency

Stay at a private Chateau & take part in daily writing workshops designed to guide you through the processes to begin writing your memoir in prose. 

Creativity

Poetry Memoir Residency

Stay at a private Chateau & take part in daily writing workshops designed to guide you through the processes to begin writing your memoir in poetry

Learn More

Each event is separate - you are welcome to join each individually,

and none is a pre-requisite for the others.

Writers' Group

 

A new memoir writing group is being launched for writers local to the Chateau de Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Dordogne. Come to this regular group meeting to share your writing and take part in writing exercises designed to challenge your ideas and practice different writing techniques. Develop your ideas in a  like-minded group of supportive writers. Whether you are aiming for a full book-length memoir, as short essay-length piece, a performance piece, or poetry, if you want to write your life story this the group for you.

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No previous experience required. You only need  an interest in the idea of writing your own memoir or life story, something to write with and something to write on.

Sessions will be facilitated by former senior lecturer in Creative Writing, Catharine Frances. Tea, coffee and cake will be available in a short break. 

The group will meet at the Chateau de Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the following dates:

  • December 10 2023 (launch event)

  • Another date

  • Another date

The launch event on December 10 is free. 

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Memoir Residencies

If you are ready to share your life story, spend a few days at a private Chateau with expert facilitators who will help you find the path to your memoir.

Choose Prose or Poetry

October 9 - 14 2023: Let Catharine Frances help you find the foundation for your life story in prose.

October 16 - 21 2023: Let Kate Rose guide you to a poetry structure for your memoir.

Benefit from both Catharine & Kate's expertise in both residency weeks. Read on to find out more about our facilitators!

Chambre des Chatelains

Stay at a private Chateau 

  • Enjoy the Chateau common rooms and 15 ha of grounds during your 5-night stay.

  • Bedrooms are generously sized, with a small seating area.

  • Mix of en-suite and shared facilities - max 2 bedrooms share w.c. or shower.

  • Rooms are first-come, first-served by reservation date.

  • Double-occupancy with two single beds

  • Stay with a small group of like-minded people - limit of 10 guests.

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Authentic French Cuisine

  • Meals prepared by our Cordon Bleu chef partner, Gourmet by Anne Stuart Folkes.

  • Champagne reception on evening of arrival!

  • Breakfast with pastries fresh from the boulangerie just steps away.

  • Wine or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. 

  • Tea & coffee all day, plus snacks and aperitif too!

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Continental Breakfast

What to Bring

  • Your Laptop.

  • Good walking shoes.

  • Your life stories!

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Meet Your Hosts

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Catharine Frances 

Meet Catharine

Catharine Frances has spent her career leading workshops in creative writing. She was a senior lecturer in Creative Writing in the UK where she devised and taught many university courses in all writing genres. She has delivered papers at various international conferences and has supervised masters and PhD students of memoir and fiction. In the US she worked in theatre and was a visiting artist in schools for several years. Her passion has always been writing, teaching and reflecting on how we put our memoires into words. 

I promise to help you find the foundation for your life story.

Kate Rose FRSA

Kate Rose (FRSA)

Meet Kate

Kate Rose (FRSA) is a British poet, living and working in south west France.  Her collection, Brushstrokes, was published by Mosaique Press in May 2022. Her poems have been translated and published in anthologies, in both Italian and Romanian.  Her work has been placed in a number of international competitions, and has appeared in a range of on-line anthologies. She is the co-founder of Artemesia Arts, which hosts an annual poetry festival, poetry@treignac, each September in the Correze Department of France. Kate is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. https://katerose.online

I promise to help you find the poetry structure for your story. 

Meet Sara & Stephen

We are Sara & Stephen Cole, Canadians who dreamt of moving to France. We're excited to share our dream, our home, the Château de Saint-Germain-des-Prés. 

The tower of the chateau is from the 16th century, and features a broad spiral stone staircase. Built by a noble family nearly 500 years ago, the 'blazon' or crest of the family still shows on the tower.  

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 will be available on-site all week to ensure you have a comfortable stay.

Welcome to Manor & Maker.

Start Your Memoir Today!

Reserve your spot by making your deposit payment below. Making your deposit confirms your agreement to the terms & conditions.

We'll be in touch within 24 hours confirming all is well (don't forget to check your spam or junk folder).  

Prose Residency: October 9 - 14 2023

Poetry Residency: October 16 - 21 2023

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL UNTIL JUNE 26, 2023

Memoir Residency @ the Chateau:
Double Occupancy €2250 (Regular Price €2500)

Special Gift!

Something special you can use during your stay & take home after will be waiting for you!

Select Session & Occupancy and Pay Deposit

What's Not Included

  • Transportation from your hometown to the pickup point, including airfare, train connections, or car rental

  • Baggage, accident, cancellation, nor travel insurance ('cancel for any reason' strongly recommended to protect your investment)

  • Passport and visa expenses

  • Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone calls

  • Meals not served at the château

  • Alcoholic beverages not served at meals at the château

  • Any extra tours or excursions off the property, should you choose to roam

  • and any other items not specifically noted as included

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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I don't have a lot of experience writing memoir, prose, or poetry. Is this residency for me? 

Yes! If you would like to write your life story, and are ready to learn new skills, this residency is for you! Catharine & Kate will guide you through all the other parts of the process. Your history is part of social history!

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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.  

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?​

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Do I need to speak French?

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Can I bring a partner?

Yes! If your partner is writing their memoir too, then you each register separately as double occupancy. If your partner is not writing, then book once as single occupancy (your partner stays for the single occupancy fee). In both cases, please send us an email clarifying so that we book you in the same bedroom.

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Do I have to share a room?

We will do our best to pair you with a similar roommate. What a great opportunity to build a new friendship!

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May I arrive earlier or stay later than the retreat dates?

Much as we love having guests, we aren't open as a B&B, so accommodation is only available on the retreat dates. There is lots to explore in our area, if you wish to make your own plans to extend your holiday.

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Can you accommodate my food sensitivity?

France is famous for its fine cuisine, fresh produce markets, delicious pastries and cheeses! Enjoy chef-prepared suppers all week; the taste of France is part of your immersive experience. Join your hosts for breakfasts & lunches and choose what appeals from the shared table dishes. Due to hospitality laws, we cannot offer restaurant style selections or service. We will have vegetarian options but unfortunately, severely restrictive diets and other food sensitivities can not be accommodated.

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What if I get sick and can't come? (Cancellation Policy)

We strongly recommend 'cancel for any reason' travel insurance. We do not offer last-minute refunds for any reason, due to advance planning costs. Check out the terms & conditions for other timing. Travel insurance protects your investment, and helps alleviate disappointment if your plans have to change.

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What will the weather be like?

Day time temperatures in October are around 19C (66F) with night time lows around 12C (54F). You can expect a mix of sunny & rainy days, with average monthly precipitation around 15mm (0.6 in). It's a great time for your favourite knitwear! Of course, these are averages, so temperatures could be warmer or cooler, rainier or sunnier during your stay. ​

Still Have Questions?

Drop us a line. We'll do our best to get back to you in 48 hours.