Chateau Monfreville Retreats – Writers Retreat

Normandy, France

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction / Memoir – All Levels

11 – 16 May 2020 – 12 places available

We are very excited to offer a small group of writers the exclusive opportunity to escape for a week of gourmet food, like-minded company and a carefully curated programme of tutorials and workshops designed to help explore your creativity, with leading expert advice, in the peaceful grounds and gardens of Chateau Monfreville.

Course Details

  • -Accommodation in either Rose or Pond Cottage, or in our vintage gypsy caravan in the grounds of the chateau
  • -Includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • -Daily writing workshops and one-to-one sessions with our experts
  • -Plenty of free time to focus on your writing
  • -Optional wine tasting and charcuterie (extra cost)
  • -Optional dinner out on Friday evening (extra cost)


The team will be offering workshops on planning your novel, writing tips, the editorial process, honing your synopsis and pitch letter, as well as offering one-to-one advice sessions, critical feedback on your work, and expert insights into publishing and the literary life. This is the chance to finish that novel you’ve been sitting on for years, start something new, try writing for the first time, or simply workshop and edit material you are passionate about in a new and inspirational place.


Breakfast, lunch and supper will either be served in the chateau or al fresco. All meals will be made with fresh local produce and cooked by Zoe and Paul. Our dinner table is a happy place to commune, and a time to chat and savour some of the best ingredients that France has to offer. Normandy is known as the bread basket of France.

The Team

Lucy Foley – Sunday Times Bestseller – Crime Writer and Historical Novelist

Cathryn Summerhayes – Curtis Brown – The Bookseller’s 2019 Literary Agent of Year

Jamie Groves – Editorial consultant and prize-winning short story writer

Zoe and Paul McKinley – Owners and hosts of Chateau Monfreville


Lucy Foley worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. Lucy’s debut crime novel, The Hunting Party, was a number one Sunday Times Bestseller. She is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia, Vogue and more.

Cathryn Summerhayes is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, the UK’s leading literary agency. She was named The British Book Awards’ Agent of the Year in 2019. Her clients include Lucy Foley, Dr Adam Kay, Mark Watson, Naomi Wood, Kirsty Logan, Susan Fletcher, Johanna Basford, Rose McGowan, Grace Dent, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Russell Norman and Mark Hix.

Jamie Groves is a freelance editor and literary consultant. He provides editorial services to various publishers, and has helped shape numerous bestselling novels. He also works for Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative, providing developmental notes for students’ manuscripts. His short stories have won and been shortlisted for several prizes.

The Accommodation

Chateau Monfreville is set in 20  acres of incredible natural beauty. We have 2 large beautiful cottages in the grounds of the chateau. Writers can choose from the following options.

Double Room en-suite                           €1425 / £1200 per person

Double Room shared Bathroom          €1100 / £920 per person

Twin Room shared Bathroom             €900 / £750 per person

Gypsy Caravan                                        €750 / £625 per person

Couples are welcome. An extra €400 / £330 for a partner not participating on the course (to cover accommodation and meals), or a couple both participating on the course is an extra €800 / £670.


Writers need to make their own way to the Chateau and pay their own travel expenses.

Options from the UK:

Eurotunnel – Dover to Calais, 4 hour drive to the chateau

Brittany Ferries – example route:

Depart Portsmouth, 10th May 2245, with a cabin overnight

Arrive Caen, 11th May 0645 , then 45 mins’ drive to the chateau

Depart Cherbourg, 16th May 1700, arrive Portsmouth 1900


To reserve your place on the Chateau Monfreville Writers’ Retreat click here to contact us.

A Creative Writer’s Paradise.

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  • Contemporary garden sculpture with woman reading.
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We very much look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful chateau in the heart of Normandy!