• JUMPSTART YOUR BOOK ~ Writing Retreat SW France 10th-17th Aug 2018

    Posted June 8, 2018 By in Archives With | No Comments

    A One-Week Focused Writing Retreat
    Award Winning Author & Essayist

    FRI 10TH AUG – FRI 17TH AUG 2018
    Foix – Near Toulouse, France

    Stalled and Stuck!

    Typewriter 200

    • Do you have a great book inside you that is (still) dying to come out?

    • Are you midway through writing your book, but stuck on how to finish it?

    • Do you promise yourself every day that you will start writing tomorrow?

    • Have you found it impossible to find the time and quiet space to sit down and write?

    • Does your inner critic keep you from expressing your message?

    If any of the above sounds familiar…then this kick-ass, focused writing retreat is for YOU! Kelly helps you identify and remove your writing blocks, put pen to paper and remain accountable during a week spent in a traditional farmhouse situated in the heart of rural France.

    Recharge Your Writing Passion

    Kelly on Typewriter

    This unique, personal and exclusive writing retreat is for you if…

    •  You have a book idea but are having trouble getting started.  Kelly works with you one-on-one to outline your book, develop your unique voice and chapter structure, and keep you accountable to reach your writing goals.  After 7 days, you’ll leave with a completed outline and beginning chapters!

    •  You’ve dived into your book, but are stuck.  Kelly works with you one-on-one to edit and rework the outline to get you home!  You’ll leave with an invigorated manuscript and desire to finish your book.

    •  You want to get the message of your book out into the world, but are unsure of or intimidated by how to do it.  Julie’s personal branding and marketing session will show you how to shine your light!

      You long for individual help in an intimate setting:  This retreat is limited to only 6 people!

    Your Retreat Hosts

    Kelly Headshot

    Kelly Hayes-Raitt is an award-winning journalist and essayist who has helped dozens of authors start – and finish – their books and articles.  She offers one-on-one structural editing, support, accountability and the occasional butt-kick to help authors get their books out into the world.

    She regularly writes about refugees and those whose voices need amplifying.  Her essays appear in 7 anthologies – three published by Random House in Rita Golden Gelman’s follow-up to Tales of a Female Nomad – and in nearly every daily newspaper in California, including the Los Angeles Times.  Her regular column in The Argonaut was named “second-best” by the Southern California Journalists’ Association.

    She recently self-published How to Become a Housesitter:  Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva, featured in USA Today, and the Globe and Mail.

    To read more about Kelly, please click HERE

    Julie Bryant -Headshot

    Julie Bryant
     is the founder of Naked Dragon and has worked with well-known publishers such as Hay House Books since 2003. She creates speaking platforms for authors to support them in getting their messages out into the world.

    She has promoted and hosted more than 130 inspirational talks, workshops, retreats and special events throughout the U.K. and Europe.

    Julie has helped many authors to build their personal brand and to build their confidence in public speaking, both on and off stage.

    To read more about Julie and Naked Dragon, please click HERE

    About the Retreat

    Book Writing

    This is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all retreat with generic presentations of information that you might never implement. This is not a huge conference where you’ll collect dozens of business cards that will get dusty in your desk drawer. This is not a workshop focused on writing prompts that have nothing to do with your book project.

    This is a unique writing retreat during which your personal needs, blocks and goals will be addressed, discussed, released and supported for 7 full days.  You will leave with a book you’ve made major progress on and are eager to finish and share with the world!

    Once you’ve decided to give yourself this precious gift of time and quiet space to finally begin crafting or completing your book, you can relax and enjoy the experience of focusing exclusively on your writing.

    Most days will begin with a brief session to create specific, personal goals and meditations that release any blocks to achieving those goals.  You will then be cut loose for 5 or 6 hours to write anywhere amidst the pastoral French countryside surrounding our farmhouse retreat:  In the fragrant gardens, by the refreshing swimming pool, or along any of the quiet footpaths.  We will reconvene in the early evening to evaluate how each person’s goals were met (or not).

    Our emphasis is on accountability and support. Daily, you will have the opportunity meet with Kelly to address your individual writing conundrums – structure, voice, continuity, direction, whatever is keeping you stuck.

    In the evenings, you and your fellow writers will have a chance to talk about your book so the group can brainstorm ideas and support your completing, publishing and marketing your new book!

    This is a fantastic opportunity to finally make your book a reality!

    How to Build Your Brand & Get Your Message Out into the World…


    Build Your Brand with JulsTo ensure your unique story or inspirational message reaches your audience, Julie offers an interactive session on How to Reach Your Audience, Build Your Brand and Get Your Book Noticed – an exclusive part of the retreat! 

    Based upon her 15 years of experience in supporting authors to reach their audience and build their platforms, Julie shares the secrets of how to connect with those who are ready and waiting to hear your unique message.

    Julie also shows how you can create your own successful talks and events that ensure those empty seats are filled by people inspired to hear your story.

    Before the Retreat


    Your writing journey with Kelly begins before the start of the retreat.  Once your deposit and participation have been confirmed, you will be sent a short questionnaire so Kelly can learn about your individual project. 

    She’ll then schedule a 30-minute personal Skype call to discuss what’s keeping you stuck and what you hope to accomplish during the retreat.  She may also assign homework for you to complete before your arrival.

    After the Retreat

    You will also enjoy a Skype call with Kelly following the retreat to support your progress and reinforce your new writing habits, beliefs and goals.  Your success is our ultimate goal!

    What the Retreat Includes and Booking Information

    French Farmhouse Montage

    The Retreat Includes:

    • Shared accommodations in triple rooms   

    •  Three meals a day lovingly prepared using locally sourced fresh ingredients and refreshments

    •  Julie’s personal branding and marketing session

    •  Daily one-on-one consultations with Kelly

     Plus 2 laser-focused 30-minute one-on-one Skype coaching calls with Kelly – one before and one after the retreat

    As this is an intimate and focused writing experience, we only have space for 6 lucky participants. To be included in the selection process and to enjoy an early bird discounted price, please express your interest and make your £100 (plus booking fee) deposit asap.  Balance is due by 15th July.

    Once you have made your booking reservation, we will email you a few questions regarding your writing goals and inform you by 15th July (at the latest) whether you are among the first 6 writers to apply for this special retreat.

    IMPORTANT:  Please wait to book your flights or make your travel arrangements until you receive confirmation that you have been selected to attend the retreat.

    The early bird price will be held either until the 8th July, or as soon as we have the right mix of participants based upon everyone’s writing goals and aspirations.

    The Retreat DOES NOT Include:

    Accident and travel insurance.
    Air/rail transportation and airport taxes.
    Transfer to/from the airport or train station to Le Freyche.

    Cost of Retreat and How to Book

    Early Bird

    Early Bird Price £695.00

    This is a Fully Inclusive Writing Retreat Package and the Early Bird Price is available until 8th July 2018.

    £100 deposit is required IMMEDIATELY.  

    Please make your deposit payment by CLICKING HERE!

    This deposit will be taken as an expression of your interest in joining this exclusive retreat. Upon receipt of your deposit payment, we will send you a list of questions regarding your writing aspirations and this will form the basis of our selection procedure.

    If we offer you a place and you subsequently decline your place, your deposit monies are non-refundable. However, if for some reason you are not selected to attend the retreat, we will refund your deposit monies in full.

    We will confirm your place by 15th July 2018 – AT THE LATEST!

    Full Price £895.00
    The Full Price will be effective from 8th July 2018.


    France Chillout Zone

    Le Freyche is a 19th century farmhouse that has recently been lovingly restored. Offering shared accommodation in comfortable rooms, there are three bathrooms, outdoor and indoor eating spaces, plus lots of places to just sit, relax and create.

    The house is surrounded by a large garden, complete with apple and peach trees, wild strawberries, and a forest to explore. Set in 1.5 hectares of land, Le Freyche has it’s own heated 10 x 5m pool which is open all summer.

    The house sits on a small hill, over looking two rivers that meet. No neighbours or busy roads on the doorstep, only the sound of the river and the birds. The venue is just 5 minutes drive from a small village with basic amenities such as a bank, bar, some small shops, and once a week there is a local food market. 20 minutes and you are in Foix, the major town of the area, with a direct train line to Toulouse.

    Foix is famous for it’s majestic castle and medieval winding streets. St Girons is just 30 minutes away, Tarascon with the world famous Niaux caves are 40 minutes, and Ax-les-Thermes ski area is 1 hour. Mountain biking, hiking and horse riding are just on the doorstep for those who want to explore the area. Alternatively you can just relax by the pool with a good book from the library- the choice is yours.

      Getting There…

    Montage of Transport


    There are regular flights from Bristol and London with Easyjet, or with Vueling from Barcelona. You can then either get the airport bus to Toulouse main train station (20 mins) and get the train to Foix, or hire a car at the airport and drive (1 hour 20 minutes).


    The retreat centre is situated between Foix and St Girons, close to Bastide de Serou, in a hamlet called Nescus. Toulouse is 1 hour 20 minutes away, and Barcelona is just under 4 hours by car.


    You can get a train from Barcelona to Foix, via Latour de Carol. Times vary- see:

    You can also get a train from Toulouse to Foix and a taxi from Foix to the venue.


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