This week-long memoir writing retreat is housed in the magnificent Château Marcoux, an ancient hilltop fortress tastefully transformed into a modern manor house with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the French countryside.

Daily memoir writing workshops fill the mornings, while afternoons are kept free for writing and reflection. Optional yoga and meditation sessions provide a beautiful balance to a day of sitting and concentrating, and occasional outings to nearby villages and markets are offered as well. Evenings are enjoyed on the terrace with discussions over wine and candlelight, casual readings, and a meal in the picturesque neighbouring village of Beauville (25 kms west of Agen). 

A variety of accommodation options, from luxury private suites to shared twin rooms, makes it possible for these extraordinary retreats to be enjoyed by people on a range of budgets. And a work-exchange option is now available.

Delicious and nourishing meals are prepared on site using fresh produce from local markets. Vegetarian options are available and limited special diet accommodations can be made.

This intimate workshop is limited to 7 participants.

Couples are welcome.


The very thought of going to a writing workshop frightened me, but the beautiful photos of Marcoux lured me in — and they do not even do it justice! A week filled with learning, laughter and the company of eight wonderful women was an absolute delight. Morning workshops, creative afternoons, luscious dinners with interesting conversations followed by sleep in luxurious surroundings made this week quite unforgettable.
Thank you, Clara and Alison. I will be back.
— Greta S.


Château Marcoux offers a variety of beautiful accommodation options accessible to people on a range of budgets. Participants are free to choose from shared bedrooms/facilities, private rooms, and luxurious private suites.


Main House - Deluxe Master Bedroom Suite (king-sized bed, private bathroom)

The large master bedroom, complete with its own mahogany writing desk and deliciously comfy sofa, is a haven for any writer or artist. The room has glorious white-washed eves in the ceiling, a beautiful open fireplace and the best views in the house. With a king-sized bed and an ensuite bathroom with shower and jacuzzi, it is a heavenly space in which to relax and create in solitude.


Main House - Elegant Private Bedroom (QueeN-Bed, private bathroom)  

This bedroom is a wonder of rustic artistry. The regional brickwork of the meter-thick walls contrasts with delicate eaves in the ceiling and an antique armour. This room has an ensuite bathroom with both shower and bath. It overlooks the 'hot garden' and the patio, with a direct line of sight to the moon.


Annexe - Private House (queen bed with private  bathroom)

The quiet gem of the property. For the private soul. This small private suite has an ensuite bathroom with shower. Set slightly away from the house in the 'hot garden', where artichokes grow alongside wisteria and wildflowers.

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* Main House - Private Room (two twin beds TOGETHER, PRIVATE VANITY, shared bathroom)

A lovely budget option with privacy. This cosy bedroom has a spacious bed, a private sink and shared bathroom facilities. *

Main House - Twin Room (double-occupancy with sink/vanity, shared bathroom)

A gorgeous budget option. This shared bedroom has 2 twin beds, a private sink and shared bathroom facilities

Twin Room, continued (view of second bed), shared bathroom

These beds can be booked individually and a roommate will be assigned, or shared with a friend. In either case, this room is for 2 people. 

* A work-exchange discount is now available for someone willing to provide light help in the kitchen over breakfast and dinner.

The beauty of this hilltop retreat lies in the kinds of vistas it provides: in a physical sense, of course, the beauty and timelessness of the house itself; the fields, forests, hills, and farms in the valley below; the stars in the night sky; but also a kind of interior space that opens up within oneself as a result both of the gentle hospitality Clara offers, and of the sensitive and illuminating guidance Alison provides in the writing workshops.
— H.L Meakin
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Pricing is in EUROS (€). 1 Euro = approximately 1.5 Canadian dollars.
Includes accommodation, meals, daily workshops, outings.
Does NOT include flight or transportation to Marcoux from Paris/Toulouse (see travel details below).

1300€  Twin Room (double-occupancy: shared bedroom w/sink and shared bathroom); price is per person

1600€  Private Single Room (private bedroom with sink, shared bathroom facilities) * work-exchange discount: 1000€

2000€  Annexe (private outbuilding with ensuite bathroom w/shower)

2200€ Elegant Private Bedroom (queen-sized bed, private ensuite bathroom w/shower and bathtub)

2400€ Deluxe Master Bedroom (king-sized bed, private ensuite bathroom w/shower and jacuzzi, view over valley, writing desk, sofa)

Couples are welcome. A modest additional fee of 250€ needs to be added to the cost of the room for an accompanying partner/spouse NOT participating in the workshop. If BOTH parties are interested in taking the workshop, the additional cost becomes 650€.


Travel Details

The nearest international airport is in the city of TOULOUSE, but flying FROM CANADA to PARIS and travelling from there by train to AGEN is just as simple. From Agen, you may either request a pickup, rent a car at the train station (recommended if you plan to explore a bit while at Marcoux), or take a taxi. Marcoux is an easy and lovely 25-minute drive from Agen.

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This was my first writing workshop and Alison created a safe container to hold the participants and their stories. I felt witnessed and respected as I stood in my vulnerability, sharing hidden life experiences that were brought to the light through my writing. Alison balanced honouring my story with practical guidance that allowed me to transform my writing from words on a page to something readers can be part of.
I leave Marcoux feeling liberated, free to write from my heart.
— Katharina Reed
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The setting, the food, the care and comfort, the overall feeling of peace — all of this made Château Marcoux feel like home after only a few days. In the writing workshops, it was safe to be vulnerable and to share our stories and obstacles. Alison’s comments and leadership, her examples, analogies, suggestions and questions were all thought-provoking, kind, caring and helpful. And then there were the moments of raucous laughter.
I only wished the retreat could have gone on for another week!
— Judy McAdam
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The Mindful Memoir retreat offered a week of so many enriching experiences. The setting was idyllic, the food plentiful and delicious, and our host was generous and attentive. The writing portion of the retreat helped us explore in depth the various projects we were working on and Alison gave us excellent feedback and ideas to help us develop our stories. My time at Château Marcoux was a profoundly moving experience.
— Astrid Russell
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Sometimes we need a break from our lives

in order to write about them.