France 2024 Participants

Charlotte Dallison is originally from New Zealand, has lived all over the world, and is now in the midst of moving to Los Angeles for love. My first non-fiction book came out in Australia and New Zealand late last year and my dream is to become a novelist. I’m a recent adoptee of the Gateless method and have found it’s already helped me overcome some writer’s block. So looking forward to the retreat.

Casey Erin Wood loves to learn (and seems to enjoy collecting frameable parchments). I graduated from film school, trained as a bookkeeper, completed yoga teacher training, became an Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner (a 3-year program at an honest-to-goodness college—you gotta love the West Coast), and am a certified Life Coach (also, I see you, Gateless Teacher Training). These days that all gets swirled into my writing, which I do on the shores of Georgian Bay, where I live with my multiple hat-wearing husband, my unabashedly sassy teenage daughter and my two very badly behaved French Bulldogs, Gus & Mabel.

Heather Bartos (aka Kiki, Stella Athleta or any number of pseudonyms) longs to write in a lighthouse on the coast of Maine, instead of the hot AF Texas kitchen she uses now.  She identifies as a physical and energy healer (one a day job, the other a passion).  She has 1 husband, 2 kids, 3 horses, 4 chickens, 2 cats, 3 dogs and a donkey named Eleanor.  She’s coming to France with no preconceived notions, an ill-forgotten trove of high school French III avec Mme. Miller and wicked desire to howl under the moon with fabulous women.

Christina Dexter is a freelance communicator who helps social advocacy groups talk about their priorities by telling the stories of the people they impact. She is most proud of her non-professional life, where she weaves fierce fictional and non-fictional tales and works to make writing accessible to voices that society says are small. She has worked with cooperatives of rural cocoa farmers in Ecuador and has lived in North India, working with groups of women and girls. In 2021, she became a certified instructor of the Gateless Writing Method and used the method as an empowerment tool during workshops with women and girls on her most recent trip to India. Christina is a South Dakota State University graduate and resides in a tiny house on her family’s farm near Kansas City, Missouri.

Camilla Royce has a background in event production both in-house and agency side. She has worked in London and internationally. Camilla has worked with and assisted Martha Fiennes for the last four years on a number of film and digital art projects. She is also working with several other production companies in script development and film production. She is a classically trained actress having completed repertory training at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London. Camilla is a Tarot master with an established Tarot practice in London. She currently is writing her first novel which incorporates the wisdom of the Tarot.

Terri Trespicio is an award-winning writer, speaker, and brand advisor. Her TEDx talk, “Stop Searching for Your Passion,” has surpassed 6.5 million views. She was named by Hubspot as one of the “Top 18 female speakers who are killing it,” and one of the world’s leading creatives by Creative Boom magazine.

A former magazine editor and radio host at Martha Stewart, she has appeared on the Today show, Dr. Oz, The Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show and The Anderson Cooper Show. Her work has been featured in Oprah magazine, Marie Claire, Prevention, Business Insider,, and An in-demand speaker who presents at conferences across the country, she was rated the #1 speaker at Barron’s Top Independent Women Advisors Summit and How Design Live.

Terri is also a stand-up comic and has performed at famous Manhattan venues including Caroline’s, Dangerfield’s, Gotham, and New York Comedy Club, and was a quarter finalist in the She Devil Comedy Competition.

Terri earned her BA in English from Boston College and a MFA in Creative Writing in 2002 from Emerson College, where her thesis, a collection of poetry, won the Graduate Dean Award. A finalist for the Iowa Award and Glimmer Train, her literary work has appeared in The Greensboro Review, New Millenium Writings, and The Baltimore Review, where she won first place in their 2016 creative nonfiction contest. Certified in the Gateless method for capturing creative genius, she’s the creator of the Six Week Sprint, a dynamic program for generating new work, and leads workshops and retreats all over the country.

She’s represented by Johanna Castillo at Writers House, and her forthcoming book, tentatively titled Stop Searching for Your Passion, will be published in spring 2022 by Atria Books / Simon & Schuster.

Christine Kämmer: I am an amateur musician, beginning yogini, silver sister, traveler, vegetarian, blogger and flash fiction writer from Vienna, Austria. Professionally, I escaped from the corporate world a few years ago and have been working as a creative writing coach & Gateless Writing Teacher since 2020.

Laura Hartnett is a former lawyer turned legal consultant. While living in Madrid this academic year, she started work on a memoir about her year in Spain and a comic feminist novel about the practice of law. She is also a yoga addict, karaoke enthusiast, and proud mom of two creative girls.

Walli Höfinger:

I am originally Austrian and live in Germany near Berlin.

I am a performance artist and voice teacher working mostly in Germany, France and Switzerland.

I love nature, listening, moving, singing, writing, composing, good humor, chef cooking and sharing food.

I am deeply interested in artistic work and process that comes from inner depth.

I’m Angie Gregory and I work in the Energy industry. I have a son and daughter-in-law and a grandson who brings joy to my life. I have been learning improv since 2022 and I perform at a small comedy theater in Chicago.

Martha Fiennes: After graduating film school Martha Fiennes started directing music videos and was soon sought by the TV commercials industry going on to garner several TV advertising directing awards. Her first feature film, the acclaimed Russian-set period movie Onegin – starring Liv Tyler and Ralph Fiennes won Martha the Tokyo Film Festival; the London Critics Award for Best Newcomer and a BAFTA nomination for Best British Film.Her second movie, Chromophobia attracted a stellar cast including Penelope Cruz, Damian Lewis, Kristen Scott Thomas & Ian Holm. Written and directed by Fiennes, it was applauded for its contemporary style and ‘icy and superb script’. Fiennes’ recent work is a majestic, AI-generative digital moving-image artwork titled ‘Yugen’ . The work is comprised of multiple layers of highly crafted film/action sequences and backgrounds which utilise bespoke AI system to instruct a continuous moving-image experience. The work is accompanied by an original audio score composed by Magnus Fiennes. The result is a mesmeric work which neither loops or repeats. Fiennes used the same ‘hybrid’ media system in her earlier work ‘Nativity’ (2011). Fiennes’ artworks have exhibited in a number of high profile showcases including the Venice Biennale; Christie’s Art+Tech Summit, New York; National Gallery, London; V&A London; LACMA / Frieze Los Angeles; The Serpentine Gallery, London; The Science Museum London IMAX, The Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg and at Art Dubai ’22. Yugen was described by Vogue Arabia as ‘best in show’.

Claire Menzies: Oh my goodness, there are no words for Claire!! Without Claire we wouldn’t be having this retreat at all. After an unbelievably divine connection at the Gateless Retreat in Costa Rica, Claire suggested to Alysa and me that we might do a retreat at her house in the South of France, and ever since, it’s been a dream come true. We are completely in love with her (you will be too, just wait). She is a fabulous cook, an incredible hostess (she really has pulled this retreat together in the most fantastic way from ideas on excursions to transport and lodging oh my goodnesssss), her writing will knock your socks off, she is brilliant about history, art and all things European. She has also had a wide and varied career, which you can read about HERE. In France, we are so lucky to be in her restored 7-bedroom Inn, and she will introduce us to the market, the cuisine, the community, the village and her incredible brilliance as a human being. I am just so grateful, Claire and I really just can’t wait for everyone to meet you and be as charmed as we have been by you.

Me: This is my 15th year running Gateless Retreats everywhere from Joshua Tree to Costa Rica, from Paris to Tuscany to the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of CT.

Gateless Retreats are a sanctuary of writing, artistic expression and losing the hold of the conditioning on our wild true nature, which is the key to the singular genius that resides in the rich rooms of the self.

I adore you, even if I haven’t met you.  And you will feel that when we do finally meet.

You were drawn to this retreat for a reason and you will feel in the fabric of who you are what that reason is as you enter the landscape of that blank page every day on retreat.

We are already sprinkled with fairy dust, just by being born under the sign of the scribe.

This is going to be an incredible time.