The Classic Retreat

That first Gateless Retreat completely changed my career, my writing and my life. I will never be the same–Sarah Montana, Screenwriter.

May 6-10 | Tuscany, Italy

Cypress-lined hills, sun-drenched Medieval hill towns and gorgeous Renaissance art, from the rugged Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea and Chianti’s  vineyards, there’s no better place to write than Tuscany…

This May, Gateless is running away with 10 writers to the seat of creative inspiration, the medieval city of Cortona, one of the only pedestrian cities in the world, an hour train ride from Florence and two hours from Rome.

This is our second year running the Tuscany retreat, and all we can think about is going back.

Here is a city that climbs up from the Vineyards and villas of lower Tuscany and turns into a historical marvel of cobblestoned streets, ancient architecture, galleries, cafes and some of the most charming people in the world.

Elizabeth Farren, a Literature and Writing professor from Rome and our private chef Claudia (both pictured above, right) give us the beauty, history and unbelievably delicious gourmet of the region and lead us on excursions to thermal baths and wineries including a sunset bike ride through the Vineyards. 

 We stay in a private house, walking distance to the center square and write in an Estrucean- styled salon with a view to the hills of Umbria. 

After my first Gateless Writing Salon, I never looked back.  Without Gateless, my book never would have been born. —Mary Gauthier, author of Saved by a Song, St. Martin’s Press.

You will experience a high-touch experience including daily Thai head massage and Reiki, the famous Gateless Writing Salon that radically nurtures the writer within and Gateless feedback that elevates you to your highest creative potential. 

Rising to the light of the Tuscan sun, you will spend the day feasting, explore and writing with a small group of like-minded creatives in a city known for its artistry, its star gazing and the profound quiet of a pedestrian-only experience. .  

This is the escape you’ve been waiting for.

The Gateless Writing Retreats are transformative, electrifying, nothing compares to the elation you feel when you receive feedback in the circle. That incredible infusion of community and soaring creativity can really only happen in Gateless. The critical voice falls away and you find again the pure, bliss that’s been inside you all along. Nothing else compares.– Lauren Myers, MFA, Newton Mass

We limit the Tuscany retreat to 12, and it fills very fast!

The full schedule is below. To sign up please email us at: 

A Gateless Writing Retreat is like 1000 Christmas mornings…you never want to leave —Kate Baldwin.

Your Retreat Leader:

Suzanne Kingsbury is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed author, whose work has been translated widely abroad and optioned for film.

In 2007 after graduating from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop Novel-Writing program with Frank Conroy and the Bennington College Masters in Fine Arts in Writing and the Literary Arts, Suzanne founded Gateless Writing, a global literary arts organization whose unique methodology combines brain science, ancient Zen techniques, and therapeutic nurturing to develop writers’ unique talent and singular genius, enabling them to move through residual blocks and create domain-changing prose.

Suzanne is the recipient of a Fulbright Award and the Oxford Town Fiction Award and her work has been profiled in Rolling Stone Magazine (European edition), the Guardian, the L.A. Times, O Magazine, BuzzFeed, Bustle, Ms Magazine, Thrive Global (top writing retreat of 2017), NPR syndicates, and more …

Suzanne is also trained in Reiki and certified in Thai Head Massage and can “read” a writer through touch. She began working as a scribe channel while she was leading her first Gateless Teacher Training in 2014, receiving messages from a divine source of unconditional love that helped writers find clarity and power in their words. As a writing intuit, she uses the sacred spirit of the word to understand deep patterning and repeated archetypes in a writer’s work, that lead to profound alchemy in their lives.

Through retreats, workshops, one-on-one intensives, and career training programs, Suzanne has helped countless writers on their way to landing top agents, signing lucrative book deals and winning prestigious literary awards. Her writers have also been profiled in some of the world’s top media outlets including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CBS, NBC, ABC, Forbes, USA Today, the Jane Pauley show, and more. 

She believes if you are a writer, you have been tapped by the divine to be a conduit for a message only you can tell and you have the power can move a crowd with your story.


If you have never been to a Gateless Retreat before, Gateless Writing Salons are the cornerstone of all Gateless Retreats, and they include a guided meditation, Thai head massage + Reiki, a prompt to encourage your writing (if you need it), followed by writing sessions.  Finally, you will receive immediate Gateless feedback where you discover the innate genius and singular power in your work.


First Day May 6:
Fly into Rome or Florence.
Cortona is about 2 hours from Rome and 1 hour from Florence by train.
If you are accepted to the retreat, we will send you detailed information about getting the rain and arriving to Cortona, where a driver will pick you up
You and the other writers will be staying in a private home with the other writers, we will have a main salon room, attached to the dining area, where we will gather to write and each each day.
You may arrive anytime on the 6th.
If you want to arrive in Cortona beforehand, there are plenty of air bnb’s and hotels, who will be happy to receive you.. 
Our private chef will be waiting with Italian fare and a cool drink.
3:00pm we gather for our first writing salon.
7:00pmDinner together.
8:30 A quick goodnight salon.

May 7:
8-9:30 Morning Breakfast with our chef, Claudia.
9:30 Gateless Writing Salon together
(snacks and coffee brought in through the morning)
12:30 Lunch
3:00 Excursion to the Thermal Baths
5:00-7:00 Free to explore Cortona
7:30 Dinner
8:45 Short goonight writing salon

May 8:
8-9:30 Morning Breakfast with our chef, Claudia.
9:30 Gateless Writing Salon together
(snacks and coffee brought in through the morning)
12:00 Lunch
2:00-4:30 Writing Salon
5:00-7:00 Free to explore Cortona
7:30 Dinner
8:45 short goodnight Writing Salon

May 9
8-9:30 Morning Breakfast with our chef, Claudia.
9:30 Gateless Writing Salon together
(snacks and coffee brought in through the morning)
12:00 Lunch
2:00 Bike ride if weather permits + Tasting at the Vineyard
7:30 Dinner
8:45 Short Goodnight Writing Salon

Last Morning May 10:
8-9:30 Last Breakfast together with Claudia.
10-10:30 Closing Ceremony.   

What to bring: It will be warm so bring your summery clothes, sunscreen, your laptop and some cozies like sweaters and fleece and a spring scarf for the cool nights.  

Bring your laughter, your dramamine (for pre-travel to our spot), your journal, your excitement and your ideas for what you want to put on the page.

Bring the little bit of Italian you learned in high school and your gorgeous self, wrapped up in the spirit of adventure. Plus a charger that has an adaptor on it for Italy and a package of ear plugs just in case… Can’t wait to be with you! 


Prices: Your price includes the all meals cooked by our resident chef, daily Reiki and Thai head massage, all excursions and days of Gateless Writing salons.

Double Room: $2850
Single Room: $3200

How to Get There:

Fly into Rome, there’s a beautiful train to Cortona, they run all day. 
Or fly into Florence and take the short train to Cortona.
You can also fly into London, Gatwick and take a short Vueling flight to Florence to the train to Cortona (less than an hour, they run all day).


To get your questions answered or let us know you will be joining us, email Suzanne at:

Or simply send us a PayPal for the $1500 deposit using, please use the friends and family link so that no extra charges are incurred.

There’s nothing like a writing retreat with Suzanne Kingsbury, she’s a guru, a magician and a fairy godmother. It’s an out-of-body experience that makes you feel like you flew through the night and hit the stars.–Marshall Chapman, singer/songwriter and bestselling author of Goodbye Little Rock and Roller.