The Destination Retreat

From George Sand to Simone de Beauvoir, France has been home to the muse of the literari for generations.

May 14-18 | South of France

And this year, Gateless is running away to make sweet love to the page in the heat of spring in one of France’s most beautiful landscapes, Provence’s Saint Hippolyte-du-Fort.

Claire Menzes, a Gateless retreat alum, acquired our historic 7-bedroom former Inn on the edge of this bustling village in Southern France, to spark the imagination of artists and writers. With its own pool, a gorgeous garden, a rooftop salon for writing, elegant curved staircases and turn-of-the-century decor to spark your inspire, this is the writing destination of a lifetime.

On May 14, fly into Nimes or Montpelier from anywhere in the US or Europe, and a driver will take you to the house. 

Arrive at the house anytime and relax with a cool drink and some gourmet a la cuisine du français. 

Our first writing salon will be that afternoon with a chef’s dinner to follow. And a goodnight writing salon under the stars at 8:30.

Each day, rise to delicious gourmet, write in Gateless salon, feast on a French chef’s lunch and we will wander the cobblestoned streets, visiting markets, wine tasting and coming back for the afternoon salon, and then dinner at 7:00, and always our last goodnight gathering on the rooftop terrace, under the stars.

The cornerstone of these retreats is the Gateless Writing Salon, where we write together. During these incredible storytelling events, you find your singular strength and the unique talent you hold inside. These salons have helped countless writers rise to their highest creative achievement.  

The magic of the Gateless methodology, born from creative brain science and the practice of ancient Zen, is that it allows the creative to thrives in the seat of radical nurturing. 

This is not an ordinary writing retreat, to open the portals in the subconscious, you will experience Thai head massage, Reiki, breathwork, shamanic calling in and channeling. Breaking down the walls of the familiar is part of all Gateless destination retreats and this one does it with the flair for the ethereal.  

For over a decade-and-a-half, these retreats have been opening the rich rooms in the self, allowing you to burst through past conditioning and create pages that will astound you. 

Come, join the lavender fields, the sunflowers, the steep cliffs and the sublime villages of southern France where the imagination is set on fire. Discover, at last, the vast and brilliant beauty of the essential creative self. 

During my first Gateless Retreat, I finally understood that I was here to be a writer. I had written before, but this was a kind of homecoming.  I had arrived at what I had been moving toward my whole life. Daisy Florin, writer, Greenwich CT

What to bring: 

It will be warm, so bring your summery clothes, sunscreen, your laptop and your cozies 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 French 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 France and a package of ear plugs, just in case.

We will send out detailed travel arrangements,  questions about food preferences + allergies, contact info, a list of some places to stay in the area and more as we near our date.

There isn’t anything like a Gateless Retreat. The only way I can describe it is to say that it is magic, pure magic. When you put pen to paper, the stars align, every single piece of talent you never knew you had comes pouring out. You are in a state of what can only be called pure elation. You are in a fever of bliss. Gateless has changed my life. —Sheena Cook, novelist, Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Price: All inclusive save the airfare to get you there.  

This high touch retreat with 7 writers.

Included are three meals a day by our private chef, a private room, Thai head massage, Reiki, breathwork, yoga, all your writing salons plus excursions out to the French markets and the sweet beautiful town of Saint Hippolyte: $3200. 

How to Get There:

Fly into London Heathrow or Gatwick and take EasyJet from Gatwick (a short flight about $100-$200)

Or, fly into Charles de Gaulle, and Easy Jet or Air France to Montpelier (about an hour, about $100 or $150).

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.