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About Abri Creative Writing


Abri Creative Writing is the writing ‘wing’ of Gardoussel Retreat which has been offering yoga, art and writing holidays since 2009. In the summer we also rent out our 2 gîtes (independent holiday apartments).

Run by Sharon Black and Alex Duncan, Abri was founded to bring writers, teachers and quality writing together in a nurturing environment in the heart of nature. As a writer herself, Sharon believes this is one of the best conditions in which to access our creative potential.


For several years now we have been offering a small number of writing courses each summer. These range from very relaxed, holiday-type courses for people just beginning to explore the craft of writing to more intensive writing workshops for experienced writers with specific aims.

So whether your passion is poetry, prose, autobiography, script-writing or using writing as a means for self-development, we hope you’ll find something that suits your interests.

Each event is different and depends on the approach and choices of its tutor, but on a typical Abri course you can expect:


A typical daily format is a 3-hour group workshop in the morning, afternoon free for personal writing work (or to relax and do your own thing), and after dinner an evening gathering for discussion on a particular writing theme, or a sharing of work in progress. In addition, many tutors offer 1-1 tutorials in the afternoons so that each writer has the chance to have detailed feedback from their tutor on their own work. A typical group size is between 6-12 participants.

Accommodation & Meals

Guests are accommodated in rooms in either our 2 gîtes (holiday apartments) or independent bedrooms. Single rooms are provided, though if numbers exceed our quota we may ask the last ones in to share (cost remains the same). Couples and guests who know each other already can of course choose to share if they wish. (Most rooms have 2-3 single beds, two rooms have doubles). Non-writing partners are usually also welcome on events - check before booking.

Meals are delicious, home-made, vegetarian and are prepared with love using mainly organic ingredients. Dishes are laid out on a central table where guests help themselves. They can be eaten in our main dining room or out on the terrace overlooking the valley.

As part of the informal atmosphere at Gardoussel, guests are asked to participate in tidying up after meals, on a rota basis. This is generally considered to be a plus rather than a chore - as it helps the group to get to know one another better!

Teccie Matters

We have high speed broadband whose wifi is available in some areas of Gardoussel.

Mobile phone reception is usually possible (depending on your network) and we have 4G.

We do not provide PCs for guests' use so do bring your own laptop if you need a computer for your writing.

Open Retreats

Writers looking for a quiet, private space to get on with their own writing project can also be accommodated on one of our semi-catered writing retreats. Includes optional mentoring with Faber author Lucy Wadham or Pindrop poet Sharon Black.

Or you can simply rent one of our gîtes (holiday apartments) for a self-catering retreat. Whatever your needs, contact Sharon and she’ll try to work something out for you.

For a listing of upcoming creative writing holidays and open retreats at Abri see our Calendar.


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Abri Creative Writing Courses & Holidays in the South of France

Postal Address: Abri Creative Writing, Gardoussel, St Andre de Valborgne,

Tel: 0033 964 283 271 (dialing from UK or international) / 09 64 28 32 71 (dialing within France)

See our sister site: www.gardoussel.com for more events and info about the venue.