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Nanowrimo Castle (Writing Retreat)

In 2017 I made enough in Kindle sales to rent TWO castles and cowrite with a bunch of fabulous authors. We’re about to move into the second, in Rappottenstein Austria, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll update this page soon with a full guest list, and we’ll be sharing videos during the Nanowrimo event.



Nanowrimo Austria


Pre-nanowrimo Spain







Nanowrimo France


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Original post:

For a few years I’ve been thinking about buying a castle to use as a writer’s retreat. Although that dream is a long way off, in 2016 I’ll be renting a castle for the whole month of November to use during Nanowrimo.

I’m splitting it with a few other authors and I’m so excited about it; there are 9 rooms and I’m thinking we’ll invite booktubers, book bloggers and YA authors to come stay for a week or weekend, to create a really amazing, fully immersive, 24/7 nanowrimo experience.

The benefits will be:

  1. get the writing done
  2. share book marketing/publishing tips
  3. hang out with other YA authors
  4. have an amazing time

About the Castle

Firstly, it’s not actually a castle, it’s a chateau. I looked at hundreds of castles and liked this one the best. It’s called the Château De Cadrès, it’s in between the Dordogne region and the Toulouse area (which both have magnificent castles we can visit!).

The inside looks kind of spooky but awesome. It’s surrounded by forests and pretty isolated, so it’ll be quiet (we’re there to write after all…).


There will probably be some cosplay – and Limoges has a big halloween party so we might start there. I’d like to do a night of living dangerously party too.

Since a lot of us have platforms, we’ll probably do some joint videos/interviews and things (maybe even a daily update from the inside?)

I also think it would be fun to write an anthology, all guests submit a 2500 word short horror story based in the castle, for example.

The closest airports are Toulouse or Agen (RyanAir or some smaller airlines have cheap flights from London). The nearest train stop is Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

We’ll cook dinners and plan games but also have lots of schedule quiet time so we can work on our books. We’ll also do some sightseeing – there are literally hundreds of castles in the area, here are two of my favorites that we saw when we were there last year.



Beynac castle, my wife is up on top.


Carcassonne is awesome too.


Confirmed Guests


YouTube star and Cosplay enthusiast, Kristina Horner is an up-and-coming YA author. Kristina is an extremely vocal supporter of NaNoWriMo and spends a lot of her time going to nerd-related conventions (EmeraldCityComicCon and VidCon being among her favorite). She loves reading, playing board games with her roommates, and oh yeah – she also works at Microsoft.



YA authors

Professional Wizard Liz Leo is a graphic designer, young magician and upcoming YA writer from Seattle.





Multiple award winning author Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night for Grand Central Publishing, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning.



Corrine Kenner is an author and certified tarot master, who wrote a book about how writers can use the tarot to improve their writing. So there will probably be a lot of fortune-telling! I hope she’ll give us a class or something.



Derek Murphy has a PhD in Literature and has spent 10 years helping other people publish their books (design, editing, marketing). Recently he decided to quit everything and publish his own young adult fiction. Besides writing, he helps creative people make full time income from their art or writing at