The Rocaberti Writers Retreat
Making the impossible happen
Have you dreamed of writing a screenplay and seeing it come to life on the silver screen?
Or maybe you’ve published a book and are wondering about how to turn it into a film script?
Seems impossible, right?
Well, the answer, is, NO! Nothing is impossible, and on these one-of-a-kind writers’ retreats, held in beautiful medieval castles across Europe, we’ll show you just how your words, your vision—let’s face it, your baby—can make it all the way to the big screen!
Learn from top industry mentors!
You’ll meet daily with the mentor of your choice - who include Academy (R) award-winning writers, producers, directors and former studio presidents - in small groups of just 4 writers, to workshop your project. This is your chance to receive their undivided attention and ask questions about anything related to your writing—from the arc of your story to gaining traction in your writing career to crafting the perfect pitch for an agent or producer.
They’ll also be available to you for impromptu conversations throughout the retreat, sharing the lessons and tips they’ve learned—and the joys of the creative process—with you every step of the way.
So come along and enjoy the most exclusive (and fun!) literary vacation of the year. In a castle.
David Paul Kirkpatrick
Former President of Paramount Pictures
British producer who developed THE KING'S SPEECH
Richard "RB" Botto
Producer & CEO of Stage 32
Writing Instructor for NBC's Writers On The Verge
Million-dollar screenwriter (WHAT WOMEN WANT)
British Film Director
Kathie Fong Yoneda
Former Disney and Touchstone Exec
World-renowned Script Consultant
In beautiful medieval castles across France, Italy and Spain
When you go on a retreat to focus on your writing, you want a place which both inspires you and strengthens your commitment to your craft. (And if it happens to make you feel like royalty, while doing so? All the better!)
Which is why we chose spectacular medieval castles in France, Italy and Spain, each with their own stories to tell…
Marouatte Castle, The Dordogne
14th century Marouatte Castle, in the heart of Southwestern France, is owned by music industry legend Miles Copeland, former manager of Sting and The Police.
Replete with battlements, moat, and guard towers, Marouatte is set in 270 acres of woodlands and fields in one of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions of France. Richly decorated in antiques, art, tapestries and of course suits of armor, the castle interior is a feast for the eyes.Learn more
Aragonese Castle, Ischia
Set on a rock off the coast of the island of Ischia (where The Talented Mr Ripley was shot) the Aragonese Castle is housed in a 16th-century former monastery, atop lush vegetation, private walkways and spectacular views across the Bay of Naples to neighbouring Capri.
Twenty-five centuries of history, from churches, convents, prisons and lush gardens lie suspended between the sky and the sea in an atmosphere of timeless beauty.Learn more
Sant Mori Castle, Figueres
This impressive 15th Century castle-mansion, also known as the Rocaberti Castle, has belonged to the same family for the past 600 years.
Surrounded by rolling hills and the snow-topped Pyrenees in the distance, Sant Mori has borne witness to several historical moments, the most important being the stay of Queen Juana Enriquez and her son Fernando, who sponsored the voyage made by Christopher Columbus to discover the Americas.
It nestles in the sleepy village of Sant Mori, just twenty minutes from Figueres, the home of world-renowned Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí.Learn more
Attendees have called our retreats, “A magical, miraculous event”, “The experience of a lifetime”, “The best decision I’ve ever made” and “Life-changing.”
Here’s what a few of them had to say!
Write. Engage. Experience.
Sound enticing? We’re inviting writers of fiction, non-fiction, and for the screen to apply for what promises to be a memorable (and productive!) experience. Enrollment is limited to just 16 writers to ensure small class size and maximum access to our mentors.
Picture yourself staying at a 14th century castle (how’s that for inspiration?). Participating in stimulating workshops. Enjoying a glass of wine with a bona fide Hollywood producer or Oscar-winning screenwriter. Sharing your work with others for constructive feedback. Just taking the time to breathe—and to write, away from the demands of your daily routine. Imagine the conversations that might unfold daily around the breakfast table or on a walk round the castle grounds.
Whether you’ve written a book, are working on a screenplay—or are just thinking about it!—wherever you are in the process, we’re here to help you move forward and show you that dreams can become reality!
This retreat is for you if…
- You’re working on a feature film, TV pilot or book, or have an idea for one.
- You have a book and want to turn it into a screenplay or vice-versa—or sell it directly to Hollywood.
- You’re unsure how to get your screenplay in front of agents and producers.
- You’re serious about completing your project and making your dream come true!
The Retreat includes...
You’ll meet daily with your mentor* in small groups of 4 writers, to discuss your project. This is your chance to receive their undivided attention and ask questions about anything related to your writing—from the arc of your story to gaining traction in your writing career to crafting the perfect pitch for an agent or producer.
*Please note: in order to have the mentor of your choice, it’s imperative to book early, as places in the mentoring groups are allocated on a strictly first-come, first-served basis.
Each morning, after a presentation from one of our industry experts, you’ll meet with your mentor and the other three writers in your small group, in sessions of three hours, going in-depth into the topics which matter most to you, including:
- Story development.
- Honing your craft.
- The art of revision.
- How to turn an existing book into a screenplay.
- How to write/finish a book with your eye on the silver screen.
- Marketing your manuscript/screenplay.
- Learning the business side of writing (an often overlooked but vital step), from securing the best literary agent to selling your script and working with film directors and producers on rewrites.
- Lunchtime ASK ME A QUESTION sessions, where a different mentor each day will take Q & A on any aspect of the business you’d like to know about.
- Afternoon ‘Pitch to the Expert’ sessions with specific feedback on your project!
- Free time to just relax, write, take a dip in the pool, or take a stroll in the idyllic surrounding countryside with your new friends.
- After-dinner Q & A with a different mentor each day, on a film which they’ve been involved with.
- And so much more..!
From dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure, all your meals will be prepared by a private chef using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. We’ll be serving vegetarian and gluten-free options along with a variety of traditional local cuisine.
As befits a castle, all the bedrooms are unique and range greatly in size, furnishings and views, and so will be allocated on a strictly first-come, first-served basis.
*At the Italian castle, the lodging is for seven nights.
To make your travel easy and stress-free, we’re providing a private driver to and from Barcelona airport (for the Spanish Retreat) and Angoulême train station (for the French retreat) for all our guests. Once your place has been secured on the retreat, we’ll be in touch with details and recommendations with regards to your flight arrangements.
*Please note that due to the Italian Retreat being on an island off an island, we are unable to provide private transportation, but do promise to give you detailed travel advice and hold your hand every step of the way!
Where else could you sit down to breakfast with an Academy award-winning writer? Sip Bordeaux in the salon with the former president of a major movie studio? Go for a leisurely stroll through the castle grounds with a director who’s worked on one of the most critically-acclaimed box office hits of recent years?!
With a faculty/participant ratio of 1:4, the Rocaberti mentors will be available to you for impromptu conversations throughout the retreat, sharing the lessons and tips they’ve learned—and the joys of the creative process—with you every step of the way.
So come along and enjoy the most exclusive (and fun!) literary vacation of the year. In a castle.
A typical day’s program is as follows:
8.00am – 8.30am: Morning meditation (optional), focused on opening our minds and calming our hearts, in order to get the creative juices flowing and focused on our stories.
8.30am – 9.30am: A leisurely breakfast, followed by:
9.30am – 10.30am: Presentation and Q&A discussions with our mentors.
10.30am – 11am: Coffee break.
11am – 1pm: In small groups of 4, you’ll meet with your mentor for two hours, to discuss your project. This is your chance to receive their undivided attention and ask questions about anything related to your writing—from the arc of your story to gaining traction in your writing career to crafting the perfect pitch for an agent or producer.
1pm – 2.30pm: A delicious lunch, al fresco, on the castle’s beautiful terrace, prepared with fresh, local ingredients by the Retreat’s chef.
2pm – 2.30pm: ASK ME A QUESTION: Each day, a different mentor will take your questions on any aspect of the film or writing business.
2.30pm – 3.30pm: Individual sessions with your mentor/free writing time.
3.30pm – 4.30pm: Free writing time.
4.30pm – 5.30pm: ‘Pitch to the Expert’: each day a small group of writers will take their turn pitching their project to the mentors, receiving valuable feedback on this stage of the process.
5.30pm – 7.30pm: Uninterrupted free time in the afternoon to go for a walk in the castle grounds, take a dip in the pool or simply write, take a siesta or chat with fellow mentors and writers.
Then, we’ll meet for dinner prepared by our private chef, followed by a talk and then Q & A with a different mentor each day on a film or TV project which they’ve been involved with. We’ll also be tasting some of the delicious local wines!