Ellen Sussman Retreat

June 2 - 8, 2024
Côte d'Azur, France

Spend a week with seven fellow writers at a magnificent “Belle Epoque” mansion in Grasse, the world’s perfume capital, in the Provence-Côte d’Azur region of France.

Every day the group will meet with New York Times bestselling author Ellen Sussman for a three hour workshop. The classes will be a combination of critique workshop and generative exercises, focusing on aspects of the craft that will take your writing to the next level. Each student will also meet with Ellen for a one hour private session.  This is a rare opportunity to study with Ellen in France (the setting for two of her novels) with such a small and intimate group.

About Ellen

Ellen Sussman is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night Like This. She is the editor of two critically acclaimed anthologies, Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex.

She teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes and she is the co-founder and co-director of Sonoma County Writers Camp. www.ellensussman.com

Come prepared for an unforgettable experience.

Once you arrive at the Grasse train station, we will transport you to the magnificent “Belle Epoque” mansion with spectacular sea views.

In your spare time, you can enjoy a dip in the private heated pool and relax on the inviting terrace.

There are two comfortable living rooms where you can curl up with a good book or share stories with new-found friends. Each morning you can enjoy a French breakfast with a peaceful view of the gardens or the city below, and perfect your craft with plenty of individual space, and in your private 1-hour critique with Ellen.

For use during your spare time, we provide yoga mats, towels for the pool, and shelves overflowing with books for your reading pleasure.

Grasse is the centre of the French perfume industry and is known as the world’s perfume capital. We’ll arrange a perfume factory tour where you can create your own scent!

Afterwards, the group will stroll into the village and dine at Grasse’s celebrated restaurant La Brasserie des Artistes.

The local Provençal markets are within walking distance, too.


There are 8 Provençal bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.  The belle epoque villa has two reading rooms, a saline pool, gardens, petanque, outdoor bbq, and unparelleled views of the city of Grasse.

Shampoo, soap, hair dryer, washer & dryer + detergent are provided.


Ellen Sussman's retreat includes:

  • 15 hours of workshop
  • 1-hour private critique & planning session
  • 6 nights in a private room
  • freshly prepared French meals
  • scheduled transport from/to Grasse train station
  • scheduled perfume tour & atelier
  • scheduled dining out
  • local concierge services
  • Alcohol is not included


                             The cost of this retreat:
                               Single room: $6,000

“What a lovely experience from start to finish.  Everything was so well done for us with such consideration for each of us. The view from my room was spectacular!”

– Mercilee Jenkins