spiritual writing AT A HISTORIC ABBEY

Join writing coach Allison Quaid on this week-long writing retreat at at one of the most inspiring sites in the world: the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay outside of Paris. We will open ourselves each day to inspiration with morning meditation and creativity writing sprints. We'll review successful examples of spiritual writings, examining techniques used to effectively convey their truths. In the afternoons, you'll have time to write, and then review it in some groups for feedback. Workshop will be held Summer of 2018.

This luxurious retreat gifts you the time, space, and instruction needed to revitalize your spiritual writing. Your retreat experience will be tailored to where you're at in your writing process.

The workshop is set at the Vaux de Cernay Abbey, located in the Chevreuse valley sprinkled with castles outside Paris. It is an enchanted place and the perfect spot to recharge your batteries, immerse yourself in history dating back to the 10th century, and be awed. Vaux de Cernay abbey’s extraordinary architecture emerges from where power and mystery preside. It is also host to a sophisticated gourmet dining experience - expect gastronomic delights from the French chef!

Brief Workshop Description - more coming, check back soon

During our week together, we’ll begin each morning with a meditation and writing creativity sprints. Once you're warmed up, we'll turn to the craft of spiritual writing.  We study techniques used by the masters of spiritual writing and do writing exercises to apply those technique to our own writing. Allison will provide proven writing exercises designed to help you release writing blocks, organize your time, and find your motivation. You'll also set an individual writing goal for the day.

Your afternoon is free to structure as you wish. Write on your own, receive individual coaching, explore the Abbey, take an inspiring hike through the forest and around the lake, nap, or exchange plot ideas with other participants. We’ll come back together late afternoon to spend an hour or two sharing our insights, writing and laughter.

All participants will be shown how to:

  • Write memorable characters
  • Build a page-turning plot
  • Create magical settings
  • Craft a scene
  • Organize their writing time

Workshop Setting

Taken from their website:

"Vaux de Cernay Abbey, located in the Chevreuse valley in the Rambouillet state-owned forest, is an enchanted place and the perfect spot to recharge your batteries. Vaux de Cernay Abbey’s extraordinary architecture emerges from where power and mystery preside.

Thus, it has been reborn and brought back to life: a cellar transformed into a music lounge and a gothic lounge with its enormous chimneys, a former lay brother refectory into a restaurant and re-baptised ‘the prayer table’, a surprising monastic room with two spanning ridge beams and sandstone capitol columns.

We are surrounded by more than eight centuries of history. The former cloister, reading gallery, mill and chapter house have found their existential callings. The Cistercians created these magical places blessed by God and protected by the Kings of France we needed to revive them. St Louis and Margaret of Provence drank miracle water from the St Thibault fountain and it made this Queen of France fertile. The spring is still in the nearby woods and soothes the thirst of our guests."

Retreat Leader

Allison Quaid (CEO Creative Eco-Catalysts, rock star change-agent, 20 years experienced workshop facilitator, Reiki healer, storyteller) is an experienced writer and teacher who will offer you the support and instruction you need.


Dates, Times & Locations

Summer 2018


45 minutes outside of Paris, France


Pending. Pricing will include instruction, lodging and all meals.

Sample Schedule

Day One

8:00  Breakfast

9:00-12 Creativity sprints; an overview of spiritual writing; set personal goals

12:00   Lunch

1:00    Writing on your own. You can also schedule a 1:1 session with Allison to get vision/voice feedback.

5:00    Community support session: share your daily progress, get encouragement and feedback

6:30    Cocktail/walk/meditation

7:00    Dinner









“I found Allison’s feedback so encouraging and uplifting and appreciated the tips to go deeper into the character, the history, the sensorial impressions, and the emotions. She intuitively knows those vulnerable moments and is open for them. I liked that.” — Sara H., Germany
“For Allison Quaid: I felt you taught me to trust my creative ‘self’ and instincts on a very deep level through your writing class prompts. I found it confidence boosting, heart-felt, creative, thought provoking and a real learning process shared in a public, but very safe place which was fun and created a great writers’ pool.” — Rachel M., Ireland