Join Richard Goodman for a sensory-filled 4.5 days of writing in the South of France

Date: Jun 24-29, 2018
Levels: All
Workshop Fee: $4500
Class Size: 7

Book before Dec 21 and save $300!

You’re sitting in a café.  There is a glass of wine on the table before you in the garden.  The tall plane trees throw dappled shadows on the grass. The smell of fresh, crusty bread is in the air along with a touch of lavender.  You open the notebook next to your glass.  You pick up a pen.  Provence is giving you myriad things to say.  You choose one.  You begin to write.

This is the magic of Provence, this is its unique ability to stir the senses and inspire the imagination with its light, its scents, its sights,sounds.  And this is a chance for you to experience that magic yourself for four and a half days in June and to write your heart out.  Join Richard Goodman in this sensory-filled week and give your writing—whether it’s memoir, food writing, travel writing or the personal essay—and whether you’re deep into a project or just beginning—the unique inspiration of Provence.

We will be staying together at the charming Clos de Buis Hotel in Bonnieux one of the famed hill villages of the Luberon that include Roussillon and Gordes.  This is the South of France at its most charming and its most inspiring.  The village has a 12th century church and even a bread museum.  There will be subjects to write about everywhere you turn.  Aix-en-Provence is an hour away and a little less than that from Avignon and a little more to Marseille.

You will be in the heart of the heart of Provence, what the French call la France profonde.

Each morning will be devoted to talks about craft, writing exercises, discussions and reviewing writing brought to the workshop.  We’ll read about the region, about its storied history—its art, food and wine.  We’ll learn about the wild, lovely country nearby.  Afternoons will be spent exploring the village and the local region.

Take this opportunity to let glorious Provence inspire your mind and heart—and your writing.

Tuition note: Tuition fees include lodging, daily breakfast and two group dinners.  Tuition is $4200 if booked before December 21;  $4500 if booked on or after December 22.  A non-refundable 50% deposit is required at the time of booking.

Travel:  Getting to Bonnieux is an adventure in itself.

1. From Paris  via Avignon:

  • Via train: TGV is France’s intercity high-speed rail service, operated by SNCF, the national rail operator. It was developed in the 1970s by GEC-Alsthom and SNCF. LGV is the track the TGV trains run on.  Learn more here
  • Bus From Avignon to Bonnieu –  bus via Lignes Express.  Several departures per day. Fare ranges up to $10.  Approximately one hour.  Learn more here. 
  • Local Taxi to hotel

2. From London to Avignon:

3.From Marseilles to Bonnieu

When to arrive:  Sunday afternoon – June 24

When to depart:  Friday- June 29.  We will be able to continue working on Friday, after checkout.

Companions: Non-writing companions are welcome to the share the same room for a surcharge of $500.

Richard Goodman, is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France and the introduction to Travelers’ Tales Provence.  He twice lived for a year in the South of France, first in a small village near Nîmes and then in Sanary-sur Mer on the Mediterranean coast.  He has written about France and its food and culture for the New York Times, Saveur, Creative Nonfiction, French Review and Grand Tour.  He has taught writing workshops for many years in New York City, Louisville, New Orleans and, most recently, Maine.

Image Credit: Elizabeth Opalenik

Terms and Conditions for Travel Workshops
  • 1. Reservations & Payments
    • A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the start date of  your workshop unless stated differently in the course description..  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.
  • 2. Cancellations
  • 3. Basis of Rates
    • All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
  • 4. Insurance
    • It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses. See our travel insurance recommendations here.
  • 5. Itinerary Changes
    • The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.
  • 6.  Passports and Visas
    • A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered.  Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.
  • 7. Medical Issues
    • All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.
  • 8. Liability Waiver
    • Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.
  • 9. Responsibility & Photography
    • To ensure a safe  experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop.

Header Image Credit: Lee Anne White 

Instructor: Richard Goodman

Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France, A New York Memoir and The Soul of Creative Writing. His book, The Bicycle Diaries: One New Yorker’s Journey Through 9/11, with original wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec, is part of the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Of French Dirt, the San Francisco Chronicle said, “It is one of the most charming, perceptive and subtle books ever written about the French by an American.” Richard Goodman has written on a variety of subjects for many national publications, including The New York Times, Harvard Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Writer’s Chronicle, River Teeth, Commonweal, Vanity Fair, Saveur, Ascent, French Review and Michigan Quarterly Review. He wrote the introduction for Travelers’ Tales Provence and has been a frequent contributor for the Travelers’ Tales series of books. He lived for many years in New York City where, among other things, he worked as a landscape gardener an as an editor at Random House. He is Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of New Orleans.