Writing the Bright Moment

Although this course isn’t focused on eco-writing, most of our work takes place outdoors, and the land and its species are collaborators in the week’s process, which will take you deep into your imagination, your soul, and the soul of this specific place… and anima mundi.


I was so excited a few years ago to be invited to lead my first course at Sharon Black and Alex Duncan’s stunning retreat centre in the wild Cevennes mountains of southern France. 2017 is now the 5th year of that course, ‘Writing the Bright Moment’.

Remote and lush, the mountains are home to sheep and goats with bells, cheesemakers and beekeepers, the Cevennol ‘oignon doux’, wild mushrooms, wild herbs and sweet chestnut trees (the main source of flour here in the past), eagles, boar and bee-eaters. Close by is one of the main attractions of the week*: a waterfall pool, clear and deep – a perfect opportunity for skiving off, and stripping off, too. *Another is the wonderful organic vegetarian food.


Writing the Bright Moment 2017
Gardoussel, Cévennes, southern France
Sat 26 August – Sat 2 September
Fully catered, single-room accommodation for 7 nights, plus tuition fee  £795
(£100 discount if you’re willing to room-share).

In late August, I offer WRITING THE BRIGHT MOMENT in the stunning Cévennes mountains of southern France, at this very beautiful location.

This is a retreat week to quicken the heart, fire the imagination and enliven the senses. Through lively discussion, shared silence, poetry and story, slow walking, time outdoors, mindfulness exercises and creative prompts we’ll find new ways, accompanied by the other inhabitants of the natural world, of being in and writing from each moment – effortlessly.

Expect a friendly group, a deepening of your sense of connectedness (with yourself and your imagination, with others, and with the land), a great deal of sometimes surprising writing (prose & poetry), a slowing down into deeper mindfulness, some play, a lot of laughter, and an opening of your imagination and your heart. And warmth – seasonal and human.

This retreat will focus on developing our writing at the same time as deepening our sense of relationship to the world around us, in this moment – the only one we ever have.

There’ll be lively discussion, stimulating writing tasks for the imagination, shared silence and walking as well as words and readings, and time to simply be in the natural world, and, if you’d like, to immerse yourself in the waterfall pool. All the time there will be gentle prompts to relax into the present moment and its joys and gifts.

Most years we include some optional dance or dynamic meditation, sometimes daily, sometimes as a one-off. Therapeutic massage is also available on-site.

See more about the venue, and book: http://abricreativewriting.com/

You can read about it here.

firepit, gardoussel


UK poet and author Roselle Angwin leads the Fire in the Head creative and reflective writing programme, and The Wild Ways ecosoul project, a path of reconnection with self, other, story and land. She’s passionate about wild places and the natural world, as well as the relationships and meeting points between inner and outer geographies. Roselle trained in Transpersonal Psychology and holds a counselling qualification. She has been described as ‘a poet of the bright moment whose own sources of creative inspiration are her native Westcountry, the Scottish islands, and a highly individual blend of Celtic myth and metaphysics, psychology, shamanic and Buddhist thinking’. She leads courses and retreats on Dartmoor, in Cornwall, the Isle of Iona and abroad. Her own poetry, fiction and non-fiction is widely published, and has won awards.


Price includes all course tuition, accommodation and delicious vegetarian meals with an Ayurvedic focus. Single rooms will be provided to all participants depending on availability unless otherwise requested.

EXTERNAL ATTENDEES (if necessary, if venue fills fast):

Our local village of St Andre de Valborgne is just over 1km away, a gentle 20 mins walk along a quiet B-road. (A lift by car is also possible for anyone preferring not to walk). Accommodation is available at the following places (NB these are 2014 prices, just to give you an idea):

Auberge de la Vallee: http://www.restaurant-auberge-vallee-borgne.com

47€ single room – 57€ double/twin room – breakfast 6€

Hotel Bourgade: http://www.restaurant-bourgade.fr

rooms from 61€ – breakfast 7,50€

Cocon des Cevennes b&b:http://cocondescevennes.blogspot.fr

rooms at 75€ (2 people) including breakfast

If anyone has trouble booking, Sharon (see Contact) is happy to help.

Although we are not set up for camping (we have no bespoke camping facilities for example), as an exception we have decided to offer a ‘wild camping’ option on this retreat only. Pitch your own tent anywhere on our land (we have 45 acres of meadow and woodland) – taking your chances as most of it is not 100% flat – or on a flat grassy terrace we will clear for the purpose – and share rustic bathroom facilities (bath with shower head, wash basin: but the water’s hot!) with our resident cook and massage therapist Frances who lives in a yurt. For the loo, you’ll need to walk down to the main building to use the ‘public’ Gardoussel toilet – or pee in the woods, the choice is yours. This option costs £500 / week.

You can read about it here.