The Volcano Sessions.

Gathering. Writing our hearts out.



I'm an emerging writer, but the truth is I have always written. And when not writing for study, work or for the simple joy of it, I am thinking about words. I look at the world in pictures and then want to write those pictures into glorious sentences. But I don't do that as often as I mean to. I rarely give myself the gift of just writing. So I want to make space for you. To write, and to talk about writing. Because whilst I am just coming out as a writer, I am very experienced at - and passionate about - creating and holding space for women. And it makes my heart soar just to think about creating that space for you. For us.

My writing retreats in France are for women who are writing, want to write, think they can't write, and those who know they must write or they will simply wither away. 

Where in the world?

The retreats take place in a six-bedroom chateau near my home in a small village in the French Pyrenees. There is a pool, a garden, terraces and lovely views over the village, mountains and our local Cathar castle. There are three ensuite double bedrooms and one ensuite twin room available. There are cosy sitting rooms, a beautiful enclosed terrace and a large dining area, which means there is plenty of room to spread out and find your own places to write.

A maximum of five places will be available for each retreat.


Our focus is on writing, but also on gathering. Gathering our thoughts, our energies, our senses and our very selves. We will write our hearts out. There will be hubbub. There will be tranquility. Laughter, lots of laughter. Questioning. Flow. There will lots of time to write quietly in the beautiful nooks and crannies of the chateau, the garden, in your beautiful room or poolside. There will be voluntary sharing but no critiquing. There will be powerful group work.

The maps will change. There’ll be new mountains. 

Why, I'd love to! How much will it cost?

The 2020 Volcano Sessions are priced at €5,000 per person all inclusive.

What’s included?

  • Beautiful spaces to write your heart out.

  • Structured small group experiences.

  • Guest teachers and optional one to one coaching.

  • Optional half day excursion.

  • Your own room with ensuite bathroom. Some rooms have a balcony with a view of the village and the Château Puilaurens. There is one twin room available if you want to share with a friend (there will be a reduced price per person for this option).

  • All meals and beverages, including beautiful local wines. Emphasis is on local, seasonal and simple French fare. Vegetarian/vegans can be catered for.

  • All day self-serve liquid refreshments, fruit and snacks.

  • Transfers to and from Perpignan Railway Station.

2019 Volcano Sessions Reviews

Hear from some of this year’s retreat guests, and do contact me if you want to get more information, or hold your spot for 2020.

  • I knew I would have some uncomfortable moments, about sharing my writing and I did. But the setting and environment was safe, and the retreat was well conducted so I could move through that easily. The result was a breakthrough as I could, and did eventually share my writing. The retreat has really been the gift that keeps on giving. I have continued writing daily. Writing isn’t as difficult, and I don’t feel as rusty as I once did. So, thanks for that. If it wasn’t for you, I would have never joined the writing retreat. There were also unexpected gifts... additional sessions by Tanya Geisler and Jill Teague. So much positive connection and laughter. That was also so unique and special about the experience. You were the key ingredient. You were the glue. Your attitude, spirit and confidence was palpable. You were always cheery, helpful and generous. You were on top of the schedule and could kick back and have fun, so important. So, for me the retreat and your special ingredient was the gift that kept on giving. I felt inspired and encouraged to write, to feel good about my writing. The overall comfort and ease of the setting made it possible!! Thank you Deb! I’ll always remember this amazing experience I had with you. Susan Regan

  • Deb is an exquisite holder of space, creating luxe experiences that invite you to go deeper into your being and does so with full heart and even fuller humour. Tanya Geisler

  • The retreat was an opportunity to step into a space so filled with beauty and so focused with intention on my behalf that it enabled deep, deep breath, self-trust, and extravagant spaciousness for writing, yes; more, for being. Ronna Detrick

  • Deb has truly actualised her vision for a writing retreat with a difference. I felt so well received and supported throughout, and was stimulated by both the guided sessions and the space given over to my own writing. I was delighted to luxuriate in the chateau with all of its spacious and beauty. The food was delicious and plentiful, with much superb wine to accompany it. Deb is a superb retreat leader. She is thoughtful, respectful and so enthusiastic. It was a delight from start to finish. I was, in fact, sorry to leave. Hopefully, I will be back next year. Jill Teague

  • The retreat was amazing, you are amazing…I love you Mum! (Hannah, my invaluable retreat assistant and the best daughter I have)

Coming up…

2020 Volcano Sessions Retreats

Sunday 21 June - Friday 26 June 2020

Sunday 6 September - Friday 11 September 2020

Contact me for more information about any of the retreat offers, or to be kept in the loop.

We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains
— Ursula K. Le Guin