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Gap@The Chateau



Jan 17th - Feb 27th, 2022 

Chateau le Mont Epinguet

Normandy, France

For the love of writing.

A unique opportunity to join a creative community dedicated to the love and craft of writing. Live in an 18th century French chateau as you learn from professional writers and complete personal writing projects in a nurturing, supportive environment.  Develop your skills, build your writing portfolio, enjoy a week in Paris and experience life in beautiful, rural France. 


The program begins with two 5-day intensives : The Art of Storytelling and The Writers Craft. These intensives are designed to give you a solid grounding in the craft of writing, connect with your fellow writers and get your creative ideas flowing.  Writers then divide into concentrations. There are three concentrations to choose from:

Writing for Performance (Screenwriting, Playwriting, Writer/Performer)

Creative Writing (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Graphic Novel)

Journalism (Feature, Editorial, Travel Writing)

Morning sessions are spent analyzing and discussing written works in your concentration such as screenplays, short stories, poetry, novels or newspapers. Afternoon sessions are spent in practical writing sessions including working with writing prompts, sharing drafts with your group and one-to-one mentoring sessions.  Writers work towards finished pieces to be  premiered at our Epinguet Writers Festival, a public show at the end of the program

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Paris Literary Week

Find inspiration for your writing during our Literary Week in Paris. Explore the haunts of the greatest writers in history including French icons Zola, Rimbaud and Proust and expat writers Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Fitzgerald, Joyce and Beckett. Our Paris week includes visits to Shakespeare and Co, the legendary bookshop founded by Walt Whitman’s grandson, Maison Victor HugoCimitiere Pere Lachaise, where many of the greatest artists, musicians and authors of France and the world are buried, George Sand’s HouseWriters of Montparnasse Walking Tour and an afternoon spent writing at Les Deux Magots, the legendary café that served Verlaine and Rimbaud in the late 19th century, Hemingway, Breton and Picasso in the 1920s and Camus, Sarte and de Beauvoir in the 1950s. We’ll also visit the Comédie-Française, birthplace of the French theatre, and some famous Paris film sites that provided the writing inspiration for films such as Amelie and Ratatouille. And of course, our week in Paris includes visits to the icon sites including The Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and a cruise down the Seine. 

At a Glance




Session 1: Jan 17th - Feb 20th, 2022


$8475 USD not including airfare


Open to any students between the ages of  18 - 22.  Requires an online application and supporting materials. 


A range of scholarships are available for this program.


All writing disciplines including Screenwriting, Playwriting, Writing for Solo Performance, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Graphic Novel, Short Story, Journalism.

There will be opportunities for Acting, Filmmaking and Directing on this program.

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Living in France

Famous the world over for its culture, history and food, living in France is at the top of every artists list.  Our program is located in Normandy, a "hidden gem" of France, where quaint, picturesque villages meet rugged, unspoiled coastline. The château is near the village of Brix in the heart of The Cotentin Peninsula, famous for its delicious seafood and thousands of years of history from the Romans to WWII. There are full day excursions each week to the best sites including the D-Day Landing Beaches, the medieval town of Bayeux, the city of Cherbourg, Coutances and Mont St Michel, a thousand-year-old monastery atop a tidal island. You’ll enjoy lunches out at cafes, tours of bakeries, cider and cheese makers, châteaus and gardens, coastal hiking in Carteret and the market at Bricquebec, a medieval village with a castle dating back to the 11th century.

Language Learning

For those interested in learning or advancing in French Language skills, the Gap Year Program offers optional French language classes three times per week. The language program aims to improve conversational French, reading comprehension and writing skills through practical application and daily practice. With very little English spoken in Normandy, there will be plenty of opportunity to use and perfect your French through interaction with the local community, on field trips and through the French-only speaking lounge at the château. Complete beginners through advanced students are welcome. Please note that all of the artistic teaching at Berridge is in English and French language classes are optional.


Château Life

A world frozen in time, Chateau le Mont Epinguet offers our students a unique immersion experience. Built in 1751 by Count Mondesir, it is the highest landmark on the Cotentin Peninsula and has been a site of strategic importance since Roman times. It has been home to a nephew of the Pope, a French Admiral and served as German communication headquarters in WWII. It was bought by the Berridge Family in 1991 and now operates as a B&B, wedding venue and home to our programs. The château is situated in 5 acres of woodland and gardens and we have exclusive use of the whole property. Students are housed in double or triple rooms with shared bathrooms. Food is a big part of the French way of life and we have a live-in chef and fresh bread and pastries are delivered each day to our chateau from the local bakery. Visit the château website to learn more.

Learning Outcomes


  • Expand your technique and skills 

  • Discover your unique writers voice and translate it into powerful work

  • Complete work suitable for college/professional progress


  • Master core writing skills

  • Strengthen both verbal and written communication of creative ideas

  • Improve French language fluency


  • Increased time management, self-reflection and self-evaluation skills

  • Experience living independently

  • Cultivate collaborative spirit and community mindedness