Nanowrimo Castle – help me choose!

Nanowrimo Castle – help me choose!

Last year I rented a chateau in France for Nanowrimo. We got some great press coverage and had an amazing time. All in all, I think we did pretty well. I love the idea of running writing retreats in castles, so I’m doing it again this year.

Last year I built a big sales page and offered a ton of bonuses – I’m not going to do that again. Instead, I’m going to keep things a little more casual. I won’t play up the luxury angle – as you might imagine, a month in a castle isn’t necessarily luxurious or comfortable. It is, however, a once in a lifetime experience… one I’d love to share with you!


Help choose the location

Watch the video to see my top choices…

Here’s where I need your help.

The castle I really want to rent is in Austria. It’s glorious – on the outside. Inside, the rooms are comfortable but sparse. It might be cold in November, and there aren’t as many indoor social spaces for coworking or group dining. It would be an unforgettable adventure, and the pictures would encourage more shares because holy cow that castle is incredible. More shares means more media coverage and visibility for all of us, though the actual experience may not be completely comfortable.

So recently I’ve been considering option 2.

It’s in Spain, not far from Barcelona. It may still be chilly in November, but probably not as cold as Northern Austria. There’s more space and a rustic charm. It’s not as impressive on the outside, but still pretty darn cool. (Plus, we don’t actually get ALL the rooms and spaces in the big castle above, so the one below may actually have more room – and since Spain should be warmer in November, we could spend more time outside).


Day trips could include some of the best-preserved Medieval towns in the world. 

I would like to live in both of these castles, and it is possible, if we get enough interest, to do them both… but mostly likely I’ll choose one for this year and save one for next – or possibly do Spain for Nanowrimo and try to rent the other one in the spring or summer.

Which one do you like best?

Comment on my Facebook page!

How will this differ from other writing retreats?

Most writing retreats focus on craft – they help you tell the story you want to tell in the best way possible. I’m much more focused on reader-centric results… which means telling a story readers will love (and pay for). The vast majority of authors lose money publishing their books, and I want to help writers make a living with books that sell themselves. There won’t be a fixed program, but I will be sharing a lot of content from my Guerrilla Publishing course:

  • How to plot strong, satisfying stories that readers love
  • How to design a book that attracts your target audience
  • How to launch a book to #1 on Kindle
  • How to build a huge email list of eager fans
  • How to get more visibility for your books


Your hosts, Derek and Lanna.


Want to come?

I’ve managed dozens of retreats and event spaces, including hiring staff and cooking for hundreds of people. This retreat will be well-organized and I’ll make sure your stay is amazing. However, since you’ll need to pay for your own ticket to Europe, I wanted to keep prices low.

  • $750 a week
  • $1400 for 2 weeks
  • $2500 for one month

Most writing retreats charge around $2500 for just one week.

You’ll get your own bed (and possibly your own room, depending on timing) and half board: which means we’ll take care of most breakfasts and lunches, and there will always be plenty of snacks available. We’ll have a car and go shopping at least once a week, you’re welcome to join. There will also be excursions to local areas. Guests will take turns planning and cooking one dinner a week. 

We will have classes on writing craft, publishing and book marketing, and I can personally help you with your book idea, plotting or outlining, or fixing up your author website or funnel, as needed: I’ll also be working on my own books, but we’ll have “quiet time” hours for work and optional “social time” where we can chit chat and I can help you with whatever you need.

Other than that, you’ll have zero obligations.


Let’s do this!

Dates: November 1st ~ November 31st.

This retreat would be perfect for someone who’s been “stuck” on their book and needs help organizing, outlining or plotting it; but it would also be useful for established authors with multiple books out who aren’t seeing the sales they want. In both cases, I’ll be able to figure out what’s blocking you or your book sales, and we can probably fix the problem during the event.

A few lucky writers will be winning a free stay, but I’m also going to invite some authors to help split the cost. Space is limited, so I’ll be taking applications this year. If selected, you’ll need to pay a 50% deposit (refundable until October 1st) and the rest two weeks before the trip.

If you’re interested in joining, either for a week or the whole month, fill out this form:

>> Click here to apply <<


If chosen, we’ll ask you to pay a 50% deposit and the rest 2 weeks before the event. Deposit is 100% refundable until October 1st. Travel to Europe not included.


PS. Feel free to email me with any questions – I will set up a more official page with all the details, if I need to, though I expect the rooms to sell out this week.

PPS. If you’d rather relax on a Spanish island, there’s still a few spaces in the Mallorca writing retreat I’m running in September.



  • Paricia Bernard Posted

    I love both castles, but alas November is used up as I hae been invited to be at a writers festival in Cambodia. November is cold in Europe, but I imagine that I why you get the cstles cheaper. I would come for 3 weeks next year when I don’t have so much on if you are still doing it. Its hard to leave wattle filled Australia in November. October is so much better, butt November it is next year, Patricia. Bernard. S Its not only Cambodia. I am off to Africa for Aug and half of September, then Cambodia and Lao for the writers festival, and suddenly it is November and I’ve been away for 2 1/2 months already. See you next year. Why not do 2 retreats. One in each of the 6 months.

  • Charlene A. Wilson Posted

    i’d love the Austria setting for inspiration on a continuing series. And I can’t deny thinking it’d be great because my heritage comes from that area. But Spain would be great for inspiration for the third book in my other series. So, both are awesome! I’m going to go with Spain, as it offers more space for us to do our thing whether together or in private and it shouldn’t be as cold. I really want this! It would be an awesome experience!

  • Paul Nieto Posted

    I think a person would be lucky to go to either of them!

  • D.Z. Adams Posted

    Austria is more impressive and enticing, but since it’s November, I’d go with Spain. Wish I could come. It sounds awesome.

  • Cory Reynolds Posted

    Austria, without a doubt. I just had the chance to do some writing in the historic library of a mansion in Duluth, MN and it was amazing. Give me a cool (or cold) room in that castle setting, and I’ll be inspired to write for weeks! Either would be fantastic, but I would choose Austria.

  • ScienTechie Posted

    They’re all gorgeous and I can see how hard it would be to pick one. I’ll take a guess and go with the one in Spain. Blessings and best wishes to all of you.

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