Crime Writer’s course

CRIME OF YOUR LIFE – a crime writer’s course
At Rouge Bistro + Boutique Hotel / Rouge Retreats

Course instructors: Susan Moody and Janet Laurence (bios below)
Dates: May 17-24, 2019
Min/max participants: 8-16

Rouge Bistro + Boutique Hotel is offering exclusive use of it’s premises to host a group of writers ready to get that crime novel to the next stage.
Eminent crime and suspense writers Susan Moody and Janet Laurence welcome you to their week-long crime writing course entitled CRIME OF OUR LIVES, taking place in the charming French village of Tocane St-Apre, May 17-24, 2019.

Topics to be covered include: Character Creation, Plotting, Dialogue, Narrative, and a Nuts and Bolts session. You can expects in-depth discussion, prompts, and writing exercises focused on supporting and developing your ideas. Also, one-on-one meetings between instructors and each participant are essential to ensure individual feedback and guidance. Writers of all stages are encouraged to attend; sample ideas or pages may be submitted to the instructors prior to the course for maximum assistance.
Rouge owner JANICE ROSE-STUDER will delight you with her culinary prowess, providing flavourful and satisfying meals all week, and husband PAUL STUDER will ensure your stay in this charming, “French vintage” boutique hotel is most comfortable and enjoyable.

The Dordogne has long been one of the most inspiring locations for writers of many genres and provides the backdrop to this writers’ retreat. From the morning course at the large table in the Bistro to afternoon writing by the pool– a people-watching sit in the cafe or a stroll around the square to lively evening chats with other crime writers– participants will go home with the material and clarity needed to get productive.

All accommodation is situated around the Place des Tilleuls, directly on the square in Tocane-St-Apre, either at Rouge or in private homes.

Course Cost:
Course cost includes housing and all meals (breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner), excluding one optional dinner out at a restaurant in Brantome.  All beverages are included (coffees, teas, soft drinks, and wine).

1000 euros – single room, shared bathroom (home with 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom)
1250 euros – single room, shared bathroom (home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)
1500 euros – single room, en suite bath (private)

Locals residents wishing to participate pay a reduced cost of 750 euros which includes the course and all meals as provided. No accommodation.

Transportation to/from Bergerac or to/from Bordeaux airports are also included in the course fee.

Daily schedule (subject to some adjustments):
7:30-9 Breakfast
9-12 Course
12-2 Lunch
2-5 Writing time, siesta, walks, one-on-one time with Instructors, etc.
5:00 Tea/cocktails/group discussion
7:00 Dinner followed by evening events such as speakers, live music, etc

Important Dates:
March 1, 2019: Registration Deadline. A 25% deposit is required to reserve your spot – we encourage you to register early as spots are limited and are expected to sell out!
Friday May 17 – Opening reception and dinner
Wednesday May 22 Optional dinner in the picturesque village of Brantome
Thursday May 23 – Farewell dinner
Friday May 24 – All depart after breakfast


Contact us if you have any questions or wish to discuss any details of the course

General queries should be sent to Rouge by Clicking Here

For more information on the course content, please contact:

For questions on registration, accommodation, or meals, please contact:

NOTE: Participants do not need to rent a car. Local shops, the pharmacy, bank, etc. are within walking distance. Rides can be provided.


SUSAN MOODY burst onto the crime scene with her dynamic debut, Penny Black, featuring photographer Penny Wanawake. Six more Penny books followed, garnering accolades from critics and readers alike. Her first acclaimed suspense novel was Playing With Fire, followed with equal success by Hushaby, House of Moons and The Italian Garden, all of which were translated into several languages.

Susan achieved a long-standing ambition to produce a best-seller, with Love Over Gold, the story of the Gold Blend coffee couple. This book sold nearly 200,000 copies worldwide and made the Sunday Times best-seller list. (It was unfortunate that she chose to write it under a pseudonym!)
Her novel Misslethwaite, a sequel to Francis Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic, The Secret Garden, was shortlisted for the annual award of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and sold over 50,000 paperback copies in the first month of publication. It was published in the US as Return to the Secret Garden.
In 2000, she produced The Colour of Hope, which was phenomenally successful and sold in 20 different countries. As well as a number of short stories, she has published four stand-alone suspense novels: Dancing In the Dark, Losing Nicola, Loose Ends, and A Final Reckoning. Her most recent series features feisty ex-copper and art-historian, Alexandra Quick.

In all, Susan has published 34 novels, most of them in the genres of crime and suspense. She spent two years as a Creative Writing Tutor in Her Majesty’s Prison, Bedford, and is a past Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association, serving as a CWA Committee member for seven years. She is a long-standing member of the Detection Club and served for three years as President of the International Association of Crime Writers.
Susan’s teaching experience includes a semester in Australia as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania, a course in the Crime Novel at the University of Copenhagen,a master-class in crime writing on Meridian TV, and many additional courses and workshops in creative and crime writing in England, the US, France and Australia.

Crime writer JANET LAURENCE has written three series of crime novels: 10 in the Darina Lisle culinary crime series, 3 in the Canaletto series set in the 18th century, and 2 in the Edwardian Ursula Grandison mystery series – and she is currently writing the third. Janet is also the author of Writing Crime Fiction – Making Crime Pay.
One of The Times’ 1998 100 Masters of Crime, Janet has run crime writing courses in Tasmania and Sydney, also for Cheltenham and Wells Literary Festivals, and for the Caerleon, Fishguard and Swanwick Writers’ holidays. Several of these courses have been run with her fellow crime novelist SUSAN MOODY. Like Susan, Janet has served a term as Chairman of the Crime Writers’Association and is a member of the prestigious Detection Club. She was one of the organisers of the Oxford conference of the International Crime Writers Association, of which she is a member.