Your Retreat Leaders

We're devoted to supporting women in making their dreams come true, whether it's writing a book, crafting a revitalizing life plan, carving out time to play and replenish, or experiencing a fun literary vacation in a world-class city. We are here to support you in getting the most out of your investment.

We created these retreats not only because we're excited to be on them, but also because we couldn't find these types of retreats anywhere else. Our motto is: If you don't see it, create it! Then invite others to join you. Read the testimonials (here) from past workshop participants to see what they say about a retreat experience with us.

Below is a little more about each of us. If you'd like to get in touch with any questions, please contact us. Don't be shy!

Jessica Lourey

Jessica Lourey smiles at you as she signs Salem's Cipher

Hi there! I'm Jessie, and I'm excited to meet you. I'm the introvert to Allison's extrovert, someone who prefers to listen rather than speak and who has been drawn to stories since she was a child. The Monster at the End of This Book was the first story to rock my world. I graduated from there to Nancy Drew mysteries, then Stephen King, and once I discovered Greek mythology, there was no looking back.

My love of story has led me to travel, to write, and to meet some of the most interesting people in the world. I enjoy teaching so much because it allows me to share as well as to hear stories, which I believe are the binding force of humanity. They heal, inspire, guide, and entertain.

And now, my love of story has led me to co-create retreats for other seekers like me. I consider myself ridiculously lucky that the talented, passionate, and incredibly gifted Allison is on board. Together, we are ready to give you the retreat of a lifetime.

I bring 20+ years of teaching experience, two Masters' degrees, extensive writing experience including having published 18 books and multiple articles, short stories, and essays across genres, mad planning skills as a result of raising two kids on my own while working full-time and writing two books a year, a fantastic sense of humor (I might be the only one who thinks this about me), an internal drive to evolve and to laugh, and a general sense of gratitude for this imperfect, beautiful life.

I hope you're able to join us on this amazing adventure. I'd love to hear your story. I really would.

allison quaid

Allison Quaid smiling headshot

Hi - I'm Allison! It's nice to virtually meet you!  I'm actually this friendly in person too, partially the by-product of growing up around the world and learning that a smile will open doors to new friendships.

I've always loved all things creative: arts, music, books and dance. I'm a skilled facilitator of writing and creativity workshops, where I blend coaching, writing and art therapy to bring out your creative genius.  

My own creativity has been cultivated over the years as a CEO of a marketing firm in San Francisco, working primarily on large-scale behavior change campaigns for environmental issues (energy efficiency, recycling, and air pollution). I have a B.S. in Environmental Science and a M.A. in Environmental Policy.

Mid-career, my passion shifted from the business world to my first love: creativity. I participated in several workshops on writing, healing and the arts, many from the University of California at Berkeley as well as writing salons in San Francisco; then I began to lead international retreats myself.

I got my first taste of fictional writing as healing when I took a writing class in France a few years back. It changed my life! I am finishing two books, a young adult science fiction novel and a collection of healing fairy tales. I believe that being part of a creative community is the best ways to reach your goals. 

I am excited to be teaching alongside such an esteemed writer and teacher as Jessie. 

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a room full of women writing. Or hearing them sharing their stories. Stories are the glue that connect us and help us make sense of this crazy world.

Hobbies include hiking anywhere in nature, spinning in the gym, yoga, writing and reading (of course!), laughing with friends, and relaxing at a spa.