take a literary adventure to London

This workshop is for women who want to take a transformative journey - one that will focus on exploring an amazing city through the eyes of famous female authors, immersing yourself in great writing, and completing some writing of your own.

The backdrop for the workshop is London, where we’ll visit the houses and cafes that the literary giants also frequented. We’ll read from famous women writers who write or wrote in London, including Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, Zadie Smith, George Eliot, and Agatha Christie. Have your senses stimulated and your intellect expanded by these remarkable women authors. Let London’s majestic and royal palaces and museums inspire the epic stories within you. 

Mornings will be spent exploring and discussing these women's body of work, including fun writing projects designed to show you the craft from the writer's viewpoint. During the afternoons, we will travel around London, visiting the places that famous women writers wrote at, lived at, and visited. 

Imagine...five days dedicated to immersing yourself in incredible literature and culture!  Celebrate amazing women authors, and discover new books to read.

Take a virtual romp with me in London, previewing some of the sights we'll see!

Schedule of Activities - June 26 to June 30, 2017

Monday, June 26:   Introduction to the Literary Salon

  • 9:00 - 10:00   Welcome & Creativity Sprints
  • 10:00 - 11:30   Literary Salon: History of Literary Salons and an Introduction to London's Amazing Female Authors
  • 11:30 - 12:30   Guided Creativity Groups
  • 12:30 - 2:00   Group Lunch at St. Bartholomew the Great, oldest church in London, and writing time in Postman's Park
  • 2:00 - 5:00    Trip to British Library to see collection of literary treasures
  • 5:00 - 6:00    Cocktails at St. Pancreas Renaissance Hotel
  • 6:00 - 9:00    Cocktail hour & Group dinner (optional)

Tuesday, June 27:   Compelling Characters & Transformational Arcs

  • 9:00 - 9:30   Creativity Sprints
  • 9:30 - 11:30   Literary Salon: How the Greats Crafted Their Iconic Characters and Identifying a Character's Transformational Arc
  • 11:30 - 12:30   Guided Creativity Groups
  • 12:30 - 2:00   Group Lunch
  • 2:00 - 6:00    London Literary Tour in Bloomsbury
  • 6:00 - 9:00    Cocktail hour & Group dinner (optional)

Wednesday, June 28:  Story Structure in Literature

  • 9:00 - 9:30   Creativity Sprints
  • 9:30 - 11:30   Literary Salon: How the Greats Plotted
  • 11:30 - 12:30   Guided Creativity Groups
  • 12:30 - 2:00   Group Lunch in Hampstead at the Hampstead Museum
  • 2:00 - 6:00    London Literary Adventure in Hampstead
  • 6:00 - 9:00    Cocktail hour & Group dinner (optional)

Thursday, June 29:   Sensory Details and Unforgettable Scenes

  • 9:00 - 9:30   Creativity Sprints
  • 9:30 - 11:30   Literary Salon: How the Greats Included Vivid Details to Craft Unforgettable Passages
  • 11:30 - 12:30   Guided Creativity Groups
  • 12:30 - 2:00   Group Lunch
  • 2:00 - 6:00    London Literary Adventure
  • 6:00 - 9:00    Dinner & Agatha Christie Play: The Mousetrap, St. Martins Theater 

Friday, June 30:   Establishing a Reading and Creativity Practice

  • 9:00 - 9:30   Creativity Sprints
  • 9:30 - 11:30   Literary Salon
  • 11:30 - 12:30   Guided Creativity Groups
  • 12:30 - 2:00   Group Lunch
  • 2:00 - 5:00    Optional Tour or Solo Exploration Time
  • 6:00 - 9:00    Cocktail hour & Group dinner (optional)

Retreat Leaders

Your leaders, Jessica Lourey and Allison Quaid, are world travelers and robust guides who will take care of the literary planning for you. Jessica Lourey (MS, Social Responsibility; MA, English; tenured writing and literature professor since 1998; author of 15 books; TEDx presenter) and Allison Quaid (CEO Creative Eco-Catalysts, rock star change-agent, 20 years experienced workshop facilitator, Reiki healer, storyteller, fluent in three languages, lived in Europe for 8 years and researched all locations) combine their unique talents to create an intelligent, fun, and unique vacation of a lifetime!

Dates, Times & Locations

June 26 - 30, 2017

 City of London, UK

Take a virtual romp around London with me!

Take a virtual romp around London with me!


This workshop is sold out.

$1,795 (lodging on your own)

Registration Fee includes expert writing instruction on all 5 days; 3 literary and city tours, including museum entrances; and 5 lunches. Dinner, lodging, and airfare are not included.

You will be sent a recommended reading list approximately 6 weeks before the retreat.

Reserve your seat today by making a non-refundable $500 deposit on the registration page. We offer installment plans where you can make a deposit today, pay the remaining 50% of the fee 3 months away from the date, and then another 50% 30 days before the workshop. Contact us with any questions.

Logistical Information

The workshop will be held at the Rookery Hotel, a boutique hotel in London. Click the image to see our room!


The location of the workshop is at a boutique hotel. Due to the small size of the hotel, we encourage you to book once you confirm your place with us.

To find accommodation that fits your budget, we leave it up to you to decide where you want to stay. You'll be spoiled for choice whether at a 3 or 5 star hotel, or you might want to invite some friends along and rent an Airbnb or Homeaway. You decide what works best for you! We will post links to a variety of well-reviewed hotels shortly next to the retreat location.


London weather in late June averages 22°C/72°F.  Dress is casual and comfortable for exploring the city in the afternoon.

Their Inspirational Words

"As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world." - Virginia Woolf

"A writer falls in love with an idea and gets carried away." - Doris Lessing

“The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.” - Zadie Smith

"Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works." - Virgina Woolf

"In the writing process, the more a story cooks, the better." - Doris Lessing

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” - Zadie Smith

"The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes." - Agatha Christie