Treat your inner author to glorious, dedicated writing time! Mornings are for writing, afternoons for relaxation. This retreat is geared toward women who aim to complete a short story, novella, novel, self-help or motivational book, or memoir, and who would like to learn how to develop, refine, and publish it.

During our week together, we’ll begin each morning with a nourishing meditation and a delicious, healthy breakfast. After we are focused and oriented, we’ll set our individual writing goal for the day. Jessie will provide expert writing guidance designed to help you release writing blocks, organize your time, deepen your writing experience, and map your career goals, with a special half-day seminar focused on getting your work published.

Your afternoon is free to structure as you wish. Write on your own, receive individual coaching, take an inspiring hike around the lake, visit charming shops and art galleries nearby, soak in the hot tub, schedule a massage, or nap.  We’ll come back together at night to share insight and laughter.

Areas covered in the morning workshops:

  • Becoming courageous, disciplined writers

  • Keeping your writing true to the story you need to tell

  • Editing with the revolutionary ARISE method

  • Defining personal and career goals

  • Publishing your work, either indie or traditionally, depending on career goals

  • Finding balance between your creative and professional life

  • Relaxing and recentering

This retreat is for women who want to:

  • Work with a master instructor who values laughter, creativity, and community

  • Begin or advance a written project

  • Explore the world with a fun-loving community of creatives

  • Bond with interesting, joyful women

  • Honor, celebrate, and strengthen their intuition

  • Ground and nourish themselves

  • Enjoy fresh and delicious local cuisine

  • Dedicate time for creativity but also for play

  • Learn how to publish their project

All workshopping follows the Amherst Writing and Artists’ model, a gentle, proven method that recognizes and nurtures the writing genius we all possess whether we are new to the process or experienced creative writers. Most of the writing instruction will take place in the villa, with one or two workshops moving to the gorgeous outdoors, as weather allows. We like to talk to participants beforehand so that we can make sure it is a good fit for both parties, as the writing retreats are a small group, and we want to ensure a positive overall experience for everyone.

***Our Lake Tahoe retreat has been named one of 2019’s most Incredible Writing Retreats by The Write Life!

Here is a video of the villa where we’ll be holding the retreat. You can see the living room where Jess will run the morning workshops, the writing nooks inside and out in the glorious woods, and the bedrooms. We are capping this retreat at 15 women; we have four bedrooms (and four bathrooms) available for retreat participants. The remaining participants will need to book their own off-site lodging. See more information in the lower right column.

Retreat Leaders


Jess Lourey (on the left) is a TEDx presenter, Psychology Today blogger, creative writing professor with 20+years teaching experience, winner of The Loft’s Excellence in Teaching Fellowship and the bestselling author of 18 books and multiple short stories, essays, and blog posts across genres. I want to help you to write and publish your best story.

"Jess Lourey is a rare double talent. She is an outstanding writer. Just as remarkable is Jess’ ability to teach writing to others. She clearly communicates the essence of good writing — whether it is giving a novice writer broad guidance on how to structure a novel or write sentences that grab the reader’s attention, or working with experienced writers on the fine art of wordsmithing to improve elements of pace, suspense or character development."

— Stephen Terrell, author of Stars Fall

“Jess Lourey has been an invaluable resource as I begin my writing career. Having been a fan of her writing long before I decided I wanted to write seriously myself (and also part of my inspiration to transition from reader to writer), I can say that getting to work with Jess is even better than reading her stellar books. She helped me on my path to published writer.” —Aimee Hix, author of What Doesn’t Kill You

“I had the opportunity to take a workshop from Jess before I was published. Her honesty, encouragement, and knowledge of the craft helped me make the leap from aspiring writer to published author.” —Lissa Redmond, author of A Cold Day in Hell


Dates, Times & Locations

August 4 - 10, 2019
Lake Tahoe, California

(near Carnelian Bay, CA)

(in US Dollars)

$ 1, 950 without lodging*

$2,795 w/private villa bedroom

Price includes:

  • all workshops, led by bestselling author and Excellence in Teaching Fellow Jess Lourey

  • a personal coaching session

  • 6 nights of accommodation if you choose the villa option (Sunday night to Saturday morning)

  • a welcome dinner the first night

  • breakfast and lunch each day

  • all beverages

  • all materials

  • access to the villa’s hot tub, stunning deck, and writing nooks

  • the guidance and courage to publish that book you were meant to write

*The villa is located on the north side of Lake Tahoe in Carnelian Bay, between Tahoe City (10 minutes to the south) and Kings Beach (10 minutes to the north). If you are booking your own lodging, a VRBO or hotel in any of those locations would be convenient. Email allison at with questions. Or, here are currently available lodging options within walking distance of the retreat (click to be brought to more info): 2 beds (love this one!), 3 beds, 4 beds (this one is gorgeous!), and 6 beds,

Sample Schedule

Day One

5:00 pm   Cocktails and Welcome

Day Two

8:00    Meditation
8:30    Breakfast
9:00-12 Find Your Creativity Compass; Poise Yourself to Publish Your ProjectThis Year

12:00   Lunch

1:00    Writing on your own. You can also schedule a 1:1 session with Jess to get vision/voice feedback.

5:00    Community support session: share your daily progress, get encouragement and feedback

6:00   Relax on the deck with a glass of wine or in the hot tub or take a swim in the lake