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, article, nonfiction project, or memoir and would like to learn more about finding an audience for 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. Allison and Jessie will provide expert writing guidance designed to help you release writing blocks, organize your time, 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

  • Finding balance between your creative and professional life

  • Relaxing and recentering

This retreat is for women who want to:

  • Work with master instructors who value 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.

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

Location: near Carnelian Bay, the northern part of Lake Tahoe

Retreat Leaders


Ali Quaid (CEO Creative Eco-Catalysts, rock star change-agent, 20 years experienced workshop facilitator, Reiki healer, storyteller) is an experienced writer and teacher who will offer you the support and instruction you need.

Jess Lourey is a TEDx presenter, Psychology Today blogger, creative writing professor, winner of The Loft’s Excellence in Teaching Fellowship and the bestselling author of 17 books. She wants to help you to write 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*

$2,395 w/shared villa bedroom

$2,795 w/private villa bedroom

Price includes:

  • all workshops, co-led by bestselling author and Excellence in Teaching Fellow Jess Lourey and globetrotting writing and life coach Allison Quaid

  • a personal coaching session

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

  • 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. We recommend using TripAdvisor to review hotels before booking. Email allison at with questions.

Sample Schedule

Day One

5:00 pm   Cocktails and Welcome

Day Two

8:00    Meditation / Yoga
8:30    Breakfast
9:00-12 Find Your Creativity Compass; Poise Yourself to Publish Your Book This Year

12:00   Lunch

1:00    Writing on your own. You can also schedule a 1:1 session with Jess or Allison 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