Melanie Bishop

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New in 2017: Lexi Retreats in Prescott, Arizona

Last October, Lexi hosted our first Write & Play retreat in Prescott, Arizona. Nicknamed “Everybody’s Hometown,” “The Mile-High City,” and “Arizona’s Christmas City,” Prescott is known for its comfortable climate, natural beauty, tree-lined town square, clean air, and small-town charm. Surrounded by National Forests, Prescott’s hiking and biking opportunities are plentiful and close to town. Lodging and food costs are very reasonable.


Here’s what Andi, a poet from Massachusetts, had to say after her four-day Write & Play in Prescott retreat. Andi was working on essays and memoir.

Let’s start with location: Prescott, Arizona is the real deal – an old western cowboy town whose pioneer spirit and rustic nature (not to mention famous Christmas lights!) have attracted writers for decades. It’s steeped in western folklore: think Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. It’s the wild west in the 21st century, equal parts untamed and cultured. Which means that after you mosey past the old frontier saloon you can work on your latest draft over a locally-sourced, micro-roasted café latte. In a coffeehouse overlooking a body of water called Granite Creek. The main drag downtown is called Whiskey Row: seriously, what are you waiting for?

All the ambiance in the world though, doesn’t mean a lot on a writing retreat without a great guide (teacher, leader, etc.).  Personally, I look for an insightful, intelligent writer who knows pretty much every one of my hesitations, fears, excuses, writerly joys and heartaches because she’s experienced them herself.

Wisdom is hard-won in the writing world: you know this.  Do you want someone with credentials? Yes, ok, Melanie has those in spades. Many people do. What she offers that not many others do is this: keen insight, intuition, compassion, hard truths, empathy, new ways of seeing your work, and of opening possibilities. What this retreat offers is Melanie’s own brand of wisdom – and it works.

A Lexi retreat isn’t about lolling on a beach while your journal gets margarita stains, or strolling Italian vineyards with a hopeful pocket notebook (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). It’s not about hobnobbing, networking, or schmoozing. It’s about giving yourself a focused few days or week or however much time you crave where the focus is you & your writing. And about giving yourself a generous, talented guide.

These are the reasons you go, the reasons you read and sit still and listen. From afar, such a time can appear to be a luxury, especially in these tumultuous times, when the world can feel like it’s unraveling before our eyes, and there is so much work to do.  And yet, you’re a writer. This is your work. It’s time to get started.    –Andi Werblin

andiportraits-8528          sunday-with-the-sound-turned-off         one-fist-cover

Andi Werblin is the author of two books of poems, Lullaby for One Fist (Wesleyan University Press) and Sunday with the Sound Turned Off (Lost Horse Press). She works as a freelance creative director in the Boston area. Orange is her favorite color.


2017 Group & Solo Writing Retreats

Start Your Memoir in Carmel-by-the-Sea.


Registration Deadline: Dec. 31st, 2016.   Email to reserve your spot.

Group Retreat:

  • Jan. 15th – 20th: (Limited to 14 participants): $1175.00

Solo Retreats: (Scheduled at your convenience, anytime between 1/21 and 1/31/17)

  • 2-Day  Memoir Retreat:  $575.00
  • 3-Day  Memoir Retreat:  $775.00
  • 5-Day  Memoir Retreat: $1175.00

Pricing includes:

  • Daily Instruction (Methodology  & Craft)
  • Perspective and Insight
  • Guidance and Inspiration
  • Coaching

Pricing does not include lodging.

Preferred Lodging at Vagabond’s House Inn

Additional options for lodging include:

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Write & Play in Carmel-by-the-Sea

“I have had a book bouncing around in my head for years, but every time that I sat down to ‘write a book,’ the task was too daunting and I couldn’t figure out where to start.”

Does this sound like you? Is there a book you want to write?

Join us in Carmel for Write & Play, and leave with a chapter, a plan, inspiration and new friends.

Thanks to Write & Play participant Karen Happel for the testimonial excerpted above. To read the rest of Karen’s experience, go to the Testimonial tab.



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Featured Testimonial and October Retreat

Thanks to Karen for this nice comment on her experience.

karen happel retreat 021“I have had a book bouncing around in my head for years, but every time that I sat down to “write a book”, the task was too daunting and I couldn’t figure out where to start. Melanie took the time to correspond with me in the week leading up to my retreat so that she could best individualize the lessons included in my retreat. She taught me the basics that my craft was missing, helped me find inspiration, and started me on my way. I returned home refreshed, rejuvenated, and with the start of a manuscript that makes me very proud. I recommend this experience to anyone who needs a little time away to get in touch with his or her muse.”  –Karen Happel, Orange County, California

Coming soon–a fall retreat!

  • Write & Play in Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • A collaboration of Lexi Retreats and Vagabonds House Inn.
  • October 2nd through 7th, 2016.
  • Early bird discounts for those who register by July 31st.
  • Limited to 14.