Jess here! I started teaching writing at a Minnesota college in 1996. In 2006, my first novel came out. In 2008, I began teaching creative writing workshops all over the world. I’ve amassed mountains of experience in writing fiction, memoir, and self-help, and in publishing all three. I believe my 20 years of teaching combined with my 19 published books and my ongoing research into creative writing and the publishing industry uniquely qualify me to lead life-changing creative writing retreats, and the women who’ve attended them agree. I am devoted to using my knowledge and experience to support you in making your dream come true, whether it's writing a book, publishing a book, or finding balance and joy with a group of creative women. Read on to find out more about me. 

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Jess is incredible at knowing how to give useful feedback to individuals, inspiring them to start/finish their projects.
— 2019 Writing Retreat in France Participant

Jess Lourey

Hi there! I'm Jessie, and I'm excited to meet you. I’m a tenured writing professor, Psychology Today blogger, recipient of the Loft’s Excellence in Teaching fellowship, author of 19 books and counting, TEDx presenter, and leader of international writing workshops.

I'm an extroverted introvert, someone who prefers to listen rather than speak, and a woman 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.

I am passionate about teaching 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 create retreats for other seekers like me.

I bring 20 years of teaching experience, two Masters' degrees, extensive writing experience across genres (from women’s fiction to young adult to crime fiction to nonfiction), 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. You can find more about me on my website, by viewing my TEDx Talk, and by reading my Psychology Today blog posts.

I hope you're able to join us on this amazing adventure. I'd love to help you to write and—if you want—publish your story. I really would.