Melanie Bishop

Writing, Teaching, Editing, Retreats



“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.

What Melanie offers is keen insight, intuition, compassion, hard truths, empathy, new ways of seeing your work, and of opening possibilities.

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, Massachusetts


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:


Linda Meyers Carmel Retreat 007

“I have attended the Iowa Writers Workshop,  the workshop in Spoleto, Italy and the New York Writers Institute. I can say hands-down that working with Melanie has been the most inspiring of them all. She is an excellent educator and an exceptional reader. She helped me to move forward on my project and to do some of my best writing ever. It is my full intention to come back next year to Carmel-by-the-Sea and continue to work with Melanie.”  –Dr. Linda Meyers, writer and psychologist, Manhattan
karen happel retreat 018
“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
Melissa Evans Retreat Sept. 2015 005   Melissa Evans Retreat Sept. 2015 008

I would enthusiastically recommend a retreat with Melanie Bishop. Not only is she highly skilled as a writer and editor, but she also has a great sense of what each individual needs. I didn’t have concrete goals going into this retreat, but came away with a sense of accomplishment and inspiration to continue my writing. She was thoughtful and knowledgeable in her instruction of memoir, and pointed me toward new writers in this particular genre. She also gave me excellent feedback on my writing, and I will use her editing skills in the future.”  –Melissa Evans, Journalist, Long Beach, California

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Two of my clients, Madeleine Head and Gillian Duffy. Madeleine is local and Gillian came all the way from Dublin, Ireland for a writing retreat in Carmel.

“Meeting Melanie has been one of the highlights of the past year for me. Not only is she funny, down-to-earth and intelligent, she’s a writer, too, so she knows exactly how the process feels.
As an editor, I found her to be honest, open and extremely supportive. Her astute critical analysis, attention to detail and direction are just a few of the reasons why I look forward to finishing my novel under the supervision of her keen eye over the coming months.” –Gillian Duffy, Dublin, Ireland



Solo, duo, and group retreats for writers.



Write & Play in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Lexi Retreats

Vagabond’s House 

“My experience in Carmel at Lexi Retreats was the perfect blend of writing discipline, inspiration, guidance, and spiritual renewal.  I have attended other writing retreats and none have elicited the degree of focus and serenity as this one.  Melanie Bishop’s aura of tranquility coupled with her writing and teaching style enabled all the aspiring and experienced writers to explore a deeper part of themselves, in the classroom and during the individual meetings.  And, having the luxury to be able to create amidst the beauty of Carmel and the intimate setting of the Vagabond Inn was an added gift. I invite anyone wanting to revisit past writings or delve into a new writing adventure surrounded by the  perfect setting reserve your spot now with Melanie Bishop at the next fabulous Lexi Retreat!”   –Bonnie H., Nantucket, MA

bonnie odem harlan photo for website     

“My experience at the Lexi  Retreat was life changing.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into and was very anxious.  I had not really had much writing experience and Melanie was the perfect person to guide me through and to put me at ease.  She was very helpful, providing different tips and methods and was also very patient.  The one-on-one that I was able to have with her was what I needed to help me to start writing on a regular basis and to start taking it seriously.  I would highly recommend this retreat to anyone who wishes to improve on their writing, whether they are just testing the waters or are already published.  It was very beneficial to me and that seemed to be the consensus among the others in our group, all of whom were more experienced than I.  And finally, I would like to mention the Vagabond Inn.  It was such a lovely place with an atmosphere that was conducive to concentrating on your work. The bubbling fountains were meditative.  The breakfasts were amazing and the staff was very gracious.”  –Sarah O., New Orleans, LA

sarah odem for lexi website


.  Melanie Photos 079

 Your host and instructor, Melanie Bishop.

“I’m a firm believer in writing retreats, which provide the perfect balance of solitude and companionship, introspection and rejuvenation. Retreats offer essential time/peace/solitude for better access to the muse, while also stimulating the senses through travel to new places, and access to new people.”

 Melanie Bishop has taught writing or led creative writing retreats in Arizona’s Sierra Ancha Wilderness, At Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti (, in the Cycladic Islands of Greece, and, now, on the Monterey Peninsula.

lexi – [lek-see] noun, Greek for “word”.

word – [wurd] noun, a unit of language; (slang) 1. well-said; 2. said in agreement; 3. can be used as a greeting.

Lexi Retreats celebrates the written word and acknowledges the relationship between internal and external landscapes. As writers, we necessarily spend the majority of our working time exploring the internal—the psychologies of our characters and the intricacies of plot. We tend to spend too much time indoors, interacting with the blank screen or the blank page. Lexi Retreats provides crucial balance by introducing writers to new external landscapes, thereby recharging the senses, restoring inspiration, and generating new material. We blend necessary time and solitude for writing with travel, exploration, companionship, culinary delight, rest, rejuvenation, and finally, celebration of our accomplishments. Let Lexi handle the logistics, while you soak up the color and culture, the textures and tastes, the soundtrack of a new place.



4 thoughts on “Retreats

  1. I am interested in your writing retreat and/or coaching. Is there a retreat coming up? Or, how does that work?
    Awaiting eagerly,

    • Hello Angela! The next dates when I am available for solo, duo, or group retreats would be Sept. 25th through November 25th, with the exception of the weekend of October 24th. Retreats take place here in Carmel-by-the-Sea, (Vagabond House Inn provides lodging) and they can be anywhere from five days long to two weeks. There will occasionally be some group retreats organized, around a particular theme or genre or skill level, but these won’t be offered until sometime in 2016. As for coaching, that can happen at a distance, through online courses, mentoring, editing your work, etc. My next availability for coaching will be Sept. 13th. You can email me at for more info or to set up a date to begin working together. I’d love to hear about you and your writing project. Best, Melanie

  2. Pingback: Writing Retreats: How to Make the Most of One | Jane Friedman

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