"We see the same things. [Melissa] gives me ideas about how to describe what things look like - like how a black swan looks like a boat. And how the duck looks like drops of rain."
"Write From the Heart has been a lifeline for me.”
Barshinger Cancer Institute writing class
"Melissa’s work is such a gift to us all those fortunate enough to spend time with her, especially in this difficult time. It is an honor to support the light she brings to our world.!”
Women's workshop participant
"Melissa creates trust, then reaches down inside you and grabs something wonderful you didn't know you had."
Men's workshop participant
"It was fascinating to watch Melissa transform the mood of our cancer clinical study writing group from sad to solemn to joyful and light. She is a master at using humor and compassion to bring patients out of themselves, while gently urging their imaginations to take flight. The room was filled with vitality and laughter."
Monika Joshi, M.D., MRCP
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology
Milton S. Hershey/Penn State Cancer Institute
"In this time of isolation and contemplating, I give thanks every day for you, and how you showed me where my words, like so many fireflies, were hiding."
14-year women's workshop participant
“Melissa has been a SEE seminar partner with IU13 for several years, and she does amazing work with students. She empowers young writers to find their voice in a way that feeds them academically and emotionally. She is an exceptional listener and models what she teaches…writing, right along with the students! I am always in awe of the writing they produce under her gentle, non-judgmental guidance.“
Coordinator of Gifted and Enrichment Services
Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, Lancaster, PA
"Write From the Heart is a wonder. Melissa generates trust. She generates confidence. She works tirelessly to embrace joy through the art of creating."
J. Leland Miller Professor of English, Williams College
National Book Award Finalist
"I earned a B.A. in journalism. I never thought of writing as a therapeutic activity. Within minutes of our first session, Melissa easily made me see how my passion for writing could be transformed into a way of coping with my chronic physical pain. She guided me to understand how focusing on a talent and passion can take away fear, despair, sadness and replace those with energy, happiness and hope!"
Master Golf Teaching Professional
"Melissa guides with an astute sense of human emotion. She is perceptive and insightful while employing a remarkably gentle touch. She is well-practiced in recognizing and softening the pain of anxiety through humor, warmth, and the written word."
Dr. Clarice J. Kestenbaum, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Emerita
Director of Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Emerita
Special Lecturer, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
"I cannot emphasize enough the enormity of the impact that working with Melissa has had on both my writing and my self-knowledge. The greatest gift that she gave me was the freedom to develop my own creative voice, one that is true to myself and is thus still with me today. The joy and liberation that accompanied working with Melissa fostered and cemented my passion for writing helps me connect with and express my real self - a self that, without Melissa, I may never have known at all."
Writing participant since age 10, Yale University graduate in writing
"When I came to writing class with Melissa, I saw my life as a tragedy. I see my life as poetry now.
Retired counselor, Ephrata Intermediate School
“The cancer writing workshop is one of my lifesavers. I’m so lucky to be a part of it.”
Caregiver to a cancer patient
“A cure for the standardized test. My ten year old daughter went from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by writing, to experiencing joy and excitement.”
Mother of children's workshop participant
"Write from the Heart saved me. It changed my life. We need this program now more than ever."
Student of 17 years (teen and women's workshops)
“You're a mental sea salt caramel chocolate bar!"
Barshinger Cancer Institute writing class
“Melissa’s classes are about more than just writing - they are life validation.”
Men's Workshop participant