"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."

~Zachary G., age 10

"Write From the Heart has been a lifeline for me.”

~Deb V., Barshinger Cancer Institute writing class

"Melissa’s work is such a gift to 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.!”

~Joanne C., Women's Workshop participant 

"Melissa creates trust, then reaches down inside you and grabs something wonderful you didn't know you had."

~Jay S., 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."

~Cherie S., women's workshop participant for 14 years

“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.“

~Janice Estabrook 

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."

~Jim Shepard

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!"

~Jeff C., 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

"Melissa showed me how writing connects me with my true self. I can’t emphasize enough the impact that working with her has had on my creativity and self-knowledge. The joy and liberation that accompanied our work together fostered and cemented this passion, and I may not be writing at all today without her, much less making it my life's work."

  ~Frances L., student since age 10, Yale University graduate in writing, 

MFA in writing at Columbia University

"When I came to writing class with Melissa, I saw my life as a tragedy. I see my life as poetry now. 

~Judie G., Retired counselor, Ephrata Intermediate School

“The cancer writing workshop is one of my lifesavers. I’m so lucky to be a part of it.”

~Daniel E., workshop participant

“A cure for the standardized test. My ten-year-old daughter went from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by writing, to experiencing joy and excitement.”

~Jennifer T., Mother of children's workshop participant

"Write from the Heart saved me. It changed my life. We need this program now more than ever."

~Sara C., Student of 17 years (teen and women's workshops)

"The day I found your class all those years ago was a day that will forever be in my heart."

~Becky H, workshop participant for 18 years 

“Melissa, you're a mental sea salt caramel chocolate bar!"

~Jen Q., fine artist

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