Rachel Lyon


Rachel Lyon is the author of the novel SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BOY (Scribner 2018). Her shorter work has appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, Electric Literature, the Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. She teaches for the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, and elsewhere

Did the retreat meet your expectations?


What was the most unexpected part of your stay?

 I did not expect to be greeted so warmly! At the reading at Moshin Vineyard, I ended up meeting a bookstore employee who brought me to her store several days later, to do a last-minute reading there. It was serendipitous and lovely.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat?

I really enjoyed going on early morning walks in the vineyard and its environs. The light at sunrise was eerie and beautiful.

Did the vineyard setting inspire you and/or your writing? In what ways?

I happen to be working on a novel that is in part about alcoholism, so there was a certain dramatic irony in being at a vineyard!

What did you work on during the retreat?

Mostly I was working on getting back on track in my writing after a two week-long book tour. I am so glad I took the time to get my head screwed back on after being in a different city every night.

What other activities did you do during the retreat—any napping, hiking, or exploring the local area?

On a couple separate days I drove to the coast and sat on the cliffside by the ocean in the sun and wind. I loved just sitting there, watching the light change on the water. In the evenings I caught up on my reading, and every morning I'd do a tarot reading to get in touch with where I was at, and where I was going.

Did you participate in any activities or events arranged by the host winery? If so please elaborate.

I had so much fun giving a reading at the winery on my first night. It was great getting to hear the other local writers who read that night, and the snacks were delicious. Plus, they sold copies of my book!

Can you sum up your experience in ten words or less?

Five days of West Coast serenity before re-entering my world.


writers-2018+Marcy Gordon