Our Teachers


Elizabeth Perlman

Founder & Executive Director

Elizabeth created this organization because it was what she wanted and needed when she was a teen:  a safe place to write, speak and be heard. Even after nine years of leading workshops and developing curricula, Elizabeth continues to be inspired (and often moved to tears) by the wisdom, depth, and raw, world-changing courage of young writers.

Elizabeth has a BA in Media Arts & Film and a Masters in Transformative Arts, the study of creative expression as a tool for personal growth. She is also a certified Group Leader in The Amherst Writing Method. Before launching the Intuitive Writing Project in 2013, Elizabeth worked for over ten years as a graphic designer and art director in the advertising industry.


Elizabeth lives in her favorite city, Oakland, California, where she loves to run in the redwoods and write for hours and hours, ideally (like the Brontë sisters) by candlelight, scribbling with pen on paper. Elizabeth is currently working on a book about The Intuitive Writing Project. You can reach her at elizabeth@intuitivewritingproject.org.


Gretchen Cion

Senior Teacher

Gretchen is a writer and an educator who has been bringing the magic of creative writing to students for over twenty years. She has taught as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist and writer in residence, working with both children and adults. She is grateful for the way in which her students inspire and inform her own writing.

She holds a B.A. from Washington University and an M.A. in Education from Hunter College in NYC. While in NY, she was involved with Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Thanks to her profession as an educator, she has written countless stories to help teach the craft of writing. Gretchen is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at San Francisco State University.

When she is not writing, she can be found compiling the perfect mixes for her rise-and-shine dance parties or practicing her Italian as she stretches toward becoming a polyglot. Gretchen lives in Berkeley with her artist husband and their two wildly cool boys. You can reach her at gretchen@intuitivewritingproject.org.


Melissa Quiter

Director of Programs &
Lead Instructor

Melissa Quiter has been part of the TIWP since 2016, and is currently serving TIWP as the Director of Programs in addition to being our Senior Teacher and Editor of The Intuitive Voice. She taught high school Journalism and World History at Miramonte for 10 years, bringing their student newspaper to national prestige. 


She holds a BA in Journalism from Boston University and a secondary teaching credential from San Francisco State University. Earlier in her career, she worked as a journalist at the Sunday Times in London, an international trip leader for high school students, and a rock climbing instructor. 


Melissa is a proud Oakland resident, where she lives with her husband and 3 kids. She is an avid snowboarder and an accidental ski mom, and you will find her shredding in Kirkwood all winter long.

You can reach her at melissa@intuitivewritingproject.org.


To listen to a recent interview of Elizabeth, click the above image.