Nerissa Nields

writing it up in the garden

Big Yellow Weekend Retreats

BigYellowRetreat Schedule 2018
January 12-14 2018 Northampton MA
March 9-11 2018 Northampton MA
June 29-July 1 2018 Adirondack retreat, Keene NY
July 9-13 2018 Summer Writing Camp, Northampton MA–in our new Little Blue!
November Kali Retreat still to be scheduled
Nerissa has been hosting writing retreats from her home in Northampton since 2004. The house (affectionately dubbed “Big Yellow” by retreatants) is magical, as anyone who’s written there will tell you. The walls hold the wisdom and inspiration of hundreds of writers who have shared their work over the years. Nerissa creates a safe, warm and encouraging container for all writers, new and veterans alike. Songwriters, novelists, memoirists, poets, bloggers, dissertation writers, comics–all are welcome. Most retreats are filled with returning writers who make the event an annual or bi-annual pilgrimage.
Inspired by quiet, beauty and healthy food, Nerissa aspires to offer the same to her guests. Meals are served family style in her dining room, and she takes care to find recipes that are healthy, delicious and take into account individual food preferences and allergies.
Most retreats start on Friday evening at 5:30pm with a healthy and delicious dinner and a round of introductions. We sit down to a writing exercise right after diIMG_0723nner (usually around 6:30) and write together for 50 minutes, and then share a sample with each other. Plan to find your way back to your B&B or hotel around 8:30 or 9:00. The next morning between 9-9:30, we will congregate for coffee, tea, and light breakfast, discussion and a prompt, followed by individual writing.
There will be a break for lunch from IMG_0728 11:45-3. We regroup in the afternoon for another writing session. We will have a group dinner at 5:30, and then a sing along (or game–depending on the desires of the group).
Sunday morning, we have one more short writing session, and then we share finished work or works in progress, responding, if we like, to what works in each piece. Retreat ends at noon Sunday. We’ll often celebrate with a group photo.
Other retreats are daytime only, and start at 9am and go to 5pm, with a break for lunch served at Big Yellow.
To register, write her at
Cost is generally $300 for Writing Retreats ($400 for weeklong Summer Camp). A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to hold your spot. The fee does not include accommodations, but there are lovely and affordable places to stay nearby and we can help direct you to them. Fee includes dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, abundant coffee and tea, and light refreshments. Breakfast and lunch are catch as catch can. The retreat is 1.2 miles from downtown Northampton, and a half a block from the bike path, right on the bus line.
Deposit and Cancellation policy is here.