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Writing Groups and Retreats


These writing retreats are a gift to myself and to my writing. They allow me to focus in on my craft in a beautiful and supportive space. The energy of songwriters and writers of all genres coming together and creating is electric. It is place to discover new projects, shatter writer’s block, shape and develop existing work, and convene with amazing people. Also the food is yummy.

-Kate Cebik

Of all of the writing instructors I have had the pleasure of working with, including time spent in the west of Ireland at the Yeats Summer School program, Nerissa has a unique talent and expertise at detailed and authentic instructive feedback. I’ve sat in at Breadloaf, sat in at The New York State Writers Institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, sat in on the last sessions at the Frost Workshops in Bennington Vermont among others. Nerissa is a teacher not by trade but by calling. She is a natural teacher and teaches from the heart and I see a deep affinity between how well she listens to all of us as we make our way through our writing and the deep emotional resonance of her music. The teacher’s spirit, her inclination, her ethical compass, her ways of being alert, her ways of knowing are magnificently present in both. Both her music and her teaching are instructive.  At first, that phrase sounded stodgy to my ears, but, on second thought, instructive in the sense of orientation.  She orients us.  It’s soul instruction.

—Kimberly Hamilton Bobrow, English Professor, Manchester Community College

Nerissa has hosted writing groups and retreats from her home in Northampton since 2003. The writing space is magical, as anyone who’s written there will tell you. The magic extends through the InterWebs and is present for her Zoom groups and Hybrid groups.

Time. Attention. Inspiration. Creativity. Community.

Nerissa Nields holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from Yale University, having graduated cum laude with honors in English.  She has taught Creative Writing and English at The Madeira School in McLean, VA and the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. Since 2003, she has run writing groups for adults and youth out of her home in Northampton, MA. In addition, she has taught songwriting at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyon’s Colorado at their Song School. She has published a young adult novel, two works of non-fiction, and three books of poetry. She has written thousands of songs and recorded and released 20 albums worth, on major and independent labels.

Interested in joining Nerissa for a 10 week Writing It Up In the Garden workshop or retreat? 

All kinds of writers are welcome: we are poets, novelists, songwriters, memoirists, journalers and bloggers. Join a group, find your muse and your tribe and write that piece you’ve always wanted to create.

Sign up here to be added to her Newsletter, Symbols & Cymbals.

How to Register:

(1) Fill out the application here.

(2) Finalize payment per the instructions onscreen.

Note: If the session you want is full, you will have the option to receive a refund, or to apply your deposit towards the next session of classes.

Registration is open for the Fall 2022 sessions.

Zoom Youth Writing Group

COST: $300.00

Weekly Writing Workshops

COST: $360.00