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Big Yellow/Little Blue Writing Retreats

Nerissa has hosted 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. She also brings the “Big Yellow” spirit to retreats in other locations.

Retreat Schedule 2018

July 9-13 2018 Summer Writing Camp, Northampton MA–in our new Little Blue!

September 14-16 First Little Blue Weekend Retreat!

November 9-11 Kali Retreat

January 11-13, 2019 New Year’s Retreat

March 22-24, 2019 Equinox Retreat

Summer Writing Retreat

Finally–give yourself to your writing for one delicious week! We will meet from 9am-4pm. Mornings will be dedicated to writing in my beautiful house, inside or out on the porch, or patio, or in the secret spot in the center of my labyrinth…or even on the second floor of my barn. This is a fantastic opportunity to delve deeply into an existing project, work on a phD thesis, start a children’s book, edit and revise, or just revel in the community of writers, the beautiful surroundings, the quiet, the on-going discussion of writing and literature, the delicious healthy food. Poets work on haiku; songwriters compose in private rooms; there are indoor and outdoor spaces to curl up in and write to your heart’s content.

Daily schedule:

We start at 9am daily. There will be coffee, tea and seltzer all day long. Nerissa will gather everyone in her front room for a short discussion and optional prompt. Writing time happens all morning until about 11:30 when we break for lunch around Nerissa’s large dining room table. We have a unified conversation about a different literary topic each day. Meals are served family-style, with attention given to the dietary needs of individuals. The focus is on fresh, local foods and delicious, healthy cuisine. After lunch, those who wish go for a short walk around the beautiful Childs Park across the street. We write all afternoon until 3pm when we break for an hour of sharing.

Summer retreat is like summer camp for writers. Take a week to exercise your muse, make some new friends and enjoy Northampton in the summer!

  • July 9 – 13, 2018
  • Northampton, MA
COST: $400.00

Focus Chorus

Focus Chorus is a high level singing group composed of 10-15 year old. An offshoot of the highly successful Local Chorus (kids aged 5-15), Focus Chorus is for advanced singers who are willing to work hard and learn 3-4 part harmony songs. (more…)

  • Tuesday September 4, 2018
  • Northampton, MA
COST: $175.00

Local Chorus

Local Chorus is a privately run chorus for kids aged 5-13. We sing a wide repertoire of folk, pop, rock and classical music in one-, two- and three-part arrangements. When possible, we incorporate strings played by the students, as well as guitar and percussion played by adults and students. (more…)

  • 10 wks starting 9/11/18
  • Tuesday from 4:15 – 5 pm
  • Montessori School of Northampton
COST: $150.00

September Little Blue Retreat

First ever Little Blue weekend retreat! Help Nerissa inaugurate the beautiful new writing studio! Retreat starts at 5:30 Friday with dinner, introductions and a short writing session. Then two days of 9-5 writing, with a delicious home-cooked lunch in between, walks in the local park, craft-talk and workshopping.

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 dinner (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, discussion and a prompt, followed by individual writing. Nerissa serves lunch at 11:30 or so, and afterwards we all go for a short walk. We’ll write until 5pm, stopping to share at 4.

Sunday morning, we have one more short writing session, then a light lunch at my house, and then we share finished work or works in progress, responding, if we like, to what works in each piece. Retreat ends at 5pm Sunday. We’ll often celebrate with a group photo.

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. With the construction of Little Blue, the studio in the back yard, writers have a beautiful space to create, focus, invent, edit, laugh, eat well–in comfort and beauty. 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.

  • Sept. 14-16, 2018
  • Friday 5:30pm
  • Northampton, MA
COST: $300.00

Weeding & Pruning

Weeding & Pruning is a manuscript group composed of six Writing It Up in the Garden writers. We have been meeting for the past 9 years, on and off, via teleconference. (more…)

  • September – December
  • 3:30 – 5pm
  • teleclass
COST: $350.00

Weekly Writing Workshops

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Nerissa Nields holds amazing writing workshops out of her home in Northampton. She created these groups in 2003 when, as a single woman, she bought a Big Yellow House that was a bit beyond reach. (more…)

  • Regular, 10-week Courses
  • Generative (first draft) writing
  • Fall 2018
  • Northampton, MA
COST: $350.00

Hootenanny Parent Guitar

Nerissa teaches parents how to bring HooteNanny home. In a warm, encouraging group setting, parents and grandparents strum together, learn chords, finger-picking patterns, rudimentary music theory, sing together, laugh, share their struggles with practicing after bedtime, and make amazing progress. (more…)

  • Next Session Starts Sept. 2018
COST: $250.00

November Kali Retreat

Join Nerissa for a three-day intensive writing weekend from Friday November 2 to Sunday November 4. We will start Friday at 5:30 with a hot dinner, after which we will gather for introductions and a first writing session. There will be time for sharing, and (more…)

  • Nov.2-4, 2018
  • 5:30 Friday – 5pm Sunday
  • Big Yellow, Northampton, MA
COST: $300.00

January New Year Intentions Retreat

By popular demand, we’re going to have a mini-replica of the Summer Writing Camp in the deep midwinter! Join Nerissa for a three-day intensive writing weekend from Friday January 11 to Sunday January 13 2019. (more…)

  • Jan 11-13, 2019
  • 5:30pm Friday
  • Northampton, MA
COST: $300.00

March Spring Equinox Retreat

Come to Northampton MA and tap into your spring reserves for a weekend of writing, laughing, learning and growing. This yearly event is one of the favorites for aficionados of the Big Yellow retreats. Springtime is a great time to start a new project or go deeper into an existing one. (more…)

  • March 22-24, 2019
  • 5:30 Friday – 5pm Sunday
  • Northampton, MA
COST: $300.00