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The Writer's Spark Workshops


Kirsten Rybczynski.

The Writer's Spark is a Northampton-based, independent writing workshop for everyone--those of us who identify as writers and those of us who don't. In these workshops, we concentrate on re-connecting to that place in our past where we just made things, without asking the question: "Is this any good?" Freeing yourself from that critical voice allows your stories to reveal themselves to you in unexpected ways. Inspired by the work and teaching of cartoonist/writer, Lynda Barry, participants in these workshops write, draw, color, and more. Anything Can Happen!! 

Nerissa Nields writing it up in the garden




  • Regular, 10-week Courses
  • Generative (first draft) writing
  • Manuscript group (by invitation only)
  • Spring 2019
  • Northampton, MA

Tuesday afternoons: 12:30-2:30pm starting April 2, 2019
Wednesday afternoons: 12:30-2:30pm starting April 3, 2019
Wednesday evenings: 7-9pm starting April 3, 2019
Thursday evenings: 7-9pm starting April 4, 2019

Thursday manuscript group (Weeding & Pruning): 3:30-5pm by application only. To apply, please send a letter and a 300 word sample of writing to Nerissa@nields.com.

Please visit here for up to date listings

Pioneer Valley Writers Workshop


Autumn Writing Retreat in the Berkshires - October 4-8, 2020

The Hart House, New Marlborough, Massachusetts - October 4-8, 2020 with Page Lambert.
Bring the vibrancy of New England’s fall colors to your writing during this 5-day intensive retreat at the historic Berkshire village of New Marlborough. Immerse yourself in the landscape of your fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry project while guided by Page’s experienced eye in small group discussions, and during one-on-one private sessions. http://pagelambert.com/berkshires.html




Straw Dog Member hiring!


I need someone to help me with submissions to magazines. This would include poetry, prose or whatever I feel like doing. It would require experience with “submittable” (or ability to learn) and typing out notices or emails to go to magazines. The person who was doing this job before was making anywhere from $200 to $350 per month, depending on number of submissions. There’s a bonus of $50 for each piece of work accepted. That’s a new wrinkle.
This person would also be asked to do some typing of manuscripts and miscellaneous stuff like that.
If you know of anyone who might be interested, could you please have them call me at 413-256-0240 or email me at  dick@dickbentley.com





Consultation w/ Gail Thomas


I am available for individual consultation on your poetry submissions, manuscripts and residency applications. With more than 40 years of publishing and teaching experience, I offer feedback that not only focuses on your writing goals, but also strengthens your craft. If you are assembling a chapbook or full-length manuscript, I will work with you to organize and present your best work for publication.

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