Western MA Writing Workshops 

(Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, & Hampshire) – Writer and editor Jane Roy Brown leads workshops for writers at any level who want to write about their lives. She also facilitates writing groups for experienced writers in any genre who seek to improve their craft through constructive critique. And she is available to coach any writer pushing through a funk!  Dori Ostermiller’s  Writers in Progress’ mission is to enhance writers’ work and lives with writing workshops and retreats, mentoring, coaching and editorial support.  Housed in a beautiful western Massachusetts artists’ studio, our small workshops and one-on-one mentoring attract people who want to take their writing to the next level in a thoughtful and inspiring space.  Patricia Lee Lewis, MFA, of Patchwork Farm Retreat, offers creative writing and yoga workshops and retreats at mountainside Patchwork Farm in western Massachusetts and at sacred sites around the world, for writers at all levels of skill and experience. The writing process provides beginning and experienced writers with a supportive, encouraging, and enjoyable context in which to write.  Welcome to Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop! We are a creative writing school offering workshops and public events in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. All our classes are held in Commons Coworking in Williamsburg, MA (about a ten-minute drive from Northampton) and taught by our talented instructors, all professional writers and authors with published books, stories, poems, and essays; MFA’s and advanced degrees; and years of experience in the literary world.  Maureen Buchanan Jones, Ph.D. Maureen offers creative writing workshops for writers of all genres and at all levels of skills and experience. The workshop process is based on the method developed by Pat Schneider, founder of Amherst Writers & Artists and author of Writing Alone and With Others.   Kathy Dunn, offering Creative Writing Workshops, and Retreats in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. Do you have a story to tell? If you’ve written all your life and would like to experiment with new approaches, come and visit. If you’re new to writing and would like to discover skills you already have, come and visit. See what it’s like to explore stories and writing in a supportive and creative community. Amherst Writers & Artists is a non-profit, international arts organization and a network of writing workshop leaders. AWA-certified leaders have received the intensive training we offer in the AWA method, founded over thirty years ago by Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and With Others, Oxford University Press.  The Writers’ Mill is a refuge for writers of all sorts, including novelists, journalists, poets, freelancers, academics, and researchers in Northampton, Massachusetts. Joan Barberich, certified AWA, Creative Writing Workshops for Women. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, Nerissa Nields holds amazing writing workshops out of her home in Northampton. Write. Be entertained. Laugh. Cry. Foster community. Drink hot beverages. All kinds of writers are welcome. We are poets, novelists, songwriters, memoirists, journalers, and scribblers. with 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!! Terianne aka Miss T carries on her outrageously fun and thoughtful No Bull workshops on Zoom  We will write and laugh together and create community. In class, we’ve got bloggers, novelists, poets, memoirists, personal essay writers, playwrights, you name it. The mix is so enriching as well as entertaining!


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Editors / Writing Consultants

(Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, & Hampshire)

Joy Baglio Sometimes the best thing you can do for your manuscript, short story, or essay is to get a second pair of eyes on it. As writers, editors, and teachers, we’ve had years of experience reading and commenting on others’ writing, for literary journals, workshops, and individual students. We specialize in a range of genres and topics, from flash fiction, short stories, and novels to memoirs, essays, and academic writing. Email: Phone: 518-645-1113 

Jan Freeman  Manuscript Consultations and Editing Services with Jan Freeman With 40 years of editorial experience, I am available to review works of prose and poetry, including full-length manuscripts, chapbooks, and selected collections. Through multiple readings, I evaluate literal and emotional narratives and a manuscript’s organization, texture, shape, tension, and emotional flow. I am author of 3 books of poetry and co-editor of Sisters: An Anthology; from 1995–2018, I directed Paris Press (now an imprint of Wesleyan University Press), which published critically acclaimed books by Emily Dickinson, NBCC award winning Ruth Stone, Virginia Woolf, and many others. contact:

DM Gordon Want your writing to be the best it can be? Aching to be published? Thinking of an MFA? Why not work with an individual editor first. I’m less expensive than a low-residency program, with more focused, extensive attention. I work with post-MFA grads towards publication, poetry, and prose, as well as writers first seeking to share their work. From query letters to self-publication, we can discuss your immediate goals and how to achieve them. A prize-winning poet and fiction writer, and an experienced, respectful editor in multiple genres, I’d love to talk with you.

Celia Jeffries  My current editorial work encompasses reading and consultation, developmental editing, copy/line editing, and coaching. Having worked with writers at every stage of the creative process and in a variety of genres, I focus primarily on fiction, nonfiction, and memoir but love learning new subjects and working in many fields.

Michael Favala Goldman I know how difficult it is to be objective about one’s own writing. Having skilled readers and mentors helped me gain the skills to publish16 books of prose translations, poetry translations and original poetry. I have been leading poetry critique groups since 2018. I give direct, compassionate feedback, to help clarify and magnify the author’s voice. I am happy to look at a few short pieces or an entire manuscript.

Lesléa Newman: In addition to creating 75 books for readers of all ages, I have been critiquing manuscripts for 40 years (!) with experience in novels, short stories, poetry, novels-in-verse, young adult novels, middle-grade novels, and picture books. Basically, I can critique anything except a cookbook! Some of the books I have mentored are Kwame Alexander’s novel-in-verse, The Crossover (Newbery Award) and picture book, Acoustic Rooster; Farideh Goldin’s memoir, Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman; Leah Henderson’ middle-grade novel,One Shadow on the Wall; and Sonja Devries’ poetry collection, A Garden in Baghdad. As Elsa Gidlow so famously said, “Writers are not special people. Each person is a special writer.” I firmly believe that everyone has an important story to tell and the ability to tell it. More information here:

Sara Rauch I’m a Holyoke-based author, editor, and writing coach who is particularly drawn to character-driven work that has a strong relationship to language and a definite plot. Whether I’m engaging with a short story, novel, essay or memoir, I approach editing in a way that allows the story’s voice to find its truest expression. I’m well versed in the “rules” of what makes “good” writing, but I’m more interested in helping authors use all the tools in the craft toolbox to make their work shine. As a coach, I guide writers looking to structure and complete longer works-in-progress, with a particular focus on editorial, publishing, or social media advice.

Gail 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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MA State-Wide Resources

Grub Street: The second largest independent center for creative writing in the United States, its mission is to be an innovative, rigorous and welcoming community for writers who together create their best work, find an audience and elevate the literary arts for all.

The Writers’ Room of Boston: A nonprofit organization committed to supporting the creation of new literature by providing a secure, affordable workspace and an engaged community to emerging and established writers in downtown Boston.

Four Stories: A literary series bridging Greater Boston’s nightlife and arts community. Each event is held in a club, bar or lounge, and features appearances from some of the most acclaimed authors in the nation, all reading their work under a unified theme.

Cape Cod Writers Center: Workshops and a nationally-recognized writers conference which takes place annually during the third week in August at the charming Craigville Conference Center in Centerville on Nantucket Sound.

Brilliant Light Publishing – Our mission at Brilliant Light Publishing is to promote the work of poets and writers from the New England community who illuminate the inner and outer states of our natural and cultural environment.

Fine Arts Work Center: A nonprofit devoted to encouraging the growth and development of emerging visual artists and writers through residency programs, to the propagation of aesthetic values and experience, and to the restoration of the year-round vitality of the historic art colony of Provincetown.

North Shore Writers Group: Based in Salem, Massachusetts (but welcoming all writers living on the North Shore), NSWG nurtures writers at all levels by providing supportive feedback to their work.

The New England Writing Workshop: Offers expert small-group and individual guidance amid the austere beauty of the coast north of Boston.

Anomalous Press: A literary magazine and chapbook publisher, Anomalous “has its sights set on publishing literary text, advancing audio forms and creation, and supporting all sorts of alternative realities of the near future.”

Ploughshares: Founded in 1971, Ploughshares is an award-winning literary magazine at Emerson College publishing poetry, fiction, essay, and memoir.

Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative: A community-based creative writing organization operating under the auspices of the Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop: Formed by graduate students at Harvard University in 2008, the CWW is a creative writing community in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offering workshops, online courses, and writing retreats.

Coup d’Etat: A literary journal run by Boston University undergraduate students “committed to fostering literary talent that is unusual, unexpected, and exceptional.”

Fresh Pond Writers: Skype and in-person workshops (Boston and Cambridge) for writers who have obtained an MFA, been published, or have several advanced-level workshops under their belts.

Scribbler’s Ink: A Boston-area writing workshop for writers of all genres and abilities.

 Mass Poetry: Mass Poetry supports poets and poetry in Massachusetts. We help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.

Online Resources for Writers – Amherst College



MFA Programs in Massachusetts:  MFA Programs, Poetry

POETRY COMMUNITIES in the Massachusetts area


MA Presses

From P&W Database—Literary Journals and Magazines, Poetry



Literacy Volunteer Directory Links

The Literacy Project (Northampton)

Center for New Americans (Northampton)

Voices from the Inside (Chicopee, Springfield, South Hadley)

Jones Library (Amherst)

Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County (Pittsfield)

Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts (LVM) (Pittsfield, Worcester)

Springfield Literacy Volunteers (Springfield Public Library):

For a list of additional organizations, go to this online directory:

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