Western MA Writing Workshops 

(Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, & Hampshire) 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. Jan Freeman offers weekly Monday evening Zoom poetry workshops and the MASS MoCA Writing Through Art Poetry Retreats. The generative MASS MoCA Writing Through Art Poetry Retreats use art as a portal to open memories, emotion, and the imagination and help poets experiment and play with new forms of expression. Morning workshops include prompts, exercises to open perception, readings, and discussion. A one-hour private consultation is included. New and experienced poets are welcome. Poetry retreats and workshops place great value on forming a safe space for open and expansive creative expression.   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. 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.  Welcome to Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop! Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop is a Northampton MA-based literary arts organization, now completely online for the foreseeable future, offering a wide array of one-day and multi-week writing workshops for experienced and aspiring writers of all levels, genres, and backgrounds. Founded by Joy Baglio in 2016, PVWW has a team of over 30 professional writers, authors and editors and a constantly changing lineup of workshops and events. All our workshops are limited to a small number of writers (8, 10, or 12, depending on the particular class) and are held live on Zoom. In addition to seasonal workshops, PVWW runs a Year-Long Manuscript Group Program for writers working on book-length projects, open for applications every year October – January. In addition to our classes and workshops, we host a FREE twice-a-month generative Community Writing gathering open to writers everywhere and frequent virtual author readingsFor writers looking for more direct hands-on help with their projects, we offer professional one-on-one manuscript consulting and editing services. Our focus is on a rigorous understanding of craft and technique, while also creating a supportive and fun environment for writers of all levels. As Ursula K. Le Guin says: “Skill in writing rees you to write what you want to write. Craft enables art.” MemoryWorks is a creative research and writing practice founded in 2020 by Q.M. Zhang to address the urgent need both personally and collectively to recover and reclaim histories that have been not merely forgotten, but hidden, censored, or erased. MemoryWorks is designed for individuals and communities who are seeking to write the past from the standpoint of the next generation and those who follow: the inheritors of histories of war, migration, colonialism, slavery, revolution, and genocide. As next gen writers, we write in an effort to understand our proximity to history. We are deeply connected to and invested in the stories that we seek to tell, yet we are often faced with silences and erasures within our own family and community histories. This is equally true for the children of migrants and refugees, the descendants of Indigenous and enslaved people, and the offspring of settlers and slavers—all those for whom history, heritage, and memory are in constant conflict. MemoryWorks offers a creative methodology for researching and writing into the gaps between what we’ve been taught to remember, what has been distorted or disappeared, and what we sometimes have to imagine to get closer to the truth. Check for new workshops here: 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! 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! 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!! Valley Society, is the black writer’s guild of the Pioneer Valley and a Straw Dog Writers Guild project. You can now subscribe to our newsletter to receive links to our new writings every month. Additionally, Valley Society is also planning a black or black-led writing group, The Midnight Run. We hope to offer discounted or subsidized seats to black writers. You can always support this initiative by giving monthly through Patreon through our Support page.  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.  The Writers’ Mill is a refuge for writers of all sorts, including novelists, journalists, poets, freelancers, academics, and researchers in Northampton, Massachusetts.  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.  Patricia Lee Lewis, MFA, founding president of Straw Dog Writers Guild, has left Patchwork Farm Retreat and the little mountainside where she lived for 43 years, and occasionally offers creative writing opportunities from “Little Patch,” her new home in downtown Northampton MA. It is in her heart to find the way back to sacred sites around the world, offering creative writing and yoga retreats in community with other writers. Yasmine Ameli is a poet, essayist, and writing coach who facilitates generative, trauma-informed workshops over Zoom. Recent workshops have included Beloved: How to Write a Love Letter; Poet Tea: Making & Writing about Tea; and Eat the Apple: Writing Sensual Experiences. Yasmine also regularly teaches writer professional development workshops on funding writing projects through residencies, fellowships, and grants; submitting to paying literary markets; applying to MFA programs; finding literary community; and cultivating sustainable writing practices.

If you are a SDWG member and would like to be added to this list, please email

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. 

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 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.

Yasmine Ameli As an educator, I take a holistic approach to writing coaching because I believe we create our best work when we nurture our whole selves. I want my students to develop a writing practice that makes sense for them individually. I adapt my coaching practice to each student and often provide guidance on:

  • Cultivating sustainable writing practices
  • Writer’s block
  • The creative process
  • Planning a project
  • Developing and refining manuscripts (including chapbooks, full-length poetry manuscripts, flash creative nonfiction, long-form critical and personal essays, essay collections, and memoir)
  • Submitting to literary magazines
  • Application support for artist statements, awards, grants, fellowships, retreats, and the MFA

Let’s schedule a 15-minute call to talk about how writing coaching could work for you.

Q.M. Zhang I am a writer, teacher, editor, and founder of MemoryWorks, a creative research and writing practice for individuals and communities who are trying to trace their own past and write their own stories in the face of intergenerational silences and historical omissions. My practice is based on over 30 years of teaching in higher ed in Hong Kong, China, and the U.S. and the making of my award-winning hybrid book, Accomplice to Memory. In addition to writing workshops, I offer one-on-one mentoring and manuscript consultation for next gen writers who are working on family or community history projects and interested in experimenting with hybrid forms of writing. Whether you are just beginning to ask questions about your history, or you have begun to gather some sources, or you have a full manuscript ready for review–I welcome writers from all backgrounds, nationalities, and stages of life, wherever and whenever questions of the past take on urgency for you.

If you would like to be added to this list, please email

MA State-Wide Resources

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Online Resources for Writers – Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers

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

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

Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative: A community-based creative writing organization operating in central MA. 

The New England Writing Workshop: Offers expert small-group and individual guidance amid the beauty of Cape Ann (north of Boston).

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.

Write the World Virtual Writing Workshops for Teens offer young writers ages 12-19 the opportunity to jump into new genres of writing, connect with campers across the globe, and learn from acclaimed authors, editors, and educators… all without leaving their homes! Founded in 2012 at Harvard University, Write the World is the online platform for teen writing, comprising a vibrant community of 30,000 teens from over 100 countries. Whether teens join our week-long virtual writing camps, from screenwriting to social justice poetry, science fiction to humor writing, or take part in one of our virtual poetry workshops throughout the calendar year, they will find, raise, use, and share their voice in a supportive community. Please contact Teaching & Learning Coordinator Brittany Collins with questions at




Massachusetts Presses

  • Bateau – publisher of chapbooks & an annual magazine
  • Black Ocean – independent publisher based in Boston
  • Broadsided Press – publishes monthly visual-literary collaborations
  • Cave Canem – a home for African-American poetry
  • Cervena Barva – solicits manuscripts for full-length books
  • Greying Ghost – tabletop printing press based in Boston
  • Interrobang Letterpress – hot metal letterpress shop in the Boston/Cambridge metro area
  • Kundiman – a home for Asian American literature
  • Off the Grid Press – for poets over 60
  • Perugia Press – nonprofit press that publishes one female poet per year
  • Slate Roof Press – member-run press committed to making our books accessible to print-impaired individuals
  • Tupelo – independent, literary press publishing works of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction

Massachusetts Literary Journals and Magazines

  • Agni – literary magazine housed at Boston University
  • The American Dissident – focuses on exposing corruption 
  • Boston Review – political and literary forum 
  • Cape Cod Poetry Review – journal showcases the talent of local Cape Cod writers
  • Eastgate – create new hypertext technologies and craft artisanal writing tools
  • The Harvard Advocate – collegiate literary magazine
  • Harvard Review – publishes new poetry, essays, fiction, drama, criticism, book reviews, and interviews
  • jubilat – accepts poetry, visual art, and essays on poetry and poetics; housed at UMass Amherst
  • The Massachusetts Review – literary magazine promoting social justice and equality, along with great art
  • Meat for Tea: The Valley Review – non-academic affiliated magazine featuring western MA writers
  • Night Train – publishing emerging and established writers online and annually in literary journal 
  • Ploughshares – literary journal published 4 times a year; based at Emerson College in downtown Boston.
  • Poets & Writers – database on literary journals, magazines, poetry
  • Salamander – publishes biannual magazine of poetry, fiction, memoir, and works in translation
  • The Worcester Review – annual print literary journal published by the Worcester County Poetry Association


Regional Literacy Volunteer Directory Links

Retreat Centers for Writers

Social Justice Resources

Online Classes, Courses, Workshops, and Assessment Tools

Harvard University, Project Implicit. Tests on implicit bias in several categories

Traliant, Diversity Training online course. Workplace Diversity, Inclusion & Racial Sensitivity, Unconscious Bias, Microaggressions in the Workplace

The Truth School Racial Equity online classes. Preparing social change leaders to win movement struggles


Building a Culture of Reparations with Dr David Ragland, Interfaith Council of Franklin County, MA

Felicia Rose Chavez (“The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop”) & Susan Briante (“Defacing the Monument”) with Community Bookstore Live

Healing and Reparations Through The Land Back Movement: A Conversation on Indigenous Land Tenure and Access, The Ohketeau Cultural Center, Ashfield, MA

Lifting the Veil on Racism, Interfaith Council of Franklin County, MA

Articles & Books

The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom by Felicia Rose Chavez

Fostering an inclusive culture by Amanda Cole

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses

Guide to Handling LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace by Joseph & Norinsberg

Tech Resources

Making Your Website More Accessible (Candid article)

Optimizing Your Online Presence – For Writers with SDWG member Fungai Tichawangana

How To

Essay Writing Guides from Perlego

If you would like to be added to this list,

please email