Perfect for the creative teen or tween who wants to write or is already writing. These exciting online classes with Nerissa Nields begin on Tuesday, March 24, goes to June 16, 2020. The 4pm class is for all genres, including graphic novels, fan fiction, poetry, etc. The 7pm class has a strong focus on songwriting. Nerissa has six years of experience teaching writing at preparatory schools, as well as 15 years of teaching these creative writing workshops out of her studio. $265 for 12-week course. Sign up here.
Each week, Nerissa will give assignments, tailoring each assignment to the student’s interest and genre. For example, if the student wants to write songs, she will give a song prompt or topic. If the student is writing a novel, she will guide them to craft an outline, then submit chapters. If the student is writing a film, they will storyboard, then write scenes.
In the Zoom class, class participants will begin with a check-in on everyone’s progress, and Nerissa will teach techniques and use examples from films, books, songs, poems, plays, etc. Students will be invited to read a portion of their work out loud if they feel comfortable doing so. Shyer kids might want to submit to Nerissa, or have her read their work anonymously. The class will support each other as a community of writers, cheer each other’s progress, and listen to each other as they share the challenges that inevitably come with any creative practice.
Participants will not criticize each other’s work. Nerissa’s workshops are based on the principles of Amherst Writers and Artists, which are all about supporting new creative work with kindness, focus, and an eye to what is working well in the given piece.
Nerissa will not give grades, but she will edit and comment on all work, and make specific suggestions for improvement and/or direction on the page or via email. In the class, she will also point out what is working well.
About Nerissa Nields
Nerissa holds a BA from Yale University, having graduated cum laude with honors in English and taught Creative Writing and English at The Madeira School in McLean, VA, and the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. In 2003, she founded Writing It Up in the Garden and has run writing groups and retreats out of her home in Northampton, MA. In addition, Nerissa taught songwriting at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyon’s Colorado at their Song School for two years. 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.
Calling all Amherst-based poets! Original poems can be submitted to this month’s Eyes Are the Window poetry contest, created to select poems for a public art display in Boltwood Walk.
Young writers are invited to submit their work to Odyssey Bookshop’s annual Children’s Writing Contest! Stories submitted should be original, and must be created following the contest’s creative and original prompt. Time to start brainstorming!
As fall darkens and begins to give way to winter, our hibernation instincts begin to kick in, inspiring us to hunker down and spend more time inside. While it’s sad to give up the long, bright days, there’s no reason not to make the best of the darkness! Families can spend November writing, by participating in either 30 Poems in November or National Novel Writing Month – two writing projects that challenge participants to create a large amount of new work throughout the month.