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Thanks for finding me.

Feel free to click around the site to learn about me and my writing life. You'll find ways to write with me in workshops and retreats. You can sign up for a writing or book study partner. You can pre-purchase my forthcoming memoir, Getting to Love, and you'll find access to the online journal, Starry Starry Kite.

I'm so glad you're here.

Short Bio

Short Bio

Born in Texas, raised in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Indiana, Linda Castronovo now lives and writes in western Massachusetts, unceded land of the Nipmuc, Nonotuck, and Pocumtuc People. She makes her home with her husband, a yellow lab, a black cat, and a dozen chickens on a tiny hobby farm with fruit trees, berry bushes, and too many weeds. Nature is still a daily wonder.  

Long Bio

Story captured my imagination at age seven when my second grade teacher spent the year reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Series. I followed along as Laura and her family braved the wilds of the upper plains in the years before statehood.

In fifth grade I was fidgety and distracted in my small reading group. I could say the words, but the story made no sense among the competing voices in the classroom. My teacher sent me to the library to read on my own. In the quiet, I pictured the movie of the story. I put myself in the action, into the bodies of characters. I rode wild horses, swam in warm seas, and traveled through the wardrobe into Narnia, The Phantom Tollbooth, Chincoteague Island, and many more. I experienced sadness and joy, anger and fear. I could be anyone and anything: Harriet the Spy, Aslan the Lion, The Black Stallion.


I started writing a few years later when I received my first blank book. I grew up thinking of myself as a writer. I wanted to create the magic I had experienced as a reader. But I also wanted to be a veterinarian (like James Herriot) and, in college, found myself more drawn to life sciences and to sports than to English classes. After college and graduate school, I coached field hockey and lacrosse for fifteen years, taught high school science, and then stayed home fulltime to raise my son for his first seven years. When I went back to work, I shifted to elementary school so my son and I could have the same schedule.


It was while teaching writing to children that I discovered writing as more than journaling. There were specific skills, steps, and stages: brainstorming, drafting, reimagining, rearranging, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing. While practicing these skills in Writing Workshop (Thank you, Lucy Calkins), we learned to think like writers, and we all fell in love with the writing process.

When I retired in 2018, I joined a writing group and developed my skills with daily practice and the generous feedback from fellow writers. I am excited to share a practice that allows me to express my whole self. Writing is an infinite well that nourishes my curiosity and creativity.

Longer Bio

A Short History of My Writing Life

After I retired in 2018, I was invited into my first writing group after a trip to India where my sister announced casuallly to a small group, “My sister's a writer.” It’s taken me years to claim this identity for myself, but Beth has been my first editor and greatest fan for as long as I can remember. I am eternally grateful to her and to many others: poets: Epi Bodhi, Jane McPhetres Johnson, and Eileen P. Kennedy; and novelist Kathryn Holzman welcomed me and Nicola Metcalf into the fold of the Friday Writers. They motivated me to improve objectively terrible first drafts and introduced me to Straw Dogs Writers Guild’s monthly newsletter where I discovered a large local writing community.


Through Straw Dogs, I joined Stephanie Shafran and Lynn Bechtel’s Monday Afternoon Writing Group including Madlynn Haber, Erin Ervin, Dorothy Reihm, Carla Cooke, and Eileen P. Kennedy. We meet weekly, rotating responsibility for prompts and timekeeping. I found additional opportunities to write with Lynn Bowmaster’s Woven Word workshops, Writers in Progress, and the Pioneer Valley Writers Workshop.

I joined Patricia Lee Lewis at Patchwork Farm and on retreat in Culebra, Dori Ostermiller at Writers in Progress, and Nerissa Nields in Writing it Up in the Garden. Their skilled leadership and expert facilitation broadened my skills and lent confidence to my writing voice. I will always remember Patricia’s patient tone while looking over my early work. “I encourage you to be suspicious of every adjective-noun combination, Linda. Make sure the adjective tells us something we don’t already know about the noun.”

A series of workshops with Cathy Luna on memoir structure, theme and craft gave me direction and focus for my first real draft. I had begun a memoir about raising my son, but Cathy’s exercises led me to the story of learning to love and be loved in mid-life.

I was part of Dori Ostermiller’s 2021 Manuscript Intensive Series (with Don Lesser, Rita Bleiman, Marie Levandier, Sara Barry, and Jane Mortifee) and Celia JeffriesPioneer Valley Writers Workshop Memoir Manuscript Program (in 2020 and 2021 with Tracy Grammer, Phyllis Muldoon, Anne Bergeron, Pam Roberts, and Pamela Sharron). These two years were pivotal in shaping an amorphous first draft into a tidier story with a compelling narrative arc. Craft instruction and generous feedback from leaders and participants in these programs continue to inform my writing.

I feel lucky to live in an area with so many opportunities to write in community. I love being a part of a team and I value the inspiration available in partnerships and small groups. My days now are filled with accountability partnerships, critique groups, workshops and webinars with writers from near and far. I thrive in their company. Writing is an infinite well that nourishes my curiosity and creativity. I’m excited to share it.

Write with Me

Write with Me


Writing Retreats

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Get away from it all with a small group of supportive writers.

Optional daily activities include yoga, meditation, writing prompts, lots of independent writing time, and options for sharing with the group sharing.

All vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free meals included. Delicious!

Email me  about upcoming retreats.

Writing Retreats

You don't have to go far to get away from it all.

Join me on retreat within driving distance from western Massachusetts.

The Berkshires, Cape Cod, White Mountains, Connecticut, and Vermont.

You can join the group for meals and prompts, or hibernate in private and get work done.

Five-Day Retreats begin Sundays at 4 pm and end Fridays at 11 AM.

Typical Daily Schedule (All events are optional.)

6:30-7:00       Sitting in Silence

7:00-7:30       Yoga

7:30-9:00       Walk/Hike and/or Breakfast

9:30 AM         Writing Prompts / Warm-up

10:00-12:30     Independent Writing Time

12:30             Group Lunch and Sharing

2:00-5:00       Independent Writing and/or Outdoor activity

5:30 PM         Supper

6:00-8:00       Read, Respond, Share

8:00 PM         Meditation


Past Writing Retreats

Lee, Massachusetts

Restored Victorian Home

March 13 - 18, 2022

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North Conway, New Hampshire 

The Cabernet Inn

October 30 - November 4, 2022

North Conway Retreat
WriterLee Retreat
Great Barrington Retreat

Great Barrington Writing Retreat

Great Barrinton, Massachusetts

Moose Lodge

March 12 - 17, 2023

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Writing Parnerships

Writing Partnerships

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Some writers write alone.

Some write best in a group.

Some need just one other person.

Accountability Partnerships

Critique Partners

Beta Readers

Do you want to share the joys and struggles of the writing process?

Do you want supportive accountability to your goals?

Do you want a partner to read new writing or provide feedback on the latest draft?


Sign-up to be matched with others who share your needs and goals.

You choose how much, how often, and what kind of feedback you receive.

You can meet remotely or in person.

Bust out of the trope of the solitary writing life and feel the benefits of  regular support.

Join our growing list of writers to find a partner and the support 

you need for the next step on your writing journey.

Book Study Partnerships

More information soon!!

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Do you love the idea of a book group, but grow frustrated when it becomes purely soicial?

Do you want to read a book in shorter chunks and talk about it along the way?

Do you want a partner to read new writing or provide feedback on the latest draft?


Join our growing list of readers and find a partner for your reading journey.

Contact Me
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