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February 17, 2023

A Letter from Ellis: SECOND Retreat added!

WOW. The New England Songwriters Retreat is nearly sold out, SO WE'RE ADDING A SECOND RETREAT! Yay! More music. More friends. More fun.


Please tell your songwriter friends about NESR!


The additional retreat will take place on AUGUST 25-29, 2023. Same exact Instructors!


Enrollment this year is on a FIRST-PAID basis.


Each year, my partner Laurie MacAllister and I gather a collection of our favorite master songwriters in Chester, CT to work with 50 students who want to take a deep dive into the heart of their craft. It’s an intense, joyful, cathartic experience, that leaves everyone who enters a better artist, including the Instructors! Everyone leaves the weekend inspired and energized, with new songs, new ideas, and new lifelong friendships.


I'm over the moon to announce the rest of Instructional staff for NESR 7:

🎉 Me—Ellis Paul!

🎉 Dan Bern!

🎉 Molly Venter (of Red Molly)!

🎉 Laurie MacAllister (of Red Molly)!

🎉 Antje Duvekot!

🎉 Mark Erelli!


There are engaging classes, student concerts, one-on-one meetings, song circles, and a vibrant community that will embrace the best version of your artistic self.


Our home for the weekend is in Chester CT, at Guest House Retreat and Conference Center, an historic inn. The accommodations are quaint and cozy, with a B&B vibe. OR you can commute from your CT home or a nearby hotel. The food is delicious, with plenty of healthy vegetarian options. Late summer/early fall is a perfect time to be in New England!


What better gift could you give the songwriter/artist in you?


TO ATTEND NESR 7 simply fill out the Pre-Enrollment Questionnaire (PEQ):


I hope you’ll join us!


ps. We are so pleased to be offering four tuition scholarships to NESR 7! Application instructions are on the SCHOLARSHIP page.



Please navigate to the COVID page, and be sure to read, understand, and agree with the policy before you enroll!


PRIVATE: $1575 - Includes tuition, 11 meals, facility fees, taxes, and a private room at Guest House.
SHARED DOUBLE: $1375 - Includes tuition, 11 meals, facility fees, taxes, and a room shared with one other person at Guest House. 
SHARED TRIPLE: $1275 - Includes tuition, 11 meals, facility fees, taxes, and a room shared with two other people at Guest House. 
COMMUTER RATE: $975 - Includes tuition, 11 meals, facility fees, and taxes. Commuters will enjoy the entire retreat experience, bu
t will sleep either at home or in a local hotel.


  • LODGING: A four-night stay at the Guest House Retreat Center in Chester CT, which has lovely B&B-style rooms. REGISTRATION is on Friday Sept 1 (2023) at 3 pm  and CHECKOUT is on Tuesday Sept 5 (2022) at 10 am.

  • MEALS: Healthy, delicious, expertly-prepared meals throughout the weekend, including great vegetarian options. Friday lunch through Tuesday breakfast is included. Dietary needs are happily accommodated.

  • TUITION includes all of this and more:

    • Songwriting classes each day, led by some of America's premiere touring singer-songwriters

    • Additional courses covering topics related to songwriting, such as performance and singing

    • Small class size = lots of individual attention

    • One-on-one coaching from members of our team of excellent Instructors

    • Opportunities for live performance in a professional listening room setting

    • Lots of networking and fun with other aspiring musicians all weekend long

    • Late-night song circles all weekend long

    • A sweet bag of swag, including a nice journal

    • A party on closing night (Monday night)

    • A warm, welcoming, creative community

Join the MAILING LIST by using the form below.




Questions? Email Laurie at

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