Events, Workshops & Writing Retreats

Dede Cummings frequently works as an event producer. Whether it is for grassroots environmental activism, author book launch events, art exhibitions, a cappella concerts, or feature films or documentaries, Cummings shares a passion with her clients for bringing art to life. Environmental activism and organizing is a major impetus for Dede, as she feels the clock is ticking on climate change, and the time is now to do everything to stop global warming. The “buy local/ride local” mantra is a way of life she hopes will be available and supported by all. Here are a few events Cummings has produced and/or coordinates:

Tour de Heifer  The tremendous success of 2011’s Strolling of the Heifers’s Tour de Heifer ride has brought back a trio of scenic farm-to-farm bicycle rides, Sunday, June 3rd, 2012.  These mostly dirt road rides are tailored to all levels of cycling ability, with routes ranging from 10 to 60 miles. The routes feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain, New England villages, covered bridges and much more. For more information, please visit Tour-de-Heifer website.

Northern Borders  Kingdom County Productions offered Dede an associate producer role in a dramatic feature film, Northern Borders, based on Howard Frank Mosher’s award-winning coming-of-age story. Northern Borders creates an enchanted and rough-hewn world where family mysteries run deep and an older generation resists change. The film was produced and directed by Jay Craven. The fully professional cast includes Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern (Coming Home, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, HBO’s Big Love, Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie and Family Plot). Also, 12-year old Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Everybody’s Fine, The Omen, Sex and the City), Bill Raymond (Michael Clayton, The Wire), and others.

College a Cappella Concert  The perennially sold-out collegiate a cappella benefit concert returns to the Latchis Theater in downtown Brattleboro every year for the past nine years. This year’s lineup for 2012, featured seven great groups, including the award-winning Tufts Beelzebubs and the Dartmouth Aires, both second-place finishers on the first, and third seasons respectively of NBC’s The Sing-Off. Dede founded this concert, which is a benefit for the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, with additional funds going to the Vermont Food Shelf / The Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center. It is a great show. You can hear what I have to say about this event here,

Thanks for perusing my Events page, and most of all supporting the arts, education, and the environment—it’s all we’ve got.


Workshops  Dede teaches workshops around the country. The Burlington Writers Workshop has featured her for the “Publishing Your Work: How, When, Why?” series, and she has taught a poetry workshop/class entitled Making the Global Personal: Using Poetry as An Activist Tool, at the Bread Loaf / Orion Environmental Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf Campus.


Writing Retreats with Suzanne Kingsbury  The best in the business!

Pond House September Retreat, 2012. We gather around the 1900's fieldstone fireplace to write. The fire rages on the page and in the room.

Pond House September Retreat, 2012. We gather around the 1900’s fieldstone fireplace to write. The fire rages on the page and in the room.


Book shaman, Suzanne Kingsbury & literary agent and publisher, Dede Cummings. Photos by Jeff Woodward at

Award-winning author and book shaman, Suzanne Kingsbury and I are running away to my family’s summer house on the coast of Rhode Island September 11th-14th to do a writing retreat. It’s our third one at the Pond House, and I wanted you to know that you are invited! These retreats are spread only by word of mouth and word has slipped out, and there are now only two (two!) spaces left.  So, if you are feeling the call to run away with your writing, this is the time. These retreats shift your work exponentially, spur on book deals and allow you to fall in love with the page again. At retreat, we cozy up in front of the fire or on the wrap-around porch to write in the Gateless method (a way of teaching writing that ceases activity in the critical mind). We feast on organic food, walk on the beach and read aloud, telling each another what is strong in the work, what works, what we love. Everything that might not be working simply falls away. It’s an extraordinary four days. Because all retreats are spread by word-of-mouth, they tend to fill very quickly. So if you would like to join us or if you know someone who might, let us know soon… Below you will find words from past retreat participants to let you know what the experience holds. Rates are very reasonable and include everything but the vehicle to get you there. Email me as soon as you can if you are hearing a yes. I’d love to write with you. (

Here is our view from the terrace of the house. We have almost 900 feet of private waterfront, and a sweet little boathouse with a balcony over the water where you can meet with our writing shaman, Suzanne Kingsbury.

Here is our view from the terrace of the house. We have almost 900 feet of private waterfront, and a sweet little boathouse with a balcony over the water where you can meet with our writing shaman, Suzanne Kingsbury.

CatieRetreat has given me faith in my voice as a writer and so much more respect for the ability of my words to help people (I write mostly about yoga and coaching). To write in an open, non-competitive environment with other writers (now friends!) gave me the courage to try new things, and provided incredible feedback that gave me the confidence to push my work into channels I’d never have thought to try. I’ve been writing non-stop since I got back – I’ve have had three more pieces published and I’m outlining a book! (Something I never thought I’d do.) Suzanne and Dede continue to be amazing mentors and friends – this retreat was worth every penny and so, so, so much more!!! —Catie Webster, Bozeman, Montana, branding expert, yogi, writer and retreat participant    Maryretreatphoto

My first retreat piece wasn’t even a page long. Almost before I was done reading, Suzanne jumped out of her chair and ran around the room, dancing and squealing. She knew, right then, that the half a page I had written that day was my memoir-to-come. The memoir I built out of the seed story from that retreat just got picked up by one of the biggest agents in New York! —Mary Okoye, Tucson, AZ, lobbyist, retreat participant

KateBI came into retreat feeling blocked, distant from my writing, and rudderless. When I came out, the intense work and deep nourishment of retreat had lifted me out of my busy life and grounded me again as a writer. All important to the weekends’ work was the skillful and gentle bodywork I received. My mental and physical blocks literally eased up. I felt better and wrote freely. Retreat was entirely nurturing and allowed me to be my best writing self. Now I have a plan for my manuscript, agent interest and a surefooted way to move forward. —Kate Baldwin, Newburyport, MA, writing teacher and retreat participant

Suzanne has been my guiding light and my inspiration. Dede is positive, and keeps me energized. I signed with an agent  for my memoir The Widow and the Hijacker! —Kathleen Murray Moran, New York, NY, professor and repeat retreat participant

A true book shaman, Suzanne is wonderful, she is a gem, she’s talented sharp and very experienced in the literary business. After she helped me with my proposal, Dede took it on. Within 48 hours she had me in seven of the top publishing houses in New York City, and within one day I had my first book offer. I am now working on my next book!” —Katina Makris, Peterborough, New Hampshire, medical intuit and repeat retreat participant

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