Most workshop days include two independent free-writing sessions, morning and afternoon. The group convenes each evening to share the day’s work following the syngenetic format (see below) where members will receive general suggestions for increasing the power of their writing.
One full day and two afternoons during the week are set aside for field trips to neighboring scenic attractions: Mono Lake, the ghost town of Bodie, and Benton Hot Springs are popular destinations, and the eastern Si-erra holds no shortage of other spectacular places. Such field trips seem always to make participants’ writing more energetic and more adventurous.
On the last full day in camp workshop members discuss their progress during the week, and make plans for continuing their writing, a long way away, back in civilization.
THE SYNGENETIC WORKSHOP
Clive Matson’s writing workshops are “syn-genetic” – the feedback is designed to mirror to the author what the reader hears. “Syngenetic” means “with a similar origin”; the workshop’s effort is to learn the primary impulse of your writing and help it come to fruition. Positive feedback deepens everyone’s understanding of your words as we hear what others find memorable — and thus establishes a valid foundation from which to make comments. Our goal is to offer two or three suggestions for your next revision, or two or three techniques to keep in mind as you continue your writing.