Writing Highway 395

Writing Highway 395

August 10-17, 2019, June Lake, California

Cost: $700 ($50 discount to the first three people who register)

A glorious eight-day camping adventure dedicated to the creative process as nurtured by the mountain air. Intensive focus on your writing, exploring the eastern side of the California Sierra, creating a small and dedicated community with other writers – there’s room for it all in this workshop!

At June Lake, with the snow-clad Sierra as a backdrop among the pines and boulders strewn along the ridges, intrepid writers will create a positive, supportive, dynamic community in the wilderness. As the instructor, Clive will draw on many years’ experience helping writers merge words with the power of their creative unconscious. Writers will sprawl across our campsite with notebooks and laptops and go deep into favorite projects, or ease into discovery of something new, encouraged by the birdsong and sway of the pines.

Information and registration: Writing Highway 395 website

Contact Clive for more information. Call Clive Matson at 510-508-5149.

Lake County

Lake County Two-Day Workshop: “Let the Crazy Child Write!”

The next Lake County Workshop “Let the Crazy Child Write!” will take place Saturday October 28 4:00pm-6:00pm and Sunday October 29, 10:00am-5:00pm.

We’ll do the provocative “Popcorn” and “Crazy Child” exercises on our journey into the energetic and revealing material of our creative unconscious, whether stories, poems, rants, blogs, scripts, or memoir – anything goes. Introduction on Saturday afternoon, spontaneous writing and supportive feedback sessions, in the syngenetic format, continue all day Sunday.

We join an active Lake County writer’s community for this event. Locale is the relaxing and lovely area around Clear Lake, and low cost lodging is available. These workshops are supported by Poets and Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from the James Irvine Foundation.

Fee: $55

Lake County Arts Council Gallery
235 Main Street, Lakeport, CA 95453
Phone 707.263.6658 to register,
510.508.5149 for details on the workshop.

Costa Rica

Writing Costa Rica


January 19 – 26, 2019

Nosara B&B Retreat
Guanacaste, Costa Rica

A creative workshop in the jungle and on the beach
– Professional-level 
    workshop instruction
– Comfortable, well-furnished
– Five-minute walk 
    from gorgeous beach
– Custom-prepared meals
– Field trips
– Small, inspiring
    writers’ community

nosara beach  Nosara retreat

Nosara C 326 smallCheck out more photos from previous Writing Costa  Rica retreats.


Join us for an inspiring, relaxing retreat in Costa Rican paradise. Our group will be small and you will receive individual guidance on your writing. This workshop is perfect for all writers, whether this is your first foray into the wilds of creative writing or if your are a seasoned writer ready to expand and deepen your craft. The instructor, Clive Matson, draws on many years’ experience helping writers merge words with the power of their creative unconscious.

There will also be ample time to enjoy: swinging in a hammock, siestas, reading, taking in the spectacular sunset, and practice the fine art of doing nothing. The comfortable lodgings invite you to completely unwind, watch the monkeys and listen to the birds.

ENVIRONS: Nosara, on the Pacific coast south of Liberia, Costa Rica.

The buildings and gardens of Nosara B&B Retreat are inviting, gorgeous, comfortable and our writing area has been tried and tested, it’s inspirational. The location is almost out of this world: rich jungle, a short walk to the beach, to the Nosara River, to a biological preserve, and a brief drive to the wild animal rescue center. The cooks are excellent and the food is grown locally and, best of all, the management responds to our needs, quickly and lovingly. We’ve gone there four years in a row and if you could dream up the ideal retreat, this would be it.


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 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 attractions, including a cruise up the Nosara River, visits to the jungle Biological Preserve and to the SIBU Monkey Sanctuary. Nosara holds no shortage of other spectacular places.

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.


Sat. Jan. 19th:
Fly out and arrive at Liberia airport.  Van leaves by 4:00 pm for Nosara.

Sun. Jan. 20th:
8:00: Breakfast
9:00 – 1:00: Writing workshop
1:00: Lunch
4:00 – 5:00: Writing workshop (optional)
6:30: Dinner
7:30 – 9:30: Open evening writing workshop (optional)

Mon. Jan. 21st:
8:00: Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00: Writing workshop
10:00 – 1:30: Monkey sanctuary (optional)
1:30: Lunch
2:30 – 5:00: Sweat lodge (optional)
7:00: Dinner
8:00 – 10:00: Writing workshop (optional)

Tues. Jan. 22nd:
6:00: Coffee on veranda and bag breakfasts
6:30: Boat tour
11:00 – 1:00: Writing workshop
1:00: Lunch
3:00 – 5:00: Writing workshop (optional)
7:00: Dinner

Wed. Jan. 23rd:
Free Day

Th. Jan. 24th:
8:00: Breakfast
9:00 – 1:00: Writing workshop
1:00 – 7:00: Snorkeling at San Juanillo beach with bag lunches (optional)
7:00: Dinner

Fr. Jan. 25th:
6:00: Coffee on veranda
6:30: Tour through ecological reserve
9:00: Breakfast at Lagarta Restaurant
10:30 – 1:00: Writing workshop
1:00: Lunch
4:30 – 5:00: Writing workshop
5:30 – 6:30: Reading at the library (leave at 5:00)
7:00: Dinner at Rancho Tico

Sat. Jan. 26th:
7:00: Breakfast
8:00: Transportation to Liberia Airport


The price is $1,400 for a double-room occupancy, $1,800 for a single-room occupancy for one week.

Price includes: seven nights of lodging, all meals (except dinner during trip from airport, breakfast at Lagarta Restaurant, dinner at Rancho Tico, and dinner at La Luna), writing workshops, boat tour, tour of ecological reserve, van transportation to and from airport in group taxi.

Price does not include: airplane tickets, transportation to and from airport not in group taxi, monkey sanctuary tour, sweat lodge, breakfast at Lagarta Restaurant, dinner during trip from airport, dinner at Rancho Tico, dinner at La Luna, rental of snorkeling equipment, taxis (for example, to San Juanillo beach or into Nosara for shopping), laundry service, alcohol, additional nights, additional meals, gratuities.


The Nosara B&B Retreat is located near one of Costa Rica’s best protected wildlife preserves, and is situated on two acres of lush tropical gardens and jungle. Looking out, you are surrounded by magical green flora, flowers and abundant nature. The setting is pristine and quiet, the air, clean and fresh.

The ocean roar becomes more audible during high tide. Bird songs, butterflies, and an occasional humming bird contribute to the secluded and inspiring atmosphere of the location. In between sessions, a four minute walk brings you to the secluded Pelada Beach, with its fine white sand and pristine, clear warm tropical water.

Exceptionally healthy food is prepared by experienced staff and served buffet style. Food can be vegetarian, raw or include fish, chicken or meat according to your preferences. We provide seven charming rooms with single, double or triple occupancy, all with fans and hot water.


To register and for information on the workshop, contact Clive Matson:

For information on accommodations, contact Martin Becker:
213-493-7343, +506-400-23866

Payment accepted through Paypal. Please click on the button below and pay to Clive Matson’s account (associated email



“Was it watching the green flash at sunset? Seeing the sea turtles lay their eggs? Holding a young monkey in my arms? Eating delicious meals with fascinating companions? Costa Rica is a portal to magic. Clive knows how to create a safe, free writing environment where the raw, the new, the wild jungle imagination can flow through. I can’t recommend it enough.”

– Elaine Watt, 2012 participant



Poetry Unbound

May 1 2016 flyer flattened
The next Poetry Unbound reading will take place Sunday May 2, beginning at 5:00pm at the Art House Gallery in Berkeley. Poetry Unbound presents passionate wordsmiths on the first Sunday of each month, with a brief open mic. May’s features are Rebecca Foust, David Shaddock, and John Oliver Simon! Hosted by Clive Matson.


POETRY SALOON (drunk on poetry!)

Meets at 472 44th Street, Oakland, the second Friday of the month. Potluck at 6pm, reading at 7:30pm. Bring poems by you and others to share, or come just to enjoy.
Hosted by Kayla Sussell.