A vast stream of creative energy runs though us every moment. Clive creates a positive, trusting environment where we are empowered to engage our creative unconscious and express ourselves fully and fearlessly in our writing, whether stories, poems, plays, full-length fiction, memoir, or essays.
Clive's instruction takes the form of retreat excursions to exotic locales and workshops held in the San Francisco Bay area. He also offers one-on-one coaching and preparation of completed works of fiction and nonfiction prior to submission to agents and publishers.
When we share our writing, the workshop will inform us – more quickly than we could discover on our own – exactly what the memorable writing is for the audience. The workshops are “syngenetic” – our 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 gives a valid foundation from which to make comments. (more)
Each excursion has its own unique flavor, but all are designed to provide a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. Past excursions have included Costa Rica, the Eastern Sierra, Mexico, Italy and Scotland. The groups are small, and you will receive individual guidance on your writing. The excursions are useful for all writers, whether this is your first foray into the wilds of creative writing or if you are a seasoned writer ready to expand and deepen your craft. Clive draws on many years’ experience helping writers merge words with the power of their creative unconscious. (more)
Praise for Clive’s instruction
Clive has taught over 3,000 workshops to budding and experienced writers alike since 1979 and was named Best Writing Teacher in 2006 by the East Bay Express. "Let the Crazy Child Write!" (New World Library, 1998) grew out of his teaching and gives full honor to the creative unconscious.
I would like to acknowledge Clive Matson, poet extraordinaire, who, during our 25 year friendship, taught me elements and refinements of writing. Clive helped me think this book through and encouraged me to publish. - Denis Hickey, author of Breaking Free
Clive encouraged me to write with freedom and boldness. His feedback was inspiring. - Maria Espinosa, author of Longing, which received an American Book Award in 1996 and Dying Unfinished, recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence, 2010.
“Apple!” That’s one of the wisest lessons I learned from Clive when I first took his workshop in creative writing at UC Berkeley Extension in the 1990s. With that one word, he explained, we could erase all doubts, excuses, explanations – that inner editor – and just feel free to read to the workshop what we had created. I found it so liberating that I let go of my journalism training, my literary judgments and anxieties, and began to let the words fly from my heart to the page. I dared to write in different genres – from short stories to poetry, and eventually to a novel, the most fun of all! Clive also taught us by example how to constructively critique each other’s work. His insight into language, character and portraying passion on the page, guided my fellow writers and me to share what resonated for us in the writing first, and he made sure the writer heard the encouragement and praise. Now, as a teacher of creative writing myself, I try to use his gentle but incisive method of critique to bring out the best work from my students – and to let them know that if they have any reluctance about reading, just to say “Apple!” - Elaine Ellison. co-author ofWherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California, Gold Medal Recipient, California Book Awards, 2010.
Thank you, Clive, for creating and holding the sacred space where decomposition of creative self-doubt can occur, and up-lifting cultivation and refinement of one's voice can rise up. My voice, so my spirit, soft trumpet tethered to some much more ancient tongue, thanks you. It's been a flourish ever since. A writing student and author who wishes to remain anonymous.