Write, Learn, Discuss, Daydream

An all-inclusive writing getaway at a breathtaking private villa in Montego Bay, Jamaica

at Point of view Villa & Spa

20–25 February 2020

Pool Deck1.jpg

Join nine other writers and me for five days of dedicated time to put words on the page, advance your craft, soak in the sun, treat yourself to a spa experience, and enjoy authentic home-cooked Jamaican meals.

Lodging: Five nights at Point of View Villa & Spa or Bogue Villa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Private- and shared-room options available (rates vary), daily housekeeping, pool, and plenty of outdoor seating for reading, writing, revising, thinking, napping, or daydreaming.

Food: A welcome reception Thursday evening, snacks and nonalcoholic beverages while at the villa, five breakfasts, four lunches, and five dinners—all home cooked by a local, private chef.

Learn: Across the weekend, I will lead four discussions on aspects of writing: voice and authenticity, sentence-level craft, scenes, and the writing process. Also included in the price of the retreat is a one-on-one session of individualized instruction on your work or anything else writing related. Email me (mathina@mathinacalliope.com) up to 2500 words ahead of time.

Cost: Price varies ($1350–$1950) depending on room and villa and includes the following:

  • Five-night stay

  • Round-trip airport transfer

  • Welcome reception

  • 14 authentic, home-cooked Jamaican meals

  • Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages while at the villas

  • Daily housekeeping

  • One spa treatment of your choice


Mathina Calliope

Mathina’s writing has appeared in Outside, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, the Brevity blog, Prevention.com, and elsewhere. Read samples of her work.

A former newspaper journalist, she has an MFA and more than 13 years’ experience teaching writing to students ages 9 to 89.

Mathina’s Politics and Prose writing workshops regularly sell out.

What Mathina’s Clients and Students Say

“With Mathina’s help, I was able to bring my collection of 50 personal essays to a new level. The essays are still mine, only better, with clearer writing and more depth. She doesn’t pull any punches, but I found her constructive comments and suggestions to be consistent and easy to understand and apply. Moreover, they will serve as guideposts for future writing. Thank you, Mathina!” Adrienne Dern

“It’s a breath of fresh air to go into one of Mathina’s workshops and talk about and analyze and come to love the parts of our lives and selves that society doesn’t leave room for us to talk about.” Allan Regis

“Mathina was far and away the single most impactful person in my writing process. She has an uncanny ability to identify weaknesses that I knew existed but couldn’t quite put my finger on.” Rachael Eckles

“Mathina is my go-to person for anything written.” -Arthur Coleman

“I’ve participated in half-dozen or so similar classes, but Mathina’s was significantly more engaging and helpful. Under her enthusiastic leadership we reflected, disputed, learned, grew.” Paul O’Shea


How does payment work? A payment plan is available and breaks the total into three. First (nonrefundable) deposit is due September 15. Second payment is due November 15, and final payment due January 15.

By when must I send Mathina the 2500 words I’d like to discuss? 15 January.

What kind of writing is this for? Fiction or creative nonfiction prose.

These dates aren’t good for me, but I’m interested. When will you hold another one? Email me to sign up for my (very occasional) newsletter so you can receive alerts about my upcoming workshops and retreats. Also see below for information about a fall personal essay workshop!

Workshop Series and Singles

Personal Essay—new!

Crystal City WeWork, 2221 S. Clark St. Arlington, VA 22202

Four Thursdays: September 19 & 26 and October 3 & 10, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Learn what it takes to turn a decent draft about an interesting experience into a powerful personal essay that will resonate with readers in such a way that they feel enriched, even changed, for having read it.

Find the nugget of what you’re really trying to say. Dig deep to discover what unique insights and perspectives you bring to the topic and how shaping and sharing your ideas about our human predicament can make others feel less alone.

Be inspired, hone your craft, find out how others do it, sharpen your analytical skills (thus improving your ability to revise your own work), meet potential readers for the long term, and much more.

We'll explore crucial elements of personal writing—craft, authenticity, and voice—via lecture, example, practice, and feedback.

In addition to the feedback of your peers on your writing, you'll receive detailed commentary from me. Each student will submit a piece of writing up to 1,500 words; you will take turns providing feedback to each other.

Class size is limited to maximize individual attention and feedback.

When: Four Thursdays: September 19 & 26 and October 3 & 10, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: WeWork, 2221 S. Clark St. Arlington, VA 22202

How much: $160