High-Country Writing Retreat



General Description:

This is a great opportunity for both new and experienced writers to take inspiration from the spiced air and rushing waters of the northern Sierra. Group sessions provide a stimulating setting for writing and sharing work without judgment. Unstructured periods allow plenty of time for individual writing, recreation, and optional one-on-one instructor conferences. Prompts and exercises are conducive to poetry and/or prose. Bring a writing project in progress, an empty notebook ready to be filled, or both.

Date of Period




August 5-10, 2018



Sarah Rabkin


Sarah Rabkin is an award-winning instructor in writing and environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz and a freelance writer, editor, artist, and teacher. She has a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard University and a graduate certificate in science communication from UCSC. She is the author and illustrator of What I Learned at Bug Camp: Essays on Finding a Home in the World (Juniper Lake Press, Spring 2011).

Class Schedule

Please allow plenty of time to arrive, unpack, and settle in. The first class meeting will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Our final meeting will conclude by early afternoon on Friday.

Supplies and Other Useful Items


Please bring your favorite writing implements and a notebook or a supply of writing paper with clipboard. Opportunities to charge laptop batteries may be limited, so come prepared to write mainly by hand.


Bring binoculars and/or a hand lens if you think you'll want to use them.



Although days are generally warm, or even hot at lower elevations, be prepared for temperatures as low as freezing at night. Variable weather clothing that may be layered is best. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, tennis shoes or hiking boots, sun hat, rain gear, and a warm hat or gloves for cold weather or night activities. Old sneakers, rubber boots, or hip-waders may come in handy for marsh prowling.


  • day pack
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • alarm clock
  • water bottles
  • plastic containers for packed lunches


  • Sarah will supply a collection of readings. Please bring a check or cash for $8-$12 to reimburse her for photocopying.