a dive deep into the rhythms of your own voice on the shores of the pacific
december 3-10, 2022
Join an award-winning writer and a small group of creatively invested and thoughtful writers at one of the world’s top 25 wellness centers. Not only will we focus avidly on your work-in-progress—on seeing it again, seeing it anew, seeing the outlines of its absolute most shimmering version of itself—we will also lean over the edge of doubt, where new things come from, and crack open a space for the unexpected. We will be challenged and inspired … and laugh – a lot! – while becoming vessels for creativity and breaking new ground in our work.
Inquire soon, as space is limited.
Radical Revision is an intensive retreat for writers who are ready to bring their manuscript (book, chapbook, long-form essay or story, any work-in-progress) to the next level. This retreat offers thoughtfully structured, highly engaged individualized feedback workshops for every writer in attendance, as well as inspiring craft sessions and inventive generative exercises, all carefully scaffolded to bring out the best in your work-in-progress while setting you up for your best writing long after the retreat is over.
Elephant Rock writing retreats are highly unique. People tell us year after year that no matter how many writing workshops or retreats they’ve attended, Elephant Rock is different. We build creatively intense spaces that are also deeply nurturing. This helps to open and challenge every writer at every level to go further into the work, see new angles, discover sharper facets. Our intentional workshops lead you toward unfolding and connecting, discovering and uncovering. We use precise writing exercises to guide us to the page in ways we never imagined. Language comes alive again, grows more elastic and expands with possibility. And we take your work as seriously as we take our own. Many writers find this work life-changing.
This retreat is held at the gorgeous, secluded Present Moment in Ixtapa, Mexico. Present Moment, nestled right on the edge of the Pacific, is one of the world’s top 25 wellness centers. This exclusive oceanfront boutique hotel and yoga retreat is situated on a quiet, serene beach in Troncones, thirty minutes up the coast from Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Mexico. This center offers a breathtaking setting with wellness classes, yoga by the sea, meditation, qigong, dance classes, spa treatments, as well as local adventures such as sunset horseback riding, eco tours, waterfall hiking, kayaking, surf-yoga excursions, surf lessons, and exploring the village.
During our retreat, morning writing workshops free up your thinking about words and loosen the binds on your creative process in unexpected ways. Your inner critic will fall away as you surrender to your innate ability to imagine the unknown. Afternoon revision circles bring our attention and devotion to each other’s manuscripts, offering the opportunity for illumination and transformation.
With the ocean as our backdrop, we will make full use of our environment to infuse our writing with what can only be found where we are. Writing workshops will include innovative writing exercises that engage powerful aspects of writing craft, including the senses, imagery, dialogue, and sound, among others. Craft sessions will provide a space to talk shop and seek advice on specific projects as well as universal challenges of the writing life. Student readings will cap off this rigorous, celebratory retreat.
You will also end the week with seedlings of new work in hand as well as substantial progress toward a revision of your work in progress. You can also expect to come away with many new inroads to your creative practice as well as an array of new craft tools and insights to apply to your work after the retreat is over. Our creative work will be supported by daily yoga and meditation structured specifically to foster and support creative synergy. As you connect your body, mind, and senses through movement and stillness, you release tension and cultivate insight and balance. Ultimately, you hear your own fierce, original voice again, and find exciting new portals through which you can bring that voice to the page.
Jeannine Ouellette: Writing
Jeannine is an award-winning writer whose recent memoir, The Part That Burns, was a Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Women’s Literature. Her fiction, creative nonfiction, and narrative journalism has appeared widely and been supported by Millay Colony for the Arts, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Tin House. Jeannine has been writing, editing, and teaching for more than twenty years and is a writing mentor and instructor with the Catapult, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. She also mentors students at the University of Minnesota, where she works as a writer and editor. Jeannine earned her MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is working on her first novel. She is the founder and artistic director of Elephant Rock.
Billie Oh: Yoga & Meditation
Billie has been practicing yoga for ten years and is a 200-hour RYT certified teacher. The heart of their teaching philosophy is to honor the body. They believe in the power of asana (shapes) to bring the mind, body, and spirit into alignment. Their teaching is rooted in functional yoga, emphasizing bodily sensation rather than aesthetic appearances. They are passionate about expanding accessibility and approachability in yoga spaces. Billie’s movement and meditation practice translates on the page in fragmented and experimental literary works that explore the intersection of brain, body, and identity. Their writing has appeared in a variety of magazines and literary journals including Calyx, where their essay, “Bent: Daughterhood Recalled Through Skin and Bone,” was first-runner up for the 2019 Margarita Donnelly Prize for Prose Writing.
Our retreat opens December 3 2022 (Saturday) with a causal afternoon welcome reception as participants arrive at Present Moment. Depending on your flight time, you will have some open space for settling into your rooms and exploring the grounds before our welcome circle and dinner. The daily schedule includes writing workshops, yoga, and meditation, outdoor adventures, evening fireside chats, and readings and discussions. Plus time for beach combing, conversing with other writers, and working on your manuscripts.
A detailed schedule will be presented the first evening of the retreat.
retreat fee & payment options
$3600 includes 7-nights in a double bungalow (single available for $4000), 7 gourmet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, ground transportation to/from Ixtapa airport, daily writing workshops, daily yoga and meditation classes, evening entertainment, readings, and more.
Deposit of $1800 holds your spot; full tuition is due by October 1. Payment by check, money order, Venmo, Square, or PayPal. Please inquire for specific instructions.
Our application is simple. Just send an email with a description of your work in progress (or the project you would expect to have ready to workshop in time for this retreat). Include your questions as well, and we’ll help you determine if this retreat is right for you. Once registered, you will be provided instructions for submitting your manuscript excerpt and synopsis for workshop in advance of the retreat (estimated manuscript deadline October 1).
Oceanside lodging at beautiful Present Moment Retreat (7 nights)
Door-to-door ground transportation from Ixtapa airport to Present Moment Retreat Center
All meals (healthy, fresh, gourmet cuisine). Definitely included is our celebratory closing dinner on our last night—you might want to bring something “ beach fancy” to wear, whatever that means to you!
Daily workshops with specific focus on specific elements of craft, plus generative writing sessions
Daily yoga and meditation classes, plus special session for candlelight yoga and intention setting
Individualized written feedback award-winning writers, plus devoted workshop for every participant to discuss their work in progress and receive thoughtful feedback from peers
Celebratory participant readings
Evening entertainment (music, dance, etc.)
Optional group excursion (tbd on site, but could be guided hike, beachside horseback ride, snorkeling, etc.)
Optional massage and other spa services
Transportation to Ixtapa
Alcohol (available but not included; please only imbibe responsibly and not during scheduled programming).
Gratuities for Present Moment staff (servers, housekeeping, etc.).
Incidental fees, damages, or optional excursions or spa services.
If you need a payment plan (e.g., four or more smaller payments over a longer time) please email or call. Alternate payment plans may be available depending upon full registration. We want you to be able to attend if possible. More questions? Please reach out!
cancellations & refunds
Elephant Rock is a small, family-run writing program and we regret that due to the fixed costs we incur when booking retreats, refunds are available only if Elephant Rock cancels the retreat—which has never happened. In cases of true hardship cancellation, we might be able to apply a portion of your tuition to a future Elephant Rock offering. We highly recommend travel insurance.
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (IATA: ZIH, ICAO: MMZH) is an international airport in the state of Guerrero on Mexico’s Pacific Ocean coast. It receives thousands of tourists all year to visit beaches and resorts. It handles national and international air traffic for the cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. Ground transportation between the airport and Present Moment is included in your tuition. If you have travel questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is simple and easy and begins with an email to us. So if you are ready or still have a few questions, get in touch!
Our charming, chic hotel and yoga retreat is located on a quiet, serene beach in Playa Troncones, thirty minutes up the coast from Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
Present Moment Retreat is a powerfully transformative environment providing experiential training in the cultural arts. Surrounded by the magnificence of earth’s natural beauty, people from around the world come here to grow towards wholeness in their lives. We are dedicated to fostering deep awareness and appreciation of life through the compassionate treatment of all beings, and promoting wisdom and peace in celebration of the human spirit.
Your Boutique Bungalow
Present Moment is the perfect antidote to the chaos of everyday life. Authenticity was imperative in the construction of every inch of this resort. Thus, all bungalows have an indigenous palapa thatched roof, hand-crafted in the Mexican tradition, and are furnished with a pillow top queen-sized bed, luxurious 400 count cotton bedding and a canopy of white linen. Our beautifully designed accommodations and loving staff will please even the most discerning guests.
With 5 deluxe bungalows and 3 family bungalows, somewhat blurring the lines between the indoors and out, with its amazing vantage points to the sea, gardens and pool, your accommodation will be the perfect place to rest yourself after a full day of yoga and surf at Present Moment. Just a 30 second walk the beach, let the sounds of the ocean lure you to sleep each night.
With 3 air conditioned suites, for those seeking a little more similarity to the comforts of home. Centrally located, you will be just steps away from the beach, amazing yoga classes, massage, and fine dining. If you enjoy strolling the shore at sunrise, these stunning bungalows will have you on your way in no time. Hand-crafted and beautifully appointed, a true home away from home.
About Troncones & Getting Here
At the heart of charming Troncones Beach, nestled between the lush mountains of the Sierra Madre and the sparkling Mexican Riviera, Present Moment Retreat combines the ambience of nature’s grandeur with personally challenging mind-body work, set in harmony on beautifully-landscaped tropical grounds.
Troncones Beach is a small, recently-developed community situated on some 3 miles of pristine Pacific beach – a strand of white sand punctuated by occasional rock outcroppings often harboring tidepools teeming with fascinating saltwater life. The charming village is home to a small school, a public library (donated by generous local residents for education of the village’s children), a church, several dry goods outlets and a few other small provisioning services for essential items. All of these are couched within a traditional and tropical Mexican ambience.
You can fly into Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, the airport is located only 20 miles north and an easy 45-minute drive. The international airport is serviced by a number of International airlines including Alaska Airlines, Continental, American, America West, Frontier Airlines, Mexicana and Aeromexico. Troncones Beach is highly connected, yet still a world apart. Its proximity to Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo affords you a full choice of shopping conveniences and recreational possibilities, all just a short distance from your world-class yoga retreat and resort. We can assist you with booking all flights and airport transportation.