Jeannine Ouellette is an award-winning essayist, author, editor, and teacher. Jeannine created Elephant Rock, named for a childhood memory of place, to combine the great loves of her life, writing and teaching, with the transformative power of yoga and nature. Currently an MFA candidate in fiction writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Jeannine has been writing all her life. Her story was a winning entry in the 2015 Curt Johnson Fiction Awards judged by Joyce Carol Oates and the editors of December Magazine, and she was a finalist in the 2015 Tiferet Writing Contest and the 2015 Orison Anthology Awards. Her writing has appeared in a wide array of magazines and websites and her essays and narrative nonfiction has won awards from Medill and the American Society of Professional Journalists. She has published several books including the children’s picture book Mama Moon and the young adult titles A Day Without Immigrants and Hurricane Katrina. She has collaborated on many other published books and memoirs and is working on her first novel.
Jeannine's love of yoga developed gradually. When her children were young, she inched along with an on-and-off home practice. Finally, when her daughter Sophie was in college, the two established a regular practice together, which was life changing. Jeannine earned her yoga teaching certificate in 2012. She has been a faculty member of the Novalis Institute, teaching arts workshops for adults, and guest lectures and teaches in a variety of college and community writing programs in Minneapolis and St. Paul, including PhD science writing at the University of Minnesota. She is inspired by the work of master teacher and poet Paul Matthews (Sing Me the Creation and Words in Place). Elephant Rock Retreats draw from Matthews' brilliant workshopping techniques, using playfulness as a portal to the profound, as well as from James Pennebaker’s groundbreaking work with writing for healing and transformation. Learn more about Jeannine and her writing and teaching history by perusing her blog or Elephant Rock's Facebook page. Jeannine also works individually with writers (book coaching, craft, discovering and refining voice, and creative jumpstarting). Email for more information or to apply.
Honorable Mention Curt Johnson Prose Awards 2015, judged by Joyce Carol Oates and the editors of December Magazine
Finalist, Orison Anthology Awards 2015
Finalist, Tiferet Journal Writing Contest 2015
Page One Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a cover story on the history of bees and the healing potential of propolis (“The Life-Giving Secret of Bees,” Rake magazine, September, 2005).
First Place Award of Excellence for Editor's Essay in Minnesota Parent from judges at Medill School of Journalism: “Some writing is powerful because it is funny. And some writing is powerful because it’s personal, sensitive, and honest, even shockingly honest. Jeannine Ouellette’s column . . . has that effect."
First Place Award for General Excellence for Minnesota Parent from judges at Medill School of Journalism. Judges cited the “literary quality” of the writing in Minnesota Parent, which they called "unusual in the parenting genre," as well as the highly unique and engaging format of the magazine.