Photo by Jon Zurn, Empire State Building

Photo by Jon Zurn, Empire State Building

Jeannine Ouellette is an award-winning creative 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 work has appeared in a wide array of magazines and websites and her personal essays have 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. Now she is at work completing her first novel, Found, which draws deeply from her decade of Waldorf school teaching and chronicles the human drama that ensues when a child veers off from the group on a school camping trip and is found unharmed the next morning.

Jeannine's love of yoga developed more 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. 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.

Awards

First Place Award of Excellence for Editorial as selected by judges from the 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,” wrote the judges.

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.

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).