Spend a week this winter writing

while looking at this:



Mexico Memoir Writing Retreat

25 February - 4 March 2018

In January 2000, in the middle of a snowstorm and the emotional tsunami of early motherhood, I saw an ad for a house for rent in a 'legendary village in central Mexico.' On a whim, and in a desperate reach for inspiration, I called and booked the place for the following week. The moment I arrived in Tepoztlán with my six month-old son on my hip, I felt better than I had in months. As I explored the village's narrow cobblestone streets, inhaled its vistas and flowers, shopped and ate in its extraordinary market, and became nourished by its colour, warmth, blossoms and sacred natural surroundings, I decided I wanted to live there, raise my son there.

To make a long story short, that is eventually what happened. And although we are all back in Canada now and happy to be here, Tepoztlán is still home to us in many ways. So it is with tremendous pleasure that I offer this retreat this winter.

I hope you can join me.



This week-long retreat will take place in the spectacular village of Tepoztlán in Mexico's Central Highlands. See map.

Daily memoir writing workshops will fill the mornings, followed by peaceful afternoons in which people may devote themselves to their writing, explore the village, or relax by the pool. Excursions to the village's famously colourful markets, historic buildings, local restaurants, and a hike in the surrounding mountains will also be on offer. In the evenings, we will celebrate with a meal on the terrace, stories, conversations, informal readings and an optional night of dancing.

The setting for this retreat is a gorgeous private home known as Casa Temictli, famous for its architectural beauty, museum-quality art collection, gastronomical wonders, and warm and welcoming hosts. Exceptional gourmet meals will be prepared daily by the house chefs. Vegetarian options are available; limited special diet accommodations can be made.

This intimate workshop is limited to 7 participants. Couples are welcome and discounts for spouses not participating in the writing workshop are available.


Following a relaxing buffet-style breakfast, Alison will offer a daily 3- to 4-hour writing workshop on the terrace. The length of the workshop is dependent on enrollment and the varying levels of expertise and experience of the participants. In addition to offering essential tools and guidance through obstacles and questions, these workshop sessions will give participants an opportunity to share and receive valuable feedback on their writing. People may be at any stage of their writing process and the sessions will be sculpted to ensure that every person receives tailored attention within the workshop, in addition to a one-hour private session with Alison at some point during the week. For a detailed description of a memoir writing workshop, please click here.

Following a luxurious midday meal, people are welcome to do as they please! In the heat of the afternoon, rest and relaxation may be in order, a swim in the pool, or a bit of writing time in a shady spot in the garden or living room.

Excursions will include: a visit to the central market (Wednesday: the writing workshop will take place in the afternoon on this day to allow for walk in the cooler hours of the morning)


There is no way of overstating this: the food at Casa Temictli is EXQUISITE. This is food as an art form. That said...

Breakfast: Freshly-squeezed juices, coffee/tea, variety of tropical fruits, cereal, plus hot options

Lunch: A substantial midday meal with hot and cold options

Dinner: Gourmet meal including 1 complimentary glass of wine/beer*

* Note: Beyond complimentary drink, wine/beer is sold by the bottle at cost. People are welcome to buy/bring their own alcohol as well. Wien and beer is easily available at village shops and supermarkets.


Participants will fly to Mexico City International Airport (MEX). Tepoztlán is a 90-minute ride from Mexico City airport and a professional airport transfer in an air-conditioned vehicle is included in the cost of the retreat.


There are four bedrooms available in Casa Temictli and, once those are occupied, two rooms in a neighbouring hotel. 

1. Canada Room (2 TWIN beds, ensuite bathroom, balcony; double-occupancy)

2. Mexico Room (QUEEN bed, ensuite bathroom, single- or double-occupancy)

3. Master Bedroom (Deluxe room with KING bed, ensuite bathroom, balcony, single- or double-occupancy)

4. Casita (Separate from main house but within Casa Temictli, QUEEN bed, ensuite bathroom, single- or double-occupancy)

5. Queen Room (Neighbouring hotel of comparable quality, QUEEN bed, ensuite bathroom, balcony, single- or double-occupancy)

6. King Room (Neighbouring hotel of comparable quality, KING bed, ensuite bathroom, single-or double-occupancy)

A video tour of the accommodations and setting of the workshop.