Emerald Coast, Nicaragua

Change Your Story, Change Your Life: Screenwriting and Yoga Retreat - May 22-28 2017

Change Your Story, Change Your Life

Alta teams up with ScreenCraft to bring you an intensive screenwriting and yoga retreat in Nicaragua! Join fellow writers and yoga enthusiasts for a 6-day intimate experience that delves into the craft of screenwriting and creative writing. Increase clarity, focus and inspiration to support your creative potential through optional daily yoga and meditation sessions.

Jen Grisanti—former studio executive, acclaimed story consultant, and writing instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge—leads us through an exceptional writing workshop. In the morning, instructional classes on valuable story tools and a system of story hones your unique voice as a writer along with the voices of your characters. Afternoons include writing workshops, excursions and free writing time. Whether you’re looking for creative inspiration or seeking completion of your novel, TV pilot or feature screenplay, this retreat will take your writing to the next level!

Jake Paul White, yoga instructor and design expert, leads us through twice daily optional yoga sessions and meditations. All yoga experience levels are welcome! The practice of yoga opens your body and mind to deeper learning, providing you with opportunities to unlock your full creative potential and achieve personal growth. Jake also leads additional discussions on topics including branding yourself and breaking into creative industries. 

Life comes in many shades, both positive and negative. Writing explores life in both its light and dark experiences, together forming the hero’s journey. This is the journey you are about to embrace—identifying your voice and message and writing from a place of emotional truth. You will go through a system of story that has led many of Jen’s clients to sell their stories and become working writers in Hollywood and beyond. There is so much to learn from story tools in fiction that you can apply to your life and your own personal narrative. Writing is healing. When you do the emotional work, your story evolves.

This pristine jungle paradise on the Emerald Coast is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and break away from typical distractions that hinder your growth. Sources for inspiration include surfing, kayaking, horseback riding and jungle trekking. This retreat is a unique opportunity to gain a fresh perspective and get to know other inspiring, talented writers. You will leave feeling revived, with the tools necessary to access your full potential as a creator and achieve success in your writing career.


Jen Grisanti

Writing instructor, story consultant and author 


Jen is an international speaker, acclaimed story/career consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. In 2008, Jen launched a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Jen has worked with over 800 writers specializing in television, features and novels.  Due to her expertise and mentorship, seventy-five of her writers have been staffed on television shows and forty have sold pilots, five that that went to series. She has taught classes, led workshops and served on panels at some of the world’s most prestigious screenwriting conferences. Jen will be available for one-on-one story consultations at an additional cost.

Follow Jen on Instagram: @jengrisanti

Jake Paul White

Yoga instructor and designer


Jake is a UK based yoga instructor and designer who has been studying the art of movement for over 10 years. With over 1000 hours of trainings in yoga, Budokon yoga and Acroyoga under his belt, his motivation to share, teach and give is completely clear. Jake builds his classes on two principles: balance and creativity. He believes that balance and unification between the mind and body are key components to any class, while creativity allows for the freedom of self-expression. Jake is also highly trained in alignment and adjustments to make any student—from beginners to experts—feel safe and comfortable. His classes aim to inspire and challenge you, allowing you to become more self-aware, as well as more powerful. From the physical pose to the non-physical mind, this is where the journey lies. Jake has taught at retreats and yoga festivals around the world, in addition to teaching regular classes at London’s popular Another_Space Studio. When not on his mat, Jake does branding and design work for some of the most influential yogis and yoga brands—including Alta Retreats!

Follow Jake on Instagram: @jake_paul_white

“Jen Grisanti gave me the tools to mine my own experiences and translate them into any genre. She has a rare expertise in crafting story with both emotional depth and efficient structure… And what’s more, she’s an ace at teaching others how to do it.”  

– Gina Montreal, Executive Story Editor at NCIS

The Venue

Aqua Nicaragua is a “Barefoot luxury” eco-friendly treehouse resort situated in a lush tropical rainforest on a private beach cove on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua. This ecolodge is built above the forest floor to minimize impact on the surrounding rainforest. Aqua is a sanctuary of peace and wellness with the most breathtaking views imaginable. Here, you will enjoy healthy organic meals, dips in the numerous plunge pools, spa treatments, and jungle yoga in Aqua’s open-air studio. The sustainable treehouse villas are scattered about the property and built up in the trees, offering total privacy for guests. Each features a fresh, modern design with indigenous wood floors and walls. You will fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean and wake up to monkeys, butterflies, and birds of all sorts.

The Food

A nutritious diet is crucial to a successful retreat experience. Aqua’s chefs will prepare healthy, high vibrational meals using all organic and locally sourced produce, grass-fed and free-range meats, wild caught fish, cage-free eggs, and brain-boosting fats like coconut oil. This is a gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free event. We happily accommodate vegan, vegetarian, and raw lifestyles, as well as any food allergies. In addition to green juices, we offer tonics crafted from the world’s most powerful superfoods and adaptogens. These elixirs help enhance your mood, focus, clarity, and mental performance, lower stress, and regulate hormones.


Treehouse Studio

340 Square feet
Ensuite bathroom
Outdoor shower
Queen bed or two double beds





Luxury Treehouse Suite

The most spacious option, features a private kitchen and plunge pool!

550 Square feet
Full equipped kitchen
Private plunge pool
Ensuite bathroom
Living room
King bed and queen futon





*A non-refundable deposit of $750 holds your space.

Sample Schedule

7 – 9 am: Coffee, tea and fruit

8 – 9 am: Yoga

9 – 10 am: Breakfast

10 – 1 pm: Writing workshop

1 – 2 pm: Lunch

2 – 5 pm: Excursion or free time

5 – 7 pm: Writing workshop

7 – 8 pm: Dinner

8 – 10 pm: Candlelit yoga and guided meditation


•Aqua is located 2 hours from the Managa International Airport. We will provide transportation to and from the airport on the first and last days of the retreat.

•The retreat begins at 6 pm May 22nd and finishes at 12 pm May 28th. Please try to plan your travels accordingly.

•Please ensure that you have a valid passport and a return flight booked. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Nicaragua.

•This retreat includes 3 healthy meals a day, prepared by Aqua’s chefs.

•Onsite spa treatments, surf lessons, horseback riding, and jungle trekking are optional and not included in the retreat price.

•All yoga and meditation classes are optional.

•Jen Grisanti will be available for one-on-one story consultations at an additional cost.

Reserve Now

*A non-refundable deposit of $750 holds your space. Your remaining balance is due two months before the retreat start date. We will send follow up information regarding payment once you reserve.

*Retreat prices are per person. You must make separate reservations for each person in your group. In our follow up questionnaire you will have the opportunity to request your roommates, and we will make sure that you are placed together.

*Retreat is limited to 15 guests. You will get plenty of attention and one-on-one time with the hosts!

Treehouse Studio Single: $2,900

Treehouse Studio Double: $2,400

Luxury Treehouse Suite Single: $3,500

Luxury Treehouse Suite Double: $2,700