UTV 2020


The program unfolds as a mini-festival and retreat, with ample time for writing, revision and relaxation. Each three-hour master class meets six times, either morning or afternoon, with a daily all-group lunch built in.  Special literary events are held throughout the ten-day session.

 Fluency in English is a must for all applicants; a good working knowledge of Spanish is also a plus for those who write in English.



While specific master classes differ slightly in format, they share a common goal: to offer highly motivated writers an intensely sympathetic reading of their work, with strategic suggestions for revision.

Under the Volcano is lovingly configured on the principles of mutual support and respect for differences of character, opinion, identity, age and life choices. We encourage all participants to respond to each other’s work and to each other in the same spirit.


 Our fiction master classes are open to those writing short stories or novels. Prior work as well as writing created during the program week may be submitted. Individual instructors set their own guidelines and pace. 


Our poetry master classes assume a solid body of past work and a willingness to generate new poems during the program week. 

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 Whether writing autobiographically or exploring critical issues or the lives of others, participants in our non-fiction master class will learn to bring the techniques of fiction to writing from fact.

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 The emphasis of our team-taught journalism master class is two-fold: on developing a distinctive voice and acquiring the tools for state-of-the-art investigative reportage. Participants will propose a topic in advance and will produce a fully documented professional pitch to be polished through group discussion and individual language-specific guidance.

SCREENWRITING (New in 2020!)

Team-taught by two director/screenwriters and conducted in English, this master class will challenge writers to discover the heart of their story and hone its language and concept for submission. Close reading and mentoring will be provided in both English and Spanish.

Working as a group as well as in individual consultations, participants will take an existing screenplay through a process of analysis and revision. Our screenwriting master class is offered in partnership with Baticine, Tepoztlán’s one and only cinema, and will include an evening mini-series curated by project director Viviana García Besne.

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Our manuscript seminars, one in English and one in Spanish, are intended for writers with books-in-progress—either fiction, memoir or literary non-fiction—that would benefit from intense one-on-one consultation with a master writer.  Manuscripts are submitted one month prior to the program for a full written critique via Track Changes. Following an initial group session, each writer receives three one-hour conferences during the workshop week, with a closing meeting of the whole group and individual suggestions for follow-up. Limited to four participants each based on submisson of a substantial sample, a synopsis and a statement of intent.

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Our optional two-week extension residency allows participants to build a customized writing retreat that begins immediately after the core program.

Limited to a maximum of 20, the extension community resides at Posada La Presa and meets ad hoc to share writing and occasional meals.  Extension residents, already at home in the village, frequently organize improvised events and excursions.  

Special features:

  •  Two 45-minute private consultations by appointment with a UTV Reading Fellow
  • Weekly group dinners
  • Brainstorming roundtable on work-in-progress
  • Trip to nearby archeological site
  • Private screening at Baticine
  • Time to write!!!

EXTENSION RESIDENCY COST:  $500 (includes all the above)


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