Kahini Writing Programs

Kahini membership provides:

  • Unlimited free access to writing retreats and conferences at five global locations, year-round;
  • Personal consultations on your work through either an hour-long monthly phone call or monthly written feedback on any piece of up to 5,000 words, and the
  • Monthly subscription to Kahini magazine, chock-full each month with brand-new craft lectures, interviews, writing exercises, and new artistic work from writers all over the world.

Retreats & Conferences | Personal Consultations | The Magazine | Contact | Register | Evaluations

January: The Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat
February: The Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat
April: The Kolkata Writers’ Retreat
July: Centrum’s Port Townsend Writers’ Conference
October: The Kampala Writers’ Retreat
November: The Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat

Retreats and Conferences

Kahini’s annual writing gatherings happen on the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i; the Kāpiti Coast of New Zealand; and in the cities of Kolkata, India; and Kampala, Uganda. All are provided free to members. Full registration (including tuition, room, and board) is also included to attend Centrum’s annual Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, on the mainland United States.

All these programs focus on community, inspiration, and rigorous attention to both the art and the craft of creative writing. To attend, simply be a Kahini member for nine months, after which you have unlimited access to any retreat or conference you wish to attend, year-round, as long as your membership is current.

Personal Consultations

Revise and publish your work throughout the year. You receive monthly consultations on your work throughout the year with either an hour-long phone call or through written feedback on any piece of up to 5,000 words, with Kahini magazine editor Jordan Hartt.

This is included as part of your membership. In the past four months alone, members doing these consultations have published twelve short stories, won two writing contests, and won a writing fellowship.

The Magazine

At the heart of the Kahini community is Kahini magazine. Each month you receive three new creative-writing craft lectures (and access to all archived lectures) by some of the best writers working today; eleven inspirational writing exercises based on the lectures; new interviews with vital, contemporary writers working in Africa, the Americas, Eurasia, and Oceania; and three new works of literary art in poetry, prose, or cross-genre work.


Please contact [email protected] or call directly 1-360-531-1472.


Kahini features two membership options:

Editorial Membership: $175/month provides all of the above.

Manuscript Membership: $1,750/month also includes written feedback on up to 50,000 words per month, and provides immediate unlimited access to all our retreats and conferences.

Membership registration available here. Want to make a one-time membership purchase, instead? Please follow this link!


Evaluations & Who We Are

“Just what I needed. I can’t say enough. To be able to get this kind of writing community and have it be affordable and not competitive in spirit allowed me to be inspired, get a lot of work done, and make new friends. Thanks so much.”

“Several friends told me: ‘It will change your life.’ This was absolutely true! I have been a poet pretty much all my life and have published quite a bit in journals. Two years ago I won a major contest and had a book published. Since then I have felt my work was at a stand-still. I could still turn out and publish an competent poem, but I didn’t feel I was writing great poetry. What I experienced renewed my faith in my writing and gave me SO MANY IDEAS for what and how to compose. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the hard work it takes.”

“I feel like I’m actually lit up, buzzing with inspiration. Everyone I pass by suddenly marks a story. Every lovely, disturbing image begs me to write a poem. Thank you for this gift.”

“The writing experiences you run have been the best of my life.” 

“I was impressed with how approachable and gracious the teachers/authors were.”

“This is a truly amazing experience. I felt proud to introduce yet another friend to the experience.”

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU.”

“This is where I met all the people who are closest to me.”

“Many thanks for the great organization and quality programming. The teachers and leaders are excellent and that is and should be the most important part.”

“I really can’t thank you enough for this. It taught me so much about myself. Also, I spent many years in the event planning business and y’all have got this down. Very impressive. Thank you.”

“This is everything I’ve been looking for.”


wairimuAfrica Director Wairimu Mwangi is a writer and founder of the Literature Africa Foundation. Her educational textbooks are used in schools across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana. She is passionate about quality education for all and believes that without books or material to read, literacy suffers and when literacy suffers, opportunities decline. She enjoys mentoring youth, storytelling, travelling, reading and meditating. Contact.

IMG-20160112-WA0006-1Africa Director Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja is the founder of Writing Our World, an organization in Uganda that uses writing, debate and spoken word to give a platform to people to express themselves. He is an events’ organizer who also runs the the writers’ club ‘Coffee and Books’ that happens monthly in Kampala. In 2014, his story ‘Walls and Borders’ won the Eastern Africa Writivism Literary prize. Contact.

KirstenOceania Director Kirsten Le Harivel is a writer, project/programme manager and mother. Although born in Scotland, she lives with her family on the Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa. Her writing has been published in various international literary journals and she has an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She has a background in programme and project management in the arts, youth, and refugee sectors. Contact.

jordan copyKahini Magazine Editor and Americas Director Jordan Hartt is a reader, writer, writing teacher, editor, and community & events organizer. His writing has appeared in about forty literary journals; a collection of stories, “Leap,” appeared in 2015. Participants in his writing programs have published in thousands of literary magazines and over two hundred books, and been featured in such venues as the Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, and Best American Poetry anthologies. Contact.

Kahini Magazine Contributors 


Sheillah Abaho is a graduate of Makerere University with a Bachelor’s degree in Ethics and Human Rights. A human rights defender and promoter, lover of photography, avid reader, Abaho is keen on volunteerism and has worked organizing such literary events such as The Writivism Festival, the Kampala Writers Retreat, Coffee & Books, and the Babishai Poetry Festival. She has also worked with such organizations as the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, The Citizen’s Election Observers Network and the Uganda Youth Adolescent Health Forum in promoting Human Rights, and Writing Our World.

Kim Addonizio is the author of six poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry, “The Poet’s Companion” (with Dorianne Laux) and “Ordinary Genius.” She has received fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Award Finalist for her collection Tell Me. Her latest books are “Mortal Trash” and a memoir-in-essays, “Bukowski in a Sundress.” “Writing is an ongoing fascination and challenge,” Kim says, “as well as being the only form of spirituality I can consistently practice.”

unnamedSheila Bender’s passion is helping writers break out into new forms, revise effectively, generate more writing and facilitate the writing of others. In the last three decades, she has worked with hundreds of people helping them write personal essays, fiction, and more meaningful writer’s journals, in addition to book-length memoir, how-to books and novels. She is the author of the memoir, “A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief,” and the instructional book “Creative Writing Demystified,” available in e-book format. More of her instructional work includes “Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief.

Gary Copeland LilleyGary Copeland Lilley is a North Carolina poet living, writing, and teaching in the Pacific Northwest. His publications include four full-length collections, the most recent of which is The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and three chapbooks of poetry. He is a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program, and been faculty at Warren Wilson College, the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. and the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and has been a visiting writer at the University of Arizona, Colby College, and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

View More: http://heatherwoolery.pass.us/sd_brick_1Sayantani Dasgupta is an essayist, a short story writer, and the author of “Fire Girl” and the chapbook “The House of Nails.” Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, she has lived in the United States since 2006. Sayantani’s publications have won a Pushcart Prize Special Mention, and Dukool Magazine‘s 2016 Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Her essay “Oscillation” was the finalist for Phoebe Magazine‘s 2014 Creative Nonfiction Contest. She works as the editor of the Crab Creek Review.

greenwellRecipient of Writing in the Wild and Centrum Writers’ Conference fellowships from the University of Idaho, E. A. Greenwell was the 2016-2017 PEN/Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Terrain.orgMoss, and is forthcoming from Poet Loreand Common Ground Review. He lives in Eastern Oregon, where he works with tribes, NGOs, government entities, and private landowners to conserve land.

kaminskyIlya Kaminsky is the author of “Dancing In Odessa” and the forthcoming “Deaf Republic.” His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and China. Ilya, who was born in Odessa, in the Ukraine, in what was the former Soviet Union, moved to the United States in 1993 when his family was granted asylum by the U.S. government. He has won the Lannan Foundation’s Literary Fellowship.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 9.19.39 AMAgatha Wanjiru seeks to impact people’s lives through making quality education accessible. She is actively engaged in civic leadership and believes in giving back to the community through Fly Sister Fly Foundation-a community based organization that works with girls in Samburu Kenya to improve the literacy levels of girls and discourage female genital mutilation and child marriage.


And We Give!

Jean Paul Seka and American writer Rebecca Brown at the 2015 Kampala Writers' Conference
Kahini magazine contribut0r Jean Paul Seka and 2015 faculty member Rebecca Brown
Kahini magazine contributor Raksha Vasudevan and Africa Director Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja

In addition to all of the above, your membership helps fund the work of Kahini’s partner organizations Literature Africa Foundation in Kenya and Writing Our World in Uganda.

These locally owned, governed, and staffed NGO organizations work with youth in schools and communities throughout East Africa, including Tanzania and Rwanda.

By having fun reading, writing, publishing, and traveling, you also transform the lives of the next generation of writers.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kahini Writing Programs

Creating Su’ifefiloi in Wellington

On Saturday 5 May Wellington was lucky to host visiting Samoan writer Sia Figiel, who ran ‘Writing Garlands of Stories‘, a one-day workshop that drew on the ancient Samoan concept of su’ifefiloi, or sewing of garlands, to bridge oral storytelling and the act of creative writing.

Here are some snaps of our process that began with collecting leaves and flowers and ended with us heading to the Wellington Waterfront to gift our ‘ula to the ocean.


Posted in Oceania, Workshops | Comments Off on Creating Su’ifefiloi in Wellington

Kahini Magazine Open for Submissions

Kahini is an online literary rag unlike any other magazine in the world: subscriptions benefit the work of Kahini’s partner organizations Literature Africa Foundation in Kenya and Writing Our World in Uganda.

Through the act of reading, you transform the lives of the next generation of writers.


Each month, subscribers receive, in our beautiful Kahini e-journal:
–Three new artistic works; as well as an
–Interview with a vital, contemporary writer working in Africa, the Americas, Eurasia, or Oceania; a
–Book review series focused not only on contemporary global artistic work but also classic global literature from our past; and a
–Close reading of a classic or contemporary work of art that also serves as a craft lecture in creative writing.

In addition, Kahini pays $100 usd to our writers for each accepted piece. Submissions are open. Submit work.

About Us:
Kahini programs focus on craft, community and inspiration. Our global collective of artists and writers hosts the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat and the Kāpiti Series in Oceania; the Kampala Writers’ Retreat and school and community programs in Africa; the Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat and the Desert Writers’ Retreat in the Americas; and Kahini magazine, the online literary journal and community that brings together writers from all over the world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kahini Magazine Open for Submissions