The Desert Writers’ Retreat

Since 2014
Past: May 11-17, 2014; May 3-9, 2015; May 8-14, 2016; May 14-20, 2017; May 20-26, 2018; May 19-25, 2019; May 23-29, 2021; May 22-28, 2022
 Jordan Hartt
Location: Tahiti Village; Las Vegas, Nevada


The Retreat

Writing Craft

Very short fictions are nearly always experimental, exquisitely calibrated, reminiscent of Frost’s definition of a poem—a structure of words that consumes itself as it unfolds, like ice melting on a stove. ~Joyce Carol Oates

Each May, we hold two sessions of the Desert Writers’ Retreat: a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time.

Writing Community

Whether you’re writing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, cross-genre, or un-genre work, short work is one of the most technically involved forms in our literature. To that end, we spend a week studying and writing the form.

Our goal is to complete one new written work of 1,000 words or fewer. And, each participant gets an hour-long workshop on their newly drafted piece.

[W]here the poem and story meet. Maybe brevity—on sight—alerts a reader’s expectancy […] But the form costs—it sacrifices most of itself. Experience borders perilously on nothing. ~H.E. Francis

Writing Inspiration

You’ll leave with one new written and workshopped piece ready for advanced revision or submission, with new community and memories, and with new inspiration in the writing life.

A really good short-short, whatever else it may be, is a story we can’t help reading fast, and then re-reading, and again, but no matter how many times we read it, we’re not quite through it yet. ~John L’Heureux


daily schedule

4 pm-onward: arrivals, getting settled
10 am-noon: craft discussion and generative-writing session 
10 am-noon: craft discussion and generative-writing session
7 pm to 8 pm: evening freewrite
Writing day
Writing day
10 am-noon: workshop sessions
Departure by 10 am