The Desert Writers’ Retreat

Since 2014
Past: May 11-17, 2014; May 3-9, 2015; May 22-28, 2016; May 14-20, 2017; May 20-26, 2018; May 19-25, 2019; May 23-29, 2021
Upcoming: May 15-21, 2022 (full); May 22-28, 2022 (full)
Location:
Tahiti Village; Las Vegas, Nevada
Registration for the 2023 retreats will open on July 1, 2022
Hosts: Wairimu Mwangi, Ananya Sarkar, Jordan Hartt
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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

Writing Community

Happening twice each May, in back-to-back weeks, each Desert Writers’ Retreat is a blend of generative writing time and private writing-retreat time, with a specific focus on the short-short story

[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

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.

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

You’ll leave the retreat with new written work ready for advanced revision or submission, with new community and memories, and with new inspiration in the writing life.
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Daily Schedule

Monday
10 am-noon: sensory detail, setting, character, and point of view
Tuesday
10 am-noon: plot, structure, and pacing
Wednesday
Writing day
Thursday
10 am-noon: voice, style, mood, tone, and visual presentation
Friday
10 am-noon: titling, authorial identity, and themes
Saturday
Departure by 10 am
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