The Desert Writers’ Retreat

Since 2014
Upcoming: May 23-29, 2021 (full); May 22-28, 2022 (full)
Host: Jordan Hartt
Location: Tahiti Village, Las Vegas, Nevada
Registration: $4,500. Registration for the 2023 Desert Writers’ Retreat will open on April 2, 2022. 


The Retreat

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

Happening the last full week of each May, the Desert Writers’ Retreat is a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time, with a specific focus on the short-short story. This retreat was Kahini’s very first event, back in 2014.

[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

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. Then, each participant gets a full, one-hour workshop on your newly written piece!

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


Daily Schedule

4 pm-onward: arrivals, getting settled, initial writing session.
10 am-noon: craft discussion and generative writing session
10 am-noon: craft discussion and generative writing session
Writing day
10 am-noon: workshop sessions
10 am-noon: workshop sessions
7 pm to 9 pm: celebratory final gathering
Departure by 10 am


Our Purpose

Since our inaugural session in 2014, the Desert Writers’ Retreat has served as a restorative way to indulge in a writing retreat–and get your tan on–before the summer months begin. 

Perfectly centered twenty minutes from the gorgeous isolation of the Mojave Desert and twenty minutes from the beautiful hustle of the Las Vegas Strip, the Desert Writers’ Retreat provides access to an equal blend of natural and human-built beauty and energy, all set amidst the tranquil and vibrant immediate setting of our resort location at Tahiti Village.



Jordan Hartt is the author of two collections of narrative poems: “Leap” (Tebot Bach, 2015) and “Drifting,” (Tebot Bach, 2018). A third collection, “Paradise,” is forthcoming from Tebot Bach in 2021.

Hartt’s lifework is creating experiences where people find the writing craft to reach for their best artistic and human selves, find the writing community to connect with others, and find the ongoing inspiration of the writing life.

To do this, he edits Kahini Weekly and hosts three annual writing retreats: two in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi; and one in Las Vegas, Nevada. A little more about his ethos, if interested.