The Desert Writers’ Retreat

Where it all began. tahiti village night

Past: May 11-17, 2014; May 17-23, 2015; May 8-14, 2016; May 14-20, 2017; May 20-26, 2018; May 19-25, 2019
May 17-23, 2020
Host: Jordan Hartt
Registration: $1,750 usd (for your private condo)
How It Works | Daily Schedule | Our Home in Las Vegas | F.A.Q. | Registration

Live and write among the cactus, mountains, and sunsets of the Mojave Desert, near the pulse and energy of Las Vegas. Open to writers across all genres, the Desert Writers’ Retreat is where Kahini first began, in 2014, and is a gentle blend of community writing time, personal writing time, and the option to visit and write with other residents, set amidst the beauty and tranquility of the Mojave Desert and Las Vegas.

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A half-hour drive from our lodging, Red Rock Canyon is one of the most beautiful areas in the American west
Kahini writing retreats put master teachers together with ardent students in a week of full immersion in writing and the writing life

Since our inception in 2014, Kahini participants have published over three thousand individual times in literary magazines; released over two hundred books; been featured in the Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Science & Nature Writing anthologies; won New Zealand’s Best First Book Award, been short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing; and received university professorships in creative writing.

How it Works

1. Register below and we’ll be in touch to confirm within twenty-four hours.
2.  Once we’re exactly two months out from our start date, which is the best time to buy flights, you’ll begin to receive logistics and arrival emails.
3. You arrive at Tahiti Village!

daily schedule

4 pm-onward: Arrivals, getting settled.
10:30 am to noon: morning generative-writing session
8-9 pm: margaritas and conversation about writing
10:30 am to noon: morning generative-writing session
8-9 pm: margaritas and conversation about writing
Free day/writing day
10:30 am to noon: morning generative-writing session
8-9 pm: margaritas and conversation about writing
10:30 am to noon: morning generative-writing session
8-9 pm: margaritas and conversation about writing
Departure by 10 am.

our home in Las Vegas

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Accomodations are a private, two-room condo to yourself, complete with bedroom, bathroom, living room, and small kitchenette.

Located only twenty minutes to the north, the energy and inspiration of Las Vegas–as well as the Mojave Desert surrounding us on all sides–has made the Desert Writers’ Retreat one of Kahini’s very most successful retreats, in terms of participant publications. Our Tahiti Village location caters to activities of all kinds, whether you like to use your afternoons to see the sights or simply read and write. In addition, good restaurants and grocery stores are available all around us.

Each morning, writing sessions help us loosen our writing muscles and get new words on the page. And editorial sessions with some of the finest editorial consultants working today help you refine and hone your existing work–with the eye toward publication.

In one of the most beautiful and inspiring locations on earth, spend your afternoons writing or enjoying the best of what Clark County has to offer, including enjoying the sun or water; discovering the history, culture, and natural beauty of the area, or reading and writing at good restaurants and cafes.

During the week we have evening gatherings for you to attend as you see fit, spending quality literary time with the other residents.

frequently asked questions

Do I need to rent a car?
You don’t need to rent a car, as we do airport pick-up and drop-offs, and there is enough on the south shore to keep you busy for a week. However, many residents find that having a car allows them to explore the surrounding desert (which we also recommend) so it depends on how, personally, you want to spend your week on in Las Vegas

Are meals included?
Because each resident has their own unique dietary needs, we do not provide food. Each residence comes with a fully equipped kitchen, and there are a number of grocery stores and restaurants nearby.




Jordan Hartt jordan copyis the author of the story collections “Leap” and “Drifting,” with another collection forthcoming in 2020. His lifework is creating experiences where people find the craft immersion to reach for their best writing, find the community to connect meaningfully across backgrounds, and find the lifelong inspiration of the writing life. To do this, he hosts annual writing retreats in Po’ipū, Kaua’i and Las Vegas, Nevada; co-hosts annual writing retreats in Kolkata, India and Kampala, Uganda; and gives as a philanthropist to artists and visionaries around the world.

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