(For specific testimonials on the Kauaʻi Writers’ Retreats, please visit the page.)

“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.”

“For me the highlights of the retreat was just being around writers who were all at different stages of their careers. For me, the big highlight was the positive feedback I gained from my tutor Jordan and the rest of his class. Because my project is such an arduous, long (possibly years), and big undertaking, it was good to get that positive shot in the mind to carry on and just do it.”

“Outstanding organisation.”

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

“My Kahini Writers Retreat experience was a perfect blend of structured workshops, walks by the river, talking with other writers and having the time and space to write. The workshop I attended (led by Gary Copeland Lilley) introduced me to some poets I wasn’t familiar with and gave me the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a poetic witness. There were some lively group discussions and I came away with a couple of first drafts to work on further. The retreat was a great opportunity to connect with other writers and produce new work. Oh, and the food was great!”

“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.”

“Kahini is one of those unique (and very rare) spaces in the fine arts and literature world where everyone is invited to play–or speak would be the better word–regardless of race, age, degree, checkbook, or even gender. The workshop I attended, Inside, Outside, & Upside-down, on affiliations and disconections, provided a safe and more importantly, interesting space where I felt like I could exchange and openly share my own personal experiences without being workshopped, judged or edited. The other participants were extremely diverse–representing all walks of life and I feel like due to the energy and environment facilitated by Sam and Jordan–that we were all able to relate to each other, if only in the sense that we are all humans and that all of our stories and lives have value. I went into the workshop with an open mind but not really expecting to generate anything quality within such a small time frame but I feel like the short story that I left with is the beginning of several or perhaps even a novel. I left the workshop energized and with strong editing suggestions from the other participants that I still have material to work with, months later.”

“The workshop was thoroughly engaging and fun. Jordan was open and friendly and is clearly passionate about the art of writing. Being a part of so much sharing is always a valuable experience and sharing in people’s stories – both real and fictional was enriching. I look forward to more workshops, writing retreats and meetups soon!”

“Such a treat to learn more about the writing process from a practising writer and lecturer, who delivered with consummate skill and sensitivity. I came away with a finer perception of what is possible in my own writing.”

“Thanks Kahini for an intense and enjoyable weekend. I left with new friends, new love for the Kāpiti coastline, and – most importantly–new skills that will be of great use as I rewrite my novel. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

“The programme was well considered and Jordan’s teaching style was focussed, impartial and the class well managed without feeling like we were being managed.”

“It was great to meet so many interesting and lovely people, and to critique each other’s work in a helpful, productive and respectful way. It was clear that everybody had a really positive experience, and I think some bonds were made that will continue to develop over the years.”

“Kahini is the opposite of your typical rote workshop. Brilliant authors and editors work alongside writers who are just getting started, in an environment of empathy, frankness, encouragement, and artistic risk. The result is fresh new writing, fresh discussion, and a whole lot of fun.”

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU.”

“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.”