The Hawaiʻi Writers’ Retreat

Since 2017
Upcoming: October 9-15, 2022 (Postponed from 2021, this retreat is full)
About: The annual Hawaiʻi Writers’ Retreat is a fully scholarshipped, application-based writing retreat that happens each October. Due to the global pandemic response, we are currently closed to new applications, and will re-open at an appropriate time. 
Host: Jordan Hartt
Location: The Fairway Villas, Waikoloa, Hawaiʻi Island

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

Each October, we hold the Hawaiʻi Writers’ Retreat: a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time.

[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. And, each participant gets an hour-long workshop on their newly drafted piece.

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
10 am-noon: workshop sessions
7 pm to 8 pm: evening freewrite
10 am-noon: workshop sessions
7 pm to 9 pm: celebratory final gathering.
Departure by 10 am


Our Purpose

The Hawaiʻi Writers’ Retreat serves as Kahini’s final event each year: a retreat in which we look back on the year that has passed so far, and look ahead to the final months, all while creating much new artistic work. 

Our focus on the craft of writing, the community of writing, and the ongoing inspiration of the writing life leads to much new work, and serves as a way to re-center ourselves as we near the close of the year.

The active volcanic activity of the Big Island touches us with its youthful yet majestic energy. We stay at the Fairway Villas in Puako, in the middle of multiple resort complexes, and within walking or a short driving distance to amazing historical, cultural, and scenic areas.

In addition, we’re only about a ten-minute walk from Anaehoʻomalu Bay, which provides some of the best sunset viewing in the entire world.



Jordan Hartt is the author of two collections of narrative poems: “Leap” (Tebot Bach, 2015) and “Drifting,” (Tebot Bach, 2018).

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 Quarterly; facilitates Kahini+; and hosts five annual writing retreats: one each in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi; Maunaloa, Molokaʻi; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lahaina, Maui; and Puako, Hawaiʻi. A little more about his ethos, if interested.