The Jamaica Writers’ Retreat

Since 2017

Upcoming: April 10-16, 2022
Host: Jordan Hartt
Location: The Coral Seas Beach Villas, Negril, Jamaica
Registration: Available below, or by contacting (Two spaces still available.)


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 second full week of each April, the Jamaica Writers’ Retreat is a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time, with a specific focus on poetry and 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

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 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, initial writing session.
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

This event happens in April as part of National Poetry Month, and features poetry to a slightly stronger degree than do our other retreats. 

You’ll find yourself connecting with your individual artistic self while surrounded by music, culture, and some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the planet. 

Our immediate location of the Coral Seas Beach Villas are right on the Caribbean waters, and right on Seven Mile Beach, one of the most famous and lively beaches in the world.



The Jamaica Writers’ Retreat


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; Negril, Jamaica; Las Vegas, Nevada; Waikoloa, Hawaiʻi Island; and Lahaina, Maui. A little more about his ethos, if interested.