The Jamaica Writers’ Retreat

Since 2017

Upcoming: April 10-16, 2022; April 9-15, 2023
Host: Jordan Hartt
Location: The Coral Seas Beach Villas, Negril, Jamaica
Registration: $3,500. Postponed from 2021, the 2022 retreat is full. Registration is open for the 2023 retreat, with a deposit only. Please contact for details.


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 and private retreat time, with a specific focus on poetry and the short-short story, in one of the most beautiful, inspiring areas in the world.

[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.

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.


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.


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 Weekly 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.