The Kauaʻi Writers’ Retreat

Since 2017
Past: January 29-February 4, 2017; January 28-February 3, 2018; January 27-February 2, 2019; June 2-8, 2019; November 10-16, 2019; January 26-February 1, 2020
Host: Jordan Hartt
Location: The Villas at Poipu Kai; Po’ipū, Kaua’i


The Retreat

Writing Craft

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 January and February, we hold two week-long sessions of the Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat: a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time.

Writing Community

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.

Writing Inspiration

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.

[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

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
Writing day
10 am-noon: workshop sessions
Departure by 10 am


Our Purpose

The eleven palm trees in Kapa’a that inspired the retreat

Inspired by a dream of eleven palm trees, the twice-annual Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat takes place in Poʻipū, on the sunny, southern tip of the island. 

Our focus on the craft of writing, the community of writing, and the ongoing inspiration of the writing life leads to much new work during the week, in one of the most truly beautiful, inspiring places in the world.

Since our inaugural session in 2017, the retreat has served as a space to begin the new writing year.