The Kolkata Writers’ Retreat

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Upcoming: (Out of an abundance of caution, and a dash of prognistication, our 2021 workshop has been postponed to April 17-23, 2022)
Registration: Contact
Tuition & Housing: ₹7,500 inr for writers from West Bengal; $1,900 usd for writers from outside West Bengal. Scholarships are available.
Host: Ananya Sarkar, Jordan Hartt
Location: The Oberai Grand Hotel in Kolkata

The Retreat

Kahini workshops are all about craft instruction, community immersion, and creative inspiration

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

In addition to distributing books to young readers year-round, each April we hold the Kolkata Writers’ Retreat, a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time.

Live and write only minutes from the national library

[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.

The Oberai Grand Hotel at night

Our goal is to complete one new written work of 1,000 words or fewer. You’ll leave with one new written piece, with new community and memories for life, and with new inspiration in the writing life.

Each participant covers their own food and transportation needs.

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

So that each person receives a full, one-hour workshop on their artistic work, each retreat is limited to four writers.


Daily Schedule

Creating writing and community memories for life

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 8 pm: celebratory final gathering.
Departure by 10 am



Please contact



asAnanya Sarkar is a short-story writer, book reviewer, and poet from Kolkata. Her work has been published in such magazines as The Times of India, Woman’s Era, New Woman, 4indianwoman, Children’s World, KidsWorldFun, Muse India, Induswomanwriting, Conversations Across Borders, Indian Ruminations, Earthen Lamp Journal, Spark and The Madras Mag. Ananya won the first prize in both the Story Writing Contest by the American Library, Kolkata, as part of the Fiction Festival 2008 and the Induswomanwriting Poetry Contest, 2012. She was also a prize winner in the LoudReview Review Writing Competition, 2012 and Writers’ HQ Story Competition, 2016. Reading books, watching sitcoms and going for long walks are her favourite hobbies.

Jordan Hartt is the author of two collections of narrative poems: “Leap” (Tebot Bach, 2015) and “Drifting,” (Tebot Bach, 2018). A third collection, “Paradise,” is forthcoming from Tebot Bach in 2021.

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 four annual writing retreats: one each in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi; Kolkata, India; Lahaina, Maui; and Kampala, Uganda. A little more about his ethos, if interested.