The Maui Writers’ Group

Read. Write. Travel. Begins January 2, 2018; registration closes December 29, 2017

MWG logo

Dates: Year-long
Location: Online, Maui
Faculty: Jordan Hartt; Sayantani Dasgupta; Jenifer Browne Lawrence
Monthly Cost: $75 to $495
Registration: available at bottom of page or by contacting [email protected]

Yes, you can write and publish eleven stories in one year. Designed for beginning writers, the Maui Writers’ Group is a a one-year course in writing for people with busy lives. You’ll master core story skills and hone your writing voice through weekly craft lectures and prompts, resulting in a new story each month. By next December, you’ll have eleven new stories written, revised, and ready for guided submission to magazines and journals.

In addition, up to four times a year, our writing retreats in Maui are free to you as part of your group membership. Read, write, travel, develop as a writer, and have the time of your life

Participants at a 2017 Maui Writers’ Retreat discuss a story’s beginning paragraph

Online Writing Lectures, Workshopping, and Submissions
Craft Lectures
Each Monday, I post a new craft lecture, full of readings and writing prompts. Each lecture could keep you busy for six months–and there is one per week. Don’t worry if you miss some: they’re designed with busy writers in mind, and are there whenever you want to go back to them. We use a private, closed Facebook group as the central gathering place, which works really well through the “add file” feature.

Each month that you complete one new short-short story or novel chapter, you’ll receive private comments and feedback in a personal email and/or a phone call, whatever helps you the most in realizing your writing goals on the page. The focus is the development and ongoing publication of your unique writing voice and vision.

villas at poipu kai
Three beaches are within a ten-minute walk from our villas in Kaua’i

To that end, along with writing and revising, we’ll discuss intensively the submission process and post hundreds of magazine deadlines as they open, giving you the journals and magazines that best fit your work, as you build your portfolio of publications with the eye toward your next book.

Read and write in community

Writing Retreats
We stay at the Aina Nalu Villas in Lahaina, Maui. Mornings feature intensive workshop time–with afternoons and evenings for reading, writing, and enjoying the island.

Email [email protected] or call 011.531.1472 for more information, or simply register directly below and we’ll be in touch right away. Only you know which option you’re registered for.

Participation Options
$75/month: Become the writer you’ve always wanted to be. Core membership in the intensive, one-year course in creative writing. Access to all craft lectures and exercises. (You’re still encouraged to come to any Maui retreats, the price just isn’t included.)
$295/month: Core membership in the the intensive, one-year course in creative writing. Access to all craft lectures and exercises, personal, individual feedback on your eleven short stories, and unlimited access to our Maui retreats, up to four times per year.
$495/month: Core membership in the intensive, one-year course in creative writing. Access to all craft lectures and exercises, personal, individual feedback on your eleven short stories, and unlimited access to our Maui retreats, up to four times per year. Also includes free access to the 2018 Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat: two reads of your full manuscript in beautiful Puako, Hawai’i.


All readings provided

Quarter I (January-March): Character & Setting

Craft Lecture Readings Writing
Character & Setting: Introduction “Old Loafers”; “High Heat”; selection from “Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man” Craft exercises
Point of View I: First Person “Eyes of a Blue Dog:’ “The Colonel”; “Gryphon”; “Sonny’s Blues”; “A&P” Craft exercises
Point of View II: First Person “Car Crash While Hitchhiking”; “Why I Live at the P.O.”; “The Swim Team” Craft exercises
Point of View III: Third Person “Counterparts”; “The Girl”; “What Happened During the Ice Storm” Craft exercises
Point of View IV: Third Person “Miss Brill”; “The Garden Party”; “The Voyage”; “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” The 55-word story
Point of View V: Third Person “Two Words”; “The Rockpile”; “Recitatif” Craft exercises
Point of View VI: Third Person “The Boarding House”; “Kew Gardens”; “Why Don’t You Dance?” Craft exercises
Point of View VII: Second Person “How To Love a Cowboy”; “Theory of Dramatic Action”; “How to Become a Writer” Craft exercises
Point of View VIII: Speaker to Character “And of Clay We Are Created”; “Orientation” The 101-word story
Character & Setting II: Sensory Detail “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”; “Girl”; “Pretty Ice” Craft exercises
Character & Setting III: Sensory Detail “The Things They Carried” Craft exercises
Character & Setting IV: Building Your Setting(s) An Unspoken Hunger”; “The New Dress” Craft exercises
Character & Setting V: Building Your Setting(s) “The String”; “Hills Like White Elephants” The 300-word story

Quarter II (April-June): Character & Setting II

Craft Lecture Readings Writing
Character & Setting VI: Horizontal v. Vertical “The Habit of Writing”; “A Father’s Story”; “Anna” Craft exercises
Character & Setting VII: Internal v. External; Interior v. Exterior “I Stand Here Ironing”; “My Man Bovanne” Craft exercises
Character & Setting VIII: Handling Time “The Waves Were Low” Craft exercises
Character & Setting IX: Handling Time “Eveline”; “Blue Skies”; “Oranges and Apples” The 500-word story
Character & Setting VI: Handling Time “Big, Two-Hearted River: Parts I & II” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XII: Character and Absence “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XIII: Character and Presence “An Encounter” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XIV: Character Movement “Chef’s House” The 1,000-word story
Character & Setting XV: Communal Character “A Rose for Emily” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XVI: Exploring Past Character “Meneseteung” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XVII: Character Action “My World of the Unknown” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XVIII: Character Inaction “Dirigibles”; “Cape Cod Pantoum” Craft exercises
Character & Setting XIX: Character Viewpoints/Bias “Benito Cereno” The 5,000-word story

Quarter III (July-September): Literary Forms & Techniques

Craft Lecture Readings Writing
Techniques: Symbolism “Clay”; “Two Gallants”; “Everyday Use” Craft exercises
Techniques: Naturalism “Yours”; “Loading a Boar”; “High School as a Dead Girl” Craft exercises
Techniques: Naturalism II “El Morro” Craft exercises
Techniques: Stream-of-Consciousness Selections from “Ulysses” and “Mrs Dalloway” Craft exercises
Techniques: Epistolary “Lady Susan” The 1,000-word story
Techniques: Epistolary II “So Long a Letter” Craft exercises
Techniques: Reverse Chronology “Reverting To a Wild State”; Craft exercises
Techniques: Realism “A Day’s Wait”; “One Of These Days” Craft exercises
Techniques: Magical Realism “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”; “Blacamán the Good, Vendor of Miracles” The 500-word story
Techniques: Magical Realism II “Axotl”; “Flying Carpets” Craft exercises
Techniques: Dirty/K-Mart Realism “This is What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”; “Hunters in the Snow” Craft exercises
Techniques: Dirty/K-Mart Realism II “Safeway” Craft exercises
Techniques: Surrealism “The Tunnel” The 300-word story

Quarter IV (October-December): Major Authors & Preparation for Publication 

Craft Lecture Readings Writing
Major Short Fiction Writers: Lorrie Moore “People Like That Are the Only People Here”; “You’re Ugly, Too” Craft exercises
Major Short Fiction Writers: William Trevor “Teresa’s Wedding” Craft exercises
Major Short Fiction Writers: Anton Chekhov “The Lady with the Dog”; “Gooseberries” Craft exercises
Major Short Fiction Writers: Ernest Hemingway “Cat in the Rain”; “Cross-Country Snow”; “The Three-Day Blow” The 101-word story
Major Short Fiction Writers: Isabel Allende “The Phantom Palace”; “Our Secret” Craft exercises
Major Short Fiction Writers: Flannery O’Connor “Everything that Rises Must Converge”; “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” Craft exercises
Major Short Fiction Writers: Toni Cade Bambara “Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird”; “The Lesson” Craft exercises
Major Short Fiction Writers: James Joyce “Araby”; “A Mother”; “The Dead” The 55-word story
Major Short Fiction Writers: Alice Munro “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”; “Runaway”;
Submissions II
Submissions III
Submissions IV


harttJordan Hartt (on the right :) )is a reader, writer, and workshop retreat leader. In addition to the Maui Writers’ Group, he facilitates Kahini’s six annual writing retreats in Kaua’i, Maui, Las Vegas, and the Big Island of Hawai’i.

Participants in Hartt’s retreats have appeared in thousands of literary magazines, published over two hundred books on nationally ranked presses, and been featured in the Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, and Best American Short Stories anthologies, as well as many international journals and anthologies.

Hartt’s own writing has appeared in about forty literary magazines and journals: his collection of narrative poems, “Leap,” appeared in 2015. He is currently at work on a new collection of narratives.

Manuscript Facilitators

sayantani-dasguptaSayantani Dasgupta is the author of “Fire Girl” and the “The House of Nails.” Her essays and stories have appeared in such magazines as The Rumpus, Phoebe, and Gulf Stream, among other magazines and literary journals. She teaches at the University of Idaho and at multiple writing conferences each year, including our December manuscript consultation retreat on the Big Island of Hawai’i. 


jblJenifer Browne Lawrence is the author of the poetry collections “One Hundred Steps from Shore” and “Grayling” and is editor-in-chief of Crab Creek Review literary magazine. Awards include the Perugia Press Prize, the Orlando Poetry Prize, and the James Hearst Poetry Prize, and the Potomac Review’s Annual Poetry Award. Her poems appear in many, many literary journals and anthologies, including the North American Review, The Comstock Review and Rattle, and will review manuscripts at our December manuscript consultation retreat on the Big Island of Hawai’i.