The Molokaʻi Writers’ Retreat

Beginning in 2022
Upcoming: April 24-30, 2022 (Postponed from 2021, this retreat is full)
About: The Molokaʻi Writers’ Retreat is a fully scholarshipped, application-based writing retreat designed to happen in April each year as part of National Poetry Month. Due to the global pandemic response, we are currently closed to new applications, and will re-open at an appropriate time.
Host: Jordan Hartt
Location: Ke Nani Kai Villas near Kepuhi Beach, Maunaloa, Molokaʻi

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

Each April we hold the Molokaʻi Writers’ Retreat: a blend of generative writing time, workshop time, and private retreat time.

[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.

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’HeureuxUntitled


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
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

Kepuhi Beach from my front patio: and the beach is actually a lot closer than it looks!

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

One of the least-visited of all the Hawaiian islands, on Molokaʻi you’ll find that life slows down and moves at a difference pace than on the other Hawaiian islands. For awhile, it might seem jarring (why is it so quiet?!) before you find yourself drawn toward your blank page, the sky, the stars, and the ocean, as well as the many historical and cultural opportunities available on-island.

Our retreat space at Kepuhi Beach puts you right next to the ocean in a week of personal retreat time, nestled in a small, supportive writing community. This is not a resort experience. You’ll find yourself distanced from the usual distractions and brought close to your writing.



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; Maunaloa, Molokaʻi; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lahaina, Maui; and Puako, Hawaiʻi. A little more about his ethos, if interested.