Write Nonfiction

A week of writing.

18_HAW_Q4Dates: December 9-15, 2018
Location: Puako, Hawai’i
Faculty: Sheila Bender; Brenda Miller
Housing and workshop sessions take place in three-bedroom condos at Fairway Villas Waikoloa.
Tuition & Villa: $600 to $1,400
Contact: writing@kahini.org

Live and write among the plumeria, hibiscus, and beauty of the Big Island of Hawai’i. As part of Kahini’s constellation of writing retreats, the Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat is designed to get you to a completed new prose piece in just one week–while enjoying one of the most beautiful, inspirational places in the world.

Condo living rooms

Mornings at the Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat feature gentle breezes, coffee and warm sunshine, and generative-writing workshops.

Afternoons present all the time and space to read, write, relax, swim, and enjoy everything the Big Island has to offer.

All this is will give us the fuel and inspiration to complete one new piece. On Friday, we’ll do a full discussion on this new raw draft.

You’ll leave the workshop with a finished and workshopped piece ready for advanced revision or submission; with new craft tools, connections, and community as a writer; and feeling refreshed and renewed–with writing inspiration to last deep into the new year.


Sunday, December 9
6 pm onward: Arrivals, getting settled.
Monday, December 10
9 am-10 am: welcome gathering.
10 am-1 pm: morning workshop.
Tuesday, December 11
10 am-1 pm: morning workshop.
Wednesday, December 12
Writing day/island day.
Thursday, December 13
10 am-1 pm: morning workshop.
Friday, December 14
10 am-1 pm: workshop sessions.
Saturday, December 15
Departure by 10 am.


unnamedSheila Bender’s passion is helping writers break out into new forms, revise effectively, generate more writing and facilitate the writing of others. In the last three decades, she has worked with hundreds of people helping them write personal essays, poetry, fiction, and more meaningful writer’s journals, in addition to book-length memoir, how-to books and novels. She is the author of the memoir, A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Griefthe poetry collection Behind Us the Way Grows Wider, and the instructional book Creative Writing Demystifiedavailable in e-book format. More of her instructional work includes Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief, and Writing In a Convertible with the Top Down, co-authored with Christi Glover. She has taught at colleges, universities and community centers and presented at national writers’ programs and conferences. In 2013, she served as Seattle University’s Distinguished Guest Lecturer in Poetry.


Brenda Miller
 teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and the MA program in English Studies at Western Washington University. She is the author of An Earlier Life,  Who You Will BecomeListening Against the StoneBlessing of the Animals, and Season of the Body. She co-authored, with poet Holly J. Hughes, The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World. She is also the co-author of Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, now in its second edition. Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes and essays have appeared in many journals, including Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, Utne Reader, The Georgia Review, and The Missouri Review. Brenda lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her dog Abbe.


All registration fees are fully refundable, less a $50 processing fee, through September 9, 2018, and non-refundable after that date.

Evening in our villas on Hawai'i island
Evening in our villas on Hawai’i island

Puako is located on the sunny northwestern shore of the Big Island of Hawai’i, about 45 minutes from the airport at Kona. Featuring leafy parks and beach parks, and with the convenience of several amenities located right nearby–including great restaurants, tiki bars, and coffee shops–Waikoloa is only ten minutes away from Hapuna Beach, one of the best white sand beaches on the island.

Workshop sessions are intensive, inspiring, and designed to get you to a new, advanced short-short piece in one week. A plethora of readings from a wide variety of writers helps to fuel our discussion and freewriting.

In one of the most beautiful and inspiring locations on earth, spend your afternoons enjoying the best of what Big Island has to offer, including enjoying the beach or water, hiking, golf, discovering the history and culture of Hawai’i, or simply reading and writing at good restaurants and cafes.

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