About the Conference

Meals | Professional Development | Conference Grounds | Lodging

The Conference

The goal for Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, which is entering its twelfth year, is to create a sense of community among writers. Our conference faculty includes fiction writers, poets, nonfiction writers, genre writers, and several who resist identification by genre. In 2016 we will have the honor of hosting 2-time Edgar Award winning author T. Jefferson Parker, international sensation and O. Henry Award winner, Xu Xi, and many more amazingly talented authors. They will discuss a broad variety of writing topics in several different formats and combinations, from craft classes to panels. Moreover, the conference will offer readings by several of our esteemed guests. Ideally, the conference will feel like one long, energetic, provocative conversation. We encourage you to immerse yourself in the experience!

While participants pay registration fees, those cover less than half the cost of the conference; most of the balance comes from the Piper Center. To that end, we would like to thank the Piper Community of Friends who have made a donations to give scholarships to Arizona Educators, as well as our partners at the Letras Latinas Writers Initiative. Your support truly makes the difference.


When you register for the conference you’ll have the option of choosing meals that will be provided on-site. We have options that will satisfy any carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore. Of course, you are always welcome to support one of the many local restaurants located within walking distance of ASU. 

Professional Development

Our annual Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference will count towards Arizona Professional Development credit for Arizona educators. Attending all three days of the conference will earn 24 hours of Professional Development credit. Moreover, Arizona educators will receive discounted funding for the conference. The conference is a fantastic way to interact with writers, readers, and educators all while earning Professional Development credits! If you’ve already registered, but wish to receive Professional Development, click here.

The Conference Grounds

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing hosts the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference in Arizona State University’s historic quarter. The conference workshops, readings, and book signings will largely take place in the buildings near College Street and University Drive, on the north end of the main campus. The Piper Writers House and its grounds offer a vibrant, nurturing environment in which writers, faculty, students and community members exchange ideas and share an appreciation for literature and writing.

Click here for a map of the Arizona State University campus. The historic quarter is located at 4D on the map.


*NOTE: Remember to book your hotel accommodations before they fill up!  While we cannot guarantee room availability, we do suggest checking with these local hotels and making arrangements as early as possible. Check back soon for an updated list of available options:

  1. Quality Suites Old Town Scottsdale (use this link for a Piper discount!)
  2. Four Points by Sheraton
  3. Aloft (located near the light rail)
  4. Crown Plaza Airport (located near the light rail)
  5. The Graduate

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