The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference

October 12 - 14, 2023

A gathering of hearts and minds

As a teaching conference, Desert Nights, Rising Stars (DNRS) Writers Conference covers the craft of writing, and the nuts and bolts of being a writer by offering practical advice for editing, creative and professional development, and navigating the literary marketplace.

Our 2023 keynote speaker is internationally renowned poet, Joy Harjo, who served three terms at the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States.

Registering for the conference

Registration opens July 7 | Register before September 7 to save $50

Our conference has a number of ways to participate and engage so you can create the experience that works best for you: 

  • Early registration is $225 through September 7
  • Standard registration is $275
  • Single-day passes are available for $150

We offer a number of discounts for Arizona educators, ASU affiliates, senior citizens, people with disabilities, students, and active or retired military personnel.

In addition, we offer discounted presenter fees under MFA Presents for MFA students and Community Writers for those interested in presenting panels at the conference. We also offer emerging writers the opportunity to apply for the Conference Teaching Fellowship program, which offers emerging writers the opportunity to teach alongside award-winning faculty and receive a free registration.

View our accessibility page

Hear from past attendees

Our sponsors

Putting together a creative writing conference is a monumental endeavor, one we couldn't possibly accomplish without support. We're deeply grateful to all of the businesses, organizations, and individuals who donate to the conference for their graciousness, generosity, and commitment to the literary arts. 

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Beyond recognition, sponsors receive special registration rates, exhibitor space, advertising, promotional opportunities and more. Your investment allows us to continue improving the lives of individual writers and giving back to the larger community. Learn more about becoming a sponsor today!