The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference
October 10 - 12, 2024
A gathering of hearts and minds
Desert Nights, Rising Stars (DNRS) is a teaching conference that values nurturing and facilitating a community of writers committed to learning their craft. Our theme for 2024 is “Craft. Culture. Community.” We seek to create brave spaces where writers of all levels are empowered to uncover and share their stories.
Our 2024 keynote speakers are poets Nicole Sealey, originator of “The Sealey Challenge,” and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner John Murillo.
Registering for the conference
Registration opens June 1 | Register before July 15 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 July 15
- Standard registration is $275
- Single-day passes are available for $150
We offer several discounted rates:
- Seniors (65+), Arizona educators, active or retired military, and people with disabilities rate is $115
- ASU student, faculty, and staff rate is $50
- Non-ASU student rate is $75
In addition, we offer a discounted rate of $50 under MFA Presents and Community Writers for those interested in presenting at the conference. We also offer emerging writers the opportunity to apply for the Conference Teaching Fellowship program, which offers writers the opportunity to teach alongside award-winning faculty and receive a free registration.
The Piper Center is committed to making all reasonable accommodations that will allow attendees to participate in conference events. ASU and the Piper Center comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and strive to make our conference accessible and inclusive of all participants.
Hear from past attendees
"As a first time attendee who had never participated in a writer’s conference before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I discovered was a unique opportunity to engage with other individuals who are passionate about writing. Every session offered up an overall experience that made me feel part of a supportive, close-knit community. When I left the conference, I know I left gaining new friendships, a renewed sense of purpose, and an even stronger commitment to continue pursuing what I’m most passionate about."
“This conference exceeded my expectations. I am the author of a book of poems and have been writing and programming in creative writing communities since I received my MFA, so I was already familiar with the excellent work that the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing does. What I learned firsthand while attending is how this is accomplished: by offering inspired talks and workshops led by gifted and open-hearted writers and by giving attendees plenty of time to digest what we’ve heard and learned. There was an authentic spirit of camaraderie here. Hands down, my favorite conference in years.”
“The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Conference is the premier literary event in Phoenix. It’s worth flying in for, and if you’re from town, it’s a must. Countless strides in my writing can be traced back to a connection or lesson learned from the conference. I often feel like I get a semester’s worth of knowledge in only three days. I definitely plan to go every year.”
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!