The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference FAQ

If you can ask it, we can answer it

Have a question about the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference? Answers to more frequently asked questions are provided below.

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What is the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference?

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference is an annual creative writing conference at Arizona State University featuring nationally-recognized writers presenting a variety of classes, workshops, panels, and talks on literary craft, technique, and other topics related to creative writing and contemporary literature. To learn more about the conference, visit the about page. 

Who is the conference for?

Whether hobby, practice, passion, or profession, our conference is for writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience. You don't need to have an MFA in Creative Writing, have studied English, or come from an academic background. You don't need to have a completed manuscript or be publishing work. Our attendees learn as much from each other as they do from our faculty. By offering a variety of sessions across multiple topics and fields, each attendee can engage in a uniquely meaningful experience—the one that makes the most sense for them—personally tailored to their particular interests and needs. To learn more about sessions, you can view current and past schedules

How many faculty are there?

Our conference typically features around 25 faculty a year, with additional sessions taught by fellows. To learn more, you can meet our faculty

Who are your faculty?

Our faculty are nationally-recognized writers, editors, agents, critics, translators, educators, publishers, and other creative writing professionals. They've published in venues like Guernica, Hobart, Ploughshares, The Believer, The Kenyon ReviewThe New Yorker, and Tin House. They've written criticism and reviews for LitHub, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. They've received honors and awards including Guggenheim Fellowships, the Lambda Literary Award, the Locus, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, NEA Fellowships, the O. Henry Prize, and more. To learn more, you can view current and past faculty. 

When did the conference start?

The conference was founded at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing in 2003 and, with the exception of 2010, has run every year since. To learn more about previous conferences, you can visit our faculty archiveview past faculty, or view past schedules

Where is the conference located?

The conference takes place in the historic quarter of Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. To learn more about our location, you can view travel information or visit our Getting Here page.

How do I get to the conference?

For directions, parking, and more, you can view travel information or visit our Getting Here page.

Where should I park?

Generally speaking, we recommend parking in the Fulton Center Parking Structure, which is the closest parking structure to the conference. Please note that parking is not free. For more information about parking, visit our Getting Here page.

Is the conference accessible by light-rail or bus?

Yes. Our light-rail stop is College Ave and Veterans Way; campus is also served by numerous modes of public transportation. For more information about public transportation, visit our Getting Here page.

Does registration include meals?

No. While the conference features a catered reception and offers complimentary coffee and water throughout the day, meals are not included as part of conference registration.