Community Engagement

    Lighthouse Writers Workshop is the largest literary arts center in the Rocky Mountain West. Our mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education, support, and community for writers and readers in the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond. To achieve that mission, we’ve offered free, collaborative, community engagement programs throughout Colorado for more than 20 years, getting people writing and helping them share those stories in surprising, joyful ways.

    Lighthouse’s engagement philosophy is perhaps best summed up by the author Richard Rhodes, who says that “writing is a form of making, and making humanizes the world.” We believe that writing is one of the most valuable and vibrant forms of making—because its sole material is language, our most common means to connect with one another.



    Hard Times

    In partnership with local libraries, Hard Times Writing Workshops provide community and a creative outlet for people who have recently experienced or are currently experiencing poverty, addiction, homelessness, and other hard situations.

    Writing to be Free

    Writing provides positive motivation in whatever form—poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. During these informal workshops for people transitioning out of incarceration, professional writers guide you in giving voice to your story.

    Writing with Cancer

    The Writing with Cancer Support Group is geared for those diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers. These workshops focus on generating new creative writing and also include discussions of language, the basics of craft, elements of story, and the value of having a writing practice. Participants are encouraged to connect with others in the group and to write often and freely on any subject they choose, relying on the belief that creative expression is a powerful way to help cope with the myriad emotions of a cancer diagnosis

    Unlocked Poetry

    Unlocked Poetry is a monthly poetry writing workshop and open mic held at Sterling Correctional Facility in Sterling, Colorado. The goal for each participant is to develop creative writing skills, as well as deepen their critical thinking and communication skills through close reading and examination of poetry and a wide variety of text, media, and writing exercises. Unlocked Poetry was developed to serve incarcerated writers, supporting each participant’s creative voice while introducing participants to living, working writers. Our workshops are facilitated by authors who are also professional writing instructors.


    Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab (CORAL) is one of a handful of research labs supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. We encourage healthcare providers to find a creative outlet and establish a sense of community through the arts. By creating a more engaged workforce, we can support healthcare professionals in their efforts to improve patient outcomes, enhance patient and family satisfaction, and reduce healthcare costs.

    Fort Lyon

    Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community Writer-in-Residence Program unites the Lighthouse mission of providing the highest caliber of artistic education, support, and community for writers and readers in the Rocky Mountain Region with the overall mission of the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential community: to help participants explore personal histories and provide a forum for practicing creative exploration, and to discuss behavior, addictions, and recovery.

    Write Denver

    Write Denver is an award-winning community outreach program whose mission is to get people in the city writing and then building an audience for those writings through public art installations.

    Gathering Place

    The Gathering Place is a daytime drop-in center for women, children, and transgender individuals who are experiecing poverty or homelessness. The Writers' Group at The Gathering Place uses creative writing to cope with and transform their experiences with poverty–and to empower themselves through self-expression.


    All the Lives We Ever Lived: A Lighthouse Writers Workshop Community Anthology, Volume 1 was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. 

    The poems, stories, and art created in these workshops are a powerful examination of what community is and how literature helps to create and nurture it. We hope you enjoy this work, created by amazing individuals, most of whom come together on a weekly basis to find camaraderie, community, and dignity through the act of creative writing.

    Join Lighthouse Writers Workshop in celebrating the release of our recently published anthology, All the Lives We Ever Lived: Volume Two, celebrating the writers from our community programs for adults, including writing from military veterans, people experiencing homelessness, women transitioning out of prison, people living with cancer and their caregivers, and seniors.