Lighthouse Code of Conduct

In attending a Lighthouse program, you’re joining a community designed to nurture and support you as a writer and person. Like any community, we have codes of conduct that we expect everyone to understand and affirm prior to participation.


Every Lighthouse program seeks to be a welcoming environment for all attendees, regardless of background and identity. Participants are expected to actively contribute to this environment in the following ways:

  • Arrive with an inclusive, welcoming, and sensitive spirit that is respectful of others' identities. Many of us are still learning about how to expand our cultural awareness and realize these are longer conversations; we encourage you to browse our growing resource list here.
  • Contribute to conversations and activities when possible, and encourage others to do the same. It’s natural to want to fill silences in a discussion, but we love it when contributions are balanced with inviting others, especially softer-spoken peers, into the conversation.  
  • Talking about writing often involves talking about challenging subjects, such as race, gender, violence, and trauma. Come to these conversations with a sense of openness and curiosity. Refer, once again, to the resource list for more thorough discussions.
  • Communicate with your instructor if something is troubling or not meeting your expectations. If you can’t, or have reason to not want to discuss it with your instructor, please contact Lighthouse staff.
  • Please understand that our staff and faculty have the authority to decide what is safe, appropriate, and respectful, and will act accordingly to remove people or in some other way address situations that don’t meet these standards. See our anti-harassment policy here for more details.

Feedback and Critique:

Many of our workshops involve giving and receiving feedback on works in progress. Remember that peers who share drafts are trusting you with their personal creative work, and they deserve the respect, privacy, and attention we all want our work to receive.

  • Each instructor will set workshop guidelines, but unless otherwise stated by the instructor, participants are expected to provide verbal feedback in class and signed, written feedback in addition. If you miss a class, make sure to email the writer your feedback promptly; in all cases, work should be promptly returned to the writer.
  • Instructors will provide directions for submitting work, including formatting and deadlines, and your peers have the right not to review work that doesn’t meet the stated criteria.
  • Only submit work you are comfortable sharing; it’s the nature of workshops that a critical—which is not to say negative—perspective is taken to help each writer in their efforts to take the work to the next level.


Writers who share work at a Lighthouse workshop should expect it will be treated with the utmost discretion. To that end, never discuss or share a fellow writer's work-in-progress outside of class without their permission.

Communication and Other Stuff:

Often our instructors use e-mail to coordinate workshop details and distribution of materials. Please use your classmates' emails for class-related communication only. Email addresses should not be used for unsolicited political, personal, religious, or marketing purposes. Likewise, please be conscious of your instructor’s time when asking even class-related questions; faculty tend to be generous with their attention but may take a while to respond to individual queries. We recommend contacting instructors no more than once a week if you can help it.

Occasionally, in keeping with the informal nature of our classrooms, food and alcohol are consumed at Lighthouse. If you have food allergies or concerns about alcohol being present in class, please let us know at [email protected]. We will treat all disclosures with confidence, but want to do what we can to assure that all members can comfortably participate.

Additional resources on becoming a good literary (and everyday) citizen: