Lit Fest

    June 4–13, 2021

    Lit Fest is a ten-day celebration of writers and readers, an extravaganza of weeklong and weekend advanced workshops, craft seminars, readings, salons, business panels, agent meetings, and parties. 

    Choose workshops and events à la carte or sign up for one of our festival passes for the full experience. Click here to browse last year's Lit Fest catalog to get a sense of the programming. (Note: Lit Fest 2020 was virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic; we're hoping for a festival in 2021 that includes some in-person components, but only if we can do so safely.)

    Confirmed Visiting Authors for 2021 include playwright Sarah Ruhl; fiction writers Sheila Heti, Mat Johnson, Rebecca Makkai, Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, and Bryan Washington; nonfiction writers Steve Almond, Jaquira Díaz, Leslie Jamison, T Kira Madden, and Emily Rapp Black; and poets Carolyn Forché, Layli Long Soldier, and Gregory Pardlo. There are a few more authors who are in the process of being confirmed. 

    Past visiting authors have included Rachel Cusk, Hanif Abdurraqib, Sheila Heti, Curtis Sittenfeld, Sarah M. Broom, Melissa Febos, Ben Lerner, Garth Greenwell, Jane Hirshfield, Terrance Hayes, Lacy M. Johnson, Helen Macdonald, Peter Orner, Ariana Reines, Akhil Sharma, Cheryl Strayed, Min Jin Lee, Danez Smith, Amitava Kumar, Justin Torres, and Mary Ruefle. 

    Fellowship judges to date include Halley Feiffer (playwriting), Amitava Kumar (nonfiction), and Sheryl Luna (poetry).

    Visiting agents for Lit Fest will be announced in spring 2021. Past visiting agents have included Anna Stein (Curtis Brown), Marya Spence (Janklow & Nesbit), Amelia Atlas (ICM), Jenny Bent (The Bent Agency), Michelle Brower (Aevitas Creative), Alexa Stark (Trident Media Group), Kristin Nelson (Nelson Literary), Margaret Riley King (WME), Duvall Osteen (Aragi), Sally Wofford-Girand (Union), and Shana Kelly (Einstein). Lit Fest passholders have the option of meeting one-on-one with an agent during Lit Fest.

    Have questions? Visit our Lit Fest FAQs or give us a call at 303.297.1185.

    Advanced Workshops

    Lit Fest features advanced weeklong and weekend courses taught by visiting authors of the highest caliber. Participation is by application only, and classes are limited to 10 (prose) or 12 (poetry) students each. Applications are open from January 4 to March 13, 2021.

    Craft Seminars

    Lit Fest craft seminars give writers of all levels the chance to gain new insight into particular topics, techniques, or genres. Whether you’re interested in learning more about breaking into blogging, creating colorful characters, or perfecting that fight scene, we’ve got a class for you.

    Salons + Readings

    Stick around after class for our nighttime salons, which feature author panels on a variety of literary topics. Or stay to hear a free reading from Lit Fest participants and instructors, including our visiting authors.

    Agent Consultations

    Need publishing advice? Our Full-Access Business Pass gets you a one-on-one consultation with Lit Fest's visiting literary agents and editors.

    Weekend Intensives

    Want to learn more about a specific element of craft? Dive into the work of a certain writer? Lit Fest weekend intensives offer participants the chance to spend one or two weekends in focused study on a particular topic.

    Business Panels

    How do you submit to literary magazines? What’s the best way to find an agent? Our daily Brown-Bag Business Panels provide the advice you need to master the publishing side of writing. Bring a lunch and join us.


    Our Lit Fest Fellowships for Emerging Writers help defray the costs of a weeklong or weekend advanced workshop for writers with financial need. Applications will open January 4, 2021.


    We have passes available for every type of festival goer, from the Glitterati Pass for evening events to full-access passes to seminars and panels. Passes for Lit Fest will be available in April, 2021.

    I’ve learned that Lighthouse thrives on rigor and quality, but never on exclusivity. As is true of how I feel about many things I’ve come to love in Denver, I both do and don’t hope that the rest of the country discovers the power of what exists here.
    —Carrie Esposito