Lit Fest 2021

    Lit Fest Turns Sixteen

    An annual celebration of all things literary, Lit Fest started in restaurants and bars around Denver, and then moved 10 years ago to our historic house on Race Street, where it filled all the rooms and spilled outside to our trademark red-and-white tent. Last June, when the pandemic was underway, the festival went entirely virtual, spreading out to writing rooms and viewing screens across the globe. 

    We're still virtual this year, but it doesn’t get much sweeter than this year’s program: 16 visiting authors, including Hanif Abdurraqib, Bryan Washington, Steve Almond, Sarah Ruhl, Emily Rapp Black, Jaquira Díaz, Carolyn Forché, Sheila Heti, Leslie Jamison, Mat Johnson, Layli Long Soldier, Helen DeWitt, T Kira Madden, Rebecca Makkai, Gregory Pardlo, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi; choose workshops, seminars, and events á la carte or sign up for one of our festival passes for the full experience. Check out our genre guides here. Tickets and passes are on sale now. Scroll to the bottom for more information.

    And for all of your book-buying needs, we've partnered with Denver's own BookBar. When you use the code litfest at checkout, a portion of the proceeds come back to Lighthouse, so we can continue bringing great programming to all of our communities.

    And a special thanks to Aevitas Creative Management for their Full Access Business Pass Sponsorship for a writer of color. 

    Have questions? Visit our FAQ or email us at [email protected] or call us at 303.297.1185.

    Lit Fest 2021 Supporters

    Free Events

    Inclusivity at Lighthouse

    Business Panels

    Cheat Sheet

    Looking for classes with spaces left? Look no further!

    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 worldbuilding convincingly, creating compelling characters, or perfecting your story's dialogue, we’ve got a class for you.

    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.

    Agent and Editor Consultations

    Need publishing advice? Our Full-Access Business Pass (which is included in the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Penny Passes) gets you a one-on-one consultation with Lit Fest's visiting literary agents and editors. Visiting agents and editors for Lit Fest 2021 include Malaga Baldi (Baldi Agency), Jamie Carr (The Book Group), Sarah Fuentes (Fletcher & Co.), Serene Hakim (Pande Literary), Paloma Hernando (Einstein Literary), Danya Kukafka (Aevitas), John Maas (Park & Fine), Sue Park (Barbara J. Zitwer Agency), Chris Parris-Lamb (The Gernert Co.), Tanusri Prasanna (DeFiore & Co.), Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), Julie Buntin (Catapult Books), Matt Martz (Crooked Lane Books), and Angeline Rodriguez (Hachette Book Group).

    Business Panels

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

    Evening Events

    Stick around after class for our evening events, which include nightly readings from Lit Fest faculty, participants, and visiting authors, as well as several dynamic events with music, conversations, and more. 


    Our Lit Fest Fellowships for Emerging Writers help defray the costs of a weeklong or weekend Master Workshop for writers with financial need. Applications closed on March 13.

    Virtual Spelling Bee

    The Spelling Bee Company will host this night of fun, games, and wordplay. Up to ten spellers and their teammates compete for eternal glory and more tangible prizes, all while supporting Lighthouse. Teams are limited, so don’t procrastinate.

    Advanced Workshops

    Lit Fest 2021 features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in novel, poetry, short story, memoir, narrative nonfiction, hybrid genres, and dramatic writing. Visiting authors for 2020 include: Hanif Abdurraqib, Steve Almond, Emily Rapp Black, Helen DeWitt, Jaquira Díaz, Carolyn Forché, Sheila Heti, Leslie Jamison, Mat Johnson, Layli Long Soldier, T Kira Madden, Rebecca Makkai, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Gregory Pardlo, Sarah Ruhl, and Bryan Washington. Participation is by application only. The priority deadline was March 13, 2021 and all of the spots were offered to selected writers. Waitlisters can apply on our Submittable page and will be tapped if/when openings occur. 

    Festival Passes

    Gold Pass

    $1,300.00 / $1,400.00

    Silver Pass

    $1,200.00 / $1,300.00

    Weekend Gold Pass

    $1,010.00 / $1,110.00

    Bronze Pass

    $710.00 / $810.00

    Penny Pass

    $440.00 / $540.00

    Craft Seminar Five-Pack

    $285.00 / $345.00

    Business Passes

    Full-Access Business Pass

    $235.00 / $355.00

    Business Panel Five Pack

    $90.00 / $140.00

    It honestly lit a fire under my ass on many levels, and it gave me the energy I needed to push through my writing goals for the year.
    Lit Fest 2020 Participant