Lighthouse Writers Workshop is a literary nonprofit center in Denver since 1997. 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. We strive to ensure that literature maintains its proper prominence in the culture, and that individuals achieve their fullest potential as artists and human beings.

The Lighthouse Summer Writing Intensive is led by published and award-winning writers, and each workshop is designed to foster creativity, self-expression, and excitement about writing. During camp week, young writers will work at length with a number of published instructors in a variety of genres and will leave camp with new knowledge about the craft of writing, at least one completed piece of work, and enthusiasm about pieces-to-come. Campers will be invited, but not required, to share a piece of writing in a public reading at the end of the week. Writers of all experience are welcome to apply; we look for campers who are excited to write and spend a week as part of a writing community.  

This IN-PERSON camp is held at Lighthouse Writers Workshop at 3844 York Street, Denver, CO 80205. This is a NOT an overnight camp. Camp dates for 2024 are July 15-19 for middle school ages and July 22-26 for high school ages. Camp hours are 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Our full day camps include a lunch hour for eating (please bring your lunch), free-writing, hanging out with new friends, and lawn-cartwheeling. The camp culminates each year in a public reading, where students have the opportunity to showcase their work.

Each camper will have the opportunity to submit their writing to the annual youth anthology, And We Created Worlds, to be published. Each student that submits to the anthology will receive a copy of the professionally published anthology in December of 2024. 


ADMISSIONS POLICY

Lighthouse staff and faculty review each application, looking particularly at a student's expressed interest in writing and writing sample. Beginning in January 2024, we will review and accept applications on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status within two weeks of submitting their application. If a camp fills, we will create a waitlist. If any student declines or cancels their acceptance, we will contact the next student on the waitlist.  If a camp is full, we will post that information on our website. Currently, space is available in all camps.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

We strive to fill our camp with students who show a passion for writing, a creative spark, a desire to explore new topics, and openness to discovering new things. Group dynamics are especially important in a camp as small as ours, so we expect that all applicants will be respectful of instructors and their peers, and motivated to write. We also welcome a diverse range of interests in our students—some are experienced writers with hundreds of pages under their belts, while others excel at sports, music, math, or science, but want to gain more experience in writing. We do not discriminate based on the need for financial aid.

PAYMENT POLICY

The cost of the camp is $575.00. This cost includes a copy of a professionally published book after the camp weeks are completed for campers who submit work to be published. Payment is required to secure a spot once you have received an acceptance. After you’ve received an acceptance letter, please register online, call with payment, or send us a check. For cancellations and refunds, see our cancellation policy.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Lighthouse believes that all young people should have an opportunity to explore the world through creative writing. Therefore, we offer a sliding scale to families who need financial aid. To request financial assistance, please fill out the appropriate sections of the application form. We will contact you about financial aid at the time of your acceptance to our camp.

Young writers in grades 3-12  who've taken a Lighthouse workshop (either in-house, online, or off-site) from September 2023 through August 2024 are welcome to submit up to three typed, double-spaced pages of creative writing for our annual anthology, And We Created Worlds.
Work must have been written or started in a Lighthouse workshop between September 2023 and August 2024.
Please note that we will not accept submissions that discriminate against others, contain gratuitous violence, or plagiarize existing pieces. We also ask that writers include content warnings on their pieces, which can be indicated in our submission portal.
Learn more about the Young Writers Program

The mission of Lighthouse Writers Workshop is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education, support, and community for writers and readers of all ages in the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond. We strive to ensure that literature maintains its proper prominence in the culture, and that individuals achieve their fullest potential as artists and human beings. Launched in 2016, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop community engagement programs took on a new level of commitment to Colorado writers, readers, and individuals curious about creative writing. We began offering workshops geared toward people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in partnership with Denver Public Library and the Denver VOICE. 

Any participants who have taken Lighthouse classes in any of our adult community engagement programming (either in-house, online, or off-site) from September 2023 through August 2024 are welcome to submit one piece of creative writing that is up to five pages double-spaced for the fifth installment of our annual anthology, All the Lives We Ever Lived!

Community engagement programming at Lighthouse is ever-evolving with each new partnership and workshop. If you took a Lighthouse class in any of the following programming, please continue on to submit a piece for publication! If you're unsure about eligibility, do drop us a line at info@lighthousewriters.org and we'll be happy to assist you.

  • Hard Times
  • Writing in Color Meetup
  • Writing in Color Fest
  • Queer Creatives Meetup
  • Queer Creatives Fest
  • Writing with Cancer
  • C.O.R.A.L
  • Rocky Mountain Regional VA Workshops
  • Self Care Through Art at the Belmar Library
  • Vicarious Trauma Workshops
  • Clayton Community Days
  • Anythink Library (Huron and/or Bennett) Poetry Workshops


Work must have been written or started in a Lighthouse workshop between September 2023 and August 2024. Please note that we will not accept submissions that discriminate against others, contain gratuitous violence, or plagiarize existing pieces. We also ask that writers include content warnings on their pieces, which can be indicated in our submission portal. Please note, we will only be accepting one submission per person this year. 

Once you've submitted your piece, you can expect to hear back from a Lighthouse staff member within two weeks to confirm receipt and next steps.

Learn more about Lighthouse's Community Programs!

$30.00

Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in novel, short story, and hybrid genres. Participation is by application only. Weeklong workshops meet five times, Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 11:30 AM MDT and include a one-on-one meeting with the instructor. The weekend workshop meets twice, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM MDT or 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM MDT each day. All workshops are scheduled to be held in person in Denver.


        Please use this form to apply for an advanced workshop in fiction with:

  • Steve Almond, Danielle Evans, Claire Messud, Jenny Offill, Maurice Carlos Ruffin (Monday–Friday, June 10–14)
  • Vanessa Hua, Alexandra Kleeman (Saturday–Sunday, June 8–9)

Please remove all identifying information from your 10-page writing sample. You'll need to complete a separate application if you're applying for multiple workshops (which is not the same as listing alternate workshops if you don't get your first choice). Applicants for the Lit Fest Fellowship for Emerging Writers in fiction and LARRK fellowship for writers with physical disabilities should also use this form. This year's judge for the emerging writer fellowship in fiction is novelist Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning, Monster in the Middle).

Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.
 

The priority deadline for applications is March 9. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years). No fellowship applications will be considered after March 9.

$30.00

Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in memoir, narrative nonfiction, hybrid genres, and essay. Participation is by application only, and courses are limited to 10 participants each. Weeklong workshops meet five times, Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 11:30 AM MDT, after which there's time for one-on-one meetings with the instructor. Weekend workshops meet twice, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM each day. All workshops are scheduled to be held in person in Denver.

Please use this form to apply for an advanced workshop in nonfiction, memoir, or essay with:

  • Emily Rapp Black, Amitava Kumar, T Kira Māhealani Madden, Beth Nguyen (Monday–Friday, June 10–14)
  • Meghan O'Rourke (Saturday–Sunday, June 8–9)


 Please remove all identifying information from your 10-page writing sample. You'll need to complete a separate application if you're applying for multiple workshops (which is not the same as listing alternate workshops if you don't get your first choice). Applicants for the Lit Fest Fellowship for Emerging Writers in Nonfiction and LARRK Fellowship for Writers with Physical Disabilities should also use this form. The emerging writer fellowship for nonfiction will be judged this year by Nadia Owusu (Aftershocks). Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.

The priority deadline for applications is March 9. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years). No fellowship applications will be accepted after March 9.

Applications for Young Authors Collective are open for 2023-2024 school year from November 15 - January 12.
  The Young Authors Collective (YAC) is a group of high school writers who meet to engage in a literary community and write. YAC Denver meets weekly from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. YAC Online meets weekly from 5:00 to 7:00 PM MDT. 

YAC Denver meets weekly on Wednesdays in-person at Lighthouse Writers Workshop at 3844 York Street. The first meeting for Spring 2024 is January 17, 2024.
  Dates:

  • January 17, 24, 31
  • February 7, 14, 21, 28
  • March 6, 13, 20, 27
  • April 3, 10, 17, 24
  • May 1, 8, 15

YAC Online meets weekly on Thursdays via Zoom. The first meeting for Spring 2024 is January 18, 2024.  Dates:

  • January 18, 25
  • February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • March 7, 14, 21, 28
  • April 4, 11, 18, 25
  • May 2, 9, 16


YAC members must attend all meetings and respond to emails and/or text messages from the instructor and Lighthouse staff in a timely manner.
 

YAC is an ideal place to create long-lasting connections and develop as a writer. We’ll look to marginalized and traditionally underrepresented writers for examples and prompts as well as to expand our notion of the literary canon. Members of YAC build their skills across forms, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and hybrid/experimental; by workshopping (giving and receiving feedback) on their pieces; and engaging in craft lessons. They are also expected to meet deadlines, contribute to the group blog, and set writing goals. YAC members may also participate in Lighthouse community-based projects, which can include collaborating with established adult writers, joining the editorial board for the And We  Created Worlds and community anthologies, gaining non-profit management experience, and teaching young writers at the Free Creative Writing Lab through the Young Writers Program.
  Instructor: Jesaka Long
 

Tuition is $520 per semester; full and partial financial aid is available. (Apply to YAC first, and after you are accepted, you can request financial aid.) YAC members make a year-long commitment to the program, but can pay by semester!
Please take your time with this application. Answer the questions as fully and thoughtfully as possible.

$30.00

Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in poetry. Participation is by application only, and each class is limited to 12 poets (14 for a generative workshop). Weeklong workshops meet five times, Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 11:30 AM MDT,  and include a one-on-one meeting with the instructor. Weekend workshops meet twice, Saturday and Sunday, from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM MDT. All workshops are scheduled to be held in person in Denver.

    Please use this form to apply for an advanced workshop in poetry with:

  • Mark Doty or Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Monday–Friday, June 10–14)
  • Jane Hirshfield (Saturday–Sunday, June 8–9)

Please remove all identifying information from your 3-to-5-poem writing sample. You'll need to complete a separate application if you're applying for multiple workshops (which is not the same as listing alternate workshops if you don't get your first choice). Applicants for the Lit Fest Fellowship for Emerging Writers in Poetry and LARRK Fellowship for Writers with Physical Disabilities should also use this form. This year's fellowship judge for emerging writers in poetry is Forrest Gander (Be With, Twice Alive, Knot). Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.

The priority deadline for applications is March 9. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years). No fellowship applications will be accepted after March 9.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop