Lighthouse Writers Workshop is a literary nonprofit center in Denver since 1997.

Young writers in grades 3-12 who've taken a Lighthouse workshop (either in-house, online, or off-site) 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 2019 and August 2019. 


Learn more about the Young Writers Program

Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in novel, poetry, short story, memoir, narrative nonfiction, hybrid genres, and young adult. Participation is by application only. Prose classes are limited to 10 students each; poetry workshops are limited to 12. Weeklong workshops meet five times, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM, and include a one-on-one meeting with the instructor. (Note: Mary Ruefle will meet with two participants over lunch each day instead of one-on-one short meetings.) Weekend workshops meet twice, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, each day. 

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

  • Steve Almond or Christopher Castellani (June 8-9)
  • Rachel Cusk or Sheila Heti (June 10-14)
  • Erika L. Sánchez or Curtis Sittenfeld (June 15-16)
  • Julie Buntin, Alexander Chee, or Gabe Habash (June 17-21)
  • Others like Amitava Kumar will be teaching primarily nonfiction  genres, but you can apply to work with them as well.

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 should also use this form. 

Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information

The priority deadline for applications is March 15. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years).

Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in novel, poetry, short story, memoir, narrative nonfiction, hybrid genres, and young adult. Participation is by application only. Prose classes are limited to 10 students each; poetry workshops are limited to 12. Weeklong workshops meet five times, Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 11:45 AM, and include a one-on-one meeting with the instructor. (Note: Mary Ruefle will meet with two participants over lunch each day instead of one-on-one short meetings.) Weekend workshops meet twice, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, each day. 

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

  • Steve Almond (June 8-9)
  • Melissa Febos or Helen Macdonald (June 10-14)
  • Sloane Crosley (June 15-16)
  • Alexander Chee, Amitava Kumar, or Mary Ruefle (June 17-21)
  • Fiction workshops taught by Sheila Heti or Rachel Cusk could be alternate choices.

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 should also use this form. Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information

The priority deadline for applications is March 15. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years).


Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in novel, poetry, short story, memoir, narrative nonfiction, hybrid genres, and young adult. Participation is by application only. Prose classes are limited to 10 students each; poetry workshops are limited to 12. Weeklong workshops meet five times, Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 11:45 AM, and include a one-on-one meeting with the instructor. (Note: Mary Ruefle will meet with two participants over lunch each day instead of one-on-one short meetings.) Weekend workshops meet twice, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, each day.

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

  • Ross Gay
  • Mary Ruefle

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 should also use this form. Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information

The priority deadline for applications is March 15. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years).

The Lighthouse Young Writers Camp is led by published and award-winning writers, and each workshop is designed to foster creativity, self-expression, and excitement about writing. Our camp is held at Lighthouse, 1515 Race Street, Denver CO, 80206.

During each camp, young writers will work with four published instructors in a variety of genres and will leave camp with at least one completed piece of work and enthusiasm about pieces-to-come! 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 participant also receives a professionally published anthology featuring the best work each young writer completed during camp. Our hope is that each participant will leave the camp with a new awareness of the writing craft and increased confidence in their writing and in themselves—not to mention a lot of new writer friends!

ADMISSIONS POLICY

Lighthouse staff and faculty review each application, looking particularly at a student's expressed interest in writing and writing sample. Beginnng in January, 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 $375. 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. Funding support is provided by Grace US Foundation and individual patrons. 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.

The Lighthouse Beacon Award was created and initially funded by Lighthouse students to honor a Lighthouse faculty member whose teaching evidences a profound and lasting commitment to student writers and to the craft of writing. It's funded entirely by donations, and you're welcome to make a donation, if you so choose. Whether you make a donation or not does not affect this nomination. All nominations are kept confidential.
Past recipients include:

2018-TBD
2017: Rachel Weaver
2016: Victoria Hanley
2015: Benjamin Whitmer
2014: Erika Krouse
2013: Chris Ransick
2012: David Rothman
2011: Shari Caudron
2010: Paula Younger
2009: Alexandre Philippe
2008: William Haywood Henderson


Past winners of the award are eligible after a one year grace period. The Beacon Award Committee meets annually to consider these nominations and gives priority to an instructor’s dedication to student writers and the craft of writing. The Beacon Award guidelines allow the committee to consider, among others, the number of classes taught for Lighthouse; the quality and depth of the Instructor’s own writing; and the Instructor’s commitment to Lighthouse Writers. In keeping with Lighthouse’s values, culture, and tradition of creative excellence, the balance of this form may consist of poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, or any other variant of the written word.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop