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 Young Authors Collective (YAC) — Rainbow Cohort for Teens ages 14-18 is a group of enthusiastic writers from around the globe who meet weekly via Zoom to write, build their storytelling skills, and connect with each other. This group is for those who identify as LGBTQIAP+ or as an ally. YAC — Rainbow meets each Tuesday from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Mountain Time via Zoom. Attendance each week is highly encouraged but is not required. The first meeting of fall semester is Tuesday, February 14, 2023. Dates:

  • Feb 14, 21, 28
  • Mar 7, 14, 21, 28
  • Apr 4, 11, 18, 25
  • May 2, 9, 16

YAC—Rainbow instructor: Jesaka Long. You can find more details about YAC here.

YAC is an ideal place to create long-lasting connections and develop as a writer. We’ll look to LGBTQIA+ 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 more.

Tuition is $520 per semester; full and partial financial aid is available.

Please take your time with this application. Answer the questions as fully and thoughtfully as possible.

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's new location at 3844 York Street, Denver, CO 80205. This is a NOT an overnight camp. Camp dates for 2023 are July 17-21 for middle school ages and July 24-28 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 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. Beginning in January 2023, 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 $520. 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 (ages 8-24) who've taken a Lighthouse workshop (either in-house, online, or off-site) from September 2022 through August 2023 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 2022 and August 2023. 

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.

Since then, the programs have been expanded to offer workshops with veterans, refugees, LGBTQIA+ writers, writers of color, older adults, cancer patients and their caregivers, and people transitioning out of incarceration. The poems, stories, and art created in these workshops are a powerful examination of what community is and how literature helps to create and nurture it. We hope you enjoy these poems, stories, and art created by amazing individuals, most of whom come together on a weekly basis to find camaraderie, community, and dignity through the act of creative writing

Any participants who have taken Lighthouse classes in any of our adult community engagement programming (either in-house, online, or off-site) from September 2022 through August 2023 are welcome to submit up to five typed, double-spaced pages of creative writing for the fourth 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
  • Queer Creatives
  • Writing with Cancer
  • Denver Art Museum Drop In Writing
  • Denver Botanic Gardens Drop In Writing
  • C.O.R.A.L
  • Six Directions
  • VA Virtual Workshops
  • Golden Public Library, Denver Public Library, JeffCo Library
  • History Colorado
  • Friday 500


Work must have been written or started in a Lighthouse workshop between September 2022 and August 2023. 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.

Once you've submitted your piece, you can expect to hear back from one of our program members 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 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, Sheila Heti, Katie Kitamura, Rebecca Makkai, Claire Messud, and Akhil Sharma (June 12–16)
  • Jonathan Escoffery (June 10–11)
  • 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. This year's judge is novelist Vanessa Hua (A River of Stars, Forbidden City).
  • Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.

The priority deadline for applications is March 11. 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 11.

$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:

  • Andre Dubus III, Amitava Kumar, Nadia Owusu, and Michelle Tea (June 12–16)
  • Grace M. Cho, Leslie Jamison (June 10–11)

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 should also use this form. The fellowship will be judged this year by Leslie Jamison (The Recovering, The Empathy Exams, Make it Scream, Make it Burn). Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.

The priority deadline for applications is March 11. 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 11.

$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:

  • Forrest Gander or Patricia Smith (June 12–16)
  • Carmen Giménez-Smith (June 10–11)

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 should also use this form. This year's fellowship judge is Victoria Chang (The Trees Witness Everything). Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.

The priority deadline for applications is March 11. 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 11.

$30.00

Lit Fest features a five-day pilot script workshop for advanced screenwriters with Dean Bakopoulos. If you're an experienced screenwriter hoping to work on your pilot with Mr. Bakopoulos during the week of June 12–16, please apply here.

This is also where you can apply for the Emerging Writers Fellowship, judged this year by WGA nominated screenwriter Mitali Jahagirdar.


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). All workshops are scheduled to be held in person in Denver.
Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information.


The priority deadline for applications is 11:59 PM (Mountain) on March 11. Applications after that date will be considered on a rolling basis, space permitting (all of the classes have filled in past years). Fellowship applications will not be accepted after March 11.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop