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 PRIORITY DEADLINE HAS NOW PASSED, but due to the COVID-19 uncertainty and complications, applications will still be considered in this category on a rolling basis through April 10. All Lit Fest activities and workshops have moved to virtual format using Zoom and other dynamic technologies. 

Lit Fest features weeklong and weekend advanced workshops in all genres, including dramatic writing. Participation is by application only, and dramatic writing classes are limited to 10 students each. 

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

You may also indicate on this application whether you would like to be considered for veterans or emerging writer fellowships. 

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 dramatic writing had to meet the priority deadline, which was March 14 at midnight. There is still time to apply for the Veteran Writing Fellowship.

Please see our website for the workshop descriptions and tuition information

Lighthouse Writers Workshop is excited to announce the 2nd Annual Writing In Color Retreat!   
The mission of Lighthouse Writers Workshop 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.
To this end, we support the creation of new creative works from writers of color whose narratives have been largely underrepresented in literature, connecting the artists and their voices to larger audiences and movements to advance equity.  We will build and foster a network of socially engaged writers of color, celebrating the diversity and power of voice to create a more complete picture of American literature.
We will welcome up to 24 writers of color, established or emerging, who have a project they want to develop with support and guidance from our faculty. Tuition (including room and board) ranges from $600-700, depending on the type of lodging chosen.  We do have a limited number of scholarships available, please indicate on your application if you would like to apply for a scholarship.  Sunshine Mountain Lodge, our retreat site, borders Rocky Mountain National Park and the Long’s Peak trailhead and the Indian Peaks Wilderness, offering unlimited trail exploration.  Located approximately halfway between Lyons and Estes Park, Colorado, this is a peaceful and beautiful retreat space. The property includes a hot tub and deer and moose are among regular wildlife sightings in a beautiful and Colorado setting. The food at the lodge is homemade and delicious, and the cabins each have their own kitchenettes. There are no single rooms available for our lodging rate, but for participants who seek a more private experience, Estes Park and Lyons are both less than 20 miles away.  Most participants will share a room with one or two other writers in cabins, though rooming at the lodge and sharing with three to five other writers is the most affordable lodging experience.  

DEADLINE TO APPLY:  April 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm MST
DATES: Arrive August 3, 2020, depart August 6, 2020.
NOTIFICATION: Applicants will be notified of submission status by May 31, 2020.

Carleen Brice's debut novel, Orange Mint and Honey, is the basis for the NAACP Image Award-winning Lifetime TV movie "Sins of the Mother" starring Jill Scott and Nicole Beharie. Orange Mint and Honey was also an Essence "Recommended Read" and a Target "Bookmarked Breakout Book." For this book, she won the 2009 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the 2008 Break Out Author Award at the African American Literary Awards Show. 

Booklist Online called her second novel, Children of the Waters (One World/Ballantine), a book about race, love and family, "a compelling read, difficult to put down." Essence said of it, "Brice has a new hit."

Carleen is also the author of two nonfiction books, Lead Me Home: An African American’s Guide Through the Grief Journey, and Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color, which sold 100,000 copies. She edited and contributed to Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife. She has written for The Washington Post, The Denver Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets and Writers, and Mademoiselle. She currently is marketing content manager at the Denver Art Museum.

Khadijah Queen, PhD, is the author of five books, most recently I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books 2017), praised in O MagazineThe New Yorker, Rain TaxiLos Angeles Review, and elsewhere as “quietly devastating,” and “a portrait of defiance that turns the male gaze inside out.“

Her 2019 op-ed on poetry and disability, co-edited with Jillian Weise,  appeared in The New York Times. She is an Assistant Professor of creative writing at University of Colorado, Boulder, and serves as core faculty for the Mile-High MFA in creative writing at Regis University. Her sixth book, ANODYNE, is forthcoming from Tin House in August 2020.

Serena Chopra has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver and an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of two full-length books of poems, This Human (Coconut 2013) and Ic (Horse Less Press 2017), as well as two chapbooks, Penumbra (Flying Guillotine Press 2012) and Livid Season (Free Poetry 2012). She was recently featured in Harper's Bazaar, India and is currently completing a hybrid poetic memoir on queerness, trauma and immigration. She is a 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar, for which she is composing a text informed by her research with queer women in Bangalore, India. She is a multidisciplinary artist, working as a professional modern dancer, writer, visual and performance artist, filmmaker, and soundscape designer. She is an eight-year company member with Evolving Doors Dance, as well as a 2011-2013 resident artist at the RedLine Gallery in Denver. She is a co-founder and actor in the poet’s theater group, GASP and recently worked with Splintered Light Theater on a full-length production of her most recent book, Ic, for which she composed the soundscape. Her films, Mother Ghosting and There Is Nothing Good About the Tyranny of Beauty will premiere October 2018 at Denver’s Georgia Art Space and CU Boulder’s ATLAS  Theater, respectively. Additionally, in collaboration with videographer and photographer, Kasey Ferlic, Serena has been awarded ArtHyve’s 2018 Art As Muse Orphan Film Grant. Their film, Dogana, features the narratives of queer Indian and Indian-American women and transmen, and will premiere at the Denver Film Festival in November 2018. Serena currently teaches in the BA and MFA program at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Manuel Aragon is a writer, director, and photographer based out of Denver, CO. A graduate of NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at Tisch School Of The Arts, his music video work has been featured on MTV, MTV2, NME, Pitchfork, and Stereogum. He is currently working on Norteñas, a collection of short stories centered in the Northside, a Mexican and Mexican-American centered part of Denver, and the people, ghosts, and demons that live there.
He most recently won the CineLatino Pitch Latino Award for Emerging Filmmakers with the web series, Welcome to the Northside, a comedic take on gentrification and Latino displacement in North Denver.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING FELLOWS: 24 — six per workshop group
● Orientation
● Faculty & Guest Instructor-led Workshops
● Participant Readings
● Faculty &  Guest Instructor Readings/Craft Talks
● Publishing & Career Panels
● All-participant Community Conversations
 ● Independent recreation time with access to a scenic environment
● Writers identifying as people of color.
● Applicants 21 years of age or older.
Electronic notification of admission results will be sent by May 31, 2020.

APPLICATION GUIDELINES: Please read these guidelines carefully. Submissions that do not meet the requirements below will not be considered.
Your submission should comprise a cover letter including your name, the name of the genre you are applying for, and your contact information. Your cover letter is the only place where your name should appear. Paginate your document, and use legible, 11-to-12-point font and standard margins. Upload your writing sample as a single .pdf, .doc, or .docx document.
Format as follows:
Poetry: Six-eight pages of poems. Only one poem per page is permitted, though you may submit multiple-paged poems. Insert hard page breaks between every page.
Prose: sample of one piece or combination of pieces to equal no more than 4000 words in genre
Dramatic Writing: a sample of an original play/screenplay equal to no more than 20 double-spaced pages.  The first page of the attached document should have the title of the play.
Your application is not considered complete until you upload the manuscript and pay the $25 application fee. Recommendation letters are not required.
To complete your application, you will be directed to Submittable, where you will submit your writing sample, cover letter, and pay the application fee of $25. Applications submitted without the fee will not be considered.
Cover letters should be typed into the corresponding box on Submittable. Include your full name, address, email address and telephone number. Write a maximum of 500 words explaining why you wish to attend the retreat and what you expect to accomplish.
One application per candidate. You are urged not to wait until the last day to apply in case you have technical difficulties submitting your application.
Please note that we will not be able to respond to inquiries regarding applications that are not accepted, nor will we be able to provide feedback on those entries.
Accepted applicants: A non-refundable deposit of $100 will be due by June 15, 2020 in order to secure your place. The remainder of your fee, payable in as many as 4 installments, will be due by July 31, 2020.  A limited number of scholarships are available, please indicate on your application if you are requesting financial aid.  
Refund Policy:  If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, the following applies:
$100 deposit due June 15 is non-refundable.  $200 cancellation fee after June 30.
No refunds will be available for any cancellations for any reason after July 4.
Email our Community Engagement Manager, Manuel Aragon, at

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!

Lighthouse staff and faculty review each application, looking particularly at a student's expressed interest in writing and writing sample. Beginning in January 2020, 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.

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.

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

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.

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: John Cotter
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.

Young writers in grades 3-12 who've taken a Lighthouse workshop (either in-house, online, or off-site) from September 2019 through August 2020 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 2020.

Learn more about the Young Writers Program

Lighthouse Writers Workshop