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'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!

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.

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 $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.

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 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!

The Young Writers Program Manager’s goal is to envision, plan, and oversee educational programming within the Lighthouse young writers program, including designing and planning classes, workshops, and events, hiring, managing, and developing relationships with instructors, assisting with community events and programs, and evaluation review. They are responsible for overseeing the progress of all workshops, as well as special events, which include summer camps, in-house and community engagement workshops, special events, and other opportunities as they arise with the overall goal of using creative writing as a tool to help young writers learn about themselves, their peers, and the world around them. 

This position reports to the Program Director and supervises the young writers faculty. 

Specific areas of responsibility include the following:

Curriculum Development

  • In partnership with instructors and site contacts (teachers, site managers), the YWP manager will create, develop, and manage all in-house and community-based workshops for youth, engaging young writers of all levels–from reluctant writers, to beginners and advanced writers–in a wide variety of styles, genres, and subject matter.

Marketing and Enrollment

  • Partnering with the Communications Manager, tell the story of the youth program’s impact on individual participants and their communities. This may include publications, quarterly reports/newsletters, narratives, presentations (at conferences, community events, board meetings, etc.), blogs, and videos.
  • Build relationships with existing and new schools, youth centers, and community partners by attending community events, scheduling meetings.

Instructor Management

  • Recruit, hire, on-board, and manage youth instructors for all youth programs. Negotiate stipends, manage contracts, and check references.
  • Work with Operations Manager to ensure accurate and up-to-date records are kept for instructor background checks, in line with state and federal requirements. 
  • Mentor and support instructors to help them identify and create meaningful opportunities for development. Host or coordinate regular training sessions for instructors that will build camaraderie amongst the instructors.
  • Observe workshops when necessary, evaluate instructor performance, and work with the Program team to supply comprehensive training as needed.

General Oversight and Organizational Support

  • Working with the entire program team, create annual plans for youth community engagement and school outreach as well as in-house young writers workshops. 
  • Analyze student/instructor feedback and evaluations; make necessary programmatic improvements as needed.
  • Occasionally support other offerings, such as adult programs, retreats, readings, events, and help support Poetry Out Loud programming.

Budgeting and Record-keeping

  • Manage the pay scale of all outreach instructors according to the Young Writers Program instructor handbook. Update facilitator handbook, as needed.
  • Work with the Development, Operations and Accounting personnel to create, manage, and oversee an annual budget for youth programs.
  • Negotiate program agreements and costs with off-site partners and collaborators.
  • Work with the operations and finance teams to ensure that site partners are invoiced correctly and in a timely manner and that instructors are paid in a timely manner.
  • Track, review and approve faculty invoices for relevant persons on a weekly basis.
  • Manage expense reporting for Youth Programs on the company card on a monthly basis.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility

  • Consistently work to build a more inclusive and equitable program and community, ensuring that all workshops and classes are welcoming and inclusive of all voices.
  • Support faculty and staff in efforts to make Lighthouse more inclusive by providing opportunities for dialogue, listening sessions, and regular check-ins for youth and marginalized communities. Ensure that Lighthouse is welcoming to all youth, especially those from underserved and marginalized communities.
  • Have the opportunity to serve on staff-led EDIA (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) committee.


Candidates should:

  • Be able  to develop a bold, captivating vision for the program.
  • Be an active reader with a breadth of knowledge around current literary culture and creative writing instruction.
  • Have several years’ experience supporting a large-scale nonprofit organization.
  • Have the ability to develop strong working relationships and engaging collaborations with partner organizations.
  • Knowledge and strong belief in equity, diversity, inclusion, and access (EDIA).
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Strong organization and analytical skills, consistent attention to detail.
  • Strong computer literacy, which includes use of Microsoft Suite, G-Suite, Slack, Asana, email, and more.
  • Ability to interact professionally with staff, board members, volunteers, and other related
  • partners.
  • At least three years of small-group teaching/facilitation experience or experience working closely with young people (coaching, tutoring, after-school care, etc).
  • Ability to manage and coach other instructors.
  • Possess the maturity and confidence to handle a wide variety of relationships in schools and youth centers—with parents, teachers, program managers, site directors, administrators, and young writers of all ages and abilities.
  • Be comfortable working with people in all levels of the organization as well as diverse external partners.
  • Have some knowledge of fundraising and how it affects nonprofit program operations.

The ideal candidate is a dedicated and sensitive teacher, an avid reader, and an excellent writer with outstanding proofreading and editing skills. The ideal candidate is a flexible, enthusiastic, goal-driven, and organized self-starter who enjoys creating positive and inspiring relationships with all members of the Lighthouse community and the community at large. It is expected that this person could lead a variety of workshops within the program for additional pay in accordance with Lighthouse’s faculty handbook. The ideal candidate will also be prepared to occasionally participate in weekend and night-time activities, such as student readings and community events.

Compensation and Benefits

  • 22 days of paid time off which can be used as sick, vacation, or personal time. 
  • 11 paid holidays
  • Fully paid medical, vision, and dental insurance for the individual and dependents. 
  • Simple IRA retirement account with up to a 3% match.
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Four free eight-week workshops, and four free one-day workshops (or equivalent); Lit Fest—one-weekend intensive, or three craft sessions.
  • Hybrid work schedule with 2.5 days required in office.
  • Salary range of $55,000-$60,000, commensurate with experience

Lighthouse Writers Workshop is a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, where all participants, employees, and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feel valued and respected. We value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are heard. To that end, we uphold a commitment to a diverse community by nurturing an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment.


This is where writers can indicate interest in openings or waitlists for advanced in-person 2023 Lit Fest Workshops. 

Our instructors for this year include: 

  • Nonfiction writers Grace Cho, Andre Dubus III*, Leslie Jamison*, Amitava Kumar, Nadia Owusu, and Michelle Tea
  • Fiction writers Steve Almond, Jonathan Escoffery, Sheila Heti*, Katie Kitamura*, Rachel Kushner, Rebecca Makkai*, Claire Messud*, and Akhil Sharma
  • Poets Forrest Gander, Carmen Giménez, and Patricia Smith*
  • Screenwriter Dean Bakopoulos*

As of 3/11, due to the number of priority deadline applicants who indicated preference for the following writers, it's less likely that spots will be available in courses with Andre Dubus III, Dean Bakopoulos, Leslie Jamison, Sheila Heti, Rebecca Makkai, Claire Messud, and Patricia Smith. Writers are free to ask to be added to their waitlists, however, in the event spots do open up. We recommend an openness to other workshop instructors.

Should spots open up, we'll accept qualified applicants on a rolling basis, first-come, first-served, beginning in mid-April.

The fellowship deadline was 3/11, so it's too late to apply for Emerging Writers fellowships. As always, our reading fees cover the time spent by our review teams.

To read more about the courses offered, course tuition, and Lit Fest in general, check out our website.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop