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Writers, readers and lovers of lit gather at Lighthouse Writers Workshop LitFest.EXPAND
Writers, readers and lovers of lit gather at Lighthouse Writers Workshop LitFest.

Book It: Eighteen Illuminating Nighttime Events at LitFest 2019

The fourteenth edition of LitFest, a two-week extravaganza of words, writing and other literary pursuits, opens today at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race Street. The fest draws poets, novelists, short-fiction writers, memoirists, playwrights and purveyors of nonfiction both creative and commercial from around the country, who'll lead and participate in seminars, salons, consultations and more.

There's so much to do, you'd have to clear your calendar to catch just a fraction of it. But if you can free up a few evenings, you'll be able to enjoy illuminating events. Some are free, some cost a little, but all are worth your time. As the folks at Lighthouse rightly suggest, "LitFest 2019 contains multitudes."

The list below includes eighteen of the best nighttime events; for a complete rundown of the classes, workshops, panels and general event goodness, consult the LitFest online catalogue.

LitFest Kickoff Party
Friday, June 7, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest passholders

Here’s where it all begins, as described in this week’s Book It literary calendar.

Salon/Reading: Is It Really All About You?
Saturday, June 8, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

Is all writing autobiographical, as Virginia Woolf famously claimed? Or do some writers avoid writing about themselves altogether? Guests Steve Almond, Christopher Castellani and Diana Khoi Nguyen read from their work, then discuss the question and offer their own answers.

Salon: Writing/Thinking/Flowing/Weeping
Monday, June 10, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/Free to LitFest pass holders

Dan Beachy-Quick, Rachel Cusk, Melissa Febos and Sheila Heti — noted literary deep thinkers all — tackle the issues of intellect vs. emotion and conceptual vs. intuitive, and what to do when those questions bring about artistic breakdown.

The Lighthouse Reading Show
Monday, June 10, 8:15 p.m.
Free

Celebrate the diverse talent in the Lighthouse community at a reading that features the LitFest 2019 Emerging Writers Fellows as well as writers from Lighthouse youth and community engagement programs and faculty.

Storytelling Night With Raconteur Denver: Family
Tuesday, June 11, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest passholders

Family is the topic of this night of lively storytelling — with a flash-audience segment that gives attendees the chance to share their own quick family anecdotes. Join Lighthouse, Raconteur Denver and writers Mario Acevedo, Carleen Brice and Nadia Bolz-Weber for an evening of unforgettable tales.

LitFest at Night: Lighthouse Faculty and Members Reading
Tuesday, June 11, 8:15 p.m.
Free

Hear from recently published works by Cinelle Barnes, Lindsey Drager, Richard Froude, Erika Krouse, R.L. Maizes, Diana Khoi Nguyen, David J. Rothman and David Heska Wanbli Weiden.

LitFest at Night: Visiting Authors Reading
Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m.
Free

Always a highlight of the two-week festival, this first visiting authors' reading features Rachel Cusk, Melissa Febos, Ross Gay, Sheila Heti, Helen Macdonald and Donald Margulies.

Salon: The Not-So-Secret Garden
Thursday, June 13, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

The natural world has always been a focus of the writers of the world. Ross Gay, Alexander Lumans, Helen Macdonald and Sasha Steensen talk about the relationship of the wilderness and literature…and the effect that apocalyptic climate change can have on writing.

LitFest at Night: Open Mic Reading
Friday, June 14, 5:30 p.m.
Free

Join LitFest 2019 participants as they share brief literary contributions of their own creation. You might just catch a rising star.

Movie Night: The End of the Tour Screening & The Art of Adaptation
Friday, June 14, 7 p.m..
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

See the acclaimed film The End of the Tour, Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter Donald Margulies’s adaptation of David Lipsky’s best-selling memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace. Afterward, Margulies is joined by independent filmmaker Dianne Bell for a discussion of the challenges and opportunities of adapting stories and novels to screens both big and small.

Salon/Reading: Edge of Laughter
Saturday, June 15, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

Writers Sommer Browning, Sloane Crosley, Erika L. Sánchez and Curtis Sittenfeld come together to read briefly from their own work, then discuss the contours of humor in writing — both the light and the dark, and how they all come to laughter.

The Lighthouse Reading Show
Monday, June 17, 8:15 p.m.
Free

Help celebrate the diverse talent in the Lighthouse community, including the LitFest 2019 Emerging Writers Fellows as well as writers from Lighthouse youth and community engagement programs and faculty.

Salon: Dumpster Fyre – Money in Literature
Monday, June 17, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

It’s the question you know you’re going to get from your incredulous friends and your well-meaning family: Can you make any money with writing? Julie Buntin, John Cotter, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman and Erika T. Wurth talk about the range of payment, from next to nothing all the way up to six-figure advances, and how money works (and doesn’t) in the business of literature.

Salon: To Tweet or Not to Tweet
Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

If only our current president could attend this salon, we might all feel a little better. Or at least have fewer spelling errors in the world. Join Elisa Gabbert, Gabe Habash, Diana Khoi Nguyen and Mary Ruefle in dissecting our contemporary world of distractions, news, factoids and memes, and how constant connectivity becomes an obstacle to the creative process. Does a writer need to engage with or shut out the world? Let the debate begin.

LitFest at Night: Lighthouse Faculty and Members Reading
Tuesday, June 18, 8:15 p.m.
Free

Hear from recently published works by authors Elissa Bassist, Andrea Bobotis, Elisa Gabbert, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Wendy J. Fox, Jennifer Wortman and (full disclosure) yours truly, Teague von Bohlen.

LitFest at Night: Visiting Authors Reading
Wednesday, June 19, 7 p.m.
Free

The second of the two highlight nights of readings by visiting authors includes Julie Buntin, Alexander Chee, Gabe Habash, Amitava Kumar and Mary Ruefle.

Storytelling Night with The Narrators Denver: My Misspent Youth
Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t feel they misspent their youth in some way? The Narrators and Elissa Bassist, Alexander Chee, Amitava Kumar and Amanda Rea will spill their cringe-worthy tales of nerdy, embarrassing, overly-sensitive teens who had no choice but to grow up to become writers who talk about that very thing. Bring your own terrible and terrific stories to share, too.

LitFest Closing Party
Friday, June 21, 6:30 p.m.
$20 members/$30 non-members/free to LitFest pass holders

LitFest 2019 is dead — long live LitFest! Come out to help celebrate-out the two-week literary bacchanal in style, with food and drink, performances and photo booths, dancing and…well, more drinking and general merriment. Say thank you and farewell to your fellow LitFesters — until next year.

LitFest 2019 runs from Friday, June 7, through Friday, June 21, at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race Street; find more information on the Lighthouse Writers website.

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