Get Lit! Festival Turns 25

April 13, 2023 By Melodie Little

The 2023 Get Lit! Festival, organized by EWU’s Creative Writing MFA program, will be held April 20-23. And this year’s event celebrates a big milestone as Get Lit! celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Get Lit! is Washington state’s longest-running annual literary festival and the university’s premier literary event. It has grown over the last decade and a half from a single day of readings to a week-long celebration of literature.

Each year’s festival brings a diverse lineup of celebrated national and regional authors to our community, while also highlighting our local literary talent. Writers at Get Lit! participate in full days of readings, writing workshops, craft classes, poetry slams, panel discussions, literary happy hours, and more — offered for free or at a low cost.

This year, Ada Limón, one of the nation’s most acclaimed poets — and the first poet of Mexican descent to be honored as the United States Poet Laureate — will be among the headlining authors.

She’ll be appearing alongside Toni Jensen, Jane Wong, CMarie Fuhrman, Gabrielle Bates, Laura Read, Jess Walter, Leyna Krow, Lisa Wells, Chelsea Martin, and Kate Lebo.

“I’m really excited that we’ll be able to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year with such fantastic writers,” says Kate Peterson, director of Get Lit! programs. “It’s still hard to believe that we’ll have the current U.S. Poet Laureate as one of our headliners! It feels like just yesterday we were welcoming Anne Lamott for our 20th anniversary —it’s really special that a festival like ours can reach a milestone like this, and that we can celebrate with such exciting authors,” she says.

Ada Limón’s master class sold out in just two days. “It really shows that people are as excited as we are for the opportunity to learn from Ada,” says Peterson. “Clearly, lots of folks know what a rare chance they have to sit down in an intimate setting with the U.S. Poet Laureate to learn how to start a poem. It’s going to be a really special experience!”

Among the other authors appearing will be Leah Sottile, Sindya Bhano, Farnaz Fatemi, Chelsea Martin, Ari Nordhagen, Vanessa A. Bee, Andrew C. Gottlieb, Gary Lilley, Lauren Korn, Justice Ramin Arman, Connie Wasem Scott, Molly Allen, Derek Sheffield, and many more.

Find the complete author list here.

The 2023 event will be largest festival EWU’s creative writing program has thrown yet with over 40 events and 80 authors participating. This is also the first year there is a code available that will allow students to attend any ticketed event for free: Interested students can reach out to getlit@ewu.edu or the CAHSS dean’s office for more details.

Ticket prices range from $5 at the door to $35 plus fees for the remaining classes. Ticketed events include four craft classes, the Book Fair & Events Pass, and tickets to Saturday evening’s headlining event. Visit the Get Lit! website for a full schedule of events, ticket information and other details. Spokane’s Auntie’s Bookstore, the official festival bookseller, will sell books at nearly every live event, including the two-day book fair. You can also purchase festival author books from Auntie’s online.

“I’m looking forward to the book fair and all of the events we’ll have going on over the weekend at the Montvale Event Center,” Peterson says. “It’s a great way to see how vibrant our writing community is, and how many great book organizations, small presses, literary magazines, and other non-profits we have here in our region.”