About the Get Lit! Festival

The Get Lit! Festival began in 1998 as a one-day marathon of literary readings sponsored by Eastern Washington University Press and EWU's Department of Creative Writing. Then The Spokesman-Review lovingly called it “the little literary festival that could,” and they were right. By 2004, the audience had swelled to 10,000 people from Spokane and the surrounding region. More recently, The Spokesman-Review referred to the festival as the literary equivalent to nationally recognized sporting events: Hoopfest and Bloomsday.

The Get Lit! Festival is a weeklong celebration that connects the community with local, new, and nationally-known writers. The Get Lit! Festival has become an integral part of the artistic and cultural landscape of the Inland Northwest and beyond. As Harold Augenbraum, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation said, “There are two national literary capitals, Spokane and New York.”

Now housed within Eastern Washington University’s College of Arts, Letters, and Education, the Get Lit! Festival continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Each year, we partner with local educational institutions such as Gonzaga University, Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, North Idaho College, and Whitworth University; and with the generous support of community organizations and businesses, bring over 40 authors to each festival.

Past festivals have featured authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Smiley, Richard Russo, Salman Rushdie, Rita Dove, and Sarah Vowell. We also spotlight regional talent from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana like Sherman Alexie, Dorianne Laux, Tim Egan, Sallie Tisdale, and Jess Walter. Over the past decade, the Get Lit! Festival has been praised consistently as “one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to” by authors and audiences alike.

Our weeklong celebration of reading and writing offers events for literature lovers of all ages, including:

  • readings and lectures
  • interviews
  • workshops
  • panel discussions
  • poetry slams for children, teens, and college students
  • writing contests
  • book signings
  • visits by festival authors to local K-12 schools and colleges

Our definition of storytelling also allows us to include:

  • events that center on graphic novels, playwriting, screenwriting, songwriting, blogging, and spoken-word poetry
  • events combined with radio, music, film, and theater performances
  • community readings and storytelling events by writers of all ages

The Get Lit! Festival seeks above all to foster a love of reading and writing, and to celebrate the world of literature among all people in our community. We hope that each year more will join with us to embrace the power and magic of words.


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It takes a community that cares about art and literature to make Get Lit! a success. Thank you to all our sponsors and supporters!