The April 21-24 festival will feature 60 authors and more than 40 programs
This year’s Get Lit! Festival, now in its 24th year, will host in-person events for the first time in two years. This premier literary festival features 60 authors and more than 40 programs running from April 21- 24.
Thousands of people from around the Northwest attend each year and being back to in-person will be welcome for many who participated via Zoom. “It’s a big year for us,” says Kate Peterson, director of Get Lit! Programs, and EWU alumna.
Get Lit!’s mission is to celebrate literature and empower creativity. “There’s going to be a lot of great events that celebrate our local community as well as authors coming in from all around the country,” she says.
This year’s Get Lit! festival offers a diverse line-up of highly sought-after authors such as Chen Chen, Tobias Wray, Rajiv Mohabir, Brandon Hobson and Lesley Nneka Arimah.
Get Lit! gives students and community members alike a chance to meet their role models and learn from them. Peterson, who graduated with her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from EWU in 2014, says her personal favorite ‘Get Lit!’ moment happened when she met Anne Lamott: “She was the reason I wanted to become a writer.”
The headlining events are an Evening of Queer Poetry with Chen Chen, Tobias Wray, and Rajiv Mohabir at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22, at The Museum of Arts and Culture and An Evening with Brandon Hobson and Lesley Nneka Arimah at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, at The Bing Crosby Theater. “A great part of this experience is pairing authors up who wouldn’t normally work together,” she says. Tickets to these events and all others are available on the Get Lit! Festival website.
There is a weekend pass for $15 as well, but that pass does not include the headlining events or craft classes. Get Lit! aims to make their events accessible to as many members of the community as possible by offering virtual events and keeping costs as low as feasible.
Every event held on Thursday, and every virtual event, is free. The online schedule lists the prices and options for all of the events.
Another great event to note is the book fair taking place on the first floor of the Montvale Event Center, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday, the 23 and 24. There will be around 20 different vendors including book sellers, literary magazines and non-profit organizations. Feast World Kitchen will be serving lunch.
There will be more traditional events for readers, poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, but, also, “we try to go outside the norm to put on unique events we’ve never done before,” says Peterson.
For example, there will be a live Dungeons and Dragons’ event where booksellers and writers from Auntie’s will be participating as players. There will be a “Dungeon Master” traveling from Seattle to lead the event. Get Crit! Dungeons and Dragons Live will be from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sunday, April 24, at the Montvale Event Center inside Ella’s Theater & Lounge.
“This draws a new audience,” Peterson says. “Writing for video games and writing for tabletop role-playing games is a genre of its own, so we’re excited to get into that and learn what it takes to be a writer in those fields and those areas.”