Lighting the Way for Young Writers


Imagine writing away in a room they still call the parlor, meeting in the grotto that occupies the basement, and eating lunch leaning your back against the stone lions or tucked away in an alcove with window seats and small stools, or even in the hallways where a dusty typewriter sits on a wooden desk.

The Lighthouse Writers Workshop at 1515 Race St. in Denver Colorado has the perfect setting, instructors, and prompts to help spark writers’ imaginations. It provides a place where all words are welcomed and random quick write prompts are the easiest icebreakers.

Created in 1997 by executive director Michael Henry and Andrea Dupree in Melrose Massachusetts, the Lighthouse serves as “a beacon” for writers.

Soon, it grew and grew to be the place it is today with space and workshops for every writer.

But the Lighthouse isn’t just a place to sit and write for a while. It’s a place where young writers come together to create and share and encourage each other in our changing world.

Kimberly O’Connor, the Lighthouse Young Writers Program Director joined the staff in 2014. She acknowledges the loneliness of writing and says that “Lighthouse also inspires me because we are always working to spread the joy and power of writing to more and more people, like when we send our teachers to work with homeless writers or young writers in juvenile treatment centers.”

So, there’s more to the Lighthouse than just a bunch of people who think they have what it takes to share their words with each other. It’s an effort, an inspiring community.

And it hopes to get bigger. “I hope Lighthouse continues to grow and serve more people,” says O’Connor. “For our Young Writers Program, we’d like to create a space just for children and teens to drop in and write whenever they want!”

The Lighthouse also works to make young people feel empowered by words. Writing is important and the staff makes sure writers who come to write know this. “…I hope that they mostly write for pleasure and the power writing gives us,” O’Connor says.

The Lighthouse offers half-day camps, day camps/ workshops, and week-long camps for all ages in a variety of genres. These camps are taught by award-winning and published writers who share a bit of themselves when they teach.

Boredom is never a possibility and you are encouraged to explore different kinds of writing including song-writing, poetry, flash fiction, memoir writing, sci-fi, and more.

So whether you’re there to expand your vocabulary, get some ideas for the next chapter in your novel, make some new friends, or even learn about the craft of writing, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop is an excellent place to go.