YA Fest

    Welcome to Lighthouse’s first YA Fest! Held March 16–17, the festival celebrates and draws together the vibrant community of Denver YA writers—and when we say YA, we mean all books for tween, teen, and young adult readers! Middle Grade (MG), Young Adult (YA), and New Adult (NA) writers are all welcome.

    Join us for a weekend of rich craft discussion, community events, and immersion in the business side of the YA world, featuring Jenny Elder-MokeMalia Maunakea, Leslie Vedder, and even more of your favorite YA authors. Click one of the links below to learn more!

    Festival Guide

    Click below to view the full daily schedule for the weekend, plus a full guide to every class and event at the Fest!

    Weekend Passes

    Want to get the full YA Fest experience? Check out our Weekend Passes to save on craft seminars, intensives, and more.

    Craft Seminars

    These two-hour sessions tackle a craft topic like POV, revision, character, or setting. Take a craft seminar to learn from our amazing faculty of published local YA-ers.

    Morning seminars will be larger-group, and run at the same time as two-day intensives. Afternoon seminars will be smaller-group, and there is a choice of three each day.


    In these two-day, intimate courses, you’ll dive deeply into your story to explore what makes it tick, from plot to setting to characters. Two-day intensives get into the nitty gritty of craft to make your story shine.

    Business Panels

    After lunch each day, hear a panel of local authors and agents discuss the business side of writing YA. First up on the docket is Idea to Shelf: Publishing for Young Readers. Then, on Sunday, join us for MG vs. YA Smackdown!, a fun and dynamic way to discover the differences between the subgenres—and watch your favorite authors duke it out to decide which is best. 

    Evening Events

    Each evening we’ll gather to celebrate what makes us love YA. Saturday night we’ll be hosting a Critique Partner Speed Date to find your next best writing buddy; Sunday we’ll gather for a Reading and Conversation with Leslie Vedder and Jenny Elder-Moke.


    Click below to view our full list of instructors made up of our wonderful Lighthouse faculty and talented visiting authors from around Colorado.