Founded in 1998, Get Lit! Programs is a non-profit literary arts organization housed within Eastern Washington University’s College of Arts, Letters, and Education. Get Lit! Programs is responsible for the Get Lit! Festival, the region’s only annual week-long literary festival, which has grown from a single day of back-to-back readings to a seven day celebration of literature that brings in thousands of attendees from Spokane and the surrounding region. The festival presents a diverse line up of highly sought-after authors to our region, while also highlighting our talented local literary community. With help from generous community partners and sponsors, the festival offers free and low cost readings, writing workshops, craft classes, poetry slams, panel discussions, literary happy hours, and much more. Get Lit! also runs Writers in Residence, a program (funded by grant dollars) that places published authors in local schools to teach 10-week creative writing courses to students who may not normally have access to a creative writing curriculum. In 2018 Get Lit! Programs celebrated its 20th anniversary, an exciting accomplishment that shows us how beloved Get Lit! is in our community. It is our mission, both in our festival programming and our educational outreach, to advance the arts, celebrate diversity, and empower creativity.
|Kate Peterson earned her MFA from Eastern Washington University in Spokane, where she now works as Director of Get Lit! Programs. Her poetry and prose has been published in many literary magazines including Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Sugar House Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Packingtown Review, and others. Her chapbook Grist won the Floating Bridge Chapbook Prize and was published in 2016. Learn more at katelaurenpeterson.tumblr.com. Contact Kate via firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-828-1435.|
|Kailee Haong is the Assistant Coordinator of Get Lit! Programs. She is a queer woman of color who primarily writes fiction. She is a current M.F.A. Candidate in Eastern Washington University’s MFA program in creative writing. Her work has been published in The Brown Orient and Lilac City Fairy Tales. She always strives to write from, for, and with marginalized perspectives in mind. Visit her website at kaileehaong.com. You can contact Kailee through email@example.com.|
|Kristyna Schedine is a second-year fiction student in the MFA in program. In her down time, you can usually find her relentlessly cuddling her cat, making travel plans, or baking something that smells absurdly good. Kristyna has an uncanny store of Harry Potter knowledge, and was once quizzed for three hours without getting a single question wrong. This earned her a free burrito.|
|Ben Kuntz is a student of fiction in EWU’s MFA program. He is currently on a leave of absence from his job teaching English at the Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He and his wife, Sarah Angstman, are simultaneously missing Bethel, Alaska terribly and loving the big city amenities and temperate climate of Spokane. Their favorite downstates novelties include dog parks, hiking trails, and breweries.|
|Grace Wahlman is an undergraduate student at Eastern Washington University studying Technical Communication. An avid learner, you can find her reading, writing her blog, or dreaming of her next travel adventure. She once lived in Pisa, Italy for two months as an au pair and is never going back to American gelato. She hopes to become an editor for a book publisher one day.|
Get Lit! Programs employs one full-time staff member, and one graduate student assistant from The MFA at EWU. The program relies heavily on student interns and volunteers from The MFA at EWU as well as other local colleges and universities. Get Lit! strives to create an interactive learning environment that connects students with members of the community. Special thanks to all of our interns! If you are interested in becoming a Get Lit! intern or in volunteering for the festival, please contact us:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. The first festival was the brainchild of Christine Holbert, Scott Poole, and Christopher Howell. Howell credits the success of Get Lit! in its first few years to the generosity of the community, which still rings true today — while our program is housed within Eastern Washington University’s College of Arts, Letters, and Education, we rely on grant funding, community partnersand sponsors, ticket sales, and other fundraising efforts to run both the festival and our educational outreach programs. Each year, we partner with local institutions likeSpokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, North Idaho College, and Gonzaga University; as well as community organizations and businesses to bring over 70 authors together for 40-50 events throughout the week. Back in 1998 The Spokesman-Review lovingly called Get Lit! “the little literary festival that could” and twenty years later the festival is now recognized as the literary equivalent to Spokane’s nationally recognized sporting events, Hoopfest and Bloomsday. In addition to the festival, Get Lit! Programs has historically included many educational outreach programs including Author’s Tour; Poetry Out Loud; The Spokane Youth Book festival (SpoYo), which took place in October 2015;Writers in Residence; and a Visiting Writer Series, featuring 8-10 authors per academic year, in partnership with The MFA at EWU.
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