Literary festival places spotlight on national and regional authors

Get Lit! is the perfect place for aspiring writers with over 40 reading and writing events taking place in one week.

The 16th annual Get Lit! is a large literary festival run by EWU that will take place from April 7-13 at various venues in both Spokane and Cheney.

Get Lit! Director Melissa Huggins said the week is all about reading and writing, and will offer presentations from several authors and varied genres of books, like fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

“We present the events, and everything is free to students,” said Huggins.

The three ticketed events are the headlining speakers, Chitra Divakaruni, Gregory Spatz, Anthony Doerr and William T. Vollman, taking place at the Bing Crosby Theatre on April 11 and April 12 at 7 p.m. and April 13 at 11:30 a.m.

Even if students cannot make the headlining events, Huggins said there will be something for everyone to participate in.

“I might highlight that college students may be interested in the college poetry slam,” said Huggins. “The way those work is anyone can participate. You can sign up to participate at the event. It is completely free, and people are totally welcome to just watch as well.”

Tim Pringle, EWU graduate student and Get Lit! assistant coordinator, said he went to the festival as an undergraduate and was not disappointed.

“[The festival] was good. I didn’t realize how big it was. I came to see Patricia Smith at the Bing and found out that there were a bunch of other events going on as well. So, I went to like three more events,” Pringle said.

Pringle said this is a good event for students to expose themselves to new authors and readings.

“We just have a varied group of people coming, a really varied group of authors and presentations,” said Pringle.

Get Lit! staff writer and EWU graduate student Kyle Capogna agrees that the festival is a great place to branch out.

“You don’t often get opportunities like this, to go to readings for free. There is a real variety of the different kinds of writing here. It’s just a really cool opportunity and not every school has it,” Capogna said.

One event students may take advantage of is the exclusive writing workshop with author Anthony Doerr on April 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Riverpoint campus or the exclusive Q-and-A with author William T. Vollmann taking place at the Spokane Convention Center room 202A on April 12 at 1:45 p.m.

“We do offer free registration to EWU students. All they have to do is email us and then we can add them to the list,” Huggins said.

She added that, while some of the authors are nationally known, there will also be regional and local authors present, such as Trent Reedy and Rachel Toor.

“There are a lot of EWU professors participating, so that’s really exciting,” Huggins said.

For more information on the Get Lit! Literary Festival visit getlitfestival.org, or contact Huggins at 509-359-6977 or getlit@ewu.edu.


Students may acquire free tickets to headlining events by showing the ticket takers their student ID at the door, or by taking their student ID to the TicketsWest office near the Spokane Arena.

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