Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region.


A future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society.


Seattle Arts & Lectures was founded in 1987 and launched its first season in 1988 with John Updike, Calvin Trillin, Donald Barthelme, Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris, Isabel Allende, and Rosamond Bernier.

In 1994, SAL brought the nationally recognized Writers in the Schools to Seattle—an educational program that places local professional writers in public school classrooms to develop skills and spark student interest in reading and writing. The Poetry Series, featuring such notables as Philip Levine and Anne Carson, debuted in 2000, as did Wednesday University/SAL U an adult continuing education program co-presented by the University of Washington Alumni Association and taught by distinguished UW professors. (The 14/15 season was the last season for SAL U.) Hinge, inaugurated in the 2014/15 season features readings, lectures and other presentations by emerging and experimental writers in intimate settings. In the 15/16 season SAL introduced Women You Need to Know (WYNK), a three-part series designed to showcase cutting edge, thought provoking inspiring women. It opened with the graphic novelist and Tony award winner Alison Bechdel. From 2016/17 to 2017/18, SAL presented Sherman Alexie Loves, a two-year series that was curated by Seattle author, Sherman Alexie.

As Seattle has grown in size and sophistication, SAL has kept pace and helped engage, inspire, and connect our growing community.  In 2016/17 alone, over 25,000 SAL attendees had accessible, meaningful experiences with the foremost writers and thinkers of our time through SAL programming. Our Writers in the Schools program matches accomplished creative writers with local K-12 public schools and hospitals for year-long writing residencies. In 2016/17, over 7,800 students worked with a WITS writer-in-residence or spotlight author visit to discover their authentic voices, build community, and develop writing skills that will support them throughout their lives.


Amanda Carrubba

Finance & Operations Director

Alexandra Chase

Donor Relations Associate

Nichole Coates

WITS Program Associate

Alicia Craven

WITS Program Director

Ruth Dickey

Executive Director

Christina Gould

Patron Services Manager

Rebecca Hoogs

Associate Director

Amelia Peacock

Marketing Associate

Leanne Skooglund

Development Director

Alison Stagner

Events Coordinator & Content Editor

Board of Directors

Prowda Awards Icon

Prowda Award

The Prowda Literary Champion Award is named for Sherry Prowda, SAL’s founder and first Executive Director. It was created to honor Prowda’s vision of a future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society, and her leadership as a champion of the literary arts.

Each year, the award, selected by a group of literary visionaries, celebrates the individuals and organizations that make Seattle an outstanding place for writers and readers.


SAL Volunteer

2017/18 Season

Join the biggest little book club in Seattle! Behind the scenes at SAL is a corps of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time to ensure we meet our mission of sparking imaginations and bringing together people and ideas. We have a host of areas that you can get involved in and experience the literary world. Volunteers do many things from ushering at our events, to assisting with mailings and other administrative tasks, to working on our annual Words Matter Benefit Gala & Literary Auction.

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Press + Media

Seattle Arts & Lectures Adds a Conversation with Lucy Kalanithi & John Duberstein

February 28, 2018

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) is thrilled to announce the addition of a conversation with Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein on Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm in Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, February, 26 at 10am at

Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein are spouses of the posthumously bestselling authors Paul Kalanithi and Nina Riggs, respectively. Paul’s 2016 memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, chronicled his final years facing lung cancer at age 37. Nina’s 2017 memoir, The Bright Hour, followed her battle with breast cancer at age 39. The books quickly rose to the top of must-read lists and reviews often mentioned them together.

Madeleine Albright to Join Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2017/18 Season

February 16, 2018

Seattle Arts & Lectures announces the addition of Madeleine Albright to its 2017/18 Season line-up. Albright will discuss her new book, Fascism: A Warning, in conversation with Mark Suzman of the Gates Foundation on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30pm at The Paramount Theatre. All ticket packages include a copy of her new books. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, February, 16 at 10:00am at

Financials + Accountability

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