Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region.
Our programs include
Women You Need to Know (WYNK)
Writers in the Schools (WITS)
Youth Poet Laureate
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. See our full archive of past events here.
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. Hinge, inaugurated in the 2014/15 season, presents new books by and for the next generation at accessible ticket prices. In the 2015/16 season, SAL introduced Women You Need to Know (WYNK), a three-part series designed to showcase cutting-edge, thought-provoking women. It opened with the graphic novelist and Tony Award winner, Alison Bechdel. Summer Book Bingo, also launched in 2015, is a partnership with the Seattle Public Library to present a free summer reading program for adults (Kids Book Bingo, a program of SAL alone, was launched in 2017). In the 2018/19 season, SAL is debuting a three-part Journalism Series in partnership with National Book Award-winning writer and correspondent Timothy Egan and renowned journalist Sam Howe Verhovek.
As Seattle has grown in size and sophistication, SAL has kept pace and helped engage, inspire, and connect our growing community. In 2017/18 alone, over 29,000 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 2017/18, over 7,100 students worked with a WITS Writer-in-Residence or attended a Spotlight Author Visit to discover their authentic voices, build community, and develop writing skills that will support them throughout their lives.
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.
Writers in the Schools Program Associate
The Writers in the Schools (WITS) Program Associate works with the WITS Program Director to implement all WITS and Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programming, empowering young people to discover their authentic writing and performance voices in WITS classrooms, publications, and on SAL stages.
The WITS Program Associate engages with WITS schools, teachers, writers, and families throughout the year to celebrate the work of all WITS students throughout the region. They lead the WITS Spotlight Author program, support our Writers-in-Residence, organize and execute WITS public events and publications, and oversee the Youth Poet Laureate program. The WITS Program Associate reports to the WITS Program Director. A brand-new WITS program position will be hired in late summer/fall to make a three-person team.
The ideal candidate for this position builds relationships quickly and is confident engaging with a wide variety of diverse stakeholders—from students to teachers, to WITS writers, to patrons and donors at SAL events. They have a love of the SAL and WITS mission, and a passion for writing and youth voice. They are a clear communicator who takes the work seriously, but not themselves. This person is detail- oriented amidst many moving deadlines and thrives in a fast-paced and collaborative working environment.
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 to get involved in, from ushering at our events, to assisting with mailings and other administrative tasks, to working on our annual fundraising events.
SAL interns acquire hands-on experience and training in many aspects of marketing and communications, while also gaining a good understanding of nonprofit literary arts. Marketing & Communications interns assist SAL’s Associate Director and SAL’s Events Associate & Content Editor with content production, sales efforts, and implementing the year’s programs.
We are looking for an intern to be part of the team implementing this arts education program in public schools throughout the Puget Sound Region! Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a literary arts education program that places professional local writers in 27 public schools and in five school districts, as well as Seattle Children’s. The mission of WITS is to inspire student and teacher excellence in literacy and the literary arts, and to establish the foundation for a life-long commitment to reading, writing, and creative expression.
Seattle, WA— February 11, 2019: At their annual Words Matter benefit gala on April 4, 2019, Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) will present the sixth annual Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Award to Claudia Castro Luna, Washington State Poet Laureate, and the literary arts organization Hugo House. SAL and the Prowda selection committee chose Castro Luna and Hugo House for demonstrating true commitment to our region’s community of readers and writers.
Seattle, WA—February 1, 2019: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces the addition of Tara Westover to its 2018/19 Season line-up. Westover will appear on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 7:30pm at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall as part of their “SAL Presents” series of special events. Tickets are on sale now at lectures.org.
Seattle, WA— January 30, 2019: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces Melinda Gates to its 2018/19 Season line-up. Gates will appear on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Susan Brotman Auditorium at McCaw Hall. Balcony and Student / Under 25 tickets are on sale now at lectures.org.