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
The Literary Arts Series presents talks and conversations with the leading fiction and non-fiction writers of our time.
The Poetry Series presents established and emerging poets for readings and lectures.
Created by journalists for protectors of free press in 2018, SAL’s three-part Journalism Series is in partnership with National Book Award-winning writer and correspondent Tim Egan and renowned journalist Sam Howe Verhovek.
Women You Need to Know (WYNK)
Women You Need to Know (WYNK) is a three-part series that features and celebrates feminist authors, artists, icons, trouble-makers, and visionaries.
SAL Presents features authors, artists, and prominent thinkers discussing their latest works, as well as other exciting literary surprises.
From pop culture to social justice, Hinge presents new books by and for the next generation via accessible ticket prices.
Writers in the Schools (WITS)
SAL’s Writers in the Schools (WITS) program places professional local writers in public elementary, middle, and high school classrooms, empowering young people to discover and develop their authentic writing and performance voices. Since 1994, WITS has served over 100,000 students throughout the Puget Sound region.
Every summer, we partner with The Seattle Public Library to create a Book Bingo card for our free summer reading program. Adults and kids play along from May – September to be entered in a chance to win fabulous prizes.
Youth Poet Laureate
The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) and Urban Word NYC. Founded in Seattle in 2015 by WITS writers Matt Gano and Aaron Counts, the YPL program aims to identify youth writers and leaders who are committed to poetry and performance, civic and community engagement, education and equity across the Puget Sound region.
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.
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, 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 debuted 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 2019/20 alone, over 29,000 SAL attendees had accessible, meaningful experiences with the foremost writers and thinkers of our time through SAL programming. 13% of SAL tickets were provided at very low or no cost to community members who otherwise cannot afford to purchase tickets. In the 2020/21 season SAL launched $10 tickets at most events as well as digital access for all events in response to COVID-19.
Our Writers in the Schools program matches accomplished creative writers with local K-12 public schools and hospitals for year-long writing residencies. In 2019/20, nearly 5,000 students worked with a WITS Writer-in-Residence in 180 classrooms at 32 schools and via 2 programs at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
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. Each year, the award celebrates the individuals and organizations that make Seattle an outstanding place for writers and readers.
Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces their events for April, May, and June, previously scheduled to be in-person and online, will stream online only. Events will be streamed digitally at lectures.org, at the same date of each event. Ibram X. Kendi, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Mary Roach, and Ocean Vuong will now start at 6 PM (PDT), the other events will remain at previously scheduled time of 7:30 PM (PDT). Events will also be available to watch online for one week afterwards. Digital Passes are available for each event with Pay-What-You-Can Pricing that starts at $10 at lectures.org.
Seattle, WA—FEBRUARY 18, 2021: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announced yesterday that their Literary Arts Series event with Ibram X. Kendi will now be held online only, on the originally scheduled date of Wednesday, April 7, 2021, with a new start time of 6:00 PM (PDT). The format for the event will be a live conversation, moderated by Dr. Edward Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at the University of Washington.