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 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.
We are looking for interns to be part of the team that implements our 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.
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.
“What kind of relationship did you have to have with who you used to be, who you are and who you are becoming?” The writer Carmen Maria Machado floated that question on her recent visit to Seattle. It represents the kind of depth she braves in her work. Read more.
My family’s well-loved grey Volkswagen speeds through the streets of downtown Seattle, my mother and I watching her iPhone as it spits out life-saving directions to Town Hall. I frantically tear my hair down from its tight bun, throwing bobby pins and hair ties into my dance bag. Read more.
At their annual Words Matter benefit gala on April 3, 2020, Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) will present the seventh annual Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Award to Books to Prisoners and to Amy Wheeler, outgoing Executive Director of Hedgebrook. SAL and the Prowda selection committee chose Books to Prisoners and Wheeler for demonstrating true commitment to our region’s community of readers and writers.