Youth Programs

Seattle Arts & Lectures believes that literacy and a love for writing is a life-long process that starts in our public schools and connects directly to our public stages. Through Writers in the Schools (WITS) and our Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programs, SAL connects working professional writers with students and teachers to elevate and amplify the voices of students throughout the Puget Sound region.

Writers in the Schools

Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 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, the program has served over 100,000 students throughout the Puget Sound region.

Youth Poet Laureate

The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools and Urban Word NYC. The YPL program aims to identify youth writers and leaders who are committed to poetry, performance, civic and community engagement, education, and equity across the Puget Sound Region. At community events throughout the year, Youth Poet Laureates share their powerful voices, leadership, and love of community, and also publish their poems in a collection released in May.

The 2021 WITS Year-End Digital Gallery

This gallery is a celebration of student voice and writing over the course of the 2020/21 school year. Our WITS program provides students with additional creative writing tools to help process and respond to the world, build community, and cultivate joy in the practice of writing and strengthening one’s unique creative voice.