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Lit Camp

dedicated to supporting writers

ABOUT Lit Camp

Lit Camp exists to help writers hone their craft, navigate the world of publishing, and find community.

Each year, we hold two conferences at the stunning Bell Valley Retreat Center in Mendocino County. One focused on craft, the other on the business of being a writer.

Our Lit Nights events, held at our co-working space in San Francisco, give emerging writers the opportunity to read their work in front of an audience.

Our in-person and online classes, taught by published writers and experienced instructors, help writers develop their craft.

And our retreats, held at some of the most secluded and beautiful locations in Northern California give writers the time and space they need to write


Our history

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Over the years, Lit Camp evolved into more than an annual conference. We added writing retreats and readings, virtual writing sessions and online events, online and in-person classes. 


In spring of 2022, we opened our first co-working space for writers, Page Street, located in San Francisco.


Since that time, we have initiated our Lit Nights reading series and forged relationships with the Bay Area Book Festival and Litquake in order to provide the emerging writers of our communuty with venues to read their work.

To address the dilemma all writers face--there's the writing side, and then there's the business of publishing--we decided for 2023, to split our conference in two. A spring conference focused on craft, and a fall conference on the business of being a writer.

We also decided to keep the number of attendees small so we would all fit one location--the beautiful Bell Valley Retreat Center in Mendocino County. This keeps the conferences intimate and assures everyone receives attention from the instructors.

With the goal of making Lit Camp accessible to ALL writers, we did away with the jury system. Beginning in 2023, writers who wish to attend our conferences will submit a one-page letter describiing themselves as writers and their project. It is our intention to open our conferences to writers who are serious about their writing and community-minded.

Additionally, we have committed ourselves to offering scholarships to all conferences, retreats, and classes, as well as fellowships to our co-working space.

Lit Camp was founded in 2012 as a juried writers conference by author Janis Cooke Newman in cooperation with Litquake and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. In 2015, we went out on our own, becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Faculty for our first conference included Adam Johnson, who won a Pulitzer Prize weeks after the conference ended. 

Past faculty has included Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding, National Book Award winner Phil Klay, Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley, John Leonard Award winner Anthony Marra, and Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Sean Greer.

Thanks to Lit Camp, dozens of writers signed book deals with major publishers and saw their writing go out into the world.

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