Lit Camp

May 22 - 27, 2022
Bell Valley retreat center
Mendocino county

Submissions open October 15, 2021 through January 31, 2022

For 2022, we are offering
5 full scholarships: 2 for everyone, 2 for bipoc writers, and 1 for latinx writers (courtesy of alum,  Elizabeth gonzalez james)

ABOUT Lit Camp

Lit Camp's mission is to help writers get their books out into the world. Each year, we invite only 40 of the most talented and promising writers of fiction, memoir and narrative nonfiction to attend Lit Camp.

We bring in the best--and most distinguished--authors, agents and editors to be part of Lit Camp's faculty. Our workshop and master class staff generally includes Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners. The agents who attend Lit Camp are based in New York City--the epicenter of the publishing world.  

Lit Camp alumni have signed with agents, received publishing contracts, and had their books published. In one recent success story, a 2017 Lit Camp alum was given a 7-figure book deal!

Only  40 participants
award-winning authors & EDITORS
New York Agents

Stunning northern
California location


Our history

Lit Camp 2016_926.jpg

In 2017, we lost our beloved Mayacamas Ranch to the fires that swept the Napa Valley. With no home, we had to cancel the 2018 conference.

We returned in 2019 in a new venue...the world famous Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Our return visits to Esalen in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled due to Covid.

We loved our Esalen location, and would have happily remained there. However, the pandemic forced Esalen to raise its rates beyond what would have allowed us to continue making Lit Camp accessible to as many writers as possible.

Fortunately, we were able to reach out to our retreat venue, the Bell Valley Retreat Center, as well as the nearby Boonville Hotel, and are very excited to announce that they will be our new home beginning in 2022.

We are particularly pleased about this new location. As with Mayacamas Ranch, we will take over both properties, which helps us foster community between the writers who attend. Combining Bell Valley and the Boonville Hotel also allows us to offer more accommodation options at varying price points, thus keeping the conference accessible.

Lit Camp was founded in 2012 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.


Our first five conferences were held at Mayacamas Ranch in the Northern California Wine Country.

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, John Leonard Award winner Anthony Marra, as well as current Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Sean Greer.