CityLit Festival

Baltimore’s award-winning annual festival of all things literary takes place each spring, and remains one of CityLit Project’s signature events.

The CityLit Festival, a day-long celebration of literature, brings a literary feast to the region with 20 sessions offering panels, readings, informational sessions, and craft intensives by writers, editors, and publishing professionals. The event features over 80 poets and writers, placing emerging writers on the same platforms as established ones. It offers one-on-one 30-minute critiques in every genre; a Keynote speaker; a Master class with a prominent author; and information on publishing and funding opportunities for writers. CityLit does not shy away from covering challenging ‘hot’ topics of concern to the region and beyond. We honor a multitude of voices and multi-cultural experiences, and boast award-winning authors from near and far. All for the love of the written word. The Festival is free unheard of these days — but you best bring your energy.

The bustling Literary Marketplace provides exhibit space to the area’s diverse community of small presses, self-published authors, literary journals, and organizations serving writers and readers alike. Baltimore magazine named CityLit Festival “a can’t miss event on the city’s cultural scene” and “the best place to nurture your inner writer.

Past authors include:

  • Pulitzer winners Edward P. JonesSteve CollJunot Diaz, and Gregory Pardlo
  • National Book Award winners Mark DotyJaimy Gordon, and Elizabeth Acevedo, James McBride
  • MacArthur “Genius" grant recipients George Saunders, Claudia RankineChimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dinaw Mengestu and Philip Gourevitch
  • The Carnegie Medal Award winner – Elizabeth Acevedo, the first writer of color to win this prestigious UK award in it’s 83-year history
  • Guggenheim Fellows Patricia Smith, and The New York Times bestselling award-winning authors Dani Shapiro and Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Award-winning authors Kia Corthron, Laura Lippman, Tyehimba Jess, Quincy Troupe, Afaa Michael Weaver, Michael Collier, Jessica Anya BlauMarion WinikStanley Plumly, among so many others.

2020 CITYLIT FESTIVAL POSTPONED

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the CitLit Festival for March 21, 2020 is postponed until further notice. The decision came from rigorous conversations and abundant care, since we know fully what this means to our vast literary community. We couldn’t, in good conscience, hold a festival of this size with public health recommendations suggesting, now mandating, no large public gatherings. Our return to the Pratt, reaffirming our partnership, meant more of you would fill the room for the robust programming we had to offer.

We encourage you to stay in touch via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And browse through memories of the 2019 16th CITYLIT FESTIVAL, below.

I don't even have words. It was more than profound. Best poets I have witnessed in my short lifetime and in the age of social media.

CityLit Festival Attendee

Have you been invited to appear at a CityLit event?

For those authors who have been invited to present, please follow the link below to submit your author information to CityLit.