The Lighthouse Fort Lyon Writer-in-Residence Program

Lighthouse Writers Workshop has partnered with the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community to offer professional writers the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline in a scenic, natural environment while providing hands-on creative writing instruction to homeless veterans in Colorado. Writers will be invited to stay at the Fort Lyon campus, in the Arkansas Valley in southeastern Colorado, for four weeks (dates are flexible and based on the writer's availability), and will be provided a $2,000 stipend, as well as meals and transportation from the Denver area.

Applicants should come prepared to work on a specific project, and be willing to commit no more than 10 hours per week leading writing lectures and teaching small workshops (of about 10 people) for the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential community.

The Writer-in-Residence Program unites the Lighthouse mission of providing the highest caliber of artistic education, support, and community for writers and readers in the Rocky Mountain Region with the overall mission of the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential community: to help participants explore personal histories and provide a forum for practicing creative exploration, and to discuss behavior, addictions, and recovery.

Support will be available from staff of Otero Junior College and Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, but the Writer in Residence will be expected to work independently and to feel comfortable working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

About the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community

The Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community provides recovery-oriented transitional housing to homeless individuals. The program combines housing with counseling, educational, vocational, and employment services for up to 300 homeless and formerly homeless persons from across the state of Colorado, with an emphasis on serving homeless veterans.


Selected applicants will receive a cash stipend of $2,000, as well as room and board on the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community campus. The community is located in the Arkansas Valley in southeastern Colorado, about a four-hour drive from Denver. Transportation to and from the Denver area will be provided. The closest town is Las Animas, about seven miles away. Shuttles run regularly to Las Animas, and bicycles are available. Residents are welcome to bring their own cars.

Since Fort Lyon is a recovery-based community, participants of the program are prohibited from bringing drugs and alcohol onto the campus, and while we don’t expect the Writer in Residence to have personal experience in recovery, we do ask that they respect the nature of the program.

Public Presentations

The Writer in Residence Program will have the opportunity to provide one large-scale lecture and one public reading of his or her own work. Following the residency, Lighthouse Writers Workshop will host a reading for the Writer in Residence in Denver and will assemble a chapbook of the work produced by the Writer in Residence’s students during his or her stay in Fort Lyon. 

Application for the 2017-18 Residency will open on May 1, 2017.

Residency recipients for 2015-16:

Anthony D'Aries is the author of The Language of Men: A Memoir, which received the PEN/New England Discovery Prize. As Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Director at Regis College in Weston, MA, Anthony teaches courses in creative writing, creative nonfiction, and rhetoric. He was recently appointed to the board of PEN/New England as a member of the Freedom-to-Write Committee, which offers writing workshops to marginalized populations in prisons, homeless shelters, and halfway houses. 
Chauna Craig’s short-story collection, The Widow’s Guide to Edible Mushrooms, will be published by Queen’s Ferry Press in 2016. Her awards include honorable mentions in the Pushcart Prize anthology and in Best American Essays and the Sandra Brown Short Fiction Award. She was a waiter-scholar at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has been awarded fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center, Hedgebrook, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She teaches creative writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 
John Cotter’s first novel Under the Small Lights appeared in 2010 from Miami University Press. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Volt, The Lifted Brow, New Genre, and Redivider. A founding editor at the review site Open Letters Monthly, John’s published critical work on contemporary novelists, poets, and translators. John graduated Emerson’s Creative Writing program on a Performing Arts scholarship and Harvard’s Extension School with a master’s degree in English & American lit. 


For More Information

Please contact William Dewey with the Colorado Division of Housing,, 303.846.7839, or Michael Henry with Lighthouse Writers Workshop,, 303.297.1185.

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