The 41st annual Key West Literary Seminar will begin at sunset on January 11, 2024, with our keynote presentation, the John Hersey Memorial Address, followed by live musical entertainment and a gala reception under the stars. The identity of our keynote speaker traditionally remains a closely kept secret until the Fall, but past keynotes have included such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Robert A. Caro, and Jamaica Kincaid.
Programming begins again on Friday morning, then continues all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Onstage presentations include solo readings and lectures, one-on-one interviews, and larger conversations among three or more of our distinguished writers. In general, most authors will make two appearances on stage, and there are question-and-answer sessions, book signings, and other informal opportunities to meet with these celebrated authors and your fellow Seminar participants throughout the long weekend.
Registering for the Seminar before September 30 is the only way to guarantee your access to all onstage events and signings. The advance registration fee of $825 also includes admission to our opening night reception with complimentary food and drink, daily coffee service, and a farewell luncheon on Sunday. Availability is limited after this date, and food-and-beverage add-ons will be charged separately.
Advance Registration Package: Register for an all-access pass before September 30 for $825 per person and receive additional added value from our local partners. This limited-availability package is valued at over $1,400 and includes:
- Guaranteed access to all onstage events and signings ($825)
- Exclusive rates at Partner Hotels ($200+)
- Keynote gala reception ($100)
- Farewell luncheon ($25)
- 33% off Literary Walking Tour ($10)
- Shopping & Dining package ($200)
- Rent a bike for 3 days, get 4th day free ($14)
- 20% off Sunset Sail ($22)
- Daily coffee service ($20)
Where to Stay
Exclusive Seminar rates are available for a limited time from our hotel partners. Click here for details.
Site, Setting, & Amenities
The main seating area at the Amphitheater is within a large, open-ended SaddleSpan tent. Additional tented areas on site provide shade and cover away from the main seating area, and there is ample space to set up a blanket or folding chair on the lawn. Our local dining partners provide a range of food and drink options for purchase at the festival grounds.
The Amphitheater is located within Truman Waterfront Park, a former Naval Air Station recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its innovative reuse of military property into public facilities. The entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is just footsteps away, with access to walking trails, shaded picnic area, and the locals’ favorite swimming beach. Athletic fields, children’s playgrounds and water features, fitness trails, and public waterfront are all located nearby.
January is historically the coolest and driest month of the year in Key West, with an average high/low of 75º / 67º (F). However, the weather can change suddenly. Participants are advised to check the weather daily and plan accordingly — bring a water bottle and wear sun protection if it will be warm and sunny, bring a jacket or wear extra layers if cold weather is forecast, and prepare for rain if needed. In rare cases, scheduled events may be adjusted at the last minute to accommodate inclement weather.
Additional Benefits for our Patrons
For those who would like to support our mission above and beyond the cost of registration, our Patrons Tent will feature complimentary beverages and snacks throughout the Seminar, limited to donors at the $1,000 level and above. Those contributing $2,500 and above will receive two tickets to our Patrons Dinner, where you will have the opportunity to break bread and compare notes with our distinguished authors. Contributors at the $10,000 level are invited to private VIP events with the authors including an intimate dinner on the eve of the Seminar and late-morning luxury catamaran sail on opening day.
Key West Literary Seminar is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are tax-deductible.
Schedule Outline: Below is a general outline of the Seminar to help plan your visit. Details will be finalized by December 1, and you can view last year’s complete program here.
- Thursday, January 11
- 5-6:30 pm Check-in & Registration
- 6:30-9:30 pm Keynote Presentation & Reception
- Friday, January 12
- 9:30 am-5 pm Seminar Program & Book Signings
- 6-9 pm Patrons Dinner
- Saturday, January 13
- 9:30 am-5 pm Seminar Program & Book Signings
- 5:30-7 pm Sunset Program
- Sunday, January 14
- 9:30 am-4 pm Seminar Program & Book Signings
Location: All onstage events and the opening night reception are held at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater (21 Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040).