The Key West Literary Seminar is an annual four-day celebration that explores a different literary theme each year. January 9–12, 2025, we’ll explore “Family” with distinguished authors including John Irving, Paul Harding, Nathan Hill, and many more. For the up-to-date roster and thematic overview, click here. For an overview of event details as you consider planning your visit, read on below.

The Seminar will begin around sunset on January 9, 2025, with our keynote presentation, the John Hersey Memorial Address, followed by live musical entertainment and a reception under the stars. 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.

Advance Registration Opens March 7 at 11 am EST

Register before September 30 to receive the following value-added package:

  • Access to all onstage events and signings ($825)
  • Discounted rates at Partner Hotels, while supplies last ($200+)
  • Food & Beverage Package: includes opening night reception, farewell lunch, & daily coffee service ($225)
  • 20% off bicycle rentals with We-Cycle
  • 20% off sunset sails aboard Argo Navis

Where to Stay

Finding winter accommodations in sunny Key West can be a challenge, but we’ve made it easy by securing special rates at recommended hotels — available exclusively for attendees of the 2025 Seminar and Workshop Program.

View deals from our hotel partners here. Only a limited number of rooms are available, so please act now.

Campus & Amenities

The Seminar campus is constructed each year at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater, an open-air facility located alongside Truman Harbor and within Truman Waterfront Park. The campus includes multiple distinctive tented spaces which provide covered seating, dining areas, a bookstore, and other amenities. (See images above for more details.) The entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is just footsteps away, with easy 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, 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.

Patrons Circle Opportunities

Members of our Patrons Circle generously underwrite the costs of the annual Seminar through tax-deductible contributions, while supporting scholarships for teachers, librarians, and emerging writers.

As an expression of our gratitude, additional opportunities are available during the Seminar to those who support our mission above and beyond the cost of registration. Donors at the $1,000 level and above will receive two tickets to our Patrons Dinner on Friday, January 13, and access to our Patrons Tent with complimentary beverages and snacks available throughout the Seminar. Those contributing $2,500 and above will receive preferred seating at the Patrons Dinner, where you will have the opportunity to share a table 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 an approximate outline of the Seminar to help plan your visit. A detailed schedule will be announced in the fall. All events are at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater unless otherwise noted.

  • Thursday, January 9
    • 1-3 pm Check-in & Registration
    • 5 pm Gates Open
    • 6-9 pm Keynote Presentation & Reception
  • Friday, January 10
    • 9:30 am-4:30 pm Seminar Program & Book Signings
    • 6-9 pm Patrons Dinner at Harry S. Truman Little White House (by invitation)
  • Saturday, January 11
    • 9:30 am-4 pm Seminar Program & Book Signings
    • 6-7:30 pm John Malcolm Brinnin Memorial Event
  • Sunday, January 12
    • 9:30 am-4 pm Seminar Program & Book Signings
42nd annual Key West Literary Seminar: "Family"

Location: All onstage events and the opening night reception are held at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater (21 Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040).