LitFest Gala

Attendees seated at tables at the 2019 PEN America LitFest Gala

The PEN America LitFest Gala is a highlight of the Los Angeles literary and social calendars, with over 500 guests and an impressive group of leading writers and creatives who sit among them as Literary Hosts.

Each year, the event brings together impassioned tributes, conversation, and levity before an esteemed audience of authors, screenwriters, producers, showrunners, executives, philanthropists, actors, and devotees of the written word who share a commitment to the robust defense of creative freedom in Los Angeles and around the world.

Proceeds from PEN America’s LitFest Gala support initiatives including: advocacy for writers, journalists, and artists threatened or imprisoned worldwide; landmark research that addresses critical free speech issues; and the advancement of literary excellence and cross-cultural exchanges through hallmark initiatives, including the World Voices Festival of International Literature, PEN America’s Literary Awards, and fellowship and grants programs.

Recently honored luminaries and participants include Ava DuVernay, LeVar Burton, Theodore J. Boutrous, Ai Weiwei, Barry Jenkins, Julie K. Brown, Marti Noxon, Gillian Flynn, Roxane Gay, Isabel Allende, Jose Antonio Vargas, Kathy Griffin, Margaret Atwood, Janet Mock, Norman Lear, Guillermo del Toro, Amber Tamblyn, Aisha Tyler, Amy Poehler, Cecile Richards, and more.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual PEN America Literary Gala and Los Angeles Litfest Gala, will be celebrated nationally as a virtual event on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.


Past LitFest Galas