Mountain Heritage Literary Festival

To Register for the 15th Annual Mountain


Heritage Literary Festival click here!

About our festival. 


Welcome to the 15th annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival!

For over a decade-and-a-half we have proudly supported the Appalachian writing community by pairing our region's budding poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and songwriters with inspiring lineups of workshop leaders and speakers. As we begin a new chapter in 2021, under a new director (only our third since MHLF's founding), we are thrilled to continue providing a much-anticipated weekend of creativity and community, while expanding the festival's vision to better support the next generation of diverse Appalachian artists. 

While this year's events will be fully online, we believe it is the perfect platform to continue doing what the MHLF does better than anyone, and also give a preview of where we are headed. 

We can't wait to meet you, learn with you, and make great writing together. 

-Mountain Heritage Literary Festival Staff 

MHLF History


Founded in 2005 by bestselling author Silas House, the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival has grown from a small gathering of budding writers, to one of the premiere literary events in the region. What sets us apart is a blend of a homecoming feel for our returning attendees and a welcome, supportive environment for newcomers, all nestled among the picturesque and historic Cumberland Gap area. 

Our two-day events provide workshops and panels ranging from fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and songwriting workshops, to panels on publishing, Appalachian culture, and more. Past workshop leaders include notable writers such as Lee Smith, Donald Ray Pollock, George Ella Lyon, and many other notable Appalachian and nationally-recognized writers. 

Other even highlights include several writing contests, keynote speeches, scholarship awards, and concerts.  


Awards and Fellowships

See the list of awards, fellowships, and scholarships presented each year by MHLF.



Schedule and Registration

Details on this year's event and how to register.


Event Staff and guest writers

Learn about the event organizers and the guest writers participating in this year's event.