CTLF is only open to Chicagoland

teens age 13-19.

As a teens-only event, chaperones and parents will only be permitted into the event's vendor area, and will not have access to workshops or panels. We will make available a great list of points-of-interests and events happening in the downtown area for parents and future teens to explore!

We understand that there may circumstances in which chaperons and parents may need to be present. We ask that you reach out to us directly if you have any questions.

We thank you in advance for helping keep ChiTeen Lit Fest a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for teens.


CTLF is a conference style event

which means teens are welcome to pop-in to any program with available space. See a really cool program that you want to attend? Awesome! Others may want to be there, too, and so we encourage you to get to rooms early before they fill up.



ChiTeen Lit Fest is free and registration is available on site. If you are traveling with a group, we highly encourage you to have your teens register ahead of time to make your check-in process smooth and easy. All teens must be registered individually.


First, Let's Party!

ChiTeen Lit Fest kicks off the weekend with a party in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center.


We are excited to announce featured performances and music by Akenya, Maria Lourdes, and DJ Cash Era!


Space is limited!

Entrance will be on a first come, first served basis so arrive early! Teens wishing to arrive at the library early will be permitted to hang out in Harold Washington Library Center's YOUmedia, and will need to be in the building by no later than 4:30 pm to remain in the library once it closes to the public.

We request that parents and chaperones drop teens off for this event as there are no dedicated spaces for adults to hang out while teens party. Sorry, parents! This one's for the teens.



Teens must enter at 401 S. Plymouth Ct. All other entrances to the library will be closed at 5:00 pm.


So About Those Cool Programs...

Saturday at ChiTeen Lit Fest is full of interactive, hands-on experiences, workshops, panels, performances, and more! Find your people in:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Blogging and Journalism
  • Art
  • Zine Making
  • Theater
  • Scriptwriting
  • Gaming
  • Comics
  • and more!

Remember to get to your favorite programs early! All workshops have a 20-teen capacity.


Share Your Work at the Open Mic!

The open mic will take place at 5:00 pm. on Saturday, April 27th. Sign up for the open mic will open at 4:45 pm.

As in true open mic fashion, we will do our best to give everyone who signs up an opportunity to perform within the time we have.

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Will There be Food?

Ahhh, the age-old question of teendom...

Yes! There will be food for every attendee both Friday and Saturday night.


Alright, I'm In. How Do I Get to the Fest?

Get on the bus with Chicago Public Library! The library will be providing free transportation by chartered bus to ChiTeen Lit Fest on Saturday, April 27th. Check out the Transportation section to learn more about locations and permission slips.



Both Harold Washington Library Center and Columbia College Chicago are CTA accessible.

Friday, Harold Washington Library Center:

  • Red and Blue Lines: Jackson, Harrison
  • Green Line: State/Adams
  • Orange, Pink, Brown, Purple Lines: State/Van Buren
  • Buses 2, 3, 4,6,29, 145, 146

Saturday, Columbia College Chicago:

  • Red, Green, Pink, Orange Lines: Roosevelt
  • Buses 3, 4, 12, 18, 145, 146


Street parking is limited, but there are several lots in close proximity to the library and Columbia College.