Writing Workshops Los Angeles was founded by Edan Lepucki, and she currently serves as Director of Special Projects. Edan's debut novel California was a New York Times bestseller, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great Reads pick, and an Amazon best book of the month. Her second novel, Woman No. 17, was named a notable book of the year by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and POPSUGAR. Edan holds an MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she has taught at the University of Iowa, Oberlin College, the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, and the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in Esquire, McSweeney’s, the Los Angeles Times, Kenyon Review, and the New York Times, among other publications, and she’s a contributing editor at The Millions. She has also published a novella, If You’re Not Yet Like Me. To contact Edan, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Daley is the Director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center, and she is currently Lecturer in Writing at the California Institute of Technology. Chris is also a founder of editing collective WordCraft LA. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, FORTH Magazine, Angels Flight • literary west, DUM DUM Zine, Front Porch Journal, Cease, Cows, Los Angeles Review of Books, and various academic collections. An essay originally published in The Collagist was included in the W.W. Norton anthology, Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. Her photography has appeared in Redivider, Gesture Literary Journal, Bartleby Snopes, and Print Oriented Bastards. Chris previously served as a judge for the fiction and first fiction awards of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. She was a Ucross Foundation writer-in-residence in 2014 and was awarded the Yefe Nof California Writing Residency this spring. Email Chris at email@example.com.
Neelanjana Banerjee’s short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, PANK, The Liner, The Rumpus, Virginia Quarterly Online, World Literature Today, The Literary Review, Nimrod, and anthologies like Breaking the Bow: Speculative Stories Inspired by the Ramayana (Zubaan Books, 2012) and Desilicious: Sexy, Subversive, South Asian (Arsenal Press, 2003), among other places. She co-edited the award-winning Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press, 2010) and The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Shifts and Quakes of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and has been awarded writing residencies from Hedgebrook and the Blue Mountain Center. Her journalism about literature and culture can be seen at Colorlines, Fiction Writers Review, HTML Giant, Hyphen, Word Riot, and other places around the World Wide Web. She is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press and teaches creative writing at UCLA. She lives in El Sereno and is working on her first novel. Visit her online here.
Francesca Lia Block
Francesca Lia Block is the Lifetime Achievement Award winning author of over thirty acclaimed and widely translated books of fiction, nonfiction, short stories and poetry. She has also written a screenplay for Fox Searchlight and contributed essays, interviews, and reviews to many publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Nylon and Spin. Francesca teaches at Antioch University, Los Angeles and UCLA Extension and is currently finishing her memoir/writing guide The Thorn Necklace: Turning Pain into Art coming in 2018 from Seal Press. www.francescaliablock.com.
Bernard Cooper is the author of memoir, My Avant-Garde Education, recently published by W.W. Norton. He is also the author of The Bill From My Father, Maps To Anywhere, A Year of Rhymes, Truth Serum, and a collection of short stories, Guess Again. Cooper is the recipient of the PEN/USA Ernest Hemingway Award, the O. Henry Prize, a Guggenheim grant, and a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in literature. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including The Best American Essays of 1988, 1995, 1997, 2002, and 2008. His work has also appeared in magazines and literary reviews including Granta, Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Story, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He has contributed to National Public Radio’s “This American Life” and for six years was the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine. Visit him online here.
Christopher DeWan is the author of Hoopty Time Machines: Fairy Tales for Grown Ups, a collection of domestic fabulism. He has published more than fifty stories in journals including Bodega, Gravel, Hobart, Passages North, and wigleaf, and he has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. His work will be featured in the upcoming Best Small Fictions 2017, edited by Amy Hempel and published by Braddock Avenue Books. He has been a consultant for the literary magazine Electric Literature, a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a guest artist at the Music Center of Los Angeles. In addition to Writing Workshops LA, he currently teaches at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and the University of California, Riverside.
Seth Fischer is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown and was the first Sunday editor at The Rumpus. His writing has appeared in Guernica, Joyland, Gargoyle, Best Sex Writing, and other journals and anthologies. His essay “Notes from a Unicorn” was also selected as notable in The Best American Essays 2013, and he was awarded residencies at Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, and elsewhere. He is also a professional developmental editor of novels and memoirs, editing books that have been or will be published by FSG, MIT Press, Cornell University Press, Rare Bird Lit, and others. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, where he also teaches.
Elline Lipkin is a scholar and poet who has edited for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and journals. Her collection of poetry The Errant Thread was chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award. Her second book, Girls’ Studies, explores contemporary girlhood in America and was published by Seal Press. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature. She is widely published as a poet and her nonfiction writing has appeared in Salon.com, Ms., and other contemporary sources. A former resident at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Contemporary Arts, and Dorland, Elline has been a speaker at the Napa Valley Writers Conference and the Writer-in-Residence at the Paper & Book Intensive. Elline has taught creative writing to students of all ages and is the current Poet Laureate of Altadena.
Kate Maruyama’s novel Harrowgate was published by 47North. Her short work has appeared in Stoneboat, Arcadia Magazine, Controlled Burn, Salon, and The Rumpus, among other online journals, as well as in two anthologies. In addition to Writing Workshops Los Angeles, she teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles in their MFA and BA programs. She writes, teaches, cooks, and eats in Los Angeles, where she lives with her family.
Scott O’Connor is the author of the forthcoming book of stories A Perfect Universe, the novels Untouchable and Half World, and the novella Among Wolves. He has been awarded the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and his stories have been shortlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Story Prize and cited as Distinguished in Best American Short Stories. He has written for FOX, Universal Television, The New York Times Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.
Ivy Pochoda is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Visitation Street published by Ecco / Dennis Lehane Books.Visitation Street was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of the Month, Amazon Best Book of 2013, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Huffington Post, Self, and House & Garden, and she also works as a freelance editor. Her first novel The Art of Disappearing was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2009. Ivy has a BA from Harvard College in Classical Greek and an MFA from Bennington College in fiction. Ivy grew up in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives in West Adams, Los Angeles with her husband Justin Nowell.
Diana Wagman is the author of five novels, most recently Life #6. Her second, Spontaneous, won the 2001 PEN West Award for Fiction. Her fourth, The Care & Feeding of Exotic Pets, was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick. Her screenplay, Delivering Milo, was produced starring Albert Finney and Bridget Fonda. She has had short stories and essays published, most recently in Conjunctions and The Colorado Review, and she is an occasional contributor to the Los Angeles Times.
Margaret Wappler has written about the arts and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Elle, Cosmo, New York Times, and several other publications. Her debut novel, Neon Green, published by Unnamed Press in July 2016, has been praised as "witty and entertaining" by the Los Angeles Times and a depiction of "life in the nineties as it was actually lived " by Electric Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and can be heard weekly on the pop culture podcast, Pop Rocket.
Laura Warrell has worked as a writing instructor for several colleges in Boston and Los Angeles, including the Berklee College of Music and Northeastern University. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Salon, The Writer, Post Road Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Racialicious, as well as Broadsheet in Madrid, Spain and other international publications. She was a contributing writer to Numero Cinq Magazine and an assistant fiction editor at Upstreet Magazine. Laura is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has attended residencies at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Tin House Writer’s Workshop.
Kim Young is the author of Night Radio, winner of the 2011 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize (The University of Utah Press) and finalist for the 2014 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the chapbook Divided Highway (Dancing Girl Press, 2008). She is the founding editor of Chaparral, an online journal featuring poetry from Southern California, and her poems and essays have appeared in Los Angeles Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hotel Amerika, Western Humanities Review, POOL, and elsewhere. She teaches at California State University Northridge and holds an MFA from Bennington College, where she received a Jane Kenyon Scholarship in poetry.
GUEST INSTRUCTORS (Current)
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, a first-generation Chicana, is the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications, 2016). A former Steinbeck Fellow, Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grantee, she’s received residencies from Hedgebrook, Ragdale, National Parks Arts Foundation, and Poetry Foundation. Her work is published in Acentos Review, CALYX, crazyhorse, and American Poetry Review among others. A dramatization of her poem "Our Lady of the Water Gallons," directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño, can be viewed at latinopia.com. She is a co-founder of Women Who Submit and a member of Macondo Writers’ Workshop.
Chelsea Biondolillo is the author of the prose chapbooks Ologies and #Lovesong (Etchings Press). Her work has been collected in several anthologies, including Waveform: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women, Best American Nature and Science Essays 2016, How We Speak to One Another: an Essay Daily Reader, and has appeared in Orion, Guernica, Vela, Diagram, Brevity, Passages North, and others. She has a BFA in photography from the Pacific NW College of Art, and an MFA in creative writing and environmental studies from the University of Wyoming. She currently lives about 30 miles outside of Portland, OR at the foot of Mt. Hood.
Summer Block has contributed essays, short fiction, and poetry to The Toast, The Awl, The Rumpus, Catapult, The Nervous Breakdown, McSweeney's, PANK, and many other places. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, most recently California Prose Directory: New Writing from the Golden State. She is currently working on a book about occult communities in the San Fernando Valley.
Aja Gabel's debut novel, The Ensemble, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House in May 2018. Aja's prose can be found in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Glimmer Train, BOMB, and elsewhere. She has taught fiction, nonfiction, and literature at the University of Virginia, the University of Houston, Sweet Briar College, and Pacific University, as well as at undergraduate creative writing conferences and community workshop organizations. She earned her BA at Wesleyan University, her MFA at the University of Virginia and has a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Aja was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown 2012-2013, and she currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Bear.
Jessica P. Ogilvie
Jessica P. Ogilvie is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in creative nonfiction and longform. She is a contributing editor at Playboy, and her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast Traveler, VICE, LA Weekly, GOOD, Los Angeles Magazine, Inked Magazine, The Hairpin, LAist, Mel Magazine, and more. In 2017, Jessica received the Los Angeles Press Club Award for Soft News Feature Article and honorable mention for the M.I.N. Editorial Awards for Feature Article. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Los Angeles Press Club Award for Investigative Reporting. A graduate of New York University, Jessica has appeared on The Nonfiction Podcast, Huffington Post Live, KPFK, Nerdist’s JV Club podcast, and more to discuss her work, and she is an invited guest speaker at Loyola Marymount University’s journalism program.
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, a contemporary young adult novel available now from Simon & Schuster. Recently named a "2017 Face to Watch" by the Los Angeles Times, Lilliam's work has appeared in Tin House, Los Angeles Times, and Latina, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles where she’s completing her second novel.
Zan Romanoff is the author of two young adult novels, A Song to Take the World Apart and Grace and the Fever, both with Knopf Books for Young Readers. Her nonfiction has appeared online and in print in Allure, Buzzfeed, Elle, GQ, Lucky Peach, The New Republic, and The Paris Review Daily. She was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth L. Silver
Elizabeth L Silver is the author of the memoir, The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty (Penguin Press, 2017) and the critically acclaimed novel, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton (Crown, 2013), which was the Amazon Best Debut of the Month, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Best Book of the Summer, and published in seven languages. Elizabeth’s writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from McSweeney’s, Lenny Letter, New York Magazine, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, TheLos Angeles Review, The Millions, The Dallas Morning News, among others, and she has been a writer-in-residence at Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in Woodstock, A Room of Her Own Foundation in New Mexico, and the British Centre for Literary Translation in Tarazona, Spain. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the MA program in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and Temple University Beasley School of Law, Elizabeth lives with her family in Los Angeles. Visit her online at www.ElizabethLSilver.com.
GUEST INSTRUCTORS (Past)
Cecil Castellucci is the NY Times bestselling author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, and the Eisner-nominated Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including Teeth, After, and Interfictions 2. Upcoming in 2016 is an ongoing comic Shade, the Changing Girl with DC Comic’s Young Animal Imprint. She is the Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two-time Macdowell Fellow, and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books.
Melissa Chadburn has written for The Atlantic's Citylab, Buzzfeed, Poets & Writers, Salon, American Public Media’s Marketplace, Al Jazeera America, and dozens of other places. She is a fellow for The Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Her essay, “The Throwaways,” received notable mention in Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, is forthcoming with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
Natashia Deón is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel, GRACE, and is the recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices fellowship. Recently named one of L.A.'s "Most Fascinating People" in L.A. Weekly's People Issue, Deón is a lawyer, law professor, and the creator of the popular L.A.-based reading series Dirty Laundry Lit. Her writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, Buzzfeed, The Rattling Wall, The Rumpus, The Feminist Wire, Asian American Lit Review, and other places.
Manuel Gonzales is the author of The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the John Gardner Prize for Fiction, and the novel, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! A graduate of Columbia University's School of the Arts, he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Kentucky and the Institute of American Indian Arts. He lives in Kentucky with his wife and two kids. You can follow Manuel on Twitter @hrniles or find him online at everythingisunderattack.com.
Joshua Mohr is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel All This Life won the Northern California Book Award. His first book of nonfiction, a memoir called Sirens, is out this January.
Ismail Muhammad is a writer and critic living in Oakland, where he's a staff writer for The Millions and contributing editor at ZYZZYVA. His writing has appeared in Slate, the Los Angeles Review of Books, New Republic, and other publications. He's currently working on a novel about the Great Migration and queer archives of black history.
Darcy Vebber has published fiction in The Iowa Review and The Otis Review and nonfiction in The Village Voice and Parade Magazine. She has a BA in film from USC and worked for many years in film production. After she earned her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2006, she was an assistant to literary agent Betsy Amster, reading submissions and writing delicately worded rejection letters. She has been a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference twice, where she studied with Amy Hempel and Robert Bowsell. Currently, she writes about food for The Jewish Journal, and about the intersection of ritual and everyday life for Tribe Magazine. She also teaches writing to young adults at the non-profit Art Division in downtown L.A. She is finishing a novel.