Spring 2018 News

Congratulations to all! Please send us any news you'd like to share for this or future posts!


The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process, the new book from Francesca Lia Block (Novel III), will be released May 1 by Seal Press. Edan Lepucki writes in her blurb, “With The Thorn Necklace, Block explores her life as an artist and shows us—through encouragement, compassion, and useful exercises—how to find and nurture our own creative selves. An inspiring read.”

“Shadowland,” an exhibit featuring the art of Bernard Cooper and Lloyd Hamrol, opens March 22 at Thomas Paul Fine Art.

Chris Daley (Experimenting with Form in Fiction) was awarded the Yefe Nof California Writing Residency and she will spend two weeks in Lake Arrowhead working on her novel in progress later this spring. Chris will also be in conversation with Janet Fitch at LitFest Pasadena on May 19.

Christopher DeWan (Flash! Workshop) led a flash masterclass for the Arts Enterprise Laboratory, hosted at the Idyllwild Arts Academy.

DeLon Howell’s essay “For Quieter Plans” was published by Wanderlust Journal. He read his essay “Listening for the Boys” for the Tahoma Literary Review’s Soundcloud page. His essay “The One I Hold On To” is forthcoming from Hypertext Magazine.

"The Last Lunch," a story by Jon Krampner started in Neelanjana Banerjee's fiction workshop, was published by Singapore-based Eunoia Review.

Edan Lepucki's second novel Woman No. 17 was noted in the New York Times Book Review's Paperback Row column. On Sunday, March 18 at 4 pm, she will celebrate its paperback release at Book Soup in conversation with visual artist Christine Frerichs.

Brian Lin was accepted to the University of Southern California Ph.D. program in creative writing.

Elline Lipkin (Poetry Techniques) has three poems coming out in The Cost of Paper: Volume Five from the 1888 Center sometime this spring. She appeared this past weekend on the AWP panel: "Literary Public Citizen: The Laureate in the Community."

Mary Jane Myers’s new story collection Curious Affairs: Ordinary Women, Peculiar Tales is now available from Paul Dry Books.

The Expeditioner published Sarah Osman’s essay “Kentucky Fried Camel in Egypt: My Return to a Country I Never Left.”

Ivy Pochoda is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Mystery/Thriller Book Prize for her novel Wonder Valley.

Lilliam Rivera (American Horror Story) received an honorable mention for the James Tiptree, Jr. award, recognizing exploration and expansion of gender in her novel The Education of Margot Sanchez. Her story “Crave” will be published by Nightmare Magazine on March 21.

Zan Romanoff (Young Adult Fiction) published the following essays since our last news post: “The Joy and Intimacy of the Personal Writing Outlet” for LitHub, “The Women Writers You've Been Overlooking” for The Paris Review, “Butcher Katie Flannery Carries On a Family Tradition,” which was also in print for the Los Angeles Times, “How Sanrio Turned Hello Kitty into a Food Superstar” for Eater, and “Boxing Gloves for Women Can’t Just Be Smaller (Or Pink)” for Racked. Zan also conducted an interview with Karla Welch for The Sunday Times.

Lisa Sanchez’s short story "Doubt" was published in Porter Gulch Review earlier in 2017. It was nominated in October by Pushcart editor Mark Wisniewski. Her essay “After Franken: Three Logical Fallacies that Triggered a Resignation” was published at Wrath-Bearing Tree.  She was also a finalist for the 2017 Cutthroat Magazine Rick Demarinis Short Story Award for her short story "Nightingale's Lover."

“Trying to Get Pregnant Took Over My Life—Here's How I Got It Back,” an essay by Jessica Wright Weinstock started in Zan Romanoff’s nonfiction workshop, was published in Glamour.

Lauren Westerfield’s poems “As Killjoy” and “As Block Paragraph” appeared in Hobart, and her essay “The Need to Use Your Teeth” was published by The Baltimore Review. She is also nonfiction editor of Fugue Journalits latest issue was released this month, in which Lauren interviews Mary-Kim Arnold. Fugue’s 2018 Prose Contest closes March 15.

Q&A with Diana Wagman: Young Adult Fiction, Positive Critique, and Following Characters Anywhere

Wagman Author Pic.jpg

1) You've written novels for adults and screenplays in addition to your young adult novel Extraordinary October. How do you approach YA differently than the other genres? What do you like about writing YA?

I have fewer expectations of the reader when I write YA. The story can be just as complicated, just as deep, just as scary or troubling or sad as an adult book, but I think of my readers as fresh and more open to where I might lead them.

2) What does a typical evening look like in the Young Adult Fiction workshop?

We share our week briefly, any writing problems or questions that have come up, either in their work or what they’re reading. Then we discuss the work for the evening—and I do my best to make the comments both an example for everyone and at the same time particular to the work we’re critiquing. I use a particular critique method where everyone speaks positively first—to set a positive tone for the workshop—and the writer has to come with specific questions he or she needs answered.

3) Who are some of your favorite YA authors? What makes a YA novel or short story stand out from the crowd?

I’m an old-fashioned reader—love E. Nesbitt, C.S. Lewis, Graham Wilson, and other old works of fantasy and adventure.  On the other hand, The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp really stands out for me.  A book about a teen alcoholic, but the narrator is charming and funny.  Tharp shows both the ecstasy of drinking—politically incorrect as that seems—and then the despair.  For me, it’s not the content as much as the character.  Give me a character I want to follow anywhere.