You may be wondering which nonfiction class would be right for you this fall. Let us help!Read More
You may be wondering which fiction class would be right for you this fall. Let us help!Read More
Even during the slow publishing days of summer, WWLA faculty and students managed to rack up the good news. Congratulations to all!Read More
Enroll today in our Flash! Workshop with Bernard Cooper or How to Compose & Publish a Prose Chapbook with Chelsea Biondolillo.Read More
We're about to start our third term of online classes and we have several summer options for you.Read More
Let us shed some light on your options.Read More
If there's a story you've wanted to share but you need some direction on the best way to approach the process, Erica Garza is an excellent guide.Read More
Laura van den Berg is the author of the novels The Third Hotel (FSG, August 2018) and Find Me, which was selected as a best book of 2015 by Time Out New York and NPR. She is also the author of two story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.Read More
When a number of faculty members recommend someone to teach for us, we pay attention, especially when they've been published by a who's who list of literary journals: Ploughshares, AGNI, n+1, Bookforum and more. Lisa Fetchko is that highly recommended guest instructor and our first profile.Read More
Impressive showing by WWLA faculty and students this season! Congratulations to all!Read More
It's that (best) time of year again! The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is happening at USC on April 21-22 and we will be there. Check out the details below for where you can find us. The instructors' spring classes are listed after their names if you want to immediately apply that FOB inspiration.
We're crossing our fingers for Ivy Pochoda, whose novel Wonder Valley is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller! Winners will be announced on the Friday night before the Festival at the prize ceremony. Go, Ivy!
Edan Lepucki will be on the panel "Damage Done" with Lisa Ko, Claire Messud, and Gabriel Tallent, moderated by Dana Johnson, on Saturday at 1:30 pm in Salvatori 101.
Ivy Pochoda will be on the panel "Crime Fiction Under the Sun" with Tod Goldberg and Attica Locke, moderated by Gar Anthony Haywood, on Saturday at 1:30 pm in Seeley G. Mudd 123.
Scott O'Connor (Novel I and Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Writing About Place) will be on the panel "The Art of the Short Story" with Elizabeth Crane Brandt, Daniel A. Olivas, and Susan Straight, moderated by Matthew Specktor, on Saturday at 3:00 pm in Salvatori 101.
Following in Salvatori 101, Natashia Deón will moderate the panel "You Go, Girl: Women in Charge" with Amy Alkon, Melissa Carbone, and Krista Suh on Saturday at 4:30 pm.
Zan Romanoff (Young Adult Fiction) will be on the panel "Young Adult Fiction: Forging Your Own Path" with Gloria Chao and Mary H.K. Choi, moderated by Amy Spalding, on Sunday at 12:30 pm on the YA Stage.
Chris Daley (Playtime—Experimenting with Form) will moderate the panel "Epics: Old & New" with Janet Fitch, Laila Lalami, A.G. Lombardo, and Madeline Miller on Sunday at 2:00 pm in Hoffman Hall.
Last but not least in our profile of new spring guest instructors, we have online instructor Chelsea Biondolillo! Chris and Edan both met Chelsea in 2014 when we were all at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming and we're excited to have Chelsea teach our online seminar Words + Images—Showing and Telling with the Photo Essay on May 12 and 19.
First things first: our online classes are just like our in-person classes, discussing and workshopping writing in real time. You'll click on a URL at the time the class begins and you and the rest of the class (and Chelsea!) will appear Brady Bunch opening credits style. You'll be able to see and hear each other easily, just as if you're sitting around a living room. (No driving plus students from all over the world—maybe! Our first online class had someone joining from New Zealand.)
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.
Words + Images—Showing and Telling with the Photo Essay with Chelsea Biondolillo
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)
May 12 and May 19, 2018
Combining texts and photos is not new, but social media and camera phones have brought the once expensive and time-consuming pastime of picture making to the masses. During this generative two-day seminar, we’ll look at the art and craft of combining words and images on the page to create essays that engage both viewer and reader. Whether found or taken, we will explore how photographs can inspire text, creating ekphrastic essays, and how writing can become an extension of the photographic eye and the essayist’s I.
In the first meeting, we will talk about the work created in preparation for class and read/view artist and authors who have combined photographs and nonfiction to create beautiful works of fine and literary art. We will talk about their different approaches and how each create a very different mood on the page. During the second meeting, participants will have the opportunity to workshop a piece of art/writing. This seminar is open to students of all levels.
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$150 course fee
For more information or to enroll, please visit www.writingworkshopsla.com/seminars.
Today, we're highlighting guest instructor Aja Gabel, whose novel The Ensemble has been receiving a lot of buzz in advance of its May release. "Following these four unforgettable characters, Aja Gabel's debut novel gives a behind-the-scenes look into the competitive, mysterious world of high level musicians. The story of Brit and Henry and Daniel and Jana, The Ensemble is a heart-skipping portrait of ambition, friendship, and the tenderness of youth." We're delighted that she will be offering a one-day seminar for us this spring: When We Talk About Love—Writing About Relationships on May 6 in Silver Lake.
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.
When We Talk About Love—Writing About Relationships with Aja Gabel in Silver Lake
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
May 6, 2018
Most of us have grown up on love stories, everything from Shakespeare and Jane Austen to Sweetbitter and ’90s rom coms. All writers write about relationships—to the self, to friends, to family, to the world. And most writers at one point or another take on our most trodden subject matter: romantic love. But when we sit down to write our own, what are we really writing? What structures and tropes should we be aware of? What biases are revealed and how can we make our stories true and new and original? What are we really talking about when we talk about love?
In this one-day seminar, we’ll look at common pitfalls when it comes to writing a love story and creative ways around them. We’ll examine love stories of all different kinds and find original ways into familiar narratives. Students will write and develop their own personal manifestos for love stories and leave with inspiration and tactics to tackle their own work.
This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Silver Lake where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 new; $120 returning
For more information or to enroll, please visit www.writingworkshopsla.com/seminars.
Next up in our showcase of spring guest instructors is Jessica P. Ogilvie, who was recently named a contributing editor at Playboy Magazine! She's teaching the first installment of our online Essay Writing workshop beginning April 19. We hope you'll sign up and get our online workshops off to a strong start!Read More
This week, we'll be introducing you to our outstanding guest instructors for the spring term (unless you're already familiar with their excellent writing). First up, we have Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, who will be teaching Poetry I, an eight-week workshop starting Tuesday, April 26 in Melrose Village.Read More
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 Journal—its latest issue was released this month, in which Lauren interviews Mary-Kim Arnold. Fugue’s 2018 Prose Contest closes March 15.
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.