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

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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.

Winter 2018 News

Congratulations to all our WWLA faculty and students who wrapped up 2017 in style!

"Taking Care With Broken Things: How I Came to Practice Ethical Taxidermy" by Summer Block (Essay Writing) was published by Catapult. Summer also wrote about the 25th Annual Sea Chantey Festival for The Awl. Look for her review in the anthology Critically Acclaimed: Fake Movies, Real Reviews, coming out January 9 and edited by former WWLA instructor Adam Cushman.

Sara Campbell wrote about one of her favorite records, R.E.M.'s Murmur, for The RS 500, an online outlet that's publishing stories and essays about Rolling Stone's top 500 albums of all time.

Melissa Chadburn (Nonfiction II) went undercover as a temp worker for her Longreads essay, “The Human Cost of the Ghost Economy,” which was among the 25 most popular Longreads exclusives of 2017 and the 10 best stunt journalism stories of 2017.

Andrea Ciannavei’s poem “Landowner” was published by Writers Resist.

“Unknocked,” a story by Chris Daley (Improve Your Submission Game), was published by Front Porch Journal.

Kristen Daniels will be a resident at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in March 2017.

April Dávila’s story “Quitter” was published by F(r)iction Online.

Christopher DeWan (The Art of the Short Story) is one of six fellows invited to join the inaugural Script Lab at Middlebury College's historic Bread Loaf campus this January. He is a recipient of a 2018 grant from the Arts Enterprise Laboratory for flash fiction. Chris was also named one of Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch by the International Screenwriters’ Association. His collection Hoopty Time Machines was reviewed at Glassworks Magazine.

You can now read Jennifer Alise Drew’s essay “Personal Matters” in The Iowa Review.

Ruby Dutcher has an essay in the forthcoming book, Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome.

Jackie Elam’s flash nonfiction “Looking in the Mirror: The Ugly Truth of Search Engines” was published by HeadStuff.

Seth Fischer (Novel II) is the new nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. Lunch Ticket republished his story/adjusted excerpt "Coyote in the Blood" for their special celebrating 20 years of the Antioch MFA Program.

Terrance Flynn performed his story “Ambrosia” at The Moth Mainstage in Portland.

Melissa Haley wrote about women pilots in the 1930s for Acid Free, the publication of the Los Angeles Archivists Collective.

Tahoma Literary Review will publish DeLon Howell’s essay “Listening for the Boys.”

Edan Lepucki’s novel Woman No. 17 was a notable work of fiction by The Washington Post, a recommended book by the San Francisco Chronicle, and one of POPSUGAR's Best Books of 2017. Los Angeles Times critic-at-large Susan Straight highlighted the novel in her column about her favorite books of the year. Edan also interviewed Margaret Atwood for a PEN Center USA event.

"Villanelle: Warning," a poem by Elline Lipkin (Poetry II), was published in the fall issue of Moria. Her poems "Agape, Age Three" and "Yes, I Am" were published in the fall issue of Tinker Street. 

Kate Maruyama (Novel I) will be part of the Shades & Shadows Reading at The Mystic Museum on January 20.

Only one month until A Perfect Universe, the new story collection from Scott O'Connor (Fiction I; Getting to the Heart of Your Characters), is available for purchase (but you can pre-order today!).

Sarah Osman's essay "A Teacher's Letter to Her Students About Charlottesville" was published by Hello Giggles.

Wonder Valley, the new novel from Ivy Pochoda (Plot & Pacing), was included in LitHub’s Best Crime Books of 2017, Entertainment Weekly’s 14 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in November, Village Voice's 2017's Best Crime Fiction, Los Angeles Times's Best Fiction of 2017, POPSUGAR's 12 Must-Read Books of November, and NPR’s Guide to 2017’s Great Reads, among others. It was also featured on Good Morning America as Michael Connelly’s favorite book of the year/the book he’s giving his friends this holiday season. Ivy also wrote about Wonder Valley and Twentynine Palms for The New York Times and snowboarder Chloe Kim for Vogue.

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff (Nonfiction I) was included in NPR’s Guide to 2017’s Great Reads and Vulture's 10 Best YA Books. Her Personal Geography series at Medium concluded with her essay “The City Burning.” (See also “Where to Have a Near-Death Experience in Los Angeles.”) Zan also wrote about “The Peculiar Sadness of Animated Alcoholics” for The Awl, “The Consumerist Church of Fitness Classes” for The Atlantic, and "Why We Learned to Fight" for Bon Appétit.

Samantha Jean Sumampong's essay "I Was the Roommate from Hell" was published by Role Reboot.

Christina Simon has joined the editorial team at Angels Flight Literary West. Her essay “Tarnished Silver” was published in the summer 2017 “Death” issue of The Broken City.

Two fairy tales by Sally Stevens, “The Sad Queen, the Selfish King, and the Magical Flowers” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves—A Collective Overview,” will be included in a forthcoming anthology from Between the Lines Publishing.

Laura Warrell (Westside Fiction), along with guest instructor Natashia Deón and many other excellent writers, will be reading for Angels Flight • Literary West’s Year of the Woman: Writing for Change event on January 13.

Lauren Westerfeld’s poem “Hologram” appeared in the fall/winter 2017 issue of [PANK]. Noble/Gas Quarterly published her poems “As Saturnine in Spring” and “After Flash Rain in Summer” in their latest issue.

Writing Workshops Los Angeles will start offering online courses in February!

Two Cities Review published Elizabeth Youle’s story “The Caver.”

The editors of TriQuarterly nominated "Civilian," a poem by Kim Young (Poetry I), for a Pushcart Prize. Also, Kim’s poem "Tiger," originally published in The Cincinnati Review, was selected by the Academy of American Poets for inclusion on the site Poets.org.

Summer Block & Melissa Chadburn: New Guest Instructors for Fall!

Before we release our schedule on Wednesday, we'd like to announce that we have two new talented guest instructors for the fall! Melissa Chadburn will be teaching our Nonfiction I workshop in Atwater Village and Summer Block will be teaching Essay Writing in Burbank (both on Wednesday evenings starting the third week of October). Read below for more information on these fine writers and please welcome them to WWLA!

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Summer Block has contributed essays, short fiction, and poetry to The Toast, The Awl, The Rumpus, Catapult, The Nervous Breakdown, McSweeney's, and 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.

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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. 

Summer 2017 News

Neelanjana Banerjee (Organizing Your Writing with Scrivener) spoke with Mira Nair about turning Monsoon Wedding into a theatrical musical, first stop Berkeley Rep, for the Center for Asian American Media.

Katie Barnes was accepted to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in August to participate in the nonfiction workshop.

The Thorn Necklace (Seal Press), a writing guide/memoir by Francesca Lia Block (Memoir 101: From Purge to Pitch), will be available in spring 2018. Francesca is currently at work on a novel.

“The Tunnel of Love,” a story by Chris Daley (The Art of the Short Story; Nonfiction III), was published by Cease, Cows.

Pithead Chapel published “Canopy,” a new story by Christopher DeWan (Fiction I). His story “The Atheist of Dekalb Street” was also included in Best Small Fictions 2017, edited by Amy Hempel and published by Braddock Avenue Books.

Dawn Dorland appeared at BinderCon (April 1-2, UCLA) on a panel about writing and class called "On Payment" and taught two nonfiction seminars at the Muse & the Marketplace conference (May 5-7, Boston). On the merit of her novel-in-progress Econoline, Dawn will attend the 2017 Tin House Summer Workshops (July 9-16, Portland).

Wendy Fontaine’s essay “Angie & Betty & Me” appeared in Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing.

Cease, Cows also published “Living Rooms,” a story by Laroo Jack.

Edan Lepucki's new novel, Woman No. 17, came out on May 9th. Her essay "Our Mothers as We Never Saw Them" was published on The New York Times Opinion page, and her profile of Kevin Bacon can be found in the most recent issue of Esquire Magazine.

Elline Lipkin (Poetry II) served as co-editor of the Altadena Poetry Review, which launched in late April and included poems by Robin Ford and Annette Wong. Elline has recently been awarded a California Writing Residency through 1888 + Yefe Nof in San Bernardino, CA. She also blogged for Poets & Writers about the wonderful poetry workshop that Suzanne Lummis led back in February of this year.

Kate Maruyama’s short story, "La Calavera," about cultural appropriation gone sideways, will be appearing in Cemetery Dance's anthology, Halloween Carnival, coming out from Random House this fall. She also reflected on 2014’s 90x90 events in anticipation of their return this summer.

“Golden State," a story by Scott O’Connor (Novel I) is now part of Amazon's new Prime Reading service, so Prime members can read it for free.

Brevity published Kate Martin Rowe’s essay “Summer Missionary.”

Joyce Salter will attend “Dreaming Awake: A Generative Fiction Writing Workshop” with Dan Chaon at The Port Townsend Writing Conference in July.

Margaret Wappler wrote the cover story on Kerry Washington for Net-A-Porter.

Lydia Whitlock’s essay “I thought I was over my relationship—but then I did my taxes” was published by The Washington Post.

Annette Wong read at LitFest Pasadena on the panel "10 Distinguished Local Poets" and was accepted to the Squaw Valley Writers' Conference.

Jules Wood will be joining the University of Iowa MFA program for poetry this fall.