Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Importance of Book Clubs and the WNBA 100th Anniversary

The 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life was a smashing success. On Saturday the Mount Saint Mary's University Campus was buzzing with writers and conference organizers. Attendees were treated to a day packed with information and invaluable advice. Margaret Stohl gave a wonderful opening keynote address, offering a heartfelt personal view on pursuing writing no matter the challenges, whether it be the skepticism of your children or a highly demanding day job. Throughout the day attendees were split off into a variety of panels and workshops, the most popular being, Writing as Daily Practice - reminding writers that it's okay that our first drafts are bad and to not let the fear of not producing publishable material on the first go impede you from sitting down and getting the words out. We have to start somewhere and from there it can be improved upon. Nikki Giovanni's closing keynote touched the hearts of everyone there. Many of the attendees felt privileged to be in her presence and she reminded us that no matter how many adversities stand in our way that expressing ourselves through the written word only enhances our humanity and connects us on a deep social level. And also, that it's important to have a good cry every so often. 

As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the WNBA, which was founded in 1917, we are reminded of the significance that book clubs have in our society. They connect a group of people and artists that normally operate in isolation. We are able to converse and educate one another on our appreciation of the written word. For nearly one hundred years the Women's National Book Association has survived to bring the literary culture to women and men. The WNBA celebrates women authors and recognizes the achievements we've made since the birth of the organization, during a time when women weren't even allowed to vote. This long standing organization is rooted in our history and will continue to thrive even as the publishing industry shifts and morphs. We invite you to be a part of American history by joining the WNBA. They exist in most major cities in America and the Los Angeles chapter provides annual events and readings such as the National Reading Group Month and the LA Writers Conference. There are also leadership opportunities if you're interested in being a board member. Just because we are a women's organization doesn't mean that we discriminate against men. We encourage men to join and to support the women readers and writers in their lives. Annual fees are affordable and the opportunity to develop within the organization is available. Join now so that you can celebrate with us in 2017 when the WNBA turns 100 and becomes one of the oldest book associations in America. 

Here are a few candid moments from the LAWC. We hope to see you at next year's conference. Date TBA. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Make Your Own Opportunities at the 2015 LAWC

This weekend, attendees at the 2015 Los Angeles Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life will have an opportunity to enhance their knowledge about the literary industry. Whether you are a novice or have been writing for most of your life there is always a lot to learn from the first hand experience of the professionals at writers conferences. 

The publishing industry is a shifting enterprise with new trends and genres emerging every year. The best way to stay relevant in this ever-changing industry is by being well-informed and staying adaptable to unexplored avenues. Maybe you've always written romantic fiction and never considered writing young adult. How do you know it's something you're not interested in until you've tried it? Keeping an open mind and being flexible to new possibilities will allow you to potentially gain a new skill and will most definitely improve your writing overall. 

The workshops and panels offered at the LAWC Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life cover a variety of topics from writing query letters to LGBT in fiction as well as the future of publishing  to channeling your inner teen. Learning about all aspects of the literary industry gives you a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses as a writer. We encourage you to explore at least one of the unknown areas of this conference. If you are attending with a friend consider splitting up and taking notes so that you can swap them later. Or if you aren't bringing a friend, then make one! Get to know one of the fellow attendees find out if they're going to a panel that you're not and offer to exchange notes. Be creative in your attempts to accumulate as much knowledge from the conference as possible. 

There's only two days left to buy tickets!!! If you wait until Saturday there may be a few tickets still available so show up and don't wait until next year to start making your writing opportunities a reality.

Here is a list of the panels and workshops that attendees will select from:

  • It Takes a Village: Creating Your Dream Team 
  • Writing As Daily Practice
  • Super Heroes to Fantasy Heroes
  • The Future of Publishing: What Every Writer Should Know
  • Love is the Name of the Game
  • Channeling your Inner Teen
  • Query Letter Clinic
  • Our Stories Our Way: LGBT Identity on the Page

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Makes YOU A Writer?


What makes you a writer? Is it your creativity? Discipline? Passion for storytelling? I could go on...honestly, we all have reasons for defining ourselves as writers but if we are novices or have yet to be published then what in our daily lives can we do to make us feel like professionals? Besides practicing writing everyday, voracious reading, submitting to publishers or literary magazines, joining writing groups or participating in classes we can attend Writers Conferences. These are generally day or weekend long events where a community of writers assemble to hear established experts offer insight and encouragement as they discuss a myriad of topics including their path to publication and trends in the literary world.

You are a writer because you have the discipline, dedication and passion to pursue your interests. 

By attending the 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life you are proving to yourself that you take your writing seriously and professionally. As an attendee you will have the opportunity to hear the morning keynote speaker, YA Author Margaret Stohl and also the evening keynote speaker, poet Nikki Giovanni. Throughout the day you will choose to participate in several panels and workshops, each with a unique and current literary theme. 

Including Writing as Daily Practice with Kate Maruyama and Xochitl Julisa Bermejo - watch this short video for a glimpse at their workshop.  

Or join Catherine Linka and Kim Askew for their workshop about Channeling Your Inner Teen - Writing for Teens and Tweens. Watch this short video featuring Kim on what to expect. 

Jennie Nash will be moderating the panel It Takes A Village: Creating Your Dream Team with panelists: Julia Callahan, Dana Newman and Martha Alderson. Click the link below to hear more:

All participants will see Martha Alderson - The Plot Whisperer discuss Blockbuster Plots. Here is a short glimpse at what she'll be discussing. 

The 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life takes place Saturday March 14th. That means there's only a limited time left to purchase tickets and they are selling out FAST! If you are a writer or even a fan of one or many of the panelists then don't miss your chance to participate in the spectacular day's events.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Nikki Giovanni at the 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life

Mount Saint Mary's University and The Women's National Book Association, Los Angeles are thrilled to present the 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life featuring our esteemed evening keynote speaker, Nikki Giovanni!

Nikki Giovanni is one of the world's most well-known African American poets and she will be delivering an amazing talk at 4pm on Saturday March 14th. If you are unable to attend the entire conference but are still interested in hearing Nikki speak please purchase a single ticket to her evening keynote presentation.

Both Tickets are available at the link below including a short video of Nikki.

Buy Tickets Here 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life

They are selling out fast and will not be around for much longer. We look forward to seeing you there!

LGBT Community at the 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life

Next Saturday, March 14th is the 2015 LA Writers Conference, Imagination: The Fiction Writer's Life

There will be a number of panels and workshops available including a fascinating discussion about Our Stories Our Way: LGBT Identity on the Page with authors Rebekah Weatherspoon and Frederick Smith. Miss Weatherspoon has published several books including: At Her Feet and Treasure. Mr. Smith has also published several books including: Play it Forward and Right Side of the Wrong Bed. 


Watch this short video with Rebekah and Fred promoting their workshop:

Rebekah Weatherspoon and Frederick Smith: LA Writers Conference 2015

There is limited seating available and tickets are selling out fast!! If you'd like to attend be sure to click the link below to register. 

Buy Tickets Here!!