Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome to Luis Alfaro, Writer-in-Residence

Welcome to Luis Alfaro, Writer-in-Residence!

Luis will be holding his first office hours on Saturday 1/13/18 from 11am-2pm, and thereafter every Saturday through March 10, 2018. Stop by to say hello!

While at the Beach House, he is working on a commission for Center Theatre Group: a contemporary adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle with an eye on the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. In addition, he is continuing work on The Golden State, a trilogy of plays commissioned by San Francisco’s Magic Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival whose first part, Delano, focused on a Pentecostal minister and his flock in the Central Valley birthplace of the United Farm Workers union. 

He is also presenting monthly public programs under the theme of “Things We Share” on Tuesdays at 6:30pm: 1/23/18, 2/20/18 and 3/6/18, more info here.

Luis Alfaro is a community-based writer known for his multi-faceted work in the American theatre along with his poetry, short stories and journalism. A Chicano born and raised in the Pico-Union district of downtown Los Angeles, Alfaro is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant”, awarded to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields. Alfaro has also recently been named as part of the inaugural cohort of Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellows.

The first playwright-in-residence in the eighty-year history of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, his plays include Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (Getty Villa, Victory Gardens Theatre-Chicago); Delano (Magic Theatre-San Francisco); St. Jude (CTG Kirk Douglas Theatre); Oedipus El Rey (Woolly Mammoth-Washington DC, Boston Court-Pasadena, San Diego Repertory, 18 productions, upcoming The Public Theatre-New York); Electricidad (Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, 32 productions); down town (Institute of Contemporary Art, London; XTeresa Performance Space, Mexico City); Body of Faith (Cornerstone Theater Company); Straight as a Line (Primary Stages; Edinburgh Festival; Goodman Theatre; National Theatre of Romania); Black Butterfly (Smithsonian Museum, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum).

His literary work is featured in more than 25 anthologies, spoken word CD (down town) and a short film, Chicanismo. He teaches at the University of Southern California. More here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Final Post: Thank you!

This residency has exceeded my own objectives and expectations, and I hope it has been an inspiring and informative experience for writers, panelists, and the many guests who attended the public programs.

I am grateful to the City of Santa Monica, Nan, Naomi, Jonathan, and the many people who set-up the rooms and made each event seamless.

Please continue to attend public programs here, as they are all about the arts, are free, and are critical to building community around creative initiatives you could be part of just by being in the room.

We've attached a little video summarizing the last 14 weeks for your information and for fun!




Tuesday, December 12, 2017


From this past Tuesday's final program, Cody Sisco announced two more resources dedicated to the writing community, which we are sharing for your information and use*:

Northeast Los Angeles Writers – a critique group

The Northeast Los Angeles Writers critique group is dedicated to helping writers finish, edit, and publish novels, memoirs, and short stories. We enable writers to learn from each other through critiques and networking and we provide a safe space for all participants to provide constructive feedback in a kind and helpful manner. 

If you’re not ready to submit your own work, you can still participate as a reader! By reading and providing feedback, both you and our writers learn and grow. 

We host mini-lectures at the beginning of each meetup on topics related to the craft and business of writing, from how to tell a story to managing the publishing process. Our members are pursuing self-publishing as well as the traditional publishing routes. We meet at the San Rafael branch of the Pasadena Public Library system and the Silver Lake branch of the Los Angeles Public Library system.

To participate, review our calendar and sign up to attend one of our meetings here: https://www.meetup.com/NELAwriters/events/upcoming. When you RSVP, you’ll receive guidelines and deadlines for submitting your work as well as links to manuscript excerpts and our critique guidelines. 

If you have any questions, please contact one of the co-organizers, Cody Sisco, at sfcody@gmail.com.

***

BookSwell – L.A.’s Literary Calendar and Community Hub

BookSwell is dedicated to growing the literary community by supporting a vibrant and thriving culture of live events and online content. We offer readers a service that helps them get plugged in to what’s happening in their area and to discover books and authors they love.

You can submit an event to be included in the calendar here: https://www.bookswell.club/submissions/. All author appearances at local bookstores, literary festivals, and venues are welcome to submit events though listing is not guaranteed. BookSwell is also looking for partners and sponsors to help publicize our events. Email contact@bookswell.club for more information

To sign up to receive updates about events, go to: http://www.bookswell.club/subscribe/. Or view the calendar here: https://www.bookswell.club/events/

(Note: December is a slow season for author appearances due to the holiday. Check back in January for a full schedule of events.)

*The ACBH, nor the City of Santa Monica, implicitly nor directly endorse any organizations, web-sites, or other program referred by the writer-in-residence, panelists, or their guests. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Final Public Office Hours Today; Viva Padilla comes to visit the MDGH

Thank you to all the docents and to the visitors who have come to talk about writing, share stories about their own writing journeys, who have read their work to me, and have shared a cup of tea. It has been truly inspiring to learn about how you work, and the commitment you have to your craft.

Poet Viva Padilla, came and wrote this week. Last night, we went to watch her read poetry out-loud in a salon format at Book Show in Highland Park. One of the poems she read to me while visiting earlier this week went into "woman destroyer" performance mode, and the audience went wild.

Viva, who is also the editor of Dry Lands, a literary journal dedicated to the writers of South Central LA, enjoyed the generous light and space the Marion Davies Guest House afforded her, and she edited poetry during her visit. I'm hoping she comes back to visit and that she considers applying for the residency next year.

Understanding the importance of literary citizenship is critical to us as writers. Support your fellow writers and other writers by showing up. I learned a great deal about the poetry movement in LA, and met some new poets.

Tomorrow night, panelist and mystery writer, Desiree Zamorano, reads at the Last Bookstore in downtown LA. Come listen to Desiree, Gary Phillips, Travis Richardson, and Danny Gardner read their pieces included in The Obama Inheritance Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir from 7-9 pm.
Viva Padilla edits poetry on the upstairs veranda on a blustery day.

Viva Padilla performs 12/8/17; Book Show, Highland Park

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wrap-up from Tuesday Evening Panel: Marketing and Promo in Publishing

Tuesday evening's final panel on marketing and promotion in publishing was well attended despite the fires burning all around us. The panelists and guests had a great time networking and chatting post-event, and I'm thrilled this is how the residency is wrapping up.

Women Writers of Color in our own Voices has been a passion project from the beginning, and I'm grateful to Annenberg and the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Beach = Culture for trusting me to actualize this work and for opening up the Marion Davies Guest House for so many writers to write, commune, and to contemplate their work. Most had never been to the ACBH, didn't even realize this stunning spot is a public park, and were overwhelmed with the generosity of time and space to write.

A novel was finished, poems were rewritten/edited, projects and collaborations have found some light to become something good, one writer, a recognized spoken word poet, read her fiction for the first time in public, another read for the first time outside her East LA community, and the evolution of women writers continues.

Many guests attended all three events and traveled from places as faraway as Pasadena, East LA, South Central, Thousand Oaks, and other parts of the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. From the feedback received, the Santa Monica, Westside, guests were thrilled to have the programs on their turf. I am grateful for your support, positivity, and engagement.

If I can include hand-outs via the blog, they will be added; otherwise, I'll talk to Naomi about a different way to distribute.

In the meantime, you may follow Women Who Submit on FB, twitter, and Instagram. Their website is https://womenwhosubmitlit.wordpress.com

Women's National Book Association-LA Chapter has a websitewww.wnba-books.org/la/ and are on FB. 

PEN USA www.penusa.org also has a FB page. 

If you'd like to contact Natalie Desai-Obando at Do Good PR and current WNBA-LA Chapter President, 
go to http://dogoodprgroup.com
Photos and collage by Sally Lew


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tonight's marketing and promotion in publishing program is good to go! We've picked Rochelle Spencer up from LAX, and the panelists are meeting early in order to make the 6 pm reception at the Event House.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Good morning from my little corner of the Marion Davies Guest House where the sun shines, the ocean rocks, and the cars fly up PCH! Yes, it's public office hours today, as well as a day when a crew of women will write and edit until their fingers go numb, or we get hungry. :)

Tuesday night's public program will include information about organizations directed specifically to women, and there will be books for sale.

One of the books that should be on every shelf for frequent reference and reading is "All About Skin Short Fiction by Women of Color," edited by Jina Ortiz and Rochelle Spencer, our guest panelist flying in from the Bay Area. I'm grabbing a copy of this book Tuesday, so Rochelle can sign it for me. Please be prepared that most of the writers will take cash only. If they do take cards, the price is often higher for the book.

You'll learn more about the Women's National Book Association, from our panelist, Natalie Desai-Obando, the LA Chapter's current president, writer, and public relations professional. Her company believes in doing PR/communications with a social conscience.

Janine Lim, panelist from our emerging writers evening, will update guests on The Drunken Masters and how you can get involved. I'm going to attend in December as an audience member, but one day my own work might be read in one of those dark, damp, and beer stained bars.

Rachelle Yousuf, who heads up PEN USA's membership, and does an amazing job taking book clubs to a new level with the Edison PEN USA book club, will talk about the importance of community, understanding what PEN does for writers, and how writers can be part of PEN.

There will be more soon. For now, please know I'll post images and updates on what you can look forward to Tuesday evening in the Event House (our program is designed a bit differently and requires more space than the parlor can afford).

Available Tuesday evening, $24.95, cash only; may be signed by co-editor, Rochelle Spencer

Rochelle Spencer, co-editor "All About Skin Short Fiction by Women of Color"

Reception 6:00 pm / Program commences at 6:30 pm / ACBH Event House / RSVP via Eventbrite