Schedule

Download the LitFest Pasadena Schedule & Map

Authors’ books available for purchase at Vroman’s Bookstore and its “satellite” location in the Pasadena Playhouse lobby. Support your authors and take home some books!

May 18, Saturday

Write Back to You
A COMBCHELLA Journaling Workshop
May 18, Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m., El Portal, banquet room

You used to wake up and look forward to writing. Then life got in the way, and you put off your creative projects. The only problem? You miss writing and feeling productive. Join Camari Carter-Hawkins and work toward feeling happier, more loved, and more creative with some guided, intentional journaling. Bring a pen, your favorite notebook, or the Write Back to You Journal.

The Original Voice Workshop with Nairy Fstukh
May 18, Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

Nairy Fstukh: It sounds nice, doesn’t it? A voice that is exactly yours. It’s not what we’re after at first. We want to sound like the ideal person we wish we were. In essence, we want to be captivating. It’s when we pretend we are something other than who we are that our writing is flat. Join me in a 15-30 minute, one-on-one workshopping session where we find and leverage your potent voice in one of your poems.

The Haiku Guys + Gals
Free Street Poetry
May 18, Saturday, 2-7:30 p.m., next to The Stand restaurant

In 2012, on a street corner in Brooklyn, cofounders Erick and Dan discovered that writing free haiku on typewriters for strangers brought them joy. Six years later, they have thirty poets performing in ten cities. They’re on a mission to write a free, custom haiku for everyone. What do Paul Auster, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy, Sylvia Plath, and John Steinbeck have in common? They all wrote on typewriters! Try out some of the same models these authors loved at the Typewriter Guys’ pop-up on El Molino. Channel your muses with some of Garrett Lai and Aaron Therol‘s fabulously restored vintage writing machines while you wait for Erick Szentmiklosy and Leah Clancy to create your #freehaiku!

Henna Creations by Abby
Saturday, May 18-19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

Abby Edelstein creates beautiful Henna designs – for you! After purchasing your favorite author’s book in the Playhouse lobby or feeling stimulated after an author’s panel in the Friendship Center, sit down and let Abby create her beauty. Donations not necessary, but always welcome – support a young artist!

May 18, Saturday, 3-4 p.m.

Bookstores We Love
May 18, Saturday, 3-4 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

Great independent bookstores deserve our admiration—and our money. They host readings with famous and up-and-coming authors, provide a space to meet and discuss ideas, and fiercely reflect the soul of the communities they serve. Join booksellers from Vroman’s Bookstore, Skylight Books, Flintridge Bookstore, Whitmore Rare Books, and The Last Bookstore for an inside look at the joys and challenges of running an independent bookstore.

Featuring: Jennifer Ramos, Vroman’s Bookstore; Dan Whitmore, Whitmore Rare Books; Jenny Tarzian, Flintridge Bookstore; Katie Orphan, The Last Bookstore; Mary Williams, Skylight Books; Julia Callahan, Rare Bird Books- Moderator

Book to TV
Is the Story Still the Story?
May 18, Saturday, 3-4 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

Two television writers and showrunners—who are also novelists—talk about the unique challenges of telling the same stories and developing the same characters for different media: Gina Fattore, showrunner for the upcoming USA/Netflix show Dare Me, based on Megan Abbott’s novel, and herself the author of an upcoming novel; and Jim Gavin, who adapted some characters and stories from his debut novel Middle Men to create the AMC series Lodge 49. Georgia Jeffries, moderator.

Three Shades of Mystery
From Cozy to Dark Mysteries
May 18, 3-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Friendship Center

Come hear a panel of mystery authors from Sisters in Crime LA consider why they choose to write the genre they do. From soft, cozy mysteries to hard-boiled murder mysteries, they will share writing tips and reveal where they get their inspiration. Featuring Janet Elizabeth Lynn, Sybil Johnson, GB Pool, Nancy Cole Silverman, and Anne Louise Bannon, moderator.

How to Lead without Losing Your Head
Lessons in Leadership from Game of Thrones, Second City, and the Third World
May 18, 3-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

This panel brings together three experienced speakers who work closely with global business leaders. Bob Kulhan, author of Getting to ‘Yes And’: The Art of Business Improv, and Bruce Craven, author of Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones, are both educators in the field of leadership. Patrick Howell is a writer with 25 years of experience in financial services and consulting. Pete Magill, moderator, is a runner, coach, and writer.

Languas Revoltosas
Women of Color Disrupting Traditional Literary Zones
May 18, Saturday, 3-4 p.m. at The Stand

“Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity—I am my language,” wrote the legendary poet-scholar Gloria Anzaldúa. Despite rich linguistic/cultural diversity within the United States, the primary passport in mainstream publishing continues to be monolinguistic. This multi-genre reading features writers of color with unruly tongues disrupting English-only literary zones and challenging perceptions of what constitutes Latinx and POC writing and identity. Featuring Angelina Sáenz, Tanya Ko Hong, Veronica Reyes, and Sehba Sarwar. Hosted by Olga Echeverría Garcia.

Hollywood and Vine
The Intersection of Tinsel Town and Americana
May 18, Saturday, 3-4 p.m., El Portal banquet room

Radio and television personality Manny Pacheco leads a discussion about Hollywood’s influence on the end of World War II, the John F. Kennedy assassination, the Black Dahlia cold case murder, and more. Based on his award-winning Forgotten Hollywood book series, Pacheco highlights character actors who are often relegated to the background. With Mary Mallory and Jordan Young.

From Silence to Song
May 18, Saturday, 3-4 p.m., Walt Girdner Studio, 27 S. El Molino Avenue

“We strive to help others discover their wondrous and creative selves.” Northeast Mental Health and Wellness Center is a LA County Department of Mental Health directly-operated outpatient program committed to living our vision of partnering with clients, families, and communities to create hope, recovery, and well-being. We understand the healing power of creativity and encourage expression and self-discovery through art and through participation in our community. Featuring George Bernal, Nathan Cambridge, Todd Davis, Rita Lucero, Juan Melgoza, Victoria Murdoch, Ismael Prado, Frederick Valle, Otto Voormann, and Jessie Cho, host.

Saturday Open Mic
May 18, Saturday, 3-6:30 p.m., Zona Rosa Caffe, alley

Saturday’s open mic in Zona Rosa alley is hosted by Jireh Deng. Want to share a few minutes of your own writing at LitFest Pasadena? This is the place to do it. Featuring Igor Goldkind, Rhiannon McGavin, Mario Torero,and the Chase Petra Band.

May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Writing Our Own Codices
Acts of Resistance to 500 Years of Detentions and Killings
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

Project 1521 gathers artists, writers, and scholars to generate new visual and literary works as we approach the 500 year anniversary of the conquest of Mexico. The goal is to make sense of current acts of detention and killings and create works as acts of resistance. Participants read new texts with a reproduction of Sandy Rodriguez’s Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón as outdoor installation, and dialogue with the audience. Featuring Adrian Arancibia, Leticia Hernández, Arminé Iknadossian, Darren J. de Leon, Dr. Diana Magaloni, Linda Ravenswood, Yago S. Cura, Sandy Rodriguez, and Adolfo Guzman-Lopez.

Collaboration in Publishing
What Works—And What Doesn’t?
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstores, upstairs

Three Los Angeles book publishers discuss the process of working jointly with other publishers and authors. Panelists consider why they collaborate, what makes a good collaboration, and what they have found most challenging. Featuring editors Susan LaTempa, Annabel Warren, and Colleen Dunn Bates. The panel is moderated by Thomas Backer, PhD, psychologist, nonprofit leader, and noted writer on the topic.

Literary Listening
Great Audio Books and How They’re Made
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Friendship Center

What makes a good audiobook? How is it done? Where do I start? Join some of LA’s top professional audiobook producers and narrators as they discuss the fastest growing segment of the publishing business. Get your questions answered by the pros. Featuring Amy Rubinate, Jamie Dupras, Jeffery Kafer, Steve Sidawi, and Petrea Burchard, moderator.

Writing Strong YA Female Characters in the #MeToo Era
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

Amid society’s increasing awareness of sexual harassment, rape culture, consent, and “body boundaries,” YA authors discuss the incorporation of these issues into their plots and characters, and examine how YA literature can serve as an influential touchstone on these topics. Featuring Sheila Soble, Ann Redisch Stampler, Jeff Sweat, and Christina Hoag, moderator.

Letters Under Rock
An Interactive Poetry Performance
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

Cindy Rinne and Bory Thach perform a section from their forthcoming book of letters (poems) they left for each other under a rock. While one person reads, the other dances or chants, interacting with their surroundings. Selected audience members will act out Rinne’s short play, Lost.

Southland Poets Laureate
A Celebration of Literature
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at The Stand

What does it mean to be a poet laureate? Find out at this reading and conversation with Charles Flowers (West Hollywood Poet Laureate), Hazel Clayton Harrison and Teresa Mei Chuc (Altadena Poets Laureate), John Brantingham (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park Poet Laureate), and Ron Koertge (South Pasadena Poet Laureate). They reveal the duties of their position, and what they’re doing to help spread literature in their respective areas.

What Are Teenagers Reading Today?
May 18, Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Walt Girdner Studio, 27 S. El Molino Avenue

A panel of writers, teachers, and parents talk about what high school students are reading in class—and at home. What books do they pick up when they put down their phones? Do they prefer to read everything from a screen? Teens from the audience are invited to weigh in. Featuring F. Douglas Brown, Angela Coppola, Léna Garcia, Mike Sonksen, and Kevin Stricke, moderator.

Roswell Award – celebrating original short sci-fi by writers worldwide
May 18, Saturday, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre – NEW TIME & LOCATION!

FINALISTS: Audrey Hollis, Boris Glikman, Donovan Soto,Eliana Carmona, and Sam Draper.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Calvin Spears, Julie Borden, Rachel Cochran, Emily Fluke, and Raluca Balasa.
WOMEN HOLDING UP HALF THE SKY AWARD WINNER: Jennifer Delozier

May 18, Saturday, 6-7 p.m.

Memoirs of Black LA
The Burning Desire to Remember
May 18, Saturday, 6-7 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

Black writers discuss writing memoirs about black life in Los Angeles. Featuring Dr. Michael Datcher, author of the New York Times bestseller Raising Fences, author Eric Priestly, and TV producer Tori Reid, who is writing her first memoir. Moderators are journalist and columnist Erin Aubrey Kaplan and author Jervey Tervalon.

Interrogating the Crime Writer
May 18, Saturday, 6-7 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

Explore the criminal minds behind some of our region’s best mysteries. Moderator Naomi Hirahara will be posing rapid-fire questions to this panel of crime writers. Who will buckle under the pressure? Featuring Steph Cha, Tod Goldberg, Paddy Hirsch, Joe Ide, and Gary Phillips.

Alternative News Sources
How Alternative Newsweeklies Are Going Strong in Changing Times
May 18, Saturday, 6-7 p.m., Friendship Center, Pasadena Playhouse

The digital age has been challenging for the newspaper industry, but local alternative newsweeklies have found a way to survive. Join the editorial staff of the Pasadena Weekly newspaper as they discuss how hyper-local papers have found a sustainable niche serving their communities. Featuring Kevin Uhrich (editor), André Coleman (deputy editor), Carl Kozlowski (arts editor), Ellen Snortland (columnist), and Justin Chapman, moderator.

Fighting for Social Justice
One Word at a Time
May 18, Saturday, 6-7 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. By addressing injustices in wealth, opportunities, and privileges within our society, these panelists use their writing to create change. They examine their trials and triumphs, and share writing tips for mixing social justice and the literary arts. Featuring Khadija Anderson, Figgy Baby, Christina Hoag, Meredith Mann, and Stephanie Ballard, moderator.

From Noho to the Dena
Unbuckling Soaring Similes and Mingling Metaphors
May18, Saturday, 6-7p.m., Pasadena Playhouse,courtyard

A showcase of established and emerging poets based on the long-running “Unbuckled: NoHo Poetry” reading series in North Hollywood. Get hooked on the beautiful and addictive sweet science of written and spoken word. Organized by Radomir Vojtech Luza and Mary Anneeta Mann. Readers include Beverly M. Collins, Richard Del Connor, Joseph Kennedy, Patricia Murphy, Alice Pero, and Bob Rich.

Poets in Distress Melting Mountains 2019
May 18, Saturday, 6-7 p.m. at The Stand

As the last of the winter snow melts from the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains—from Mt. Wilson east to Mt. Baldy and Cucamonga Peak—the Poets in Distress emerge from the shadows once again to celebrate LitFest Pasadena with a group poetry reading that will delight many and outrage a few. Inspired by the Beat Generation, punk rock, jazz and slam poets, the Poets in Distress live by the credo, “Shut up and read the poem.” Featuring Brother Jude, Craig Rick, Kevin Ausmus, King Daddy, Raundi Moore-Kondo, Steve Lution, Tina Pasadena, Matt Rouse, and Brutus Chieftain (Johnny Bender).

May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Creating the Creator
Do Our Institutions Do Enough to Sustain the Literary Arts?
May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University offers new writers of any age and background a $15,000 fellowship to finish a significant writing project. Fellowships like the Steinbeck, PEN Emerging Voices, Marin Headlands, and others fulfill a vital role in incubating and creating literary artists. This panel brings together artists and arts administrators to talk about the ways in which emerging writers can sustain their work and what our institutions can do to support these creators. Featuring Joel Tomfohr, Kirin Khan, Meng Jin, and Nick Taylor, moderator.

You Might as Well Live
Traversing Pain, Pleasure, and Everything in Between in the Queer Memoir
May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

This lively and thought-provoking panel discussion includes an eclectic and electric group of LGBTQ authors discussing their recent memoirs, the writing process, inspiration(s), and much more. Featuring Alex Espinoza, Ali Liebegott, Carla Sameth, Karen Tongson, and Corey Roskin, moderator.

A Stranger Comes to Town
May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Friendship Center

Four Pelekinesis authors, meeting for the first time, explore a powerful literary device. What they lack in familiarity they share in commonality through the power of the stranger archetype in their novels. Join them for a spontaneous dialogue about what it means to be strange and how people get to know each other in the first place. Featuring David Ewers, Adam Greenfield, Justin J. Murphy, and Sean Pravica, moderator.

#WeToo
Sex Work in the Wake of a Movement
May 18, Saturday, 6z;30-7:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

Contributors to #WeToo: Sex Work in the Wake of a Movement, a groundbreaking anthology forthcoming from Feminist Press (2020), discuss how sex workers experience stigma, violence, and exclusion from so-called feminist movements, and offer narratives of inclusion and cultural change that can guide us forward. Featuring Christa Sacco, PhD, Natalie West, and Vanessa Carlisle, Phd, moderator.

Diving into the Wreck
The Inheritance of Trauma
May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

Award-winning poets William Archila, Lory Bedikian, Douglas Manuel, and Michelle Brittan Rosado read from their harrowing collections about family, what we inherit, and trauma that haunts through generations. Their works swim in the wake of Adrienne Rich’s 1973 Diving into the Wreck and seek “the wreck and not the story of the wreck / the thing itself and not the myth” of their own subjective experiences.

Noir at the Bar
May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at The Stand

LA’s longest-running crime fiction reading series comes to LitFest Pasadena! Hosted by Writer Types podcasters Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden, Noir at the Bar may induce shock, laughter, and responsible intoxication. Join us for a night of readings from some of crime fiction’s established names and rising stars. Featured readers: Sarah M. Chen, Ryan Gattis, Naomi Hirahara, Joe Ide, Zara Lisbon, Gary Phillips, and Hollie Overton.

Shades & Shadows
May 18, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre – NEW LOCATION!

Get ready to squirm in your seat and feel the hair on the back of your neck rise in terror! Dare to hear debuting, emerging, and established authors read from their own works of dark fiction. “Expand your dark horizons.” Featuring Maria Alexander, Wesley Chu, Christa Faust, Cody Goodfellow, and Lucio Rodriguez. Hosted by Xach Fromson.

May 19, Sunday

Open Secrets
A Storytelling Workshop
May 19, Sunday, 1-3 p.m., New School of Cooking, classroom

Join PEN America’s World Voices Festival in partnership with LitFest Pasadena to present “Open Secrets,” a pop-up workshop instructed by Rocío Carlos. The workshop focuses  on the oral history of telling stories in communities of color, story preservation across diasporas, and the writer’s navigation of private and public spaces. Thanks to Natalie Green and Karen Garcia.

Super Blooms and Wild Words
A Workshop on Writing Nature Poetry
May 19, Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m., El Portal, banquet room

Nature poetry is blossoming all over! Drawing from personal observations of nature, participants learn to craft nature poems of their own. In this generative workshop led by poet Anne Yale, we explore recently published poems, and then use our own observations of nature, along with the poetic techniques of imagery and figurative language to plant a garden of our own.

Book Club for Kids
A Live Podcast Taping
May 19, Sunday, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

Join us for a live taping of the Book Club for Kids podcast. Public radio legend Kitty Felde joins a group of middle grade readers to discuss Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien. KPCC voice over artist Veronica Lopez reads from the book, and Henry joins in to take questions from the kids.

The Haiku Guys + Gals
Free Street Poetry
May 19, Sunday, 2-7:30 p.m., El Molino Avenue, next to The Stand Restaurant

In 2012, on a street corner in Brooklyn, cofounders Erick and Dan discovered that writing free haiku on typewriters for strangers brings them joy. Six years later, they have thirty poets performing in ten cities. They’re on a mission to write a free, custom haiku for everyone. What do Paul Auster, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy, Sylvia Plath, and John Steinbeck have in common? They all wrote on typewriters! Try out some of the same models these authors loved at the Typewriter Guys’ pop-up. Channel your muses with some of Garrett Lai and Aaron Therol‘s fabulously restored vintage writing machines while you wait for Erick Szentmiklosy and Leah Clancy to create your #freehaiku!

The Original Voice Workshop with Nairy Fstukh
May 19, Sunday, 1-3 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

Nairy Fstukh: It sounds nice, doesn’t it? A voice that is exactly yours. It’s not what we’re after at first. We want to sound like the ideal person we wish we were. In essence, we want to be captivating. It’s when we pretend we are something other than who we are that our writing is flat. Join me in a 15-30 minute, one-on-one workshopping session where we find and leverage your potent voice in one of your poems.

Henna Creations by Abby
Sunday, May 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse courtyard

Abby Edelstein creates beautiful Henna designs – for you! After purchasing your favorite author’s book in the Playhouse lobby or feeling stimulated after an author’s panel in the Friendship Center, take a seat and let Abby create her beauty. Donations not necessary, but always welcome – support a young artist!

Finding the Sweet Spot with Laura Lee-Chin
May 19, Sunday, 2-3 p.m., Monopole Wine, 21 S. El Molino Avenue

Have you ever wondered why chocolate and wine work together? Join us as we discover how to find the sweet spot for chocolate and wine pairing.

May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m.

The Modern Wave of Middle Grade
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

What kids (ages 8-12) are reading today might surprise you. This panel discussion for kids and adults features some of Los Angeles’ leading writers for children taking on the topics of diversity, humor, mystery, and more. Bring your questions and enthusiasm! Featuring Kitty Felde, Jerry Mahoney, Doreen Spicer-Dannelly, and Dana Middleton, moderator.

Altadena Poetry Review Anthology
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

Distinguished local poets Thelma T. Reyna, Pauli Dutton,and Elline Lipkin have all edited this award-winning anthology – and cohost this reading of local poets they have nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Featuring Jack G. Bowman, Thom Cagle, Stephen Colley, Alicia Elkort, Mark A. Fisher, GT Foster, Briony James, Sabrina Kaleta, Shahé Mankerian, Sharon Rizk, Susan Rogers, David Slavin, Dorothy Skiles, Kath Abela Wilson.

Be True to You
Own Voices and Empathy in YA
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Friendship Center

The “own voices” movement has been a transformative force in YA literature. As writers express their unique perspectives, they help us, as readers, empathize with and understand their characters. How does writing from personal experience coexist with writing outside of one’s experience in YA books today? Featuring Kayla Cagan, Abdi Nazemian, CB Lee, Karol Ruth Silverstein, and Jeff Sweat, moderator.

How Literature Podcasts Rupture the Space-Time Continuum
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

“Want to feel mildly productive when you can’t write—because you’re spending your minutes and hours stuck in Los Angeles traffic?” Los Angeles writer Siel Ju inquires. “Listen to a literary podcast while you wait on the 405.” Can literary podcasts do more than simply kill a few minutes of our commute? We convene LARB podcasters, KPFK Bibliocracy host Andrew Tonkovich and Badass Bookworm host Cassandra Dallett to discuss the role that literature podcasts play in reviving literature’s social basis, as well as literature’s 21st century evolution. Featuring Cassandra Dallett, Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, Andrew Tonkovich, and Keenan Norris, moderator.

Red Hen Press Presents
Poems in Conversation
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

In this spontaneous, unrehearsed reading, a panel of poets from Red Hen Press speak to one another—and the audience—through their poems. One poet reads a poem and another jumps in with a response, reading a poem about a similar subject or idea. The audience is invited to suggest poetry topics. What kind of poem do you need in your life right now? Featuring William Archila, Kim Dower, Ron Koertge, and Doug Manuel.

Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman!
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m. at The Stand

Join UCLA Writing Programs for a reading celebrating the bicentennial and radical optimism of America’s first bard of democracy. Bring your favorite poem, excerpt, or quote by Whitman to share on the open mic (5 minutes max per open mic reader). We’ll have copies of “Song of Myself” available. Featuring fiction writer Dominiqua Dickey, poet/playwright Susannah Rodríguez Drissi, and poet Amber West.

Finding Truth Through Travel
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., El Portal, banquet room

Three memoir authors explore how physical journeys have influenced both their personal journeys and their writing process, and why travel is such a powerful inspiration for writers. Tembi Locke (From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home), Mary Lea Carroll (Saint Everywhere: Travels in Search of the Lady Saints), and Devin Galaudet (10,000 Miles with My Dead Father’s Ashes) each find a way to connect powerfully with readers. Moderated by Dr. Michael Datcher, author of the memoir Raising Fences and a professor of English at Loyola Marymount University.

The Story Behind the Illustrated Story
May 19, Sunday, 3-4 p.m., Vanessa’s Café

An exploration of the collaborative process of creating illustrated books from the perspectives of authors, visual content creators, and a book producer/publisher. The panel includes children’s book author Kerry Madden-Lunsford, children’s book author/illustrator Chris Robertson, historian/biographer Elizabeth Pomeroy, book producer/publisher Charley Allen, and children’s picture book author Kelly Nott, moderator.

Sunday Open Mic
May 19, Sunday, 3:30-6 p.m., Zona Rosa Caffe, alley

Ricardo Reyes hosts the open mic in Zona Rosa Caffe alley. Want to share a few minutes of your own writing at LitFest Pasadena? Here’s your chance!

Power Treaties
May 19, Sunday, 3-4:30 p.m., Battery Books & Music
26 S. Robles Ave., Pasadena 91101

Enjoy a literary performance of poetry, prose, and music about the topic of power. The artists stretch and play with the different dimensions of power —how they use it, lose it, abuse it, shape it, or share it. The performance at Battery Books and Music highlights the work of the following poets, essayists, and lyricists: Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, Brennan DeFrisco, Avila Santo, Mireya VelaAmy Shimshon-Santo, host.

May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30

The Future of LA Media
Hyped Up on Hyper Local Stories
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30, Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

The Los Angeles Times newsroom is re-energized and growing, and newer publications like LAist, LA Taco, The LAnd and Los Angeleno are telling impactful stories about the city. In this panel, local journalists discuss why local media is an essential service to the community—and what keeping local journalism alive involves. Featuring Daniel Hernandez, Melissa Leu, Phoenix, Tso, Julia Wick, and Sophia Kercher, moderator.

Micro-Doses of LA
The Anthologist’s Challenge
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

The editors of Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018 and the Paperback LA: A Casual Anthology series talk shop with the audience about conjuring up Los Angeles purely from essays, stories, poetry, diaries, letters, beach glass, and old Dodgers ticket stubs. Featuring David Kipen and Susan LaTempa.

Lisa See and Nina Revoyr in Conversation with Janet Fitch
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, The Loft – NEW LOCATION!

Three of L.A.’s most acclaimed novelists gather on one stage for a conversation about fiction, writing, characters, and creativity. Janet Fitch, author of The Revolution of Marina M. (new in paperback) and White Oleander, guides a conversation between Lisa See, author of the new The Island of Sea Women and such modern classics as The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and Nina Revoyr, author of the new A Student of History and such modern classics as Southland and The Age of Dreaming.

Motels, Money, Murder, and Madness
True Crime as Entertainment
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Friendship Center

True crime authors and podcasters reveal everything you wanted to know about true stories of murder and murderers—and what makes them so fascinating to readers and listeners. Featuring Buri Barer, Steve Hodel, Kari Martin, Drs. Shiloh and Schott, and Frank C. Girardot, Jr., moderator.

Community Storytellers
A Reading from the Students of the Community Literature Initiative
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

Join us for a spitfire poetry and short story showcase presented by the students and teachers from the Community Literature Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the Los Angeles community through performance-based literature. Featuring Poet Astrid, Joshua Castro, Sonia Grace, Penelope Lowder, and Jaha Zainabu.

East Pasadena Poets
Celebrating Each Other Through Poetry
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, courtyard

This six-year-old writers’ group has been gathering to share poetry, help one another improve, and to celebrate and support the art and craft of poetry. Members read their own and others’ poetry in a round-robin style, focusing on the themes of community and connection. Featuring Mary Fitzpatrick, Genevieve Kaplan, Beverly Lafontaine, Elline Lipkin, and Cathie Sandstrom.

Behind the Scenes of Southern California Lit Journals
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at The Stand

Editors, staffers, and advisors on five local literary journals (AnastamosDrylandFoothillPrism Review, TAB) discuss how literary journals are made, and share best practices for submitting work to literary journals for publication. Featuring Kevin Brown, Anna Leahy, Viva Padilla, Emily Schuck, Allie Vernon, and Sean Bernard, moderator.

Our Golden State of Poems
Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Zona Rosa alley

Join “Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California” a coeditor/poet Ruth Nolan and contributing poets John Brantingham, Chad Sweeney, and Bronwyn Mauldin for a reading and discussion of fiery poetry that speaks to and from inland Southern California’s diverse ecologies.

The Citizen Poets Sparking Our Civic Imagination
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., El Portal, banquet room

The Pasadena Rose Poets are a group of citizen poets who have been reading poetry during the public comment period of Pasadena City Council meetings since February 2017. “I believe that because of the poetry reading at City Council our meetings are more civil,” says Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek. Featuring Hazel Clayton Harrison, Shahé Mankerian, and Toni Mosley, and Gerda Govine Ituarte, host.

Race & the Literary Life
May 19, Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Vanessa’s Café

How does race complicate literary life? It’s a loaded question that we’ll attempt to answer, while also considering issues of gender identity and class. Featuring Kia Penso, Abel Salas, Tim StilesJervey Tervalon, and Jean Guerrero, moderator

May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m.

What You Need to Know About Publishing
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, courtyard

A selection of Los Angeles’ independent publishing companies offer an overview of the publishing process, what they’re looking for in a manuscript and in an author, how a manuscript turns into a book, how their books are distributed, and what aspiring authors can and should do to get their manuscript published. An essential panel for anyone interested in publishing! Featuring Julia Callahan of Rare Bird Books, Colleen Dunn Bates of Prospect Park Books, Patty Rodriguez of Lil Libros, Carrie Paterson of Doppelhouse Press, Olivia Taylor Smith of Unnamed Press, and Tobi Harper of Red Hen Press, moderator.

Weird Fiction Hour
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, upstairs

A reading of novel excerpts, short stories, and poetry exploring and celebrating weird topics, including science fiction, revolutionary politics, and horror. Featuring Laura Lee Bahr, David Connor, Brian Evenson, Janet Sarbanes, Jacqueline Young, and Andrew J. Stone, host.

Tomorrow Prize, celebrating original short sci-fi by LA County high school students
May 19, Sunday, 5:45-7:30 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse Main Stage

Tomorrow Prize & Reading
Celebrating original short sci-fi by LA County high school students

5:30pm-7:30pm • Pasadena Playhouse, The Loft – NEW LOCATION!

FINALISTS: Ailun Shi, Megan Vidovich, Avi Strok, Arin Krausz, and Nicholas Kouchnerov
THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD WINNER: Molly Hill
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Yvonne Kuo, Desiree Eshraghi, Ksenia Pylnev, Jaide Lin, Antonia Torres, Chloe Silver, Veronica Stanek, Ailun Shi

Brave New Souls
African-American Sci-Fi Creators of the 21st Century
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Friendship Center

Six years ago, writer/filmmaker Brandon Easton produced and directed a documentary highlighting the inspirations, obstacles and creative output of a new generation of speculative fiction writers from the African diaspora. Our panelists share their experiences, advice, and warnings about pursuing a writing career. Join Easton (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Transformers: War for Cybertron), screenwriter Ubah Mohammed (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Gang Related), screenwriter Tony Puryear (Queen of the South, Eraser), and showrunner Geoffrey Thorne (Black Panther’s Quest, The Librarians) in this interactive discussion.

Queer, Adoptive, and Nontraditional Families
Writing Our Truth
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, library

Whether writing about child-rearing or unrelated topics, parenthood intersects at every level of the professional author experience. This panel features diverse authors who define themselves as something other than a “traditional” mother. Featuring Pat Alderete, Nefertiti Austin, Cheryl Klein, and Carla Sameth, moderator.

Writing for the Theatre
SoCal Playwrights Share Insights into Playwriting
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m. at The Stand

Playwrights create worlds and characters for the living stage, but where do those ideas come from, and what happens to those plays after an initial production? Join us for a deep dive into writing for the theatre with a lineup of celebrated, internationally-produced, LA-based dramatists, including Roger Bean, Diana Burbano, Josh Gershick, Sarah Tuft, and Jonathan Josephson, moderator.

Is Traditional Masculinity “Toxic”?
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m., El Portal, banquet room

This panel discussion provides a basic overview of the key guidelines in the recent “American Psychological Associations’ Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men.” This report generated considerable attention and controversy in the popular press. The panelists, which includes one of the lead authors of the report as well as an expert on adolescent development, reflects on competing and often contradictory pressures that boys face in this environment, and how data indicate serious challenges in academic and health outcomes. Featuring Ioakim Boutakidis, Matt Englar Carlson, Sehba Sarwar, and Jinghuan Liu Tervalon, moderator.

No Longer the Scream Queen
Women’s Roles in Horror
May 19, Sunday, 6-7 p.m., Vanessa’s Café

Women creators in the horror genre discuss the roles and representation of female characters and archetypes in horror literature and film. Featuring Kate Jonez, Kate Maruyama, Kathryn McGee, Lisa Morton, and Ashley Santana, moderator.

How Jonathan Gold Reinvented Los Angeles
May 19, Sunday, 8-9 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre – NEW LOCATION!

Laurie Ochoa gathers friends and colleagues, including LA Times “Food” section writer Amy Scattergood, Vogue magazine film critic John Powers, author Jervey Tervalon, and City of Gold Director Laura Gabbert, to celebrate and remember the unique life, wit, and wisdom of LitFest Pasadena co-founder Jonathan Gold – and his profound effect upon the City of Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

Authors’ books available for purchase at Vroman’s Bookstore and its “satellite” location in the Pasadena Playhouse lobby. Support your authors and take home some books!