Natashia Deon

Brown and Deep Green Hills: LA's Speculative Lens
Saturday, April 30, 2:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Natashia Deon is an NAACP Image Award Nominee, practicing criminal attorney, and college professor. A Pamela Krasney Moral Courage Fellow, Deon is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Grace, which was named a Best Book by the New York Times, and The Perishing: A Novel. Deon has been awarded fellowships by PEN America, Prague Summer Program for Writers, Dickinson House in Belgium, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Naz Kutub

Yay, YA!
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Naz Kutub was born and raised in Singapore, and currently resides in Los Angeles, but constantly wonders why because the sun is his greatest enemy. He is pretty sure his ADHD is his superpower and believes it is the only thing stopping him from becoming a supermodel. That, and his unhealthy obsession with fried chicken. Oh, and there’s also this whole writing thing he can’t seem to shake off. The Loophole (Spring ’22, Bloomsbury) is his debut novel.

Neelanjana Banerjee

The Future of Publishing
Saturday, May 7, 1:00pm
Red Hen Press

Neelanjana Banerjee is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press, an independent publishing house dedicated to Asian Pacific American and Asian diasporic literature. She teaches Creative Writing and Publishing at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University, and her writing has appeared widely in places like The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner and World Literature Today.

Nicole D. Sconiers

Brown and Deep Green Hills: LA's Speculative Lens
Saturday, April 30, 2:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Nicole D. Sconiers is the author of Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage, a speculative fiction short-story collection that has been taught at colleges and universities around the country. Her work has appeared in Nightmare magazine, Lightspeed magazine, Speculative City, NIGHTLIGHT: A Horror Fiction Podcast, PodCastle, Lucky Jefferson and other publications. Her short stories were published in the anthologies Black from the Future: A Collection of Black Speculative Writing, December Tales and Sycorax’s Daughters, which was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Ms. Sconiers is currently working on a collection of young adult horror stories.

Obed Silva

Resilience: An Open Book Memoir Panel
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Obed Silva was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Orange County, California. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing and his M.A. in Literature from California State University at Los Angeles. Obed currently teaches English at East Los Angeles College. The Death of My Father the Pope is the first of his two memoirs to be published. He is currently completing his second memoir, In The Hands of My Mother.

Pamela Samuels Young

Mysterious Dimensions
Saturday, April 30, 5:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Attorney and award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young writes fast-paced legal thrillers that tackle important social issues. Her novel Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, provides an eye-opening look into the world of child sex trafficking. Her latest legal thriller, Failure to Protect, takes on the bullying epidemic and it’s devastating aftermath. The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of child sex trafficking and pursuing your passion at any age.

Pat Alderete

The Macondo Writers Workshop: A Homeland For Writers Making Change
Wednesday, May 4, 6:00pm
Altadena Library

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Pat Alderete writes about the beauty and brutality of varrio life, rendering the complex inner worlds and strict social hierarchies of a community seldom observed in literature. Her short stories are published in Joteria and PEN Center Journal, and have been anthologized in Hers 2 and 3; Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Latino Arts Anthology 1988-2000; A Geography of Rage; Afro-Hispanic Review; and Love West Hollywood. She has written two one-act plays, Ghost and The Spirit and Love and Fire. Pat was an inaugural member of PEN Emerging Voices. She is also a member of Macondo, a writers homeland founded by author Sandra Cisneros. Alderete is a member of Writers At Work, led by Terry Wolverton. Alderete is currently working on her memoir about Chicana life in East L.A.

Patrick O’Neil

The Uncaged Voice: Transcending Bondages
Wednesday, May 11, 8:00pm
Altadena Library

Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoirs Anarchy At The Circle K (Punk Hostage Press, 2022), Gun, Needle, Spoon (Dzanc Books, 2015), and Hold-Up (13e Note Editions, 2013). He is the co-author of two instructional writing manuals, Writing Your Way to Recovery: How Stories Can Save Our Lives (Independent Press, 2021), with the author James Brown. And, in the company of an amazing list of writers, The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison (Haymarket Books, 2022) for PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including: Juxtapoz, Salon, The Nervous Breakdown, and Razorcake. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from Antioch University Los Angeles, and teaches creative writing at various rehabs, correctional facilities, institutions, and colleges.

Paul Jan Zdunek

Cowboys and Conductors
Saturday, May 14, 1:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

After a decade-long career as an orchestra conductor, Paul Jan Zdunek brings over 20 years of C-Suite experience providing business leadership and advisory services for both for profit companies and charitable organizations. He has been a business transformation advisor, change management leader and interim executive for institutions requiring financial or organizational revitalization. Paul is often engaged by organizations needing transformational services to address financial decline, organizational inefficiencies, human capital challenges and leadership conflicts.

Pete Hsu

The Craft of Writing
Saturday, May 7, 2:30pm
Red Hen Press

Pete Hsu is a Taiwanese American writer based in Pasadena, CA. He is the author of the experimental chapbook, There is a Man (Tolsun Books). His work has also been featured in several journals and anthologies, including Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, F(r)iction, The Los Angeles Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books. He was a 2017 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow as well as the 2017 PEN in the Community Writer in Residence.

Peter Atkins

When the Dark Side Calls: Dissecting our love of horror
Saturday, April 30, 3:30pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Peter Atkins is the author of the novels Morningstar, Big Thunder, and Moontown and the screenplays Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III, Hellraiser IV, and Wishmaster. His short fiction has appeared in several award-winning anthologies and has been selected eight times for one or more of the various ‘Year’s Best’ anthologies. His collection, Rumors of the Marvelous, was a finalist for the British Fantasy Award, and his new collection, All Our Hearts are Ghosts & Other Stories, will be published later this year.

Rachel Harper

To Change the World: Can Writing Truly Transform
Wednesday, May 4, 7:45pm
Altadena Library

RACHEL M. HARPER is the author of three novels: THE OTHER MOTHER, upcoming from Counterpoint Press; THIS SIDE OF PROVIDENCE, shortlisted for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence; and BRASS ANKLE BLUES, a Borders’ Original Voices Award finalist and Target Breakout Book. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has been widely published and anthologized. Harper has received fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell, and is on the faculty at Spalding University’s School of Writing. She lives in Los Angeles. Find out more at rachelmharper.com.

Raundi Moore-Kondo

Poets in Distress - Reading
Saturday, May 14, 5:40pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Raundi Moore-Kondo is a poet/author/writing coach, a member of Poets in Distress, and founder of For the Love of Words Creative Writing Collective. Author of Let The Ends Spill Over Your Lips and Death of A Snowman; Editor/Publisher of all ages poetry anthologies (A Poet is A Poet No Matter How Tall and In Poetry, We Believe); and the creator of Creative Expression Workbooks (Two Truths and a Lie, Pareidolia Practice, Just Add Poetry). AKA R.K. Kondo: Author of the novel The Revival: A Survivor’s Tale. Raundi has been featured of KPFK Poets Café and Laguna One Radio as well as poetry stages throughout SoCal. Artist/textile designer for Posey Supposes; singer/song writer and bassist for Hurt & The Heartbeat and Daisy Unchained, and when she isn’t pushing poetry and music on people, you will find her roller skating on the boardwalk or at the rink.

Rebekah Weatherspoon

Modern Love
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

After years of meddling in her friends’ love lives, multi award wining author Rebekah Weatherspoon turned to writing romance to get her fix. Raised in Southern New Hampshire, Rebekah Weatherspoon now lives in Southern California where she will remain forever because she hates moving. With over twenty titles under her belt Rebekah has covered sub-genres from suspenseful paranormal romance to steamy BDSM romantic comedies, and now young adult romance. Look for IF THE BOOT FITS, the second book in her COWBOYS OF CALIFORNIA trilogy, out now from Kensington Books.

Rene Colato Lainez

The Macondo Writers Workshop: A Homeland For Writers Making Change
Wednesday, May 4, 6:00pm
Altadena Library

Rene Colato Lainez is a Hispanic educator and author of several bilingual award-winning children’s books. His books reflect the immigrant experience from a child’s point of view, covering topics such as cultural identity issues and the difficulties of learning a second language. His books are based in his own experiences. He has a master’s degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults. Rene is an elementary school teacher at LAUSD.

Reyna Grande

To Change the World: Can Writing Truly Transform
Wednesday, May 4, 7:45pm
Altadena Library

Reyna Grande is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, and its sequel, A Dream Called Home. Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, Dancing with Butterflies, and her most recent, A Ballad of Love and Glory, a novel set during the Mexican-American War. She is the co-editor of an anthology by and about undocumented Americans called Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival and New Beginnings due out in June 2022. Reyna has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztla?n Literary Award, and a Latino Spirit Award. Writing about immigration, family separation, language trauma, the price of the American Dream, and her writing journey, Reyna’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Lily at the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, among others. In March 2020, she was a guest in Oprah’s Book Club.

Rhoda Huffey

Friendship and the Literary Life
Wednesday, May 11, 6:00pm
Altadena Library

Rhoda Huffey is a tap dancer and writer. She went to school in Monrovia, California, and lives in Venice Beach with her husband and a houseful of rescue animals. She received an MFA from the University of California at Irvine. Her first novel, The Hallelujah Side, is being re-issued by Delphinium.

Rodica Stan

2 Covid Books: Local Poets, Doctors, Frontliners, in Poems & Personal Stories
Saturday, May 14, 1:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Rodica Stan, Ph.D., was born in a small remote town in Romania. She left home at age 18 to study Biochemistry at the University of Bucharest, and received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1998 from Rutgers University, in New Jersey. Stepping right into research in academia in a foreign country came with the challenges of a new work environment, a new language, and a new culture.  Writing essays, poems, and a memoir balanced Rodica’s life and has continued to give her personal satisfaction. Rodica is a blogger and has published two personal essays in Science magazine. This is the first time her poems appear in print.

Samantha Dunn

Telling on Yourself: The Challenges and Rewards of Writing Memoir
Saturday, May 14, 3:00pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

As senior editor of premium content at the Southern California News Group, Samantha Dunn produces the monthly virtual literary program with Sandra Tsing Loh, BOOKISH. She is the author of several books including the memoir Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life and Faith in Carlos Gomez. Sam also teaches creative writing at Chapman University and at the literary nonprofit, Writing by Writers.

Sarah Kuhn

Modern Love
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Sarah Kuhn is the author of the popular Heroine Complex novels—a series starring Asian American superheroines. The first book is a Locus bestseller, an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, and one of the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog’s Best Books of 2016. Her YA debut, the beloved Japan-set romantic comedy I Love You So Mochi, is a Junior Library Guild selection and a nominee for YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her latest novel for young adults, From Little Tokyo, With Love—a modern fairy tale featuring a half-Japanese heroine—is a Junior Library Guild Selection, a nominee for the Golden Poppy Award, and Penguin Random House’s One World, One Book title of the year. She has also penned a variety of short fiction and comics, including the graphic novel Shadow of the Batgirl for DC Comics and the Star Wars audiobook original Doctor Aphra.