Boca de Oro: An art and lit fest in Santa Ana

Boca de Oro: An art and lit fest in Santa Ana

Need a literary staycation? Take a daytrip to downtown Santa Ana for Boca de Oro, Orange County’s art and lit fringe fest. It happens Sat., March 4th, and it’s all free! With readings by esteemed local authors, writing and bookmaking workshops, collaborative art projects, open mics, and lots of readings,...
AWP 2017: Books, Literaoke, chocolate & Cake Time

AWP 2017: Books, Literaoke, chocolate & Cake Time

AWP 2017 was my favorite AWP conference ever — partly because I got to see the first copies of Cake Time, my first book! And it came with chocolate! AWP, if you’re not familiar with the acronym, stands for Association of Writers & Writing Programs — a professional organization for...
Current Events Reading Group: Passionate discussions over complex books

Current Events Reading Group: Passionate discussions over complex books

If recent political developments have made you want to tackle deep, heavy books and engage in meaningful dialogue with other concerned citizens, come join Skylight Books’s Current Events Reading Group. I made a new year’s resolution to be more politically engaged — which is why I decided to go to...
Five Firsts: Julia Scheeres on reshaping trauma & exposing injustice through writing

Five Firsts: Julia Scheeres on reshaping trauma & exposing injustice through writing

Every month, I interview an author I admire on her literary firsts. February’s featured author is Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land — a searing memoir that tells the story of Julia and her adopted black brother David, both of who were not only taunted by racist peers at school...
Get Your Free eBook: A Guide to Literary Los Angeles

Get Your Free eBook: A Guide to Literary Los Angeles

So you’re lit-curious. Maybe you’re a young writer thinking about signing up for your first poetry workshop. Or maybe you’re already an established novelist planning to visit Southern California. Or maybe you just love reading books, and want to meet other bibliophiles. Or maybe you’re a writer simply looking for...
I'll be at AWP in DC signing and reading from Cake Time

I’ll be at AWP in DC signing and reading from Cake Time

Will you be in Washington DC later this week? If so, let’s catch up! I’ll be signing books — and reading — and singing karaoke — at the AWP conference, and hope to see your friendly face — AWP, for those who don’t know, stands for Association of Writers &...
February Giveaway: Julia Scheeres's Jesus Land

February Giveaway: Julia Scheeres’s Jesus Land

What’s it like growing up white — with an adopted black brother — in 1980s rural Indiana? Tough — and much, much tougher if the two of you are not only taunted by racist peers at school but abused and neglected by your religious, punitive parents at home. In her...
January Book Reviews: Heroin, suicide, aliens, and other gods

January Book Reviews: Heroin, suicide, aliens, and other gods

Brief reviews of books by contemporary authors I read this month — along with photos of what I ate while reading. The list is ordered by the level my enjoyment: The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante (Europa, 2013) “Did I keep my feelings muted because I was...
Library Girl: A Santa Monica reading series with sugar and soul

Library Girl: A Santa Monica reading series with sugar and soul

Feed your literary soul — and your sweet tooth too! One Sunday a month in Santa Monica, the Library Girl reading series treats you to cupcakes before entertaining you with a themed lineup of readers — all in the lovely, intimate Ruskin Group Theatre. In fact, the first Library Girl...
Cake Time receives a Kirkus starred review

Cake Time receives a Kirkus starred review

It’s almost Cake Time — and my forthcoming novel-in-stories received a Kirkus starred review! “A promising start for a brave and unapologetically bold new writer,” ends the review. You can read the rest at Kirkus. Early copies of Cake Time will be available at AWP in Washington DC in February...
West Hollywood Women's Book Club: Women connect over books by women

West Hollywood Women’s Book Club: Women connect over books by women

It’s a well-known fact that women read more books than men. Go to any book club or author event, and chances are, women will far outnumber men. One public book club in the L.A.-area has wholly embraced this phenomenon — by going women-exclusive. The West Hollywood Women’s Book Club is...
Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: The Valley

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: The Valley

I like to write at home in the mornings, but find I get more done in the afternoons if I’m close to espresso machines. This is true despite the fact that after noon, I drink only decaf. Basically, it’s the smell of caffeine that keeps me productive — Picky writers...
5 best literary podcasts in Los Angeles

5 best literary podcasts in Los Angeles

Want to feel mildly productive when you can’t write — because you’re spending your minutes and hours stuck in Los Angeles traffic? Listen to a literary podcast while you wait on the 405. Here are five entertaining podcasts with an L.A. connection for your listening pleasure: Otherppl with Brad Listi.Hosted...
5 best writing workshops and classes in Los Angeles

5 best writing workshops and classes in Los Angeles

Some writers are self-taught. I’m really, really not one of these. I’ve taken a lot of — perhaps too many — writing workshops. I majored in English writing as an undergrad, then got a PhD in creative writing — and apparently all that still wasn’t enough, because I’ve also taken...

Hi! I’m Siel, a writer and reader.

Each month I interview an author who inspires me about the pleasures, perils, and practical hows of writing a first book — to help you forge your own creative path.

I also blog about living a literary life in Los Angeles, and give away a book I love each month! Sign up for my monthly newsletter to get entered into the drawing.

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My novel-in-stories Cake Time will be published April 6, 2017!

Preorder now: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Target

Cake Time by Siel JuDaring yet aimless, smart but slightly strange, Cake Time’s young female protagonist keeps making slippery choices, sliding into the dangerous space where curiosity melds with fear and desires turn into dirty messes.

In “How Not to Have an Abortion,” the teenaged narrator looks for a ride from the clinic between her AP exams. In “Easy Target,” the now-college-grad agrees to go to a swingers party with a handsome stranger. A decade later, in “Glow,” she is suddenly confronted by the disturbing and thrilling fact of her lover’s secret daughter.

Ultimately, Cake Time grapples with urgent, timeless questions: why intelligent girls make terrible choices, where to negotiate a private self in an increasingly public world, and how to love madly without losing a sense of self.

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Praise for Cake Time

Cake Time is a delicious indulgence. Treat yourself to its dark, seductive intimacies and savor the gritty sugar of its unsentimental humor.”

— Jillian Lauren, NY Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, andEverything You Ever Wanted

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“Siel Ju’s Cake Time is an astonishing debut. Ju’s novel in stories is unsettling and fierce and full of loneliness, sadness, and humor. Her voice is so alive, and her candor—particularly about men and sex—is keenly astute, intimate, and startling. The prose is precise and poetic and Los Angeles vibrates on the page. Wry and heartfelt and uniquely defiant, Cake Time is like a hard slap I didn’t expect or see coming.”

— Victoria Patterson, author of The Little Brother and Drift

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“Siel Ju’s Cake Time is sharply observed and wonderfully contemporary: these complex, flawed, and real characters live in our current world, with all its confusions and opportunity to connect–or disconnect. It’s about the perils and pleasures of intimacy, and its heroine feels as alive as you and I. A compelling and unflinching debut.”

— Edan Lepucki, author of California

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“Siel Ju writes with refreshing candor about sexual appetite and the treacherous difficulty of finding love. There is cruelty in the search and tenderness and a lot of honest fumbling around. Cake Time is our time—a provocative debut.”

— Noy Holland, author of Bird

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“Siel Ju’s stories are not boring because they are about not-boring things, like swingers’ parties and organic fashion company beauty pageants and high school sex and breakups and hook ups. Lots and lots of breakups and hook ups. I worried for Siel Ju reading about all these breakups and hook ups. Then I reminded myself these are fictions Siel Ju is telling us, and Siel Ju is fine. We are all fine, even after all these breakups and hook ups.”

— Elizabeth Ellen, author of Fast Machine and Bridget Fonda

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“A promising start for a brave and unapologetically bold new writer.”

Kirkus (starred review)

Preorder now: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Target

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