siel ju

live and write in l.a.
All Lit Up: Monthly poetry and prose fest at Chevalier's Books

All Lit Up: Monthly poetry and prose fest at Chevalier’s Books

Start going to literary readings in L.A., and you’ll likely run into Rich Ferguson fairly soon. Rich is a fixture in the L.A. literary community known for three things: His wide-brimmed straw hat, his ability to perform long poems of his from memory, and his fantastic reading series, All Lit…...
Giveaway: A Ticket to The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat

Giveaway: A Ticket to The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat

Here’s your chance to spend a blissful weekend writing in the desert — getting inspired by the natural habitat around you while communing with and learning from fellow writers and artists. That’s the goal behind The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat, happening November 17 to 19 at Mojave…...
Amelia Gray on emotions, odalisque sentences, and a cold Italian beach

Amelia Gray on emotions, odalisque sentences, and a cold Italian beach

Every month, I interview an author I admire on her literary firsts. I first discovered Amelia Gray’s writing through Gutshot, her collection of sharp, macabre short stories that took me through all sorts of emotions: fear, discomfort, anxiety — and almost always, surprise. So when I picked up her latest novel,…...
Gratitude Beverly Hills: Clean vegan eats with creative cocktails

Gratitude Beverly Hills: Clean vegan eats with creative cocktails

What is the difference between a Cafe Gratitude restaurant and the new Beverly Hills spot called just plain Gratitude? Both offer delicious, organic, vegan food with a dose of self-empowering messages — but only the latter boasts a full bar. So though I rarely drink, when I stopped by the…...
September giveaway: Isadora by Amelia Gray

September giveaway: Isadora by Amelia Gray

I’m one of those people who don’t function well when there’s a lot of drama going on in life, yet I often find myself pulled towards it, and to people who go out of their way to seek it out. I think many people are this way — which explains…...
Siel wants to see you in September

Siel wants to see you in September

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I just quit my day job. And while I suddenly have a lot more time for socializing and posing for pics with photogenic purple veggies, I’d love to see you at one of my three September readings — all of which are free…...
August book reviews: Mothers, lovers, and our multiple selves

August book reviews: Mothers, lovers, and our multiple selves

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: Person/a by Elizabeth Ellen (Short Flight/Long Drive Books, 2017) “I click on the link as a way of saying hi.…...
The Many fictions of Elizabeth Ellen's Person/a

The Many fictions of Elizabeth Ellen’s Person/a

It’s a strange and thrilling experience, reading as a finished book what you once read in rough manuscript form. Last summer, I read a draft of Elizabeth Ellen’s novel-in-progress while at a residency at The Anderson Center. At that time, the manuscript — a highly autobiographical work about a short-lived…...
American Tea Room: Best matcha spot for writers

American Tea Room: Best matcha spot for writers

There’s nothing quite like lounging by a lush green living wall to make the hot muggy weather seem alright. The summer swelter feels just a part of a tropical paradise, where you’re on vacation to soak it all in. That’s the feeling I get from American Tea Room, whose downtown…...
15 Literary journals for Los Angeles writers

15 Literary journals for Los Angeles writers

Get to know your local literary journals, and you’ll get to know your local literary community. Literary journals not only publish the work of local writers, but also hold readings where you can meet the readers, authors, and editors — as well as offer opportunities to get involved. Here are…...
The terrible secret of Joan Didion's South and West

The terrible secret of Joan Didion’s South and West

Which contemporary authors are overrated? I got into a conversation about this with a couple other writers at a recent Pen Center USA event. Joan Didion’s name came up — and though I haven’t read enough of her oeuvre to come down on a side on this question, I do…...
5 healthy Korean dishes to try in Los Angeles -- with matching reads

5 healthy Korean dishes to try in Los Angeles — with matching reads

If your Korean mother was like my Korean mother, you grew up eating lots of fresh veggie dishes made from scratch — with a shitload of MSG sprinkled in for flavor. Seriously, MSG was my mother’s favorite seasoning. Eating the stuff now makes me feel instantly ill and irritable —…...
Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Central LA

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Central LA

Picky writers can’t just go to any coffee shop. We need good working spaces with comfy chairs and tables. We need decent wifi and electric outlets for our laptops. We (or at least I) need good reading light. And we like to be able to hang for a few hours…...
6 Best Book Clubs in Los Angeles

6 Best Book Clubs in Los Angeles

If you long to discuss books you love — in real life, outside the confines of Amazon reviews and Goodreads comments — make joining a local book club a resolution. Here are five to check out — For girls who brunch: L.A. Girly Book Club With most of the regulars…...
3 Summer smoothie bowls for every diet -- to match your current read

3 Summer smoothie bowls for every diet — to match your current read

Summer is my favorite season because it’s the time for all things cool: sundresses, Shakespeare in the park, and smoothie bowls for breakfast. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I like to match my smoothie to my current read. Want to do the same while procrastinating on that…...
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…...
Latest entries
All Lit Up: Monthly poetry and prose fest at Chevalier's Books

All Lit Up: Monthly poetry and prose fest at Chevalier’s Books

Start going to literary readings in L.A., and you’ll likely run into Rich Ferguson fairly soon. Rich is a fixture in the L.A. literary community known for three things: His wide-brimmed straw hat, his ability to perform long poems of his from memory, and his fantastic reading series, All Lit… read more

Giveaway: A Ticket to The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat

Giveaway: A Ticket to The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat

Here’s your chance to spend a blissful weekend writing in the desert — getting inspired by the natural habitat around you while communing with and learning from fellow writers and artists. That’s the goal behind The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat, happening November 17 to 19 at Mojave… read more

Amelia Gray on emotions, odalisque sentences, and a cold Italian beach

Amelia Gray on emotions, odalisque sentences, and a cold Italian beach

Every month, I interview an author I admire on her literary firsts. I first discovered Amelia Gray’s writing through Gutshot, her collection of sharp, macabre short stories that took me through all sorts of emotions: fear, discomfort, anxiety — and almost always, surprise. So when I picked up her latest novel,… read more

Gratitude Beverly Hills: Clean vegan eats with creative cocktails

Gratitude Beverly Hills: Clean vegan eats with creative cocktails

What is the difference between a Cafe Gratitude restaurant and the new Beverly Hills spot called just plain Gratitude? Both offer delicious, organic, vegan food with a dose of self-empowering messages — but only the latter boasts a full bar. So though I rarely drink, when I stopped by the… read more

September giveaway: Isadora by Amelia Gray

September giveaway: Isadora by Amelia Gray

I’m one of those people who don’t function well when there’s a lot of drama going on in life, yet I often find myself pulled towards it, and to people who go out of their way to seek it out. I think many people are this way — which explains… read more

Siel wants to see you in September

Siel wants to see you in September

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I just quit my day job. And while I suddenly have a lot more time for socializing and posing for pics with photogenic purple veggies, I’d love to see you at one of my three September readings — all of which are free… read more