siel ju

live and write in l.a.
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…...
Five firsts: Gina Sorell on switching careers, swapping agents, and making money

Five firsts: Gina Sorell on switching careers, swapping agents, and making money

Every month, I interview an author I admire on her literary firsts. Gina Sorell’s made a lot of bold choices in her life, switching creative careers, swapping literary agents, and shaking up her life to move across  countries and continents. Her debut novel, Mothers and Other Strangers, is equally bold. Part psychological thriller,…...
Cake Time in August: Two readings, two interviews

Cake Time in August: Two readings, two interviews

Is it really August already? Last night I had a nightmare that stores were already selling Halloween-themed tchotchkes. I woke up to a happier world, if rather anxious to really make the most of the rest of this summer — And I hope you’ll be part of it. I have a…...
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 —…...
August Giveaway: Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell

August Giveaway: Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell

“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.” How can you read that first sentence and not read on? This tiny tidbit of Gina Sorell’s debut novel Mothers and Other Strangers gripped…...
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…...
The TNB Book Club: Get literary gems delivered to your door for under $10

The TNB Book Club: Get literary gems delivered to your door for under $10

A couple weeks ago, I got home to find a little, nondescript package at my door — a cardboard fold-up marked only with my and the return addresses. Which made me wonder: Who is Fat Possum Records and why did they send me mail and could it be anthrax? Of…...
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…...
#90X90LA: Summer heats up with daily lit events

#90X90LA: Summer heats up with daily lit events

Lit lovers in Los Angeles are going to be busy this summer, because a season-long series is set to bring the city 90 literary and cultural events in 90 days. Yes, an event a day for 90 days, starting July 5! Called #90X90LA, this series is put together by local…...
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
July book reviews: Marlena, Sarah, and other girls with drama

July book reviews: Marlena, Sarah, and other girls with drama

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 Sarah Book by Scott McClannahan (Tyrant Books, 2017) “Perhaps we love what we never know most of all.” *… read more

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… read more

I'm on the Otherppl podcast

I’m on the Otherppl podcast

Ever wondered about my thoughts on religion, AA, and the Midwest? Okay, maybe you haven’t — but tune in to the latest episode of Otherppl with Brad Listi, my favorite literary podcast, to hear me ramble about all of those topics and more! I’ve listened to so many authors I… read more

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… read more

Five firsts: Dana Johnson on identity, code switching, and erasure

Five firsts: Dana Johnson on identity, code switching, and erasure

Every month, I interview an author I admire on her literary firsts. July’s featured writer is Dana Johnson, author of Break Any Woman Down. This award-winning short story collection is complex and provocative, often starring characters in the margins of society.  A black stripper tries to figure out what she wants… read more

The TNB Book Club: Get literary gems delivered to your door for under $10

The TNB Book Club: Get literary gems delivered to your door for under $10

A couple weeks ago, I got home to find a little, nondescript package at my door — a cardboard fold-up marked only with my and the return addresses. Which made me wonder: Who is Fat Possum Records and why did they send me mail and could it be anthrax? Of… read more