siel ju

live and write in l.a.
December giveaway: Things That Happened Before the Earthquake by Chiara Barzini

December giveaway: Things That Happened Before the Earthquake by Chiara Barzini

When I think of the ’90s, I think Nirvana, Beverly Hills 90210, and long stretches of childhood boredom. But Chiara Barzini’s debut novel reminded me that the ’90s was actually a rather violent and volatile time in Los Angeles, what with the L.A. Riots, the Northridge Earthquake, and of course,…...
November book reviews: A prince, a duchess, and a Harley rider

November book reviews: A prince, a duchess, and a Harley rider

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 of my enjoyment: The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco, 2007) “That sensation of things-falling-away. Once the ice begins to crack,…...
David Rocklin on worthwhile risks and addictive highs

David Rocklin on worthwhile risks and addictive highs

Every month, I interview an author I admire on his literary firsts. If you’re plugged into the L.A. literary community, you know about Roar Shack, the eclectic monthly reading series in Echo Park with its impromptu live write competitions. And if you’ve been to Roar Shack, you know its host…...
November giveaway: The Night Language by David Rocklin

November giveaway: The Night Language by David Rocklin

*** Winner selected! Congratulations to Shawn in Red Wing, Minn.! *** Political drama. False identities. Forbidden romance. David Rocklin’s new novel, The Night Language, contains all of these, but is at its heart a quiet — and unexpected — love story. After all, there aren’t too many novels starring black…...
Boxwalla: A Book box for world literature lovers

Boxwalla: A Book box for world literature lovers

If you want to read more international writers, but don’t know where to start, try a Boxwalla Book Box. This subscription box service promises to send you two new reads at a time — featuring writers from all over the world. Boxwalla’s picks seem pretty idiosyncratic and, in general, lesser…...
Santa Monica Review's Andrew Tonkovich on dream jobs, dream worlds

Santa Monica Review’s Andrew Tonkovich on dream jobs, dream worlds

Every month, I interview an author I admire on his literary firsts–except this month, I’m interviewing an editor. Editing a literary journal, I think, requires a certain level of masochism. We’re talking, after all, about publications with teeny tiny readerships that nonetheless get deluged with thousands of submissions from would-be…...
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…...
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…...
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 six to check out — For girls who brunch: L.A. Girly Book Club With most of the regulars…...
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
October book reviews: Where lieth freedom?

October book reviews: Where lieth freedom?

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 of my enjoyment: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (McClelland and Stewart, 1985) “I hunger to commit the act of touch.” *… read more

Boxwalla: A Book box for world literature lovers

Boxwalla: A Book box for world literature lovers

If you want to read more international writers, but don’t know where to start, try a Boxwalla Book Box. This subscription box service promises to send you two new reads at a time — featuring writers from all over the world. Boxwalla’s picks seem pretty idiosyncratic and, in general, lesser… read more

Santa Monica Review's Andrew Tonkovich on dream jobs, dream worlds

Santa Monica Review’s Andrew Tonkovich on dream jobs, dream worlds

Every month, I interview an author I admire on his literary firsts–except this month, I’m interviewing an editor. Editing a literary journal, I think, requires a certain level of masochism. We’re talking, after all, about publications with teeny tiny readerships that nonetheless get deluged with thousands of submissions from would-be… read more

October giveaway: Santa Monica Review prize package & party tickets

October giveaway: Santa Monica Review prize package & party tickets

*** Winner selected! Congratulations to Candi in Newport Beach, Calif.! *** Santa Monica Review celebrates its 30th anniversary next year — and as part of the celebration, one lucky reader will win a 4-issue prize package from the literary journal! But first, a bit about Santa Monica Review: Founded by Jim Krusoe back… read more

Cake Time gets a review in ZYZZYVA -- Plus see you at six October events

Cake Time gets a review in ZYZZYVA — Plus see you at six October events

One of my first fiction publications was in the west coast lit journal ZYZZYVA a few years ago. That story’s included in my novel-in-stories Cake Time published a few months ago, and a few days ago, ZZYZZYVA reviewed Cake Time so I feel like the world’s come full circle: For… read more

September book reviews: Zhang, Rhys, Khong, Walls, Gray, Maum plus two guys with two-syllable names

September book reviews: Zhang, Rhys, Khong, Walls, Gray, Maum plus two guys with two-syllable names

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 of my enjoyment: Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang (Lenny, 2017) “All I had wanted for so long was to be part of… read more