International Literacy Day

Today, September 8th, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be once again working to increase literacy awareness by hosting the 53rd Annual International Literacy Day.

This year’s focus is on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’ by recognizing and addressing how multilingualism impacts literacy.  This year’s event will be held in Paris, but don’t worry, there are ways to participate no matter where you are.

Some ideas for promoting literacy:

      1.  Volunteer with a community agency that helps promote literacy.
      2. Say thank you to a teacher in your life.
      3. Read a book to a child.
      4. Visit your local library.
      5. Donate a few dollars to a local literacy group.

Read A Book Day


This Friday, what will you be doing?  Grab a book and take some time to participate in “National Read a Book Day.”

We all love books, but making time to read can often be a challenge.  To help celebrate “National Read a Book Day,” share your favorite book with your friends and family.

Here are a few ways to join in the fun:

    • Host a Book Sharing event where everyone highlights one of their favorite novels
    • Post on social media using #ReadABookDay
    • Swap a book with another book lover
    • Visit your local book store
    • Host a bookmark making party
    • AND DON’T FORGET, READ A BOOK!

Happy #ReadABookDay!

Book Fair Coming to Leimert Park Village

If you’re looking for a fun, book-filled weekend (and seriously, who isn’t?), then make sure to add the Leimert Park Village Book Fair to your calendar.  On Saturday, August 24th from 10am to 5pm, the event voted “one of LA’s 5 best annual book festivals” will be held at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.  With multiple authors and book events happening throughout the day, the certain highlight will be the presentation and live cooking demonstrations provided by Laila Ali, the successful boxer and cookbook author, whom also happens to be the daughter of Muhammad Ali. 

Over 40 additional authors will be participating, along with a star-studded panel of presenters including Los Angeles Poet Laureate (2014-2016) Luis J. Rodriguez and more.  Exhibitors including CLBC, County of Los Angeles Public Library, Kensington Books, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Farm Fresh To You, Los Angeles Philharmonic and many others will be participating.  Be sure to check it out!

You’ve Finished Writing A Book…Now What?

You’ve spent the past months and possibly even years laboring of your work and now you have a finished, edited version of a book.  Congratulations!  But now what?  It can be overwhelming to find a literary agent that wants to take on your project, especially when rejection letters start arriving.  Many authors give up at this point.  Don’t be one of them!

First, spend some time searching for an agent that is looking for your project.  There are many free resources available online.  The MS Wishlist hosts a wealth of information for any author looking for the agent who will work to publish their blood, sweat and tears into a novel. 

MS Wishlist provides authors with tips on what agents are looking for, common mistakes that lead to rejection, a forum for asking agents questions, and also links authors to an associated Twitter feed where agents can request specific topics, genres, and subjects that they are currently wanting to take on as projects.  This provides a way for authors to connect with agents and publishers in their specific genre and provides a way to turn a cold query into a hot lead.

Photo Credit: Zoe Sadokierski

For authors wanting a more hands on approach, many agents provide opportunities for authors to submit segments of their writing for agent review and critique.  MS Wishlist acts as a directory for agents seeking submissions and additionally, links authors to personal critique services for a fee. 

LA locals can take part in an in-person critique session with literary manager Hannah Ozer on Monday, August 26th at Broadway Second Stage where she will live read 2 winning scripts from a recent screenwriting contest.  After the live read, feedback will be provided by Hannah along with script coach Tim Schildberger.  Bring your burning questions, as they will be hosting a Q&A following the live read event.  For more information or to purchase an event ticket, please visit the event page at: LiveRead/LA.

The Judy Lopez Memorial Award

Judy Lopez, one of the founding members of the LA chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, enjoyed a special enjoyment and love for children’s literature.  Judy passed away at a young age and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award was created to memorialize her love and passion for children’s literature as well as the impact she made on her community.  Recently, the LA WNBA Chapter has partnered with Judy’s sister-in-law, Joan Slottow, who will be continuing the award in Judy’s memory.

The Judy Lopez Memorial Award is an annual award presented to an outstanding U.S. children’s book published in the previous year.  Several additional books will be honored along with the medal winning selection.  This year’s event will be held on September 15th from 1-4pm, at the Culver Hotel in Culver City. 

This experience is not to be missed, so be sure to purchase your event tickets soon and be part of the experience.  Tea and sparkling wine will be served, as we celebrate this year’s winners of the 2019 Lopez Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature

Date:  Sunday, September 15, 2019
Time:  1 to 4 p.m.
Place: The Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Boulevard, Culver City CA 90232
Cost:  $48 via check or $50 thru PayPal
What:  Afternoon tea and sparkling wine to meet and celebrate the winners of the 2019 Judy Lopez Memorial Award (winners to be announced the end of July).  No host bar also available.