Latino Heritage Month

October is Latino Heritage Month, and WNBA-LA will be celebrating by hosting  Global Voices: Hispanic Heritage  on 10/16 (2pm at Creating Conversations).  Join us to hear more from these amazing authors.

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Mireya Vela, a Mexican-American writer, storyteller, and artist who lives in LA.  Her work focuses on the needs, issues and inequalities faced by immigrant Mexican families.

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Also joining, will be children’s author, Jennifer Torres.  Ms. Torres writes colorful children’s books that celebrate culture and tradition.  She currently lives in California with her husband and 2 daughters.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Acosta

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams (March 2019) and The Education of Margot Sanchez (February 2018), available in bookstores everywhere. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Tin House, and Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles

Global Voices: Hispanic Heritage is a free community event.  Be sure to arrive at Creating Conversations in Redondo Beach early, as event capacity is limited and make sure to pick up some books while you are there!

LA Lit Crawl

Who needs to bar crawl when you can Lit Crawl?  The 6th Annual LA Lit crawl is coming this weekend, so make sure you are charged up and rested for a “ready” good time!

With multiple venues and pop-up participants, the streets of LA will be transformed into a book lover’s paradise.

Locations include the Central Library, Love Song Bar, China Town Hub, and The Last Bookstore.  Authors and vendors will be in abundance, so make sure to add the LA Lit Crawl to your weekend plans (Sunday 10/6).

National Reading Group Month

October is National Reading Group Month! Take your love of reading to the next level by joining a reading group or book club in your local community.

Not sure how to locate a reading group near you?  Meetup is an excellent way to locate your local book lovers and join reading forces.  Meetup is a free networking site that allows users to locate others with similar interests for a variety of group events.  While some groups may charge a nominal joining fee, there is no cost associated with setting up an account and many groups are free of charge for members.

Another way to find a reading group is to check with your local library or bookstores.  Many have reading groups or would be interesting in hosting such a group.

If no options exist in your area, then take advantage of today’s technology and start an online reading group.  Most social media platforms allow users to create a group online where members can participate in discussions.  This is a simple and free way to connect with the book lovers in your life, no matter where they may be.  This option also allows participants to share on topics when it is convenient, rather than trying to schedule a time that works for all members.

Strong Female Leads

Looking to grab the attention of literary agents with your work?  One way to elevate your writing from the rest of the competition is to develop a strong female lead, without falling victim to clichés.

Here are a few quick tips to help create a real, strong female lead:

        1.  Don’t forget that strong does NOT mean perfect.  Even the strongest of all characters have flaws.  No one is perfect, so make sure to develop some personal flaws in your leading lady.
        2.  Character Arcs are important! Develop your character as you do your story.  If you start her off with no room to grow, there is no room to go!
        3.  Be Real. A strong female lead does not mean physical perfection.  Make her realistic so readers are able to connect and believe in her strength.  A physique like Wonder Woman does not equal a strong female lead.
        4.  Avoid Stereotyping. To avoid the cliché trap, identify potential female stereotypes in your writing.  If not, your character will lose her believability.
        5. Give her a reason. What made your character so strong?  How did she overcome her fears to grow into the strong lead in your story?  What keeps her strong?
        6.  Strong does not mean invincible.  A realistic lead will have weaknesses and moments of insecurity and fear.  How she overcomes these barriers helps develop her true strength and character.
        7.  Read novels with strong female characters.   What makes them real?  How do different authors develop their strong female leads into characters that the reader is invested in?  How can you get your readers invested in the success of your own character?