When you think of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, your first thought may be of workshops on the UCLA campus. You might think of Royce Hall and seventies-era buildings, vending machines with luke-warm coffee, that sculpture garden full of jacaranda blooms. That’s all very well and good, but many don’t realize that the Writers’ Program has tentacles reaching far beyond campus and across the Los Angeles literary landscape.
Yes, we have courses in Westwood and classes in Eagle Rock at the Occidental College campus, and get this—soon we’ll offer writing workshops downtown at the brand new Figueroa Courtyard building.
But that’s not the full scope of the Los Angeles literary/film scene, is it? Of course not.
In fact, like Big Brother (a motivating, positive, and completely non-totalitarian version of Big Brother), we’re everywhere. The Writers’ Program prides itself on staying connected through our numerous community partnerships, our vibrant core of teachers whose own lives and careers span the writing world, and attendance at community festivals and events.
Did you stop by the Writers’ Program booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books? For two days at the end of April the Writers’ Program entertained and informed—okay, mostly just gave out flyers—and made our presence known in the literary community. And need we mention the many expert Writers’ Program instructors who participated in panels and book signings, or our former students, now published novelists, who went on to their own literary successes? At the Festival, we learned yet again that the Writers’ Program is a starting point for many successful writers.
Coming up Saturday, May 31 we’ll have a booth at the annual Leimert Park Book Fair held (guess where?) in Leimert Park in Los Angeles. While checking out the fair (whose theme this year is Celebrating our Literary Legacy: Preserving our Past and Building Our Future), stop by our table and get the latest scoop from Writers’ Program advisors, all of whom are writers themselves. We’ll try to steer you towards your own writing success. What are friends for?
And soon after that we’ll host our own wild party—okay, literary reading with complimentary dessert and coffee reception—at the Skirball Cultural Center. Join us at our annual Publication Party the evening of June 11 for a chance to listen to some of your favorite instructors read from their latest work. This big night is open to the whole community, so you never know who might show up. (We do request RSVPs, so please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
Then the third weekend in June join us at Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) where we’ll participate in Diversity Day on June 21, and will host a movie starring Ben Kingsley. Does it get better than that?
But wait—that’s not all.
Our very own Writers Faire is planned for Sunday, September 7 (no RSVP needed). It’s a great gathering of our partners, teachers, students, and local graduate writing programs. And mark your calendar for the annual West Hollywood Book Fair on September 28.
So, we just can’t sit still. Look for us next time you’re at a local literary event. We’ll be there armed and ready with information, advice, and inspiration.
Corey Campbell is the Program Representative in Creative Writing (Online) and Events.