Throw a rock in Los Angeles and chances are you’ll hit a writer or someone aspiring to be a writer. It’s true. There are a lot of us out here. But despite LA’s image as a bastion of celebrity and excess, the city is more than just the glitz and glamour. From Skylight Books in Los Feliz to Beyond Baroque in Venice, from the Central Library to the writing workshops here at UCLA Extension, Los Angeles is a literary city. Being a writer in this town is more than just sitting in a dark room by yourself, the glow of a computer screen reflected on your pale sunless face. To be a writer in LA is to be part of a community.

And, like all great communities, LA knows how to throw a party. Case in point: the 8th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair coming up on October 4th.

Every year, hundreds of authors, aspiring writers, and lovers of the written word gather at West Hollywood Park to celebrate their passion, enjoy the company of their peers, and have fun. Whether you’re interested in short stories, comic books, poetry, spoken word, film or television, or just want to get a book signed by your favorite author, there’s something for everyone. From debating the merits of a particular literary technique to discovering new talent, the West Hollywood Book Fair is the place to be.

And, naturally, the Writers’ Program is in on the act.

Go see and listen to over four hundred featured authors including Writers’ Program instructors and students such as Maria Amparo Escandon, Francesca Lia Block, Harley Jane Kozak, and Barbara Abercrombie.

Visit eight different stages offering author panels throughout the day on topics ranging from Politics (featuring Writers’ Program instructors Eduardo Santiago and Leslie Schwartz) to Short Fiction (instructor Lisa Teasley), Mystery and Crime (instructors Jerrilyn Farmer and Paul Levine) and Anthologies (Barbara Abercrombie, Aimee Liu, and Victoria Zackheim).

Take part in ninety-minute writing workshops on the novel, memoir, poetry, and travel writing. Enjoy the expertise of past Writers’ Program student and instructor Rachel Resnick, along with current instructor Diana Raab.

Sit in on the Salon & Lounge for poetry and spoken word readings, including one by soon-to-be Writers’ Program instructor Michelle Bitting.

And while you’re there, make sure to nab one of those awesome West Hollywood Book Fair posters. This year’s was designed by Sarajo Frieden, who will be on hand to sign a copy for you.

Most importantly, stop by the Writers’ Program booth (#B7) to speak one on one with a Writers’ Program advisor about your writing education. Four lucky attendees will win a free one-day Writers’ Program course.

Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in everything the Los Angeles literary community has to offer. For event details and directions, visit westhollywoodbookfair.org.

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Daniel Sanchez is the Program Assistant in Creative Writing (Onsite) and Screenwriting (Online).

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