JD, UCLA Law. Mr. Lien teaches law in the Architecture-Interior Design Department and was awarded Outstanding Instructor of the Year. He practiced as an attorney, served as the Glass Garage Gallery owner and as President of the West Hollywood Fine Art Gallery Association; and currently works as a private art dealer. Mr. Lien also teaches for the Writers’ Program. His Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series has received New York Times acclaim and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.
Middle grade fiction is unique because it’s one of the few literatures that’s characterized by brightness and hope. Middle grade can explore the most ambitious or weighty themes but it strives to lead young readers to a sense of meaning and optimism. They’re the sort of archetypal story that our species has leaned on, age upon age, to lead us out of even the darkest night. That’s why I consider middle grade to be, in a word, noble. Middle grade is also awesomely fun. My strengths as a writer are unique concepts, memorable voice, vivid world building, and tight plotting. My strengths as a teacher are brainstorming unconventional techniques to tap into your own creativity and an emphasis on exercises and examples over abstract discussion. I also feel that writing should be wildly fun when you’re doing it right. To get a sense of me, checkout www.henrylien.com.