We look for joy in online spaces with Isle McElroy, Patrick Nathan, and Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett and guided writing with Amy Spies. LGBTQ+ authors are taking a hard look at society IRL and virtually, pinpointing the ways we come up short in connecting with and loving each other. Patrick Nathan examines the culture of fascistic images that pervade the online media landscape in his book Image Control (Counterpoint Press 2021). Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett uses short fiction, including his volume of short stories Dark Corners (Running Wild Press 2019), to illuminate the ways we can be marginalized as well as how we can fight back and lose some virtue in the process. Isle McElroy writes about diet culture, masculinity, nonbinary identity, basketball, scammers, books, and body dysmorphia. Their debut novel, The Atmospherians, was published in 2021 (Atria Books). Together, they’ll discuss online spaces, the challenges of creating joy online—is it even possible?—and the role of critique and creativity in shifting culture. A moment of guided meditation and mindful writing will be led by Amy Spies, a writer and teacher in the film, television, and new media industries. WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More Read More ...
The road to joy takes us across boundaries with Lisbeth Coiman, Myriam J. A. Chancy, Teresa Mei Chuc, and Sehba Sarwar.Even before the pandemic, writers and artists worked across borders to share their lives, passions, and sorrows. This event brings together poets and authors with an international perspective on joy, justice, resilience, and healing. Sehba Sarwar, author of Black Wings (Veliz Books 2019), is a transnational writer, workshop leader, artist, and community activist tackling gender, displacement, and border issues. Teresa Mei Chuc is a poet, editor, and teacher whose heritage, history, and writing transcend decolonization. She served as 2018-2020 Altadena Poet Laureate and is the author of Invisible Light (Many Voices Press 2018) and Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing 2014). Lisbeth Coiman is a bilingual writer, educator, cultural commentator, and rezandera from Venezuela whose collection Uprising / Alzamiento was released in 2021 (Finishing Line Press). Myriam J. A. Chancy is a Haitian-Canadian/American writer born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and subsequently raised there and in Canada and whose novel What Storm, What Thunder was released in 2021 in Canada (HarperCollins Canada) and the United States (Tin House).WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More information Read More ...
Our journey ascends to where poetry meets science fiction meets activism“Poetry is a weapon loaded with future” — Gabriel CelayaFor National Poetry Month, this event will bring together two established and two emerging trans poets in a reading and dialogue about the future and the intersections of science fiction and poetry, activism and language. Curated and hosted by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, readers include Ryka Aoki, LA-based poet and author of the new sci-fi novel Light from Uncommon Stars, Harry Josephine Giles, Scottish poet and author of Deep Wheel Orcadia, in conversation with young poets and organizers Simba the Poet (Nashville) and Ava Dadvand (from Los Angeles, currently writing and studying at Yale).WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More information and events at www.weho.org/wehoreads. BookSwell, a literary events and media company dedicated to lifting up writers from historically excluded communities, is producing the WeHo Reads 2022 season with additional support from Beyond Baroque, Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.
Cody Sisco first heard about Women Who Submit from Sakae Manning, a brilliant writer and friend who he met through the Los Angeles Writers Critique Group. When he started BookSwell, he asked Sakae to join the advisory group to guide our efforts to lift up the voices of marginalized writers. That led to organizing our first event at Lambda Literary LitFest 2019 “Intentional Intersectionality: Amplifying Queer Voices of Color,” which included a discussion about advocacy and community featuring Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, a co-founder of Women Who Submit.
When Cody was developing the proposal for the Road to Joy for the City of West Hollywood Arts Department, he met Xochitl over drinks at Frogtown Brewery to brainstorm the event–the first time they had met in person since the AWP Conference in March 2020 before the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic hit and when WWS launched their first anthology, ACCOLADES. Now it’s time to celebrate their second anthology, GATHERING.
Women Who Submit seeks to empower women and nonbinary writers by creating physical and virtual spaces for sharing information, supporting and encouraging submissions to literary journals, and clarifying the submission and publication process. Meet some of the influential members who will be participating in the event on March 16 WeHo Reads: How We Gather | A Celebration of Women Who Submit’s New Anthology Gathering.
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications 2016). A former Steinbeck Fellow, Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grantee, she’s received residencies from Hedgebrook, Ragdale, National Parks Arts Foundation, and Poetry Foundation. She has work published in Acentos Review, CALYX, crazyhorse, and [PANK]. Most recently her poem, “Battlegrounds,” was featured at The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day and at On Being’s Poetry Unbound. She is director of Women Who Submit.
Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera
Chicana Feminist and former Rodeo Queen, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera (she/her) writes so the desert landscape of her childhood can be heard as loudly as the urban chaos of her adulthood. She is obsessed with food. A former high school teacher, she earned an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles and is a PhD candidate at University of Southern California where she is an Annenberg Fellow. She also works for literary equity through Women Who Submit, an organization that empowers women and nonbinary writers to send their work out for publication. You can read her published stories and essays at http://tishareichle.com/
Thea Pueschel is a nonbinary writer, artist, hypnotherapist, and yoga/meditation teacher that enjoys exploring the psychosocial aspect of being human and the neuroscience of storytelling. Xer multidisciplinary work focuses on the power of story, whether it is visual, subconscious, written or movement based. Thea is a member of Women Who Submit, a facilitator for Shut Up & Write, a Happy Writing Munich workshop leader, a reader for Fracture Lit, and a 2021 Dorland Arts Colony Resident with work published in Short Édition, and Perhappened, among others. Thea’s website is here: https://www.theapueschel.com/
Noriko Nakada is a multi-racial Asian American who creates fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art to capture the hidden stories she has been told not to talk about. She advocates for young people, teachers, women and non-binary writers to create a more just and equitable world. She is the author of the Through Eyes Like Mine memoir series. Excerpts, essays, and poetry have been published in Hippocampus, Catapult, Linden Ave, and elsewhere. She serves on the leadership team and as blog manager for Women Who Submit: empowering women and nonbinary writers to submit their work for publication.
Hazel Kight Witham
Hazel Kight Witham is a mother, teacher, slam poetry coach, and writer who has published work in The Sun, Bellevue Literary Review, Integrated Schools, Mutha Magazine, Cultural Weekly, Rising Phoenix Review and Women who Submit anthologies. She is a proud public school teacher in LAUSD and was a 2020 finalist for California Teacher of the Year. Women Who Submit was her pandemic lifeline, nurturing a community of care and creativity that helped her write her way through troubled waters.
Flint is a queer writer with an abiding interest in hybridity, generative genre tampering and upsetting the applecart of heteronormative discourse about sex/uality. She earned an MFA in Writing from the School of Critical Studies at CalArts, and her work appears or is forthcoming in The Good Bits, Gathering: A Women Who Submit Anthology, CutBank, Erotic Review, Arts & Letters, NAILED Magazine, and Staging Social Justice, among other publications and anthologies. Jaded Ibis Press will be releasing her memoir, Blood, in 2022.
WWS HISTORY Women Who Submit began with the idea of a submission party—the brainchild of founding member Alyss Dixson—as a response to the VIDA count. Other founding members, Ashaki Jackson and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, were brought in to help plan the first ever submission party held in Xochitl-Julisa’s mom’s kitchen (thanks, mom!) in July 2011. On that day six women ate quiche, created a sharing library of lit journals, set goals, asked for feedback on cover letters, and sent off submissions.
GATHERING is a collection of poems, essays, stories, and plays by Women Who Submit (WWS) members from New York, New Jersey, Chicago, San Antonio, Bay Area, Long Beach, Westside, and Los Angeles chapters. It is a way for members in our literary community to acknowledge the traumas of the past year and offer hope in the face of unprecedented challenges. In spite of all that has plagued the world in 2020-2021, WWS members continued to gather across the country, share resources, encourage literary submissions, and support each other with claps and cheers. This gathering of literary voices celebrates WWS’s commitment to empowering women and nonbinary writers over the last 10 years.
Amy Paffrath from Spectrum 1 News SoCal spoke with Women Who Submit member and author Thea Pueschel about navigating creativity and healing during times of sorrow and the WeHo Reads event on March 16. Check it out!