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Announcing 1st Annual Lambda LitFest Los Angeles

Announcing 1st Annual Lambda LitFest Los Angeles

Author: Tony Valenzuela

January 31, 2017

Lambda Literary Announces the 1st Annual


Honoring LGBTQ Writers in Southern California

Stellar roster of featured artists includes:

Luis Alfaro, Tre’Vell AndersonSusie Bright,

Bernard Cooper, Zachary Drucker, MariNaomi, Michael Nava, Peter Paige,

Sarah SchulmanJustin Torres, Rebecca Walker

Lambda Literary announces the first annual Lambda LitFest Los Angeles, a week-long Los Angeles county wide festival featuring readings, workshops, pop-up events, entertainment and timely discussions about LGBTQ literature and publishing from March 6–12, 2017.

The LitFest culminates in a full weekend of literary happenings. Saturday, March 11 features a day of thought provoking panel discussions covering issues critical to LGBTQ readers and writers at Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood, concluding with UnCabaret, an evening of queer comedy. Sunday, March 12 is a day of pop-up events across Los Angeles followed by the LitFest closing party hosted at Akbar in Silver Lake.

LitFest goers will experience a stellar week of LGBTQ community curated literary programming including workshops, conversations, pop-up readings, panel discussions, performance, and parties celebrating the breadth and diversity of queer literary LA in over a dozen venues in nearly every corner of Los Angeles County.

“Lambda LitFest not only showcases the incredible literary talent of queer LA and California,” said Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director. “It does so at a time when it’s critically important for LGBTQ readers and writers to come together to build stronger literary and publishing communities to face the uncertainty that lies ahead. Freedom of expression, queer rights and social justice persevere when we create spaces for the free flow of ideas and then organize to demand the change we need.”


LitFest Saturday, March 11 at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood

Lambda LitFest Los Angeles’ biggest event is a full day and evening of discussions, readings, entertainment and mingling held at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre (4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles 90027). The LitFest Morning Plenary (11 am–12:15 pm) asks: What is the measure of LGBTQ progress? Reflecting the new political reality of an administration already threatening to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and hostile to the diverse communities that make up LGBTQ people, the LitFest Morning Plenary brings together esteemed members of the LGBTQ arts community to help us frame the challenges of our time, including inclusivity for LGBTQ writers and readers, how intersectional identities inform their writing, institutional barriers and new opportunities in publishing, and a discussion of how each panelist addresses artistic practice and the practical matters of being a queer writer in our brave new world.

The afternoon features three discussions. Quintessentially Queer LA (1:30 pm–2:45 pm) brings together luminary L.A.-based writers to express their definition of the queer literary landscape of Los Angeles. That panel is followed by Queer Characters in Novels, Screenplays & Everything in Between (3:00 pm– 4:15 pm), a cross-genre discussion between writers of fiction, young adult fiction, graphic novels, mystery and TV writing to discuss how their approach to crafting queer characters has changed and morphed as LGBTQ rights and visibility have expanded. The final discussion of the day is Queer Truth: Nonfiction & Journalism in a Post-Truth World (4:30 pm–5:45 pm) featuring LGBTQ journalists who engage in the contemporary cultural and political issues that affect our day to day lives. For a detailed calendar of these Lambda curated programs, visit our website.

A Week of Lambda LitFest Across Los Angeles

Confirmed calendar of events include:

Monday, March 6

6:00 pm

Romantic Comedy

Wednesday, March 8

7:00 pm

Professors in the Pub

7:30 pm

Giving Tongue: A Celebration of Lesbian/Queer Poets

Queer Bird Lit: Continuing Los Angeles’ Legacy of Queer Literature

Otis College Graduate Writing Visiting Writers Series presents Paul Lisicky

Thursday, March 9

7:00 pm

Stories of Modern Queer Parenthood from MUTHA Magazine

Gay Theater: Its History and Its Future

7:30 pm

We Are Chicanx: A Brown-Queer Revolution

Yes Femmes

Friday, March 10

6:00 pm

Sister Spit: The Next Generation

House of Godzilla, Rare Birds & Further Possibilities

Mysteries with a Mission: Queer Platica with Michael Nava

8:00 pm:

Inside the Writer’s Studio

Saturday, March 11 (at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood):

11:00 am       

Lambda LitFest Morning Plenary

12:15 pm

Lunch (you may pre-order a box lunch by March 6!)

1:30 pm

Quintessentially Queer LA

3:00 pm

Queer Characters in Novels, Screenplays & Everything in Between

4:30 pm

Queer Truth: Nonfiction & Journalism in a Post-Truth World
8:00 pm

Lambda LitFest and Beth Lapides Present UnCabaret!

Sixes & Sevens: A Queer LA Childhood (radio broadcast)

Sunday, March 12:

10:30 am

The Catchment

11:00 am

GuerillaReads Lambda LitFest Video Walk

12:00 pm

Literary Drag Race: All Stars Pop Up

Femmes on Literary Art Activism

2:00 pm

Celebrating our Heroes: Betty Berzon, Jeanne Cordova, Paul Monette, Mark Thompson

Poetics of Self [Re/De] Construction: Litanies to My Brown Heavenly Body

4:00 pm

No Cure for Madness: Queer Male Poets on Death, God and Desire

5:00 pm

Indie Voices from Indie Presses

Tertulia Literary Salon 

7:00 pm

Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Closing Party: cocktails, crafts hosted by CraftNight and dancing at Akbar (4356 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90029) in Silver Lake.

Confirmed Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Featured Artists:

Chicano writer/performer, playwright and MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow Luis Alfaro; recipient of PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship, bestselling author and AIDS activist Noel AlumitTre’vell Anderson, film reporter with the Los Angeles Times; queer Native American journalist, editor, and author Diane Anderson-Minshall; poet, author, and professor of English at Santa Monica College Ryka Aoki; author of five novels and Lamda Award Finalist, Lucy Jane Bledsoe; the country’s preeminent feminist sex writer Susie BrightMelissa Chadburn, author and fellow for The Economic Hardship Reporting Project; Bernard Cooper, recipient of the PEN/USA Ernest Hemingway Award and O. Henry Prize; D’Lo, Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian; Zachary Drucker, Emmy-nominated producer of This Is Me and Emmy-winning TransparentAlex Espinoza, author and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Arts at Cal State LA; Cheryl Klein, author, essayist, MacDowell Colony Fellow; critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and writer on TransparentOur Lady JMariNaomi, award-winning author and illustrator; Executive Director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Alberto B. MendozaMichael Nava, six-time Lammy award-winning author; Wendy C. Ortiz, author and founder of Rhapsodomancy Reading Series; actor on Queer As Folk and co-creator of The FostersPeter PaigeRobin Podolsky, writer and teacher of Jewish Thought at Cal State Long Beach; Lammy finalist and performer with MFA from CalArts Claudia Rodríguez; award-winning author, professor and Guggenheim and Fulbright scholar, Sarah SchulmanJustin Torres, bestselling author of We the Animals and Assistant Professor of English at UCLA; critically-acclaimed writer/memoirist and founder of Third Wave FoundationRebecca Walker; author of ten books and founder of Writers at Work, Terry Wolverton.

For more information, visit

1st Annual Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Major Sponsors:

City of West Hollywood through WeHo ArtsThe City’s Arts Division and Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission

City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

1st Annual Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Community Partners:

18th Street Art Center


API Equality-LA

Arktoi Books (Red Hen Press)

Arts Council of Long Beach

Beyond Baroque


Black Lesbians United

Book Show LA

Book Soup

CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program

Cal State University, Northridge

Chevalier’s Books

June Mazer Lesbian Archives

LA! Pride

Literature for Life

Los Angeles Women’s Theater Project


PEN Center USA

Quill (Red Hen Press)

Rare Bird Lit

Tia Chucha Press

UC Riverside

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

UCLA LGBTQ Studies Program

Uptown Gay & Lesbian Alliance

West Hollywood Gateway

WritLarge Press

Event Information

Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Saturday!
Saturday, March 11, at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre (4800 Hollywood Blvd)
A full day of discussions, readings, entertainment, mingling.

Attendees may pre-order a box lunch by March 6!

A Week of Lambda Litfest Los Angeles Across L.A.
Monday, March 6 – Sunday, March 12
Readings and events in neighborhoods all over LA.

Lambda Litfest Los Angeles Closing Party
Sunday, March 12, 7-10 pm, Akbar
Celebrate Litfest at Akbar in Silver Lake. Everyone is welcome!

For a full calendar of events, click here.

Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Steering Committee

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Amy Scholder, Brad Griffith, Charles Flowers, Charlie Jensen, Corey Roskin, Dan Lopez, Griselda Suarez, Lynn Harris Ballen, Matias Viegener, Rosalind Helfand, Ryka Aoki, Seth Fischer, Steven Reigns, Lee Wind, and LitFest Coordinator Brandi Spaethe


Lambda Literary believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read. Our programs include: the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, LGBTQ Writers in Schools, Lambda LitFest Los Angeles and our comprehensive website, For more information call (323) 643-4281.


Tony Valenzuela photo

About: Tony Valenzuela

Tony Valenzuela is the former Executive Director of Lambda Literary

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