Annual Events

There are many annual literary events in Los Angeles. Some are big, some are small and some are in-between. They range from celebrating poetry, to events that are inclusive for all genres of literature and some simply focus on an underrepresented demographic (Los Angeles literature, African American/Los Angeles African American authors, etc.). Everyone is welcomed at any of these events. Check them out and dive into literature.

Lambda LitFest Los Angeles

Where: Readings and events in neighborhoods all over LA.
When: Annual (Time of year varies)
Time: Various; Usually 7pm-7:30pm during the week and Saturday events begin at 10:30am.
About: Lambda LitFest Los Angeles is a weeklong celebration of contemporary voices honoring and expanding on the rich, diverse tradition of LGBTQ writers and readers in the Southland. The readings and panel discussions are community curated taking place at such L.A. venues as Avenue 50 Studios, Book Show Books, Skylight Books and Chinese American Museum.
Admission: Free to the public

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Where: University of Southern California, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90089
When: 3rd or 4th weekend of April
Time: Saturday: 10am-6pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm
About: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. Along with the book festival the Los Angeles Times hosts their annual literary awards banquet: The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. At the festival there are exhibitors for both the young and old, author panels and signings, a poetry stage, cooking stage, young adult stage, Hoy stage and more.
Admission: Free to the public
Note: The Expo Line light rail drops riders directly at the south end of the Festival of Books.

San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival

Where: Santa Catalina Branch Pasadena Library, 999 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, CA
When: Throughout April on weekends
Time: Various, but in the afternoons
About: A month long celebration of poetry writing workshops, contests, outings, and featured performances that is organized across the San Gabriel Valley by the Emerging Urban Poetry Group of Pasadena that occurs annually in conjunction with NaPoWriMo.
Admission: Free

Litfest Pasadena

Where: Pasadena Playhouse District
When: First half of May
Time: From noon until the wee hours
About: Come celebrate Pasadena’s toasting of Southern California’s best literature with a fun free afternoon and evening of readings and salon-style panels featuring, among others Jonathan Gold, Naomi Hirahara, Desiree Zamorano, Jervey Tervalon, leading YA authors, poets, food writers, and much more.
Admission: Free to the public

Celebrating Words Festival

Where: Peacoima City Hall, 13520 Van Nuys Blvd, Pacoima, CA 91331
When: Early June
Time: 1pm-7pm
About: In 2005, with funding from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Tía Chucha’s established the only annual outdoor literacy and arts festival in the Northeast San Fernando Valley called “Celebrating Words: Written, Performed & Sung.” Celebrating Words Festival has since become a cherished event in which Tía Chucha’s brings poets, writers, musicians, artists, vendors, local organizations, and community together for one day.
Admission: Free to the public

The Poetry Circus

Where: Merry-Go-Round @ Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
When: July
Time: 5pm-10pm
About: The Poetry Circus was inspired by the release of the collection, In the Circus of You, by Nicelle Davis. Part workshop, community outreach, performance, ride, dance, and creation, the Poetry Circus blurs the line between performer and audience to allow everyone the chance to run away and join the circus. By presenting poetry in an alternative venue, the egalitarian characteristics of poetry are amplified. Poetry IS for everyone, regardless of where we come from or how we got there; we all process and understand the world through metaphor.

The Leimert Park Village Bookfair

Where: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza at 3650 Martin Luter King, Jr. Blvd. in Los Angeles, California 90018
When: Beginning of August
Time: 10am-6pm
About: The Leimert Park Village Book Fair was founded in 2006 by Cynthia E. Exum with the goal of promoting literacy and education in Los Angeles. The idea was and still is to promote African-American authors. Today, the Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair attracts over 200 authors, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, performers, and literary/educational exhibitor participants – and boasts an audience of over 5,000.
Admission: Free to the public

Southern California Poetry Festival

Where: Relocates each year to a different Southern California community
Saturday: 11am-10pm; Sunday: 9:30am-10:30pm
The SoCalPoFest is an annual poetry festival that relocates each year to a different Southern California community. The festival’s “theme” will change from year to year. 2016, is their inaugural launch and the event will feature readers hosted by literary organizations, local presses, and local literary journals. The SoCalPoFest is dedicated to preserving the diversity of voices within our community, and this diversity extends across cultural lines and lines related to schools of poetic thought. They want to hear poetry from all who make a practice of it, regardless of poetic affiliation or cultural group. This is how people come to understand and appreciate varying experiences and modes of thought.

Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival

Where: East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Ceaser Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754
When: Beginning of October
Time: 10am-5pm
About: The Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival promotes literacy, culture and education and provides people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the multicultural communities in the United States in a festival atmosphere. The festival is focused on celebrating Latino arts and culture through literary panels on poetry, fiction journalism, etc. with book signings, a children’s area and stage with arts & crafts, story-telling and more.
 Admission/Parking: Free

Lit Crawl L.A.: NOHO

Where: North Hollywood Arts District, bounded by Hatteras Street to the north, Cahuenga Blvd to the east, Tujunga Ave to the west, and Camarillo Street to the south.
When: 3rd Wednesday of October
Time: 7pm-12am
About: In 2013, Los Angeles literary organizations debuted Lit Crawl L.A.: NoHo in the North Hollywood Arts District with an emphasis on Greater Los Angeles’ diverse literary communities. Participating presenters included Dirty Laundry Lit, The Rumpus, Get Lit, Los Angeles Review of Books, Black Clock, Red Hen Press, Beyond Baroque, The New Short Fiction Series, Tongue and Groove, The World Stage, and many others. Events are held in such venues as restaurants, bars, galleries, theaters, and even a martial arts studio, etc. that are all within a walkable radius and is in close proximity to the Metro Red and Orange Lines.

The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat 

Where: Mojave Stars Ranch, 4815 Meriwether Road, Twentynine Palms CA 92277
When: November
About: The Joshua Tree Experiential ARTS and WRITING Retreat: Get out of LA for a 3-day arts and writing retreat featuring bonfire readings by desert dwellers Ruth Nolan and L.I. Henley. Curated workshops like Altered States and Psycho-Spiritual Legacies of the Desert and High Noon Ceremony lead participants through the natural landscape to generate new work in their chosen medium. Work is considered for inclusion in a commemorative anthology. Rather than seek an exact definition of the desert, this retreat is designed to inspire questions about what the desert is and what it may represent for you.
Admission: $125 or $75 for students. Purchase through Eventbrite.


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