There are many literary arts venues and organizations that support the wide spectrum of artists in the City of Angels. Some support the artistic endeavors of at-risk youth while others support up and coming and establish writers in their creative endeavors. Each has their own way(s) to get the Los Angeles community involved, from public readings, volunteering and financial support among others. Check them out and support their endeavors as they all support the creative writing minds of Los Angeles.
826LA: Echo Park and Mar Vista
About: 826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
Programs: 826LA provides a variety of free programming for students ages 6–18, designed to challenge and enchant while strengthening writing skills. They include: after-school tutoring, field trips, workshops, in-school programs and publishing.
Address: 1714 W. Sunset Blvd., Eco Park, CA 90026 and 12525 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista, CA 90066
Avenue 50 Studios
About: Avenue 50 Studio is an arts presentation organization grounded in Chicana/o and Latina/o culture, visual arts, and the Northeast Los Angeles area. They provide a venue for exceptional, up-and-coming local artists and poets. Their monthly art openings and their varied literary events are a testament to the rich diversity that make up Los Angeles. Our programming includes art exhibitions, art workshops, lectures, poetry and readings.
Programs: Avenue 50 is home of the monthly poetry open mic La Palabra hosted by Karineh Mahdessian. It also hosts many literary readings throughout the year that include L.A. poets Amy Uyematsu and Sesshu Foster, to release parties for local literary journals like Angel City Review and Askew.
Address: 131 North Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042
Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center
About: Beyond Baroque is one of the United States’ leading independent Literary | Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Beyond Baroque’s mission is to advance the public awareness of and involvement in the literary arts; to provide a challenging program of events which promotes new work and diversity; to foster a place in the community for the exchange of challenging ideas and the nurturing of new work; to support writers through readings, workshops, books sales, publication, access to archived material and performance space, etc.
Programs: The Center offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings, workshops, and music and education. It also houses a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books for sale that include small press and limited-edition publications, chronicling the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond.
Address: 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Develop Skills and Transcending Limits Through Arts (DSTL Arts)
About: DSTL Arts is a nonprofit arts and mentorship organization that inspires, teaches, and hires creative at-risk youth ages 16-21 years old. We believe that art enriches individuals and communities. Art is a valuable endeavor worthy of being honed by talented individuals. Equality is achieved through various means, with art and entrepreneurship being the strongest means for at-risk youth.
Programs: DSTL Arts’ free Arts Mentorship Program in two fields: Creative Writing Mentorships and Visual Arts and Photography Mentorships. Art Block Zine, a student-run DSTL Arts publication and Conchas y Café Zine, a creative writing workshop series for adults 30+. Artist Residency Workshops.
Address: Primarily based in Boyle Heights/East L.A. and Northeast Los Angeles.
About: Get Lit is dedicated to bringing the power of poetic expression to at risk teens through a standards-based curriculum fusing classic literature and poetry with contemporary Spoken Word performance techniques. Get Lit’s programs are designed to boost literacy, foster cultural understanding, and encourage creative self-expression.
Programs: Get Lit offers classic poetry slam, after school programs like Literate workshop, Summer Wrokshop and Saturday Workshop, in-school programs, etc.
Address: 672 S La Fayette Park Place, Suite 30, Westlake, CA 90057
About: 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.
Programs: Lambda Literary offers programs that encourage development of emerging writers, including: the annual Lambda Literary Award, the Writers’ Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, Lambda Literary Review, their weekly e-newsletter Bookish, their annual anthology, their scholarships, and LGBTQ writers in schools program.
Address: 5482 Wilshire Boulevard #1595, Los Angeles, CA 90036
PEN Center USA
About: PEN Center USA’s mission is to stimulate and maintain interest in the written word, to foster a vital literary culture, and to defend freedom of expression domestically and internationally.
Founded: 1943; as a non-profit in 1981
Programs: PEN Center USA offers Freedom to Write programming, manifested in four channels of action: the FTW Advocacy Network, the Emerging Voices Fellowship, PEN in the Community, and the annual Literary Awards.
Address: P.O. Box 6037, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Santa Monica Public Library
About: The Santa Monica Public Library is the place to be for author talks and lectures, concerts, book discussions, workshops and other exciting events.
Programs: SMPL has book clubs, writing workshop, author readings, etc.
Address: 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW)
About: The Women’s Center for Creative Work, or WCCW, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate LA’s feminist creative communities and practices. Combining a co-workspace on the LA river in Frogtown, project incubation facilities, residency programs, a rapidly growing network of over 16,000 followers, and a full calendar of artistic and professional development programming, WCCW advocates for feminist-led creative businesses and projects in Los Angeles.
Programs: Critique Night, Feminist Reading Group, How We Organize, Mapping Feminist L.A., One Axe Plays, and other one off literary events.
Address: 2425 Glover Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031
About: WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls. Through one-on-one mentoring and monthly creative writing workshops, girls are given techniques, insights and hot topics for great writing in all genres from professional women writers.
Programs: Writegirl hosts writing workshops, mentoring sessions, member events, public events (public readings), the annual Bold Ink Awards, and more.
Address: 1330 Factory Place, Unit F104, Los Angeles, CA, 90013