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 in supporting the local literary community such as hosting readings, offering volunteer opportunities, fundraising for financial support, etc. Check out their websites and support their endeavors as these literary arts venues and organizations all support the creative writers of Los Angeles and beyond.
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. Their 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
About: Bolton Hall was originally used as a community center for the Utopian community of Los Terrenitos. From 1920 until 1957, it was used as an American Legion hall, the San Fernando Valley’s second public library, Tujunga City Hall, and a jail. Since 1980 the building has been operated by the Little Landers Historical Society as a local history museum. Bolton Hall hosts the monthly poetry reading from the Village Poets of Sunland & Tujunga.
Programs: Second Saturday Programs and Village Poets of Sunland & Tujunga, among other one off events.
Address: 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, California 91043
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.
The Free Black Women’s Library L.A.
About: Inspired by the incredible pioneer, OlaRonke Akinmowo and The Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn, The Free Black Women’s Library-Los Angeles, is a free, feminist pop-up library and book swap with Black women writers at the center. They want to unite and build safe anti-racist, anti-sexist, gender inclusive communities across Los Ángeles by providing a unique, free and accessible space to engage and trade books by Black women authors for one in their library.
Programs: Community-led workshops, panel discussions, and literary events highlighting local, Black women writers.
Website: Facebook Page
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
Jack Jones Literary Arts
About: Jack Jones Literary Arts is a multifaceted book publicity company. Founded in March 2015, Jack Jones Literary Arts provides publicity services and support for writers who are unafraid. We work diligently to announce book projects to audiences who seek literary art that is unorthodox, underappreciated, and unparalleled.
Jack Jones’s roster is 98% black women and women of color. Jack Jones is shifting how literature by women—queer, feminist, of color, of a certain age—is reviewed and discussed by broadening the conversation and opening avenues formerly closed by mainstream outlets.
Programs: Workshops, Consultations, Speakers Bureau and Jack Jones at Blue Sky Retreat.
Address: P.O. Box 291672, Los Angeles, CA 90029
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
Los Angeles Poet Society
About: Los Angeles Poet Society, (LAPS), was founded by East Los Ángeles Poet, Jessica M. Wilson, with the goal to create a bridge, fusing the communities of Los Ángeles and Southern California Poets, poetry organizations, writer groups, booksellers, publishers, literary enthusiasts and supporters into a unified social and literary network. LAPS’ focal point is to publicize the events and achievements of its members. LAPS also organizes and promotes events, pulling from within its own community, to create and sustain Los Ángeles’ literary anchor.
Programs: Los Ángeles Poet Society hosts the monthly open mic Soapbox Poets at Beyond Baroque; every 1st Monday of the month, Los Ángeles Poet Society features on Kill Radio’s FULL SPECTRUM; President, Jessica M. Wilson and Vice President, Juan Cardenas are instructors in the program California Poets in the Schools, teaching poetry to the youth of Los Ángeles Country; promotes its member poets; runs two yearly poetry contests; has established a Senior Advocacy branch of LAPS to promote Creative Aging to our senior population; and sponsors one off events throughout the year.
Los Angeles Public Library
About: The Los Angeles Public Library provides free and easy access to information, ideas, books and technology that enrich, educate and empower every individual in the city’s diverse communities. The library has 72 branch locations from North East L.A, to Hollywood to Venice to the Central Southern Area that stretches from South Central to San Pedro. Plus, each branch library has its own meeting room that can accommodate community events from open mics, readings, movie showings, free citizenship and financial literacy classes, among others.
Programs: [ALOUD] Lecture Series, Teen Reading Challenge (during summer), open mics at select branch libraries, various author readings at branch libraries, STAR volunteer readers for young children, among other events.
Address:630 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, California (Central Library)
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
Poetic Research Bureau
About: The Poetic Research Bureau is a valise fiction and portable literary service in Northeast Los Angeles (Chinatown). It is: a community free school by day, and by night, a non-professional public forum for presentations, readings, screenings and sundry intellectual exchanges (usually poetry readings).
Founded: 1999/Since 2010 in Chinatown
Programs: Nonprofit publishing, presentational and pedagogical activities.
Address: 951 Chung King Rd., Chinatown, Los Angeles
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
The World Stage
About: The World Stage is an educational and performance art space in Leimert Park Village, the heart of Los Angeles’ African American cultural community. It was founded in 1989 by the late world-renowned master jazz drummer Billy Higgins and by poet and community arts activist Kamau Daáood, in an attempt to fill a cultural void in the L.A. community. Primarily a music venue, The World Stage hosts an open mic that’s spawned publishing arm, World Stage Press.
Programs: Anansi Writer’s Workshop, Drum Workshop, Jazz Vocal Workshop, Jazz Vocal Jam Session, World Stage Press, Concerts.
Address: 4321 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, California
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
Writers At Work
About: Founded by author Terry Wolverton, Writer’s At Work (WAW) is a creative writing studio in Silver Lake. Her vision was to offer ongoing workshops in which writers could hone their skills, receive constructive and insightful feedback, develop longer projects, feel comfortable to take creative risks, build supportive community for their writing practice and develop a readership for their work.
Programs: They offer ongoing workshops, manuscript review and creative consultations to writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and dramatic forms. Admission is by Application with a work sample.
Address: 4022 Fountain Avenue, Suite 202, Los Angeles, CA 90029
About: Together ZZyZx WriterZ networks with more local writers/groups, organize public readings, community writing workshops, & showcase multi-media art. If you are searching for an intimate creative space, ZZyZx is for you.
Follow ZZyZx WriterZ to find out where they will be each month, because life is too short to write in one place.
Programs: They offer the Word Around, their intimate open reading, workshop & Jam every 3rd Saturday of the month, public readings and more.
Address: Different location each month