September 24, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Pro Tips: Yallwest Writers Speak Out

Santa Monica’s 4th annual youth literary event, Yallwest, took place Saturday May 5 with thousands of young book fans packing Santa Monica High School eager to meet their literary heroes and participate in panels and discussions.

Author C.B. Lee moderated the panel, Sheroes of SFF, that consisted of Ariel Lawrence, Amy S. Foster, Matt Dunn, Kiersten White and Claudia Gray. The ensemble of authors spoke about their writing process, character tropes, their favorite literature and film, as well as individual challenges. “SFF stands for science fiction and fantasy,” Lee clarified for the mostly teen audience.

  Sources of inspiration for the authors ranged from “Star Wars” to “Star Trek” to David Bowie in the “Labyrinth,” J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Ariel Lawrence and Matt Dunn, both writers at Riot Games, addressed the growing representation of female characters within video games. Lawrence cited that they are not just secondary characters that “help the hero” anymore. She’s currently playing “League of Legends,” an online multiplayer game that consists of 140 characters, many of which are female.

Amy S. Foster, author of “The Rift” trilogy and Kiersten White, author of the “Paranormacy” trilogy, both addressed the challenges of being a writer and a mother. For both writers, a devoted “space to write” was essential, even if it meant separation from their respective children. Meanwhile, Claudia Gray, author of the 2017 book “Leia: Princess of Alderaan” as well as other young adult “Star Wars” novels spoke about consistently writing fan fiction over the years, because it was “less pressure” and “a fun type of writing.” She recommended that aspiring writers give it a try because the characters are already familiar.

In addition to speaker panels, writing activities, book signings, publishing discussions and “ask me anything” with authors, the festival included resources to foster professional growth and interest in young adult literature.

Amanda Santos, who started as a volunteer for Yallwest, coordinated the author signing area this year and she told The Mirror that working in a bookstore that held book signings for Stephanie Myer, Justin Bieber and other authors helped to prepare her for the position.

“Challenges are an eager crowd and making that sure people are comfortable while waiting,” she said.

For more info, visit: www.yallwest.com

Related Posts

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...

SMa.r.t. Column: Spending and Pension Policies Are Undermining Our City’s Future

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Our guest columnist this week is Marc L. Verville. He is a native of Santa Monica, now lives in Sunset...

4.6 Quake Felt in Santa Monica

September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020

4.6 magnitude quake recorded Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley Friday sending...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....