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Posted on February 4, 2013 | 1:03 p.m.

Women’s Literary Festival Lines Up Diverse Panel of Writers

Source: Marell Brooks for the Women’s Literary Festival

The Women’s Literary Festival committee is pleased to announce the list of authors for the 2013 event.

The festival will celebrate readers and women writers in a day of interactive presentations and book signings from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 1 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information about the event, registration information, and information about past events.

Dedicated to promoting literacy, diversity and social justice, WLF is designed to expand the understanding and appreciation of current literature through insightful and inspirational presentations given by a distinguished group of contemporary women authors from diverse backgrounds. During the 45-minute presentations, the writers will discuss their writing craft and describe the social and cultural ideas that move them to write.

Festival attendees can interact with the authors during book signing sessions, and an independent bookseller will be on site with an inventory of the authors’ published works available for purchase.

Featured authors for the eighth annual Women’s Literary Festival include:

» Helen Benedict: As the author of both novels and nonfiction, including The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, Benedict’s latest novel, Sand Queen, is culled from real-life stories of female soldiers and Iraqis. The acclaimed documentary The Invisible War was based on her articles about the sexual assault of women in the military.

» Jorja Leap: An international expert in crisis intervention and a former social worker, Leap’s new book, Jumped In, traces three generations of gang members and offers one of the first genealogies of Los Angeles’ most powerful gang families. Leap holds a Ph.D. in psychological anthropology and is a professor of social welfare at UCLA.

» Attica Locke: Locke’s latest novel, The Cutting Season, is a murder mystery set on an antebellum Louisiana plantation. Locke’s first novel, Black Water Rising, was short-listed for the Orange Prize and nominated for an L.A. Times Book Prize, an Edgar Award and an NAACP Image Award.

» M.G. Lord: The author and critic wrote Forever Barbie, a look at America’s fascination with Mattel’s Barbie doll. Her 2012 book is The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice. She is a lecturer in the Professional Writing Program at USC.

» Demetria Martinez: Martinez’s novel, Mother Tongue, is based in part on her 1988 trial for conspiracy against the U.S. government for allegedly transporting Salvadoran refugees into the country. It won a Western States Book Award for Fiction. Her autobiographical essays, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana, won the 2006 International Latino Book Award.

» Aimee Phan: In her first book, We Should Never Meet, Phan explores the transitions of Vietnamese refugees settling in Orange County’s Little Saigom. Her second book, The Re-education of Cherry Truong, is a story of Vietnamese family loyalties, secrets and history. Phan received her master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa and teaches writing at the California College of the Arts.

» Elyn Saks: Saks’ work has focused on the ethics of psychiatric research and forced treatment of the mentally ill. In her memoir, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, she describes her struggles and successes with schizophrenia. She is an associate dean and professor of law, psychology, and psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at USC Gould School of Law.

About the Women’s Festival

In 2004, the WLF steering committee, made up of volunteers from throughout Santa Barbara County, came up with the idea of a literary festival to celebrate women authors and their diverse life experiences. The festival authors’ presentations offer an opportunity for building community, advancing women’s voices, promoting literacy, and celebrating those who write and read for the purpose of developing our personal lives and our sense of community.

For more information, click here or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Marell Brooks is a publicist chair for the Women’s Literary Festival.

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