The sixth annual Pasadena Festival of Women Authors is scheduled Saturday, March 8, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly Street.
Jan Sanders, director of the Pasadena Public Library system and a founding member of the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors, will be the opening speaker.
The festival will bring together four award-winning authors whose works include fiction, non-fiction and plays – Tupelo Hassman, Christina Schwarz, Janice Steinberg and Helene Wecker – with enthusiastic attendees whose love of literature inspired the event. The festival provides an intimate setting where authors and guests interact and authors answer questions and sign their books.
Tickets for the festival are $95 per person and include lunch. Patron-reserved tables of 10 are $1,500.
New to the 2014 Pasadena Festival of Women Authors is an afternoon seminar titled Be a Better Reader: Creative Exercises for the Art of Reading. Participants will explore journaling techniques, practice free reading strategies and engage in discussions with fellow readers. Seminar tickets are available to festival attendees for only $45. The seminar, to be held immediately after the festival at 2 p.m. in the Cliff Benedict Room at Pasadena Senior Center, will be facilitated by Dr. Kristin Ogden, a popular English professor and workshop leader at Pasadena City College.
Proceeds from the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors will benefit the Pasadena Senior Center and Pasadena City College's Writer-in-Residence program. In the last five years the festival has generated $120,000. Last year $5,000 was presented to the Writer-in-Residence program and festival organizers hope to continue making that gift.
Tupelo Hassman's first novel, Girlchild, is a winner of the 2013 Alex Award, an NPR 2012 Favorite Book, a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, was shortlisted by the Center for Fiction for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize 2012 and is now available in paperback. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Harper's Bazaar, Imaginary Oklahoma, The Independent and The Portland Review and has been featured by 100WordStory.org, FiveChapters.com and Invisible City Audio Tours among others. More is forthcoming from Girls on Fire: Stories of and for Teen Girls. She was the first American to win London's Literary Death Match. She lives in San Francisco.
Christina Schwarz is the critically acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah's Book Club pick Drowning Ruth as well as All Is Vanity, So Long at the Fair and, most recently, The Edge of the Earth, which was nominated for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association annual fiction prize. After earning a B.A. and M.A. in English from Yale, she taught high school English for several years before becoming a writer. She grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and has lived in Washington, D.C., Oxford, England, Los Angeles, New York City and Exeter, New Hampshire. She now makes her home in South Pasadena.
Janice Steinberg is the author of The Tin Horse. Set in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in the 1920s and '30s, the book has been praised as "a vibrant portrait of a community" by Publishers Weekly and "a novel rich in faith, betrayal and secrecy that explores the numerous ways people are shaped and haunted by their past" by Library Journal. She has authored five mystery novels and is an award-winning arts journalist who has written for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Dance Magazine. A native of Milwaukee, she received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, Irvine and has taught writing at the University of California, San Diego. She lives in San Diego with her husband.
Helene Wecker's first novel The Golem and the Jinni was reviewed positively on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, named One of the Best Books of 2013 So Far by Amazon Books, selected as one of The Books We're Talking About by The Huffington Post and garnered an A grade from Entertainment Weekly. San Francisco Magazine called it "a dazzling debut," Family Circle said, ". . . magical realism comes alive in an enchanting allegory of the immigrant experience" and USA Today said, "In the best instances, you don't merely read a book – you dive in and happily immerse yourself, forgetting the troubles of daily life for a while." She received a B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her fiction has appeared in the online magazine Joyland. She lives near San Francisco with her husband and daughter.
A professional librarian for 30 years, Jan Sanders is a nationally recognized leader and former president of the American Library Association and currently chairs the association's Legislation & Advocacy Committee. Because she believes librarians are first and foremost accountable to the communities they serve, she is a board member and committee chair for Pasadena Rotary Club, serves on the board of Pasadena Museum of History, serves on the Mayor's Committee of Pasadena: City of Learning and is a member of the vestry at All Saints Episcopal Church. She is excited about the possibilities for today's libraries.
Visit www.pasadenafestivalofwomenauthors.org for more information.