In memory of our co-founder, Harriet Williams, an Emerging Writer Program was established in 2016 and named in her honor. This program is a fitting legacy for Harriet who, over 35 years ago, formed The Literary Women Committee to ensure that the works of established women authors would be introduced to a greater reading public. It was to continue her vision that the Harriet Williams Emerging Writer Program was created.
This Program allows Literary Women Committee to focus on our mission to support and encourage new writers of talent and promise by selecting individuals from the local University, City College, Chapman University and PEN America to attend the Festival of Women Authors. We are particularly grateful for a recent grant from The Port of Long Beach enabling us to invite previous Emerging Writers to the Festival of Authors in March.
We hope these Emerging Writers will be encouraged to continue to pursue literary aspirations as envisioned by our Festival founders
Kelsey Gutierrez is an MFA candidate at California State University, Long Beach, where she teaches and serves as the poetry editor of the program’s literary journal, RipRap. The recipient of the William T. Shadden Memorial Award, Kelsey’s work has been published in Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review, Coe Review, Muse, and Broad! Magazine.Visit Kelsey Gutierrez’s website ›
Savy (Savanah) Janssen is pursuing her MA in English Literature at Chapman University. Born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, she writes about Hawaiian identity, exploring how culture, race, and self are performed through rhetorical actions and language. She also enjoys writing about travel and culture. In the future, she hopes to pursue both her academic work, by one day becoming a university professor, as well as a career as a travel writer. She is curious about adventuring into the wide world around her—and writing along the way.Visit Savanah Janssen’s website ›
Natalie Mislang Mann is an educator who holds a master of arts in humanities from San Francisco State University. In addition to receiving the 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship, she has attended VONA/Voices and Tin House Summer Workshops. Her writing has appeared in Angel City Review, The Rattling Wall, and the anthology Only Light Can Do That. Natalie is currently working on a memoir based on her experiences growing up in a multi-ethnic family in the San Fernando Valley.Visit Natalie Mann’s website ›
Kaitlyn Manoogian is an American poet whose writing is heavily influenced by psychology and social issues in modern society. She has recently been granted the Drury Award for creative writing at Long Beach City College and performed at the 15th annual Grape Expectations for the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. She emphasizes the importance of mental health in her poetry and offers a unique insight by syncing these concepts with widely relatable aspects of everyday life.
Zara Raheem is currently an MFA student in Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach. In addition to being a teaching associate in the campus English Department, she is also serving as a senior editor for RipRap, CSULB’s literary journal. Her work has been published in many online and print publications, and her debut novel, The Marriage Clock, is set to be published by William Morrow/Harper Collins in 2019.
Angela M. Sanchez is a Los Angeles native and proud UCLA alumna. Working at the nexus of higher education, policy, and the nonprofit sector, Angela focuses on narratives that have been typically underrepresented in children’s literature. She has written and self-published a children’s book, Scruffy and the Egg, about single-parenthood and homelessness. Her first novel, a YA urban fantasy, received the Work in Progress Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Angela is also a 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow.Visit Angela Sanchez’s website ›
Giovanna Zavala is a junior at Chapman University pursuing degrees in screenwriting and English. Her poetry has been published in Calliope, Chapman’s art and literary magazine, a publication for which she also serves on the editorial board. She has written eight student-produced short films and she is currently in production for her writer/director debut, shooting in January 2019. She has yet to come up with an elevator pitch for what exactly it is she writes about, but she enjoys recording the stuff in between the moments we decide are important.