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 Los Angeles to attend the Festival of Women Authors. It is our hope that these Emerging Writers will be encouraged to pursue literary aspirations as envisioned by our Festival founders.
We are particularly grateful for the sponsorship of the Port of Long Beach that enables us to invite previous Emerging Writers to the Festival of Authors each year.
In her upcoming short novel, The Lights of Darkness, Latin writer Elizabeth Navarrete, pen name EM Navt, defies the odds against the confinements of labels and categories. Her work derives from actual personal life experiences: LGBTQ+ issues, sci-fi, and myths. A retired Navy Veteran, she is currently working full-time while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing at CSU Long Beach.
Chicana writer Julia Edith Rios from Arvin, California spent her childhood writing stories on napkins in restaurants and reading books at family parties. Her work has appeared in Orpheus, Kissing Dynamite’s Lift Every Voice anthology, and Pidgeonholes. It is no surprise she is currently a graduate student at CSU Long Beach working towards her MFA in Creative Writing-Fiction and plans to spend the rest of her life writing.
Second-generation Latin American, and native Californian, Aileen Rosa is an alumna of CSU Long Beach having earned bachelor’s degrees in English, Literature, and Creative Writing as well as a Certificate in Professional Writing in 2017. While pursuing her degrees she was editor/contributor at The Daily Fandom, worked as a reader on the RipRap Literary Journal, and interned for the English Department Newsletter. She has now returned to CSU Long Beach to earn her MFA in Creative Writing-Fiction and serves as a Junior Editor for RipRap Literary Journal. Her goal is to become a published author in the genres of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Contemporary Fiction.
Currently a sophomore at Chapman University, Joie-May Silvers is pursuing degrees in Creative Writing and Music Technology to encompass her interest in several writing genres, including songs (lyrics and music), poetry, short story, and the novel. Joie-May is an award-winning songwriter who released her first single “Forevermore” in October 2020 and has an upcoming album that mixes spoken word and music. Currently working on a young adult novel, her short story “Spiraling” appears in Chapman’s speculative fiction magazine Ouroboros, and her poem “America” is soon to be published in the Fall 2020 volume of the University’s Honors Magazine, Sapere Aude.Visit Joie-May Silvers’s website ›
Raised in Laguna Niguel, Kelly Uyemura is currently working towards her BFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University. An aspiring novelist and video game writer, Kelly is an avid fan of the fantasy genre, and her goal is to inspire and engage the imagination of her audience. In her free time, she enjoys reading Japanese manga, especially Atsushi Ohkubo’s Soul Eater series and, of course, playing video games.
A first generation Latin American, Leticia Valente draws from the folklore and landscape of Guatemala to weave together the Latin American experience and transnational motherhood through the means of magical realism. She earned her BA in Creative Writing and MA in English Literature from Cal State University Northridge. There she was involved in both the Northridge Creative Writing Circle as well as their literary journal, The Northridge Review. In the LA writing community, she has worked extensively with Poets & Writers, Noho Lit Crawl, and 826LA and is working toward an MFA in fiction at CSU Long Beach where she is Editor-In-Chief of RipRap Literary Journal.