At Literature for Life we consider ourselves to be a new kind of beast: part online literary magazine, part educator’s resource center, part community salon. It’s our goal to bring writers, artists, and educators together to help ignite young minds with a love of reading, writing, and the visual arts.
Each year we host the USC Young Writers Conference, uniting award-winning writers, journalists, editors, critics, animators, mixed media artists and more with the students of South L.A. At this two day conference, held on the USC campus, students are able to take writing and mixed-media workshops and enjoy a speaker series each afternoon. Past speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, longtime L.A. Weekly editor and co-founder of Slake magazine Laurie Ochoa, L.A. Times columnists Hector Tobar and Erin Aubry Kaplan, and an impressive range of award-winning novelists such as Janet Finch, Aimee Bender, Lisa Teasley, and Susan Straight, and acclaimed animators Joe Murray (Rocko’s Modern Life) and Stephen Hillenburg (SpongeBob SquarePants).
We’re only in the beginning stages, but our online site will eventually feature three issues a year, containing a collection of poetry, prose, and art work donated to us by writers and artists from the Los Angeles region and beyond. Texts and images will then be paired with free, tailor-made lesson plan ideas, designed to help teachers introduce locally produced writing and artwork into their classrooms so that students may better see themselves and their community represented in their curriculum. Looking to fill the gap left by expensive, monolithic, and often outdated textbooks, our literature and art work are selected to resonate with L.A.-based youth and celebrate the full diversity of Los Angeles, its culture, and its people.