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Laguna Beach

 Volume 11, Issue 99  | December 10, 2019


Literary scene enlivened in Laguna with the creation of a website listing readings, workshops and more

Story by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

I met with best-selling author Suzanne Redfearn shortly after she had been announced as one of the two official Laguna Literary Laureates for the next two years (the other is Lojo Simon, highly respected playwright, to whom we’ll talk in future issues).

Immediately it became clear to me that Redfearn not only had ideas she wanted to implement during her term – but she had concrete plans to do so. 

And just a few weeks into her term, through her efforts, significant progress has already been made toward raising awareness of literary resources in our community.

(A gentleman called Michael Josephson – I have no idea who he is except that he has a page on the internet – notes that ideas without actions are like boats without sails. I liked this metaphor until it struck me that not all boats need sails. But I digress. You get the point, I’m sure. Suzanne Redfearn, former architect, knows how to get things done.)

During our meeting, Redfearn was insistent that her goal was to work primarily behind the scenes – she simply wants to encourage readers to read, and writers to write, and the community to appreciate the literary arts and the great talent and resources we have within the town – but given the amount of work she has already done, I refuse to let her toil unacknowledged…sorry, Suzanne, I have to say what a great job you’re doing!

Literary scene books

Click on photo for a larger image

Excitingly and usefully, she’s worked with partners to establish a nonprofit group called LitLaguna, aimed at supporting the Laguna Beach literary community. Its website www.litlaguna.comhas a comprehensive calendar of all the literary events in Laguna Beach as well as current literary opportunities such as contests, workshops, and classes.

It also has helpful links to other literary sites and literary resources. LitLaguna social media sites for Facebook (Lit Laguna) and Instagram (LitLagunaLB) have also been established to keep Laguna Beach residents up to date on the literary scene, Redfearn explains.

Take a look at the site. It’s clean and user-friendly – and it is launching with a great contest, which we described in the last issue, but which is definitely worthy of a second mention.

This, an Ekphrastic challenge, (I had no idea what that word meant until a week or so ago!) asks viewers to respond in words to a visual image.

“There is a long tradition of writing responding to visual art, so we thought it would be fun to post a challenge to local poets and authors to respond in verse or prose to a piece of local art,” Redfearn says. 

“The Artists’ Fund, an organization that provides disaster-relief grants and professional-growth grants to local Laguna Beach artists, is currently exhibiting its Red Hot exhibit (www.theartistsfund-foa.org) at City Hall, featuring over two dozen pieces for sale to raise money for the fund. 

“From their show, we chose FOA artist Jeff Rovner’s photograph Yangon Monastery Myanmar [to be the inspiration for the competition],” Redfearn added.

Literary laguna monk

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jeff Rovner

Jeffrey Rovner’s stunning photo demands a response

There will be two winners – one chosen by the artist and the other by the LB Arts Commission. The winning entries will each receive $250, and their work will be published on the city website and exhibited at City Hall.

The photograph will be on display at City Hall for the duration of the competition. There will also be a book at the City Hall counter featuring art-inspired writing if participants want to see examples. 

The contest is open to all Orange County residents 18 years of age or older. Please submit works via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for entries is Friday, July 27.  

Entries should be 500 words or less. Work must be original. Work must not have been previously published. Entry establishes an agreement on the part of the artist to all conditions listed in the prospectus. 

There’s so much more on the LitLaguna website. Visit the site and see for yourself. Learn where Laguna’s Little Free Libraries are. Find out about workshops around town. Read all about it…

Visit www.litlaguna.com for more information.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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