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Join me at the #ParkLit Hashtag Book Festival

I’m Bronwyn Mauldin, creator of GuerrillaReads. I’m delighted to announce that from September 5-18 I’ll be an artist in residence at Mesa Verde National Park.

That’s only a few weeks after the National Park Service turns 100 years old on August 25. To celebrate both events I’m organizing a one-day Hashtag Book Festival on Saturday, August 20 that brings together two of my favorite things in the world: parks and literature.Slide1

Everyone is invited, and anyone can participate. If you love parks and books, this festival is for you. Here’s how it works:

You post content to your favorite social media site related to literature and parks – especially national parks – with the hashtag #parklit. I’m aggregating everything on the #ParkLit Hashtag Book Festival page, and I’ll highlight the best contributions. For example, you could post

  • Books, stories, poems or  essays about parks
  • Reviews of books about parks
  • Selfies of you reading in a park
  • Pictures of family or  friends with their favorite books in a park
  • Vlogs of you talking about how books and parks fit into your life
  • Pictures of books about parks, in bookstores, libraries, at home and any other places

I’m especially looking for writers to post video or audio of yourself reading from your stories, poems and essays about parks, published or unpublished. Extra points if you record your reading in a national park.

Bookstores and libraries – post pictures of the sections where readers can find books about parks, or post reviews of books about parks by your staff.

For more details, check out my FAQs page. And please help me spread the word. The more people who participate, the better this festival will be!


GuerrillaReads No. 98: Neal Rabin

Literature meets tennis in this guerrilla reading by Neal Rabin.

Rabin has been a Club Med tennis and surf instructor, refrigerator stocker, and even worked as a “fetch” for Time Life Films. One-time founder and CEO of a global software company, he now spends his time doing the kind of stuff you’ll see in this video. Plus, he raises chickens. 23 Degrees South is his first book. 

And that’s game, set and match.

GuerrillaReads No. 94: Ian Brennan

Ian Brennan is probably best known as a Grammy-winning producer, working with acts that include Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Tinariwen, Lucinda Williams and David Hidalgo (Los Lobos). Some folks also know him as the author of three books (and a fourth one coming soon).

Brennan’s most recent novella, Sister Maple Syrup Eyes, is a fictionalized account of a man who survives his partner’s rape. It’s something Brennan knows about from a very personal experience.

At age 21, Brennan’s life was forever changed when his first love was raped. He describes his experience this way:

I knew full well that the trauma I’d experienced was infinitesimal compared to hers. Yet, nonetheless, it was still devastating and changed the course of my entire life. The one thing I was determined to do was to try to produce something good from that bad, a celebration and memorial of what was, and that if it leant some small healing to even one person, it was somehow worth the while to help tip the scales however insignificantly back towards sanity.

Brennan has gone on to train people in violence prevention, anger-management, and conflict resolution at shelters, schools, hospitals, clinics, jails and drug-treatment centers across the US and in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This book delves more deeply, exploring the experience of the other victim of rape.

Watch Brennan’s guerrilla reading here, and learn more about the book.



GuerrillaReads celebrates words

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Don’t let anyone tell you the San Fernando Valley doesn’t love literature! GuerrillaReads spent yesterday at Tia Chucha‘s 6th Annual Celebrating Words Festival at LA Mission College.

Some of the authors who did guerrilla readings at the festival included Susan Straight, Naomi Hirahara, Laura Lacámara, David Bueno-Hill and René Colato Laínez. Tia Chucha’s founder Luis J. Rodriguez was previously featured here on GuerrillaReads.

Click for more photos.

More videos to come from the festival!

If you’re a writer interested in submitting your own video, check out our submission guidelines.

GuerrillaReads at Les Figues


Melissa shooting Jen Hofer‘s guerrilla reading at the Les Figues Press Garden Party!

Holidays on a budget: think books, think indie

Certain websites may be selling the newest Dan Brown novel for half price, but it’s not the best bargain out there this holiday season. A book published by an independent press and purchased from an independent bookseller supports two indie businesses and makes a more unique gift. Your loved ones will thank you. So will your community.

If your community is Southern California , you’re in luck. Our region is fertile ground for locally grown organic literature. Check out these presses and bookstores:

Southern California-based Presses:

  • Ammo Books: one-of-a-kind titles featuring amazing design, thoughtful writing, and exquisite printing
  • Angel City Press: nostalgic yet cool illustrated books
  • Arktoi Books: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that give lesbian writers access to “the conversation”
  • Cahuenga Press: poetry that honors creative freedom and cooperation
  • Cloverfield Press: books as visually beautiful as they are intellectually and emotionally stimulating
  • Dzanc Books: literary fiction that falls outside the mainstream
  • Gorsky Press: risk-taking books that encourage readers to re-examine society
  • Green Integer: essays, manifestos, speeches, epistles, narratives, and more
  • Les Figues Press: aesthetic conversations between readers, writers, and artists, with an avant-garde emphasis
  • Make Now Press: contemporary works of constraint and conceptual literature
  • Otis Books/Seismicity: contemporary fiction, poetry, essays, creative non-fiction and translation
  • Perceval Press: art, critical writing, and poetry
  • P S Books: micro-press that publishes conceptually motivated series on a project by project basis
  • Red Hen Press: works of literary excellence that have been overlooked by mainstream presses
  • San Diego City Works Press: local, ethnic, political, and border writing
  • Santa Monica Press: offbeat looks at pop culture, lively how-to books, film history, travel, and humor
  • Tsehai Publishers: literary fiction and serious nonfiction, with an emphasis on first-time authors and writers from under-served communities
  • What Books Press: books by L.A.-based writers whose work spans the full scope of the past quarter century

Independent Bookstores:
Book Soup, West Hollywood
Chevalier’s Books, Larchmont Village
Diesel, Brentwood and Malibu
Equator Books, Venice
Eso Won Books, Leimert Park
Family, Fairfax District
Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, La Cañada
IMIX Bookstore, Eagle Rock
Metropolis Books, Downtown
Portrait of a Bookstore, Studio City
Sierra Madre Books, Sierra Madre
Skylight Books, Los Feliz
Small World Books, Venice
Stories, Echo Park
Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore, Sylmar
Village Books, Pacific Palisades
Village Bookshop, Glendora
Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena

Please repost, tweet and email this widely to everyone interested in books and writing. Happy holidays from the Future of Publishing Think Tank*!

*The Future of Publishing Think Tank is an ad hoc group of writers and representatives of independent publishers and bookstores, nonprofit literary organizations, and community radio. Our task: to consider the changes occurring in publishing, distribution, and marketing of literary work and to envision new ways for writers to engage readers and build audiences for their work. Visit us to see the results of our reader survey and find more bookstores and literary activities in your area.

Reviews of these and many other independent bookstores can be found at