LA Chapter Wrap-Up

The Los Angeles Chapter met on April 17 amidst the controversies besieging the organization, and came together as comrades and in fellowship. We started our meeting with a toast to President Lisa Morton, who has weathered the latest controversies, and has taken a lot of the criticism on the chin, being the public face of the HWA. Members of the Board of Trustees sent along notes of gratitude, and she was also presented with a cake, a bottle of champagne, and a small cactus garden.

We covered a lot of necessary business. The show must go on, right? Kate Jonez filled us in on how we did at some recent events. We literally gained hundreds of signatures between the LA Times Festival of Books, the AWB conference, and the Paperback Book Show. We spoke about our next event: The HP Lovecraft Film Festival, which will be headed up by Ian Welke, and then, of course, StokerCon. We have a bus that is quickly filling up with riders. That should be a story in itself!

We also have summer and fall events lining up. We will be at the first Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival in Pasadena at the end of July, and then we have two extraordinary events timed for the fall. Kate Maruyama is heading up a Spooky Story Workshop for ages 8-12 with our chapter working for the first time with the great non-profit 826LA. This will be pretty remarkable; it truly encapsulates the HWA’s mission of promoting horror literature, which we be doing for a new generation of practitioners.

Kate Jonez is also working on having members of our chapter finally be able to participate in the North Hollywood Lit Crawl at the end of October. We are all crossing our fingers that it works out.

We raced through the markets this month, highlighted only a few, especially the two HWA works: the Poetry Showcase and the Hallow’s Eve anthology.

At this time, we opened the floor to a very respectful and fascinating talk about the current controversies facing the HWA. Without retreading what has already been stated elsewhere, our members put a lot of questions on the table, and there were some greatly illuminating moments. Everyone who wanted to speak was able to and given a fair hearing, and many left feeling a sense of togetherness and community we all really needed. In the group we had some long time HWAers, including past chapter presidents Denise Dumars and Kelly Laymon. It was one of those meetings that transcended just going over business—one that connected people person to person. It was one of the finest two hours our chapter has had. As a co-chair, I’ve never been more proud to stand alongside better people.