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** We are no longer accepting online reservations for this program. **

To make a reservation, please email Sharon Padua, Director of Major and Planned Gifts, at [email protected] with 1) your name, 2) email address and 3) telephone number.

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. – Joan Didion

The best first-person narratives are as much about “the who” as “the what”, as in who’s telling the story and why. Acclaimed author, memoirist and instructor Dinah Lenney will lead a discussion that will look at a sampling of published memoirs and personal essays to explore a range of strategies for discovering our best material and getting it to the page.

Participants will play with prompts to activate memory and imagination, allowing for time travel between present and past, and to develop the balance between narration and reflection (show and tell) so rewarding for writers and readers of creative nonfiction.


This is a free program that will be held at the Palms-Rancho Park Library from 10 am to 1 pm. Space is limited, so please respond early. For more information, please contact Sharon Padua, Director of Major and Planned Gifts, at [email protected] or 213.292.6268.


Reservation and Wait-list Policy

LFLA Members will receive advance notice to make reservations, before being open to the general public.

Reservations will be taken until the program is full, at which point a waiting list will be maintained. If you or anyone in your party can no longer attend, please inform us ahead of time to the best of your ability. If you are on the waiting list and a reserved guest cancels, the Library Foundation will contact you regarding availability.

Dinah Lenney

Dinah Lenney is the author of a memoir-in-essays, The Object Parade (Counterpoint Press)and of Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir, selected for the American Lives series by the University of Nebraska Press. She co-edited Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction with the late Judith Kitchen (W.W. Norton, 2015), and co-authored Acting for Young Actors with Mary Lou Belli. Other work has appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, AGNI, Creative Nonfiction, the Harvard Review, and the Paris Review Daily. Dinah serves as core faculty in the Bennington Writing Seminars and as an editor-at-large for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation/waitlist policy for this seminar?
    Due to room capacity and the interactive nature of this program, program space will be limited to no more than 40. Once that capacity is reached, we will maintain a waitlist. If you need to cancel your reservation, please let us know as soon as possible.
  • Where should I park?
    The Palms-Rancho Park Library has an ample parking lot. There is also street parking available -- please pay attention to parking signs.
  • What should I bring?
    Please bring a pen and a notebook, a laptop or other writing device. Also, bring questions and be ready for an engaging discussion with Dinah and fellow participants!