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In partnership with PEN Center USA, ALOUD presents the culminating event of PEN’s 2016 Emerging Voices Fellowship to mark the program’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate an evening of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with readings from this year’s Fellows (see above); featuring an introduction from this year’s Emerging Voices mentors: Carmiel Banasky, Claire Bidwell Smith, Patrick O’Neil, Mike Padilla, and Alicia Partnoy. The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary mentorship program aiming to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career.

Join us in the courtyard after the program for a public reception!



Marnie Goodfriend

Marnie Goodfriend grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, and earned a bachelor of fine arts in photography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she’s a sexual assault activist, online content writer, media consultant and visual artist. Her writing has been published in JezebelMarie ClaireThe Daily Beast, and Cosmopolitan UK. Marnie is currently working on two memoirs titled Birth Marks and Chewing Gravel.

Jian Huang

Jian Huang’s parents brought her to the United States from Shanghai, China, when she was six years old. She grew up in South Los Angeles and earned her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Southern California. She has worked for a number of social service organizations, including the LA Conservation Corps, which provides college scholarships and job training to underserved youth. Jian is working on her first collection of essays, in which she attempts to navigate the ideas of place and belonging.

Wendy Labinger

Wendy Labinger was raised in Southern California. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Iowa and her master’s in deaf education from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She has taught English as a second language for 20 years. Wendy’s poems have been published in Potpourri and Sheila-Na-Gig. She lives in Los Angeles and is working on a collection of poems titled scatters me into the night.

Natalie Lima

Natalie Lima was born in Miami and raised in Nevada and Florida. She attended Northwestern University and received a bachelor’s degree in radio/television/film and international studies. In addition to writing, she currently works in college admissions, and volunteers for Minds Matter LA, a nonprofit college prep program serving accomplished high school students from low-income families. Natalie is working on a short story collection titled Smash.

Chelsea Sutton

Chelsea Sutton was raised in the suburbs of Riverside County, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Chelsea’s fiction has been published in Spectrum, Catalyst, Bourbon Penn, and other online publications. She was the winner of NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Contest in 2011, and her plays have been produced and developed by Rogue Artists Ensemble, Skylight Theatre Company, and many others. Chelsea is working on a collection of short stories titled Curious Monsters.

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.


Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.


Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.


Main image credit: Cody Geary

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

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