August’s Featured Speaker: Julia Ganis

JuliaGanisColorAt next month’s meeting, Julia Ganis will speak about Editing for Indie Authors. She’ll address what to know, what to look for and what to avoid on your path to self-publishing. Plus, she will offer tips on self-editing for all authors, from absolute beginners to multi-published authors.

Join us at Bridges Academy in Studio City at 10am on Sunday, August 17th!


Julia Ganis has always loved a great story. A child of Hollywood, she read her first screenplay at age ten, devoured Jane Austen at the dinner table and snuck Harlequin Presents under the covers.

After twenty years of guiding screenwriters, doing script analysis, working in feature films and children’s television, and even teaching science, she decided to return to her first love:  romance novels.  A behind-the-scenes romance copy editor for several years, in 2013 Julia launched to offer her services to a wider sphere of indie writers.  Current JuliaEdits clients range from New York Times bestsellers with hybrid careers, to emerging self-pub authors and absolute beginners.

Julia graduated from the University of California at San Diego’s Muir College with a degree in Visual Arts/Media.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son and way too many cats. You can find her online at

July’s Featured Speaker: Anne Tammel

tammelNext month, build your unique author brand with branding expert and author Anne Tammel, a Silicon Valley native who specializes in guiding artists and professionals through the process of positioning and branding. Join us for this exclusive small discussion, during which you will learn crucial steps toward harnessing your author brand, taking charge of your unique selling points, and connecting with your readers. Walk away from this discussion with a road map for making your vision of success a reality.

Author of the forthcoming collection of poems, Endless: a Literate Passion (Aldrich Press, March 2015), branding expert Anne Tammel has devoted over two decades to coaching writers and executives through successful outcomes. Tammel began her career at the Silicon Valley’s highest-ranking public relations firm, Cunningham Communication, then went on to apply her positioning and branding expertise in the high-tech, medical, and financial fields. While pursuing her master of fine arts degree, Tammel began guiding executives into more prominent leadership roles. This unmatched success led to the inception of Tammel Enterprises: a highly-personalized, results-based, boutique consultancy devoted to your professional advancement.

Tammel’s fiction, poetry, essays, and articles have been published in numerous publications, including the Poydras Review, Annapurna Magazine, 3Elements Literary Review, Mediterranean Poetry, and Saint Julian Press. A news correspondent, professional speaker, and editor for literary journals, Tammel is also owner and founder of Poets and Dreamers, the author’s network featured in CBS Los Angeles. Tammel earned her MFA in creative writing at California State University, San Diego, and her BA in English literature/career writing at California State University, San Jose. Find her at her website and on Facebook.

See you at 10am on Sunday, July 20th at Bridges Academy in Studio City!

June’s Featured Speakers: Lee Michael Cohn & Gregg Ostrin

Screen-Shot-2012-11-05-at-1.26.08-PM163218185_400x400Next month, Lee Michael Cohn and Gregg Ostrin will join us to speak about the Art of the Pitch.

Lee Michael Cohn has written plays, feature films, PSAs, corporate industrial films and CD-ROMs, including Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.  He also wrote a series of radio spots for legendary actor/comedian John Lovitz.  He also sold a TV pilot to a major Russian TV network with noted screenwriter Gregg Ostrin. Lee also teaches Film Production and lectures on screenwriting at the LA Film School. Widely regarded as one of New York’s best acting teachers, Lee has taught at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies, The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School and The New World School of the Arts in Miami where he taught and directed for over 15 years at both the high school and college levels.

Join us at 10am on Sunday, June 8th at Bridges Academy in Studio City!

May’s Featured Speakers: Michelle Klayman & Jill Limber of Boroughs Publishing Group

bpg_logo_color_reversed_stackedEndLies_FinalNext month, we will have a publisher’s spotlight session with Boroughs Publishing Group.

We are pleased to welcome Michelle Klayman, President/CEO and Jill Limber, Editor.

See you at 10am on Sunday, May 18th at Bridges Academy in Studio City.


April’s Featured Speaker: Anne Cleeland

Anne CleelandDaughter of the God King-Anne CleelandNext month, our featured speaker will be Anne Cleeland.

In 2013, Anne debuted by publishing two different series in print with two different publishers.  Was it luck?  Talent?  No—mainly it was getting the projects in front of the right people at the right time. (Well, that and luck, too.)  Along the way she wrote a million queries and through trial and error, discovered some important strategies, including the best time of the year and day of the week to submit a query.

Murder-in-Thrall-Anne CleelandIn April, Anne will help you come up with the appropriate strategy to get your own project reviewed by an agent or editor and (hopefully) give you the best chance for success.

Join us on the second Sunday, April 13th at Bridges Academy in Studio City. Doors open at 10am, and the meeting runs from 10:30am-12pm. See you there!

Anne Cleeland holds a degree in English from UCLA as well as a degree in law from Pepperdine University, and is a member of the California State Bar.  She writes a historical fiction series set in the Regency period as well as a contemporary mystery series set in New Scotland Yard.  A member of the Historical Novel Society and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children.

March’s Featured Speaker: Mallory Braus

MalloryBrausNext month’s featured speaker will be Mallory Braus.

The topic will be What to Expect When You’re Expecting…Edits. Just like every story is unique, the edits constructed for each story will vary. Editors must adapt to the story needs — craft, story, prose/narration,etc — but also to the author’s needs — varying from debut authors to multi-published authors. Mallory will discuss the basics of what every author should expect from the editorial process.

Mark your calendar and we’ll see you at Bridges Academy on Sunday, March 16th! Doors open at 10am, and the meeting runs from 10:30am-12pm.

Mallory Braus graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a BA in English. From there, she became a freelance editor for Carina Press. She works with the stories she loves, authors she adores, and consider herself a sort of Indiana Jones—searching for treasure in the book world, and in the comfort of her office, safe from actual snakes and plane crashes.

Mallory has always had a passion for reading. But she never considered that the books she loved could lead to a future career. Until one fateful day she was offered an internship with a fabulous literary agent. A position as  intern for editor Rose Hilliard at St. Martin’s Press soon followed. She graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a BA in English. After a brief stay in New York, in which she discovered that city life did not agree with her, she returned to California and accepted a position as freelance editor for Carina Press. She also works as an independent freelance content editor and consultant. She feels so blessed to have found a job that lets her work with her one true love — stories.

Mallory will read just about anything — except horror. She’s especially on the look out for historical romance, mystery, sci-fi, urban fantasy, speculative fiction, and dark paranormals. More than anything, she loves character driven stories. Make her believe in your characters — give them real depth and vulnerabilities and quirks — and she’ll be putty in your hands.

You can follow her on Twitter @MalloryBraus or visit her website at

February’s Featured Speaker: Jennifer Haymore

JenniferHaymore2Next month, our featured speaker will be LARA’s own Jennifer Haymore.

The topic will be Writing Short(er).

Join us at Bridges Academy on Sunday, February 16th!

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance.

You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.

January’s Featured Speakers: Susan and Harry Squires

At this month’s meeting, our featured speakers will be Susan and Harry Squires.

Did you ever wonder why one day you get stuck while on another day your writing flows easily? Does it sometimes seem like your brain is actually fighting you?  Well, maybe it is. Recent insights into the structure of the human brain and how the parts work together (or don’t) provide powerful techniques to free your creativity and jump-start your writing.

The Squires will help you learn how to use these techniques not only in your writing, but in the rest of your life as well. Bring your current work in progress, and they’ll show you how to solve problems (including writer’s block), make your characters and plots deeper and more resonant, and create a book that keeps your reader turning pages.

Join us on Sunday, January 19th!

SusanSquiresSusan Squires published seventeen books with Dorchester and St. Martin’s Press, and has self-published four. Her books have appeared on the NYT Bestseller list. Her first novel, Danegeld, was a Golden Heart winner. Body Electric was named by Publisher’s Weekly one of the most influential mass market books of 2002. No More Lies was a Rita finalist. Her books have frequently garnered 4 ½ star reviews and Top Pick from Romantic Times BookReview, and starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, which also named One With the Shadows a Best Book of the Year.

HarrySquiresHarry Squires published his first novel, What Rough Beast, as H. R. Knight with Leisure Books. A paranormal mystery with romantic elements, it garnered enthusiastic reviews not only from horror venues but also from romance reviewers. He also writes for Wine Adventure Magazine and Front and Finish. Harry was a corporate trainer with an insurance company for many years. He’s coached extensively on techniques of learning and unleashing the creativity of the brain.

Both Harry and Susan are members of Romance Writers of America.