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LAF 2019 Self-Publishing Author Panel   LAF 2019 New Voices Student Reading


2-3:15 PM


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This event is supported in part by Poets & Writers through grants it has received from The James Irvine Foundation and the Hearst Foundations.


The 23rd Annual Literary Arts Festival kicks off with a panel of local authors Ronald Preston Clark, Vera Sanchez, and Felicia Williams, discussing our modern era of alternative, agent-free, self-directed book publishing. 

About the Authors

Veracruz Pedroza Sanchez is a motivational speaker, a professional craps player, and a contributor to the Chicano Park Restoration Project. Her self-published epistolary memoir, Prison Letters: Walking with Honor—winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Awards for Best Multicultural Memoir—depicts the author and her cousin, Nando, growing up together in Logan Heights.  While in prison, Nando exchanges letters with his cousin and re-evaluates his choices in life, promising her to leave the lifestyle that cost him his freedom. Her 2018 follow-up novel, Puto, is a collection of family stories featuring strong women whose inspiration to Vera help her not to understate her own power when searching for love, and to extract herself from a toxic relationship.
LAF 23 Self-Publishing Author Panel


A native San Diegan and a RISE San Diego Urban Leadership Fellow, R. Preston Clark is a screenwriter, spoken word artist, award-winning poet, and the author of the recently self-published coming-of-age story, Vinnie: A Love Letter, the story of a 14-year-old black artist and athlete whose struggle to come to terms with loss leads him to question constructs of gender as well as spiral into a dangerous cutting obsession. Clark has performed as a spoken word artist in Virginia, Washington DC and San Diego, and has been featured at such venues Team Exposure, Glassless Minds, and Rhapsody Verbal Revolution.


Born and raised in California, Grossmont College Creative Writing Program alumna and San Diego queer poet Felicia Williams "grew up on hip hop, Zora Neal Hurston, Coltrane, and the electric guitar. Her work investigates home, family, and the weirdness of being human." A rising star known for her innovative poetry of protest and advocacy, Williams is the managing editor of local indie press, Madwoman et cetera, which produces anthologies of local women poets and voices. Williams recently self-published her first poetry chapbook, Autology, under her own press; the chapbook features poems from her popular #aintthatapoem series and others. She is regularly featured on Grrl on Grrl, a locally produced intersectional and trans-inclusive music and interview podcast.







Vinnie: A Love Letter

Clark, R. Preston. Vinnie: A Love Letter. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018. ISBN: 978-1720834908

Williams, Felicia. Madwoman et cetera, no. 1, 2017.

Madwoman et cetera Autology

Williams, Felicia. Autology. Madwoman Etc., 2018.

Sanchez, Veracruz Pedroza.  Prison Letters: Walking to Honor. Vera Sanchez, 2013. ISBN: 978-0615819679.

 Prison Letters Puto

Sanchez, Veracruz Pedroza.  Puto. Sojourn Publishing, 2018. ISBN: 978-1627472463.  


Preston Clark:
Veracruz P. Sanchez:
Felicia Williams:




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7-8:15 PM

NEW VOICES a student reading

LAF 23 New Voices Student ReadingExceptional writers from this semester's creative writing classes and workshops come together to perform some of their best new and original works of fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, drama, spoken word, mixed media word art, and other hybrid and innovative forms.


This semesterly event is a crowd favorite for Grossmont faculty and students, alike, and is a tradition dating back almost all the way to the beginnings of Grossmont College, itself. Each semester, our Creative Writing Program faculty select students from their courses who have composed stand-out original works, and invite them to participate in an evening of readings. Students typically invite family members, friends, instructors and peers, making it one of the more popular literary events on campus. The event features a New Voices booklet containing the printed versions of their works that allows audiences to read along if they like, and gives participating students a keepsake of the evening.


Students selected for inclusion in the New Voices program are also given priority consideration for the campus literary journal, Acorn Review, which is edited and produced by students under the advisorship of Creative Writing Program faculty member, Julie Cardenas. The latest issue of Acorn Review is currently available from the Grossmont College Barnes and Noble bookstore. For additional info, contact



  • Acorn Review official site:
  • Acorn Review on Submittable: 
  • Chest-O-Drawers Press "First Book" Contest:
  • The Grossmont College Creative Writing Program: 


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