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Monday, December 3, 2018

Writing's transformative effects

“Writing is literally transformative. When we read, we are changed. When we write, we are changed. It's neurological. To me, this is a kind of magic.” – Francesca Lia Block
Born in Los Angeles on this date in1962, Block is the author of numerous books (both fiction and non-fiction), and dozens of short stories and poems, many of which have been translated into a wide range of languages around the globe.   

Among her many writing awards are the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, the Spectrum Award and the Phoenix Award as well as citations from the American Library Association, the School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly.    She is perhaps best known for her Weetzie Bat young adult series – for which she’s also written a screenplay now under production.  She also earned international accolades for her novel Blood Roses, and for her poetry collection Fairy Tales in Electri-City.         
                              A frequent writing workshop instructor and guest speaker at both UCLA Extension and Antioch College, she also has served as writer-in-residence at Pasadena City College, (not far from her current Los Angeles home) and privately in Los Angeles.   

Her advice to students is simple.    "Write with abandon and no constraints for first draft. Cut brutally and save in separate files on second draft. Add conflict; don't be afraid to make your characters suffer.  Read what you love.  Write what you love.” 

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