- Student Activities
Los Altos High School is proud to announce Writers Week, taking place from March 1 through March 5, 2021.
Since 1985 writers have come to our English classes to speak about their individual work as well as the life and craft of a writer. Here are just a few of the amazing speakers we are happy to host this year.
LAHS Writers Week
Sulome Anderson is a journalist based between New York and Beirut, Lebanon. She has written and produced for outlets including The Atlantic, New York magazine, Esquire, Foreign Policy, NBC News and Newsweek. Her book The Hostage's Daughter was published by HarperCollins in 2016.
CHARLIE JANE ANDERS
CHARLIE JANE ANDERS
Charlie Jane Anders' latest novel is The City in the Middle of the Night. She's also the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which won the Nebula, Crawford and Locus awards, and Choir Boy, which won a Lambda Literary Award. Plus a novella called Rock Manning Goes For Broke and a short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others. Her short fiction has appeared in Tor.com, Boston Review, Tin House, Conjunctions, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Wired Magazine, Slate, Asimov's Science Fiction, Lightspeed, ZYZZYVA, Catamaran Literary Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency and tons of anthologies. Her story "Six Months, Three Days" won a Hugo Award, and her story "Don't Press Charges And I Won't Sue" won a Theodore Sturgeon Award.
Charlie Jane also organizes the monthly Writers With Drinks reading series, and co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct with Annalee Newitz.
Tom Barbash is the author of the award-winning novel, The Last Good Chance, which was awarded the California Book Award, and the short story collection Stay Up With Me, which was a national bestseller and was nominated for the Folio Prize. His nonfiction book, On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal, was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney’s, VQR, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public Radio for their Selected Shorts Series. He currently teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts. He grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and currently lives in Marin County.
Gregory Brown grew up along Penobscot Bay. His stories have appeared in Tin House, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Epoch, and Narrative Magazine. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He lives in Maine with his family. The Lowering Days is his first novel.
Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up, which won the 2018 Believer Book Award, and was translated into Italian and Greek. Bullwinkel’s writing has been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney's and a Contributing Editor for NOON. She lives in San Francisco and teaches at the California College of the Arts.
Traci Chee is a best-selling and award-winning author of books for young people, including the instant New York Times best seller and Kirkus Prize Finalist The Reader and Printz Honor Book, Walter Award Honoree, and National Book Award Finalist We Are Not Free. Her forthcoming title is A Thousand Steps into Night, a Japanese-inspired young adult fantasy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, egg painting, bonsai gardening, and hosting game nights for family and friends. She lives in California with her fast dog.
Yangsze Choo is the NYTimes bestselling author of THE GHOST BRIDE (a CILIP Carnegie nominee, Oprah.com's best book of the week, and now a Netflix Original series which was just released Jan 23) and THE NIGHT TIGER, (Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick, Amazon's Spotlight Pick, and a Book of the Month Club selection, as well as one of the best books of the year for Amazon, The Washington Review of Books, Bookpage, Chicago Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Parade, Real Simple, and Self Magazine). After graduating from Harvard, she worked as a management consultant while writing fiction on a coffee table at home in her spare time. Originally from Malaysia, she spent part of her childhood in Germany and Japan, and now lives in California with her family and several chickens. Yangsze loves to eat and read, and often does both at the same time. Neither of her books would have been possible without large quantities of dark chocolate
Melissa Cistaro is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother (US edition) and the Canadian bestseller Without My Mother (HarperCollins Canada). Her stories, essays and interviews have appeared in The New Ohio Review, Brevity, The Huffington Post, PBS: To the Contrary, Good Housekeeping and the anthologies Love and Profanity and Cherished. Melissa mentors writers and teaches memoir writing workshops in the Bay Area and beyond. She’s taught on faculty at The San Miguel Writers’Conference, Writing Pad SF, Book Passage, San Francisco Writers’ Conference and Word Wave Literary Festival in Tahoe. She lives in San Rafael, California with her family - and lots of books.
CHRISTINA CLANCY'S work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine and in various literary journals, including Glimmer Train, Pleiades and Hobart. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and taught English at Beloit College. The Second Home is her first novel.
Lydia Conklin has received a Stegner Fellowship in fiction, a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, a Creative Writing Fellowship from Emory University, work-study and tuition scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Djerassi, the James Merrill House, the Vermont Studio Center, VCCA, Millay, Jentel, Lighthouse Works, Brush Creek, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera, the Sitka Center, and Harvard University, among others. Her fiction has appeared in a compilation of the best of the last twenty-five years of the Pushcart Prize and in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She has drawn cartoons for The New Yorker and Narrative Magazine, and graphic fiction for The Believer, Lenny Letter, Popula Magazine, Drunken Boat, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.
Kate Crane has written and edited for Dow Jones, Men’s Journal, Radar, Inc., Hearst publications, and Brooklyn Rail. She covered music regularly for Time Out New York for about a decade. At SmartMoney: The Wall Street Journal Magazine, she was deputy managing editor, and moved to Silicon Valley in 2015 to be deputy editor of news and culture site OZY.com.
Whatever Happened to Eddy Crane (Hanover Square Press), a memoir about her father's 1987 murder and the years she spent trying to understand it, will be published in 2021.
KELLY LOY GILBERT
KELLY LOY GILBERT
Kelly Loy Gilbert is the author of PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT, which was a winner of the California Book Award and an LA Times Book Prize finalist, and CONVICTION, which was a finalist for the Morris Award. Her next book, WHEN WE WERE INFINITE, is forthcoming in March.
Jasmine Guillory is the New York Times bestselling author of six romance novels, including The Wedding Date, The Proposal, and the upcoming While We Were Dating. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, and Time. She lives in Oakland, California.
Abigail Hing Wen is the New York Times Best Selling Author of Loveboat, Taipei, a romantic comedy following the journey of Ever Wong in her summer in Taipei. Loveboat, Taipei has been optioned for film by ACE Entertainment. Abigail holds a BA from Harvard, a JD from Columbia Law School, and an MFA from the Vermont School of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing stories or listening to her favorite scores, she is busy working in artificial intelligence in Silicon Valley, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
For more information: www.abigailhingwen.com
Follow IG/Twi: @abigailhingwen
Vanessa Hua is an award-winning columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestseller, A River of Stars, and Deceit and Other Possibilities, a New York Times Editors Pick. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. She has filed stories from China, Burma, South Korea, Panama, and Ecuador, and her work appeared publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program, Writers Grotto, and elsewhere. Find her at www.vanessahua.com
Yang Huang grew up in China and has lived in the United States since 1990. Her novel MY GOOD SON won the UNO Press Publishing Lab Prize. Her linked story collection, MY OLD FAITHFUL, won the Juniper Prize, and her debut novel, LIVING TREASURES, won the Nautilus Book Award silver medal. She works for the University of California, Berkeley and lives in the East Bay with her family.
Ann Jacobus is the author of YA novel Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, and The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent, forthcoming in 2023, as well as short stories, essays, and poetry. She earned a B.S. from Dartmouth College, an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is a volunteer crisis line counselor at San Francisco Suicide Prevention. She loves teaching writers of all ages.
Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and holds an MFA from Columbia University. The Atlas of Reds and Blues—winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the Crook’s Corner Book Prize—is her first novel. It was selected by The Georgia Center for the Book as a book “All Georgians Should Read,” long-listed for the DSC Prize in South Asian Literature, and long-listed for the Golden Poppy Award presented by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. The Atlas of Reds and Blues was named by The Washington Post as one of the best books of 2019, and has garnered praise in Time magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and elsewhere. A former newspaper reporter, Laskar is now a poet, photographer, essayist, and novelist.
Stacey Lee is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary young adult fiction. A native of southern California and fourth-generation Chinese American, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. After practicing law in Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain.
Shefali Luthra covers women and health care for The 19th, an Austin-based nonprofit newsroom focused on the intersection of gender, politics and policy. Previously, she was a correspondent for Kaiser Health News, where she spent six years covering health policy on the national and state levels. Luthra’s work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and The Guardian.
Julie Lythcott-Haims roots for humans. Humans need agency in order to make their way forward; Julie is deeply interested in what impedes us. She is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, an anti-helicopter parenting manifesto which gave rise to one of the top TED Talks of 2016, and now has over 4 million views. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance. A third book called How to BE an Adult, for young adults, is forthcoming. She is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, her mother, and her itinerant young adults.
Zoe Morgan is a 2014 Los Altos High School graduate who currently works as the education reporter at the Los Altos Town Crier newspaper. She covers local school districts, including MVLA, and writes articles on issues ranging from the debate over facilities for Bullis Charter School to feature pieces about school clubs and extracurricular activities. Since the pandemic began, much of her writing has been about campus closures and the ways that schools have adapted.
For as long as she can remember, Zoe has loved immersing herself in the minutiae of school budgets and policy decisions, and translating those details into compelling stories. As a student at Los Altos High School, Zoe was the news editor and then editor-in-chief of The Talon and spent much of her time attending school board meetings and asking school administrators a seemingly endless stream of questions.
From LAHS, Zoe attended American University in Washington, DC, where she received a dual degree in journalism and public affairs, with a minor in data science. She then spent a year covering education in rural Oregon at the Grants Pass Daily Courier, becoming coming back home to work at the Los Altos Town Crier.
Parker Peevyhouse loves In-N-Out fries, redwood trees, and movies about sentient robots. She is the author of the science fiction puzzle-thrillers Strange Exit (Tor Teen 2020) and The Echo Room (Tor Teen 2018), which have been called “compulsively readable” and "thrilling" in starred reviews. Her collection of novellas, Where Futures End (Penguin 2016) was named a Best Book For Teens by the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, and Bank Street. Parker lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works in education.
Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written many books for young readers, including Between Us and Abuela (2020 Charlotte Huck Honor Book), Forward Me Back To You (SLJ and Kirkus Best YA Books of 2019), You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for a National Book Award, six starred reviews), and Rickshaw Girl (adapted into a film by Sleeperwave Productions), all of which explore crossing different kinds of borders. Mitali also writes about light topics like poverty, immigration, child soldiers, microcredit, and human trafficking, thanks to living overseas for many years and studying Political Science at Stanford and Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley. Her goal in fiction is to make readers laugh or cry, preferably both, as long as their hearts are widening. She lives and writes in the East Bay.
Ken Pontac has been a Migrant Film Worker in the animation industry for over a quarter of a century, writing and directing content for television, film, and various new-fangled thinking machines. In the past several years Pontac has written scripts and dialog for the Marvel Universe MMO, Sonic the Hedgehog’s “Lost World” game for Sega, a new animated series featuring the ghost gobbling Pac-Man, Disney’s animated action/adventure series Slugterra, an upcoming revival of the classic “Thunderbirds Are Go!” series, the charming pre-school show Octonauts, and the less-than-charming Internet sensation Happy Tree Friends (a show so violent that it's banned in Russia). He is also still receiving royalty checks for writing the LazyTown song "You Are A Pirate," which has become an Internet meme, enjoying millions of hits on YouTube and inspiring multiple mash-ups and drunken karaoke videos. Pontac lives in Sausalito with a beautiful redheaded nurse and his two crazy canines, Whistle the Wonder Dog and Little Mickey Blue Eyes.
Anne Raeff’s second novel, Winter Kept Us Warm, published in 2018, won the silver medal for the California Book Award for Fiction. Her short story
collection, The Jungle Around Us won the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The collection was also a finalist for the California Book Award and was on The San Francisco Chronicle’s 100 Best Books of 2017 list. In 2019 she was a finalist for the Simpson Literary Award. Clara Mondschein’s Melancholia, also a novel, was published in 2002. Raeff’s stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica among other places. Her next novel, Only the River, will be published in May 2020. She is proud to be a high school teacher and lives in San Francisco.
LISA MOORE RAMÉE
LISA MOORE RAMÉE
Lisa Moore Ramée was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in the Northern California, with her husband, two kids, two obnoxious cats and more yard than she can control. She earned a BA in Speech Communications from San Francisco State (go Gators!) and a MA in English Literature (focusing on Creative Writing) from Cal State East Bay. She worked for several years in publishing at the Walt Disney Company, first in comics, and then with licensed publishing. While there, she co-penned The Little Mermaid, Jr. Graphic Novel and the writing bug took up permanent residence. She is a devotee of Top Chef and Project Runway and often tries to work the shows in her plots. A Good Kind of Trouble, her first novel, received critical acclaim, garnering three starred reviews (PW, Kirkus and SLJ) and became a bestseller. It appeared on numerous “best of” lists for 2019. Something to Say received three starred reviews (Kirkus and SLJ), was an Indie Next Pick and a Kirkus best of 2020 book.
Yasmeen Serhan is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers a wide range of topics, including populism, nationalism, and global protest movements. Since joining the magazine's London bureau in 2017, she has also reported on Brexit, European politics, and transatlantic affairs. She was previously an assistant editor and editorial fellow with The Atlantic in Washington, D.C. Even more previously, she studied international relations and French at the University of Southern California, where she could often be found writing and editing stories for the university's student-run newspaper, the Daily Trojan. She graduated from Los Altos High School in 2012.
JENN ALANDY TRAHAN
JENN ALANDY TRAHAN
Jenn Alandy Trahan is a Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford and was a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction. She was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Vallejo, California. Jenn received her BA in English from UC Irvine and her MFA & MA from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Her fiction has appeared in Harper's Magazine. She is at work on her first book.
DAVID HESKA WANBLI WEIDEN
DAVID HESKA WANBLI WEIDEN
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota nation, is author of the novel WINTER COUNTS (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2020), nominated for the 2021 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. WINTER COUNTS, an IndieBound and Amazon bestseller, is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and was named one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Amazon, Sun Sentinel, LitReactor, CrimeReads, Deadly Pleasures, Air Mail, MysteryPeople, and BOLO Books. The book was also selected as an Amazon Best Mystery and Thriller of the year, an Indie Next pick, Best Noir Fiction and Best Debut of the Year as well as a Notable Selection for Best Crime Novel by CrimeReads. The novel was a main selection of the Book of the Month Club, Best of the Month by Apple Books, and was the November choice of the BuzzFeed Book Club and the AWP Virtual Book Club