Join the Writing Pad community!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Joe Donnelly: LA's Literary Innovator

By Lorinda Toledo

Joe Donnelly is an award-winning journalist and the former Deputy Editor of L.A. Weekly. He is also the co-founder (along with Laurie Ochoa) of the critically acclaimed Los Angeles literary quarterly, Slake which just celebrated publication of its second issue.

On Friday, Feb. 4 at Writing Pad, Joe will talk about how he became a professional writer and what he looks for when writers submit to his literary magazine. If you’ve ever dreamed about getting your stories or poems published or have wondered what it would be like to be a journalist or an editor, then you should definitely check out the talk this Friday night with Joe! Here are the details:

Literary Landscape LA: A Conversation with Joe Donnelly of Slake Los Angeles
Fri., Feb. 4, 2011, 8-10 p.m.
Cost: $10 for drinks and snacks

I had the chance to ask Joe a few questions. Below is a little bit about his background:

How did you get started as a professional writer? Did your career begin with journalism?
Mostly in journalism, though I did have a brief stint in advertising copyrighting in the late 80s in New York. One pitch involved me acting like the Frookie Monster for Frookies (fruit-juice cookies) and doing a Frookie Dance. I moved to Colorado soon after that to be a ski bum and eventually started writing for a small weekly newspaper. Not much has changed since.

How did you get the idea for Slake?
I've believed for a long time that the media in Los Angeles doesn't accurately reflect the city as I know it, where it is, where it's going. LA is the most challenging and intriguing city in North America, and I've lived all over. It's always being misrepresented in my mind. We want to let the city speak for itself.

Is Slake a leap of faith for the print industry for as a whole? Or do you see it as a more unique project with a niche audience?
Anytime you try something that goes against conventional wisdom, but feels right in your gut, it's kind of a leap of faith. I have great confidence in what we're doing, but the only thing I've ever promised is that it would and will be good.

Slake is, in some ways, a hyper-local publication. This seems to be a trend, at least in journalism. Do you think this is more sustainable?
We actually don't see it as hyper-local. We see it as from Los Angeles and for the world. Let's not forget how much Los Angeles has given the world in science, design, art, entertainment, sports, style, literature, imagination. . . we're just another gift.

Join us Friday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. as Joe gifts us with his writerly words of wisdom! Space is limited, so RSVP to now before the talk is full!

1 comment:

Writing Pad said...

Great article, Lorinda! I can't wait for your talk this Friday, Joe.