JULIE ROBINSON, CEO/Founder
Julie Robinson is the founder and creative force behind Literary Affairs and The Beverly Hills Literary Escape. She has been offering her clients a variety of intellectual and entertaining experiences to take them “Beyond the Book” for almost two decades. Julie personally runs select book clubs each month, as well as leading Classic Literary Breakfasts, Literary Escapes and more. Julie’s sphere of influence with book buyers has long been recognized by publishers and publicists. Selection as a Literary Affairs Book of the Month or placement on her highly regarded reading list ensures a book will be chosen by hundreds of book clubs through word of mouth.
Julie’s intimate, highly-anticipated events at unique venues consistently sell out. Over the years Literary Affairs has produced successful, prestigious events and book club interviews for many authors including Lisa See, Elizabeth Gilbert, Colum McCann, Ethan Canin, Mona Simpson, Abraham Verghese, Joseph O’Neill, Dinaw Mengestu, Muriel Barbery, Dara Horn, Nathan Englander, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Geraldine Brooks, Jennifer Egan, Dani Shapiro, Marisa Silver, Thrity Umrigar, Paula McLain, Celeste Ng, Lily King, Richard Blanco, Andre Dubus III, Chang-Rae Lee, Karen Joy Fowler, Maria Semple, Nancy Horan, Ruth Ozeki, Lauren Groff, Marianne Wiggins, Judith Freeman, Gail Tsukiyama, Linda Olsson, Alex Gilvarry, Robert Goolrick, T.C. Boyle, Meg Wolitzer, Tobias Wolff and Michael Cunningham to name just a few.
JILL LANZA-COPPOLA, Administrative/Marketing/Events
Jill moved from Texas to Los Angeles in the early 90’s and quickly found herself studying at the prestigious Loft Studio which produced actors such as Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelica Houston and countless others. There she found her creative and intellectual home studying with teacher Cinda Jackson and visiting professor Donald Freed. There Jill acted, directed and produced theatre for close to 20 years. She was one of the producers for the Lost Studio’s Pinter Project and stared in Harold Pinter’s play Night School. She also helped create the lost studio’s Les Enfants Magiques children’s Theatre. This magical children’s group created and produced plays for 8 years and its graduates include award winning film directors and acclaimed actresses. Her favorite part about working in the theatre was losing herself in all the great playwrights. Her literary education continues with Literary Affairs where she produces events and takes care of the day to day administration and has become a regular Jill of all trades.
LEAH BAILLY, Facilitator
Leah Bailly is a fiction writer, playwright and journalist originally from Calgary, Canada. Her work has appeared in several international literary journals and on CBC and NPR Radio, and she has won prizes from the Alberta Literary Awards, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Graywolf Press. In 2010 she won a Canada Council grant for research in West Africa with Journalists for Human Rights.
Leah holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she was the Deputy Editor of Witness. She has won fellowships for programs in Russia, Lithuania, The Banff Centre, Breadloaf and Yaddo. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California, where she is the Wallis Annenberg Fellow in fiction.
PETRINA CROCKFORD, Facilitator
Petrina Crockford has received honors from the Rolex Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, an Amtrak residency, and she was the 2015-16 Gerald Freund Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Her writing has appeared in the Feminist Wire, Meridian, LUMINA, and Words Without Borders, among others, and she’s written for the Paris Review. After studying English Lit. at Yale, she worked in the editorial departments at the Paris Review, Art Forum, and Knopf. She’s currently a Provost’s Fellow in Literature and Creative Writing at USC.
SARAH EGGERS, Facilitator
In addition to being a professional book club facilitator for Literary Affairs for the last 4 years, Sarah Eggers is a psychotherapist and registered art therapist. Sarah has researched and presented at national conferences on the topic of using creative writing and art in the treatment of mental illness. Before moving to Los Angeles from New York 5 years ago, Sarah taught creative writing and literature to undergraduates at Hunter College, where she earned her MFA in writing in 2008. Sarah has published her poetry, art work and critical essays in online and print publications and was a finalist for the Hunger Mountain Poetry Prize in 2010. Additionally, Sarah has attended artist residencies in writing and visual art at The Vermont Studio Center and at the International Center for the Arts in Umbria, Italy.
SARAH LABRIE, Facilitator
Sarah LaBrie is a writer and librettist. She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, New York University, the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her fiction appears in Lucky Peach, The Literary Review, Epoch, Joyland, Taste and Encyclopedia Journal among other publications. Her writing for the Industry Opera’s Hopscotch was featured in the New Yorker, Wired and on NPR. Dreams of the New World, a choral piece commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and developed with composer Ellen Reid will premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall next year. Her work has also been performed at Juilliard.
Sarah has written about books, technology and film for Literary Hub, Lenny Letter, The Verge, the LA Weekly, the Millions and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, where her work was generously funded by an NYU/Writers in the Schools Fellowship, and a BA in Comparative Literature and Literary Arts from Brown University, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.
JESSICA PIAZZA, Facilitator
Jessica Piazza is a poet, writer and professor. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, where she currently teaches Writing & Rhetoric. She is the author of the two full-length poetry collections from Red Hen Press: her multiple award-winning debut Interrobang, and Obliterations (co-written with Heather Aimee O’Neill), as well as the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press). Jessica co-founded Bat City Review in Austin, TX, Gold Line Press in Los Angeles, CA and is the curator of the Poetry Has Value blog, where she and others explore the intersection of poetry, money and worth. When Jessica isn’t writing or teaching, she’s cooking; she posts her culinary creations at @KitchenFling on Instagram. She has been a facilitator with Literary Affairs for the last six years.
TALY RAVID, Facilitator
Taly Ravid is finishing her PhD at UCLA, where she specializes in contemporary American literature. She teaches a range of undergraduate literature courses at UCLA: Post-War American Fiction, New York in Literature and Film, The Sixties in America, Modern American Poetry, and The American Novel, among others. She has received numerous awards and fellowships throughout her time at UCLA, including a fellowship from the UCLA Mellon Program on the Holocaust in American and World Culture, as well as a fellowship in Modern Jewish Studies at the Skirball Cultural Center here in Los Angeles.
Born in Israel, but raised in Los Angeles, Taly worked as a development executive in the film industry for a number of years before her own creative aspirations led her to New York, where she founded a small writer’s collaborative (The Rooftop Writers) while earning an MA in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU’s prestigious Draper Program. During her time in New York, Taly began her career as a screenwriter, developing her own projects and at the same time working as a ghost-writer, editor, and development consultant for various A-list writers, directors, and actors.
Eventually, Taly felt the pull to return to Los Angeles, where she’s been working at the intersection of the film industry and academia, pursuing her graduate work at UCLA while simultaneously nurturing her own creative ambitions. Most recently, Taly penned a feature film called “No Ordinary Hero,” a family film about a deaf superhero’s friendship with a deaf boy. The film won several audience awards at festivals both domestically and internationally, and was released in 2015 by Gravitas Ventures on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and all the major cable networks.
Taly lives in Hollywood with her husband and their dog, Frankie. They are expecting their first child in April of 2016.
ERIKA RECORDON, NYC Facilitator
Erika Recordon is a fiction writer and a teacher. Her work has received awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center. She received her BA in Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is currently pursuing an MFA from Brooklyn College. In NYC, she worked at various literary agencies, including Writers House and the Robin Straus Literary Agency. In Los Angeles, she was one of a small team of fiction editors for the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Education Coordinator at L.A.N.D. (Los Angeles Nomadic Division). She has been a Literary Affairs facilitator since 2016.
CALLIE SISKEL, Facilitator
Callie Siskel is the author of Arctic Revival, selected by Elizabeth Alexander for a 2014 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in the A Public Space, Ninth Letter, Yale Review, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, and other journals. She has received scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
She holds a BA in English from Yale University and an MFA in poetry from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a lecturer in the Writing Seminars. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California, where she is a Dornsife Doctoral Fellow in poetry.
DARA WEINBERG, Facilitator
Dara Weinberg received two Fulbright fellowships to study theatre in Poland and was commissioned by the American Opera Initiative of the Washington National Opera. Selected plays and libretti: “Penny,” “A Game Of Hearts” (with Douglas Pew), “To See The Stars,” (with Faye Chao) and “In This City” (Krakow Jewish Culture Festival). Dara studied at Stanford (BA) and Johns Hopkins (MFA) and is currently in Bath Spa University’s practice-based PhD program in creative writing. Her thesis in progress, a memoir, is titled “The Black Turnip: An Invitation To Poland.” She is an L.A. native and an incurable theatre enthusiast.