Writing is often a time-consuming, brain-wracking occupation, resulting in many writers needing to find their perfect location to brainstorm, find their voice, and write in peace. The destination of La Jolla has been a muse for many writers with its gorgeous scenery, calming ocean waves, and distinct downtown area. Over the years La Jolla has cemented itself as an enclave for writers with its famous inhabitants, writing conferences, and local bookstore readings.
Perhaps the most famous of all writers – certainly a writer who has stood the test of time – who has made a home in La Jolla is Theodor Geisel, more popularly known as Dr. Seuss. Geisel used to visit La Jolla in his early life and one day in 1947 stumbled upon the small house that would end up becoming his home. With two towers overlooking the ocean, it’s no wonder it was the ideal artistic place for someone as imaginative as Dr. Seuss. Though Geisel passed away in 1991, his wife still lives in the house they massively expanded over the years and today it still stands in La Jolla as a creative testament to a wonderful writer and artist.
Other writers who have made a home in La Jolla (some temporarily and some long-term) are Ann Rice, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, Raymond Chandler, and Carlos Blanco Aguinaga.
Novice writers also flock to La Jolla for the annual La Jolla Writers Conference, a highly-rated, multi-day affair that is dedicated to helping writers hone their craft. Writers who attend the conference have the opportunity to take classes from bestselling authors, agents, editors, publishers, and other reputable names in the industry. Registration is limited to 200 writers in order to keep the classes small and give writers more personalized attention from the expert faculty. The conference has also uniquely adopted a Pay It Forward mentality since their first keynote speaker was Catherine Ryan Hyde who wrote the book-turned-movie Pay It Forward, and as a result of this theme to the conference, no faculty members or speakers at the conference receive payment to be there. Instead, they volunteer their time to help budding writers – from the brand-new to the agent-seeking to the craft-honing – evolve their voice and elevate their writing. With this community-type thought process it’s no wonder this little conference in La Jolla was called one of the best 84 writers conferences in the country (out of over 1,200) by the famous writer’s manual, Writer’s Digest. The next La Jolla Writers Conference takes place from November 1 – 3, 2013.
For those who simply love good writing, La Jolla has something for avid readers as well. La Jolla is home to Warwick’s, the country’s oldest family-owned and operated bookstore. The golden age of bookstores is dwindling, but Warwick’s has kept its cozy and welcoming ambiance alive by offering the best book titles and by diversifying into stationary and unique gifts. This mix of offerings and its pleasant, homey atmosphere makes the store a lovely place to browse through. Warwick’s also regularly hosts authors to speak; during the speaking event the owners turns their bookstore into a seating area with rows of seats and a podium at the front. The visiting or local author at the event usually does a reading or shares their expertise on a particular topic. Local speakers have included the writer’s for the San Diego Zagat Review, plus novelists who partake in Warwick’s Weekend with Locals program which hosts a new speaker at the store most weekends. Kids are also welcome and Warwick’s regularly schedules children authors to do a reading of their books for the kids in the audience and Warwick’s also includes activities related to the book, resulting in many happy kids. By keeping an emphasis on local while not losing a pulse on international book affairs, Warwick’s is able to add a distinct literary component to the La Jolla community.
For those who live to write or simply love reading good writing, La Jolla is an excellent place to immerse oneself in the written word. Whether you’re an author looking to hone your craft or a book enthusiast trying to find the perfect story to read over the weekend, La Jolla may be just the right place for you to start your writing and reading journey.