Anaphora Writing Residency (AWR)


The writing residency is a ten-day program based primarily in Los Angeles, offering workshops, readings, craft talks, and discussions with professionals from the literary and publishing industry. The goal of the program is to nurture emerging and established writers of color, to create opportunities for publication, and establish a wide network of support for writers of different backgrounds.

The residency takes place end of May-beginning of June each year; faculty and guest speakers are announced in the fall, and the application deadline is January 15.


The residency costs $2,500, and includes room and board. Several full and partial fellowships are available every year, depending on funding availability. Details for the next residency will be announced in the fall of 2019. Sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications on time!


The program will provide:

  • workshops (in poetry and prose)

  • mentorship opportunities with selected writers

  • craft talks

  • readings (by faculty and program participants)

  • pitching sessions with literary agents (prose), and manuscript critiques (poetry)

  • and so much more!


The inaugural residency was offered in May 31 - June 9, 2018, hosted at Otis College of Art and Design. The core faculty included Chris Abani, Kwame Dawes, Natalie Diaz, with keynote speaker Roxane Gay. See below for the full list of program guests.



Chris Abani

Chris Abani is an acclaimed novelist and poet. His most recent books are The Secret History of Las VegasThe Face: A Memoirand Sanctificum. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, An Edgar Prize, A Ford USA Artists Fellowship, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, a Prince Claus Award, the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. Born in Nigeria, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Board of Trustees Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago. More at


Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the author of twenty books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. In 2016 his book, Speak from Here to There, a co-written collection of verse with Australian poet John Kinsella appeared.  His most recent collection, City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press) will appear in 2017. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska and the Pacific MFA Program.  He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival.


Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She received her BA and MFA from Old Dominion University. She is the author of When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award, Princeton Hodder Fellowship, a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, and in 2018 was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. She is enrolled in the Gila River Indian Tribe. She teaches at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program. 

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay, Keynote Speaker

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014Best American Short Stories 2012Best Sex Writing 2012A Public SpaceMcSweeney’sTin HouseOxford AmericanAmerican Short FictionVirginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books AyitiAn Untamed State, the New York Timesbestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects.


Roda Ahmed

Roda Ahmed

Roda Ahmed is a Norwegian author and columnist born in Hargeisa, Somalia. Roda is the bestselling author of Forberedelsen (The Preparations). Mae Among the Stars is her first children’s book. She can speak five languages: Somali, Arabic, Norwegian, English and French. Roda lives in L.A. with her husband and two children. For more info, check out


Neelanjana Banerjee

Neelanjana Banerjee is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press, an independent press dedicated to Asian Pacific American and Asian Diasporic literature. She teaches writing at UCLA and with Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Her own writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, PANK Magazine, The Rumpus, World Literature Today, Teen vogue and several anthologies. 


Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due is a former Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College (2012-2014), where she taught screenwriting, creative writing and journalism.  She also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir.  In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism's Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University. Due has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Leeds, England, where she specialized in Nigerian literature as a Rotary Foundation Scholar.  In addition to Voices of our Nation (VONA), Due has taught at the Hurston Wright Foundation's Writers' Week and the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop. Tananarive Due is based in Southern California.


Kirby Kim

A native of Los Angeles, California, Kirby graduated from Pomona College and UC Hastings College of the Law. He started at the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency, and moved on to Endeavor and WME before joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2014. Kirby represents a wide range of literary and commercial authors, young adult and middle grade, native nonfiction and pop culture. Some of his clients include sci-fi short story writer Ted Chiang, National Book Award 5 Under 35 honoree Tracy O’Neil, Matt Bell, Melissa Yancy, Malcom Brooks, Chris Terry, Hilary Hamann, punk icon Richard Hell, Bikini Kill founder Kathleen Hanna, and rapper/actor Common. Kirby is currently a board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop.


Robinne Lee

The daughter of Jamaican parents, Robinne Lee is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School. She is a prolific writer, actor, and producer. Most recently, she appeared in the Fifty Shades trilogy. Robinne’s debut novel, The Idea of You, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2017 to much acclaim. An active member of the New York Bar, Robinne regularly speaks on panels regarding the roles of women and actors of color in the industry. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.


Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on March 5, 2019, and The Education of Margot Sanchez, available now in bookstores everywhere. Her work has appeared in Lenny Letter, Tin House, Nightmare Magazine, and Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.


Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh is an agent at Ayesha Pande Literary. In her twenty years in publishing, Anjali has worked as a literary scout, an editor at Vintage, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Simon & Schuster and as Editorial Director at Other Press. She is best known for having discovered Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. As an agent, she is looking for new voices, character-driven fiction and non-fiction works that reflect an engagement with the world around us, YA and MG literature and graphic novels for all ages. Forthcoming projects include Bridgett Davis’ memoir The World According to Fanny Davis: A Daughter’s Tribute to her Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers (Little, Brown 2019) and Jabs, Sherine Hamdy and Myra El-Mir’s YA graphic novel about a Muslim-American girl’s coming of age (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020).


Les Figues Press

Les Figues Press is a nonprofit literary organization based in Los Angeles. In November 2017, the press joined Los Angeles Review of Books as an imprint of LARB Books. Their mission is to create aesthetic conversations between readers, writers, and artists in Los Angeles, and around the globe.

Unnamed Press

Unnamed Press publishes literature from around the world. Whether it’s fiction, memoir, or something in between, they are always interested in unlikely protagonists, undiscovered territories and courageous voices. They are distributed by Publishers Group West. Their sister nonprofit is Phoneme Media.

Writ Large Press

Writ Large Press is a downtown LA based small press. Founded in 2007 to publish overlooked Los Angeles Writers, WLP continues to experiment with the idea of publishing and explore the role of the book in society with DTLAB, a pop-up bookstore and performance space project, PUBLISH!, a continuing underground publishing project, and Grand Park Downtown Bookfest, a festival for LA writers and publishers.

Details for the upcoming residency will be announced soon. Sign up for the newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox!