Founded in 2009 by Susan Long and Elsie Sadler, the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors (PFWA) was created to recognize the accomplishments of authors, support the advancement of literary arts, and to raise money for literary programs at community non-profits. Since its inception, the annual all-day event has brought together more than 80 diverse women authors to discuss their work with enthusiastic book lovers.
The 2020 PFWA will take place on March 22 at the Pasadena Convention Center and will feature seven acclaimed female authors, including National Book Award Finalist Laila Lalami and New York Times bestselling author Madeline Miller. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the writers’ personal journeys, connect with other readers, shop for books, and attend book signings.
“This year we have added more seats in order to accommodate 750 people,” says Norah Morley, PFWA event chair. “The speakers share their journeys as women and authors with the audience, so you’re hearing very personal and moving stories being told. Attendees can speak one-on-one with the authors in a very intimate and energetic atmosphere. It’s an exciting event that is always sold out.”
The PFWA is sponsored by the Pasadena Literary Alliance (PLA), an independent all-volunteer nonprofit organization that was established in 2015. In 2017, the PLA launched the Open Book Series, a year-round literary salon that connects authors to the local community in settings that complement their work and encourage engagement. Since 2009, the PFWA has raised more than $375,000 for literary programs in the community.
“This is a community-wide fundraising activity for literary initiatives,” adds Katie Poole, PLA board chair. “When you buy a ticket, it’s not just about the great day you’re going to have. You’re also contributing to a truly incredible cause.”
Photo: Courtesy Pasadena Festival of Women Authors