Los Angeles Independent Publishing

Lesbian Books

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, offers poetry readings, poetry contests, book awards, and more.

Writing in the Schools



Since 2003, the Writing in the Schools (WITS) program has provided free creative writing workshops and books to low-income students in fourth through twelfth grades.

The program supports five schools and approximately 250 Title I students each year.

What We Do:

Through the WITS program, a distinguished local author conducts in-class writing workshops for an hour a week over five consecutive weeks. Classes begin with the reading of a poem or short story, followed by a classroom discussion of the piece’s themes and use of literary devices. Students then write their own poems and short stories, drawing inspiration from the piece discussed. At the end of the school year, students receive a free, professionally bound anthology of their work.

All participating students also get a free copy of one of the two textbooks Red Hen Press developed specifically for the WITS program: How to Free a Naked Man from a Rock for high school students and Did Pirates Rip Her Arms Off? for middle and elementary school students. Authors utilize these texts to guide their workshops, occasionally supplementing them with outside readings.

Many of the students participating in WITS have never been to a play, art museum, or reading. Bringing published authors into the classroom opens the door to the arts, culture, and literature for these young people.












Our Instructors:

  • Ryka Aoki
  • Brittany McLaughlin
  • Heather Wells Peterson
  • Verónica Reyes
  • Ricardo Means Ybarra

Where We Have Served:

• Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School*

• Belmont High School

• Birmingham High School

• Camino Nuevo Charter School

• Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School*

• City Terrace Elementary School

• Cleveland Elementary School

• Crenshaw High School

• Culver City Middle School

• Culver Park High School*

• Eliot Arts Magnet Academy*

• Hollywood High School

• Locke High School

• Marrs Magnet Middle School

• Norris Middle School

• North Hollywood High School

• Pacoima Charter Elementary School*

• Van Nuys High School

* Schools participating in the 2019–2020 program


Our Supporters:

WITS workshops are made possible in part by grants from:

  • Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
  • Ahmanson Foundation
  • Allergan Foundation
  • Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation
  • City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs
  • City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division
  • Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission
  • Meta and George Rosenberg Foundation
  • Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation
  • Los Angeles Department of Cultural Arts
  • Max Factor Family Foundation.

Thank you for helping us bring art and poetry to local, underserved schools!


For more information on the program, please contact our Development Coordinator at development@redhen.org.