Women's Literary Festival (copy)

Women browse the selection of books at a previous Literary Women Festival of Long Beach.

A tight window will open soon for a chance to attend the always-sold-out Long Beach Festival of Authors put on by the Literary Women group.

The day-long event — this is the 36th annual — will be on March 9. Registration will open to the public on Jan. 1, and if past history is any indication, the event will be sold out in days.

There is a way to improve the odds, though. People on the mailing list will receive an email reminder to register. To get on that list, go to www.literarywomen.org before Dec. 31.

The festival consists of panels, talks and book signings with seven female authors. This year's lineup is Amy Bloom, Deborah Campbell, Tayari Jones, Rachel Kadish, Attica Locke, Ivy Pachoda and Leni Zumas. More information about all the authors is available on the website.

Two Long Beach women, Harriet Williams and Virginia Laddey, started the festival in 1982 because, they said, there was a scarcity of women authors represented on the reading lists of local high schools. The event now fills the Convention Center's meeting rooms, and tickets only become available when someone decides not to come the next year — a rarity, they said.

Tickets are $100 including lunch, and there is a $15 parking charge at the Convention Center garage. Books from all the authors will be for sale all day, and there are signing opportunities.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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