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Red Hen Press Hosts Virtual Gala to Support Local Authors

Published on Oct 22, 2021

Pasadena-based Red Hen Press is preparing to host it’s largest annual fundraiser in a virtual forman this weekend to support its mission of promoting literacy and helping local authors get their voices heard, organizers said.

The group’s Virtual Champagne Luncheon is scheduled to take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday online, according to Red Hen Press.

“Funds raised at our Benefit this year will help Red Hen continue to publish incredible work and engage our community with literature,” the organization said in a written statement. “From helping with the printing and production costs associated with creating books, to funding programs like our Writing in the Schools program or our internship program, or to funding our various publication awards, which offer cash awards to winning authors, any funds raised will directly support Red Hen and our work.”

The event will include readings from authors Kazim Ali, Martha Cooley and Afaa Weaver, along with performances from local students and a live auction, according to the publisher.

Red Hen Press aims to encourage, promote and foster innovative literature, with activities ranging from providing poetry lessons for students to publishing first-time authors, Deputy Director Tobi Harper said.

“The core mission of Red Hen is to publish works of literary excellence, to foster diversity and to promote literacy in our local schools,” Harper said. “We seek a community of readers and writers who are actively engaged in essential human practice known as literature.”

“Being an independent publisher, we’re able to focus on the excellence of the literature, not necessarily always just the bottom line,” Harper added.

Representing diverse voices is a key part of the organization’s goal, according to Red Hen Media Manager Monica Fernandez.

“We actually highly encourage BIPOC authors and authors from the LGBTQ community, diverse authors… anybody that kind of wants to tell their story and they feel like their story isn’t being heard, that’s what we’re looking for,” she said. “We do our best to kind of pick stories that haven’t been heard, haven’t been seen before and stories that are kind of vital to the public and social discourse.”

Some authors gravitate toward Ren Hen because of the artistic freedom is espouses, Harper said.

“We’ve had authors come to us who got offers from big five publications, but were told you need to change the ending, you need to make this queer character straight or just something that sort of felt like a dumbing down of their authentic story,” Harper said. “And so they come to independent publishers, like Red Hen, to be able to present and publish the authentic story that they wrote and that they’d like to present to the world.”

Red Hen is also among only a few major independent publishers that considers unsolicited submissions.

“We have a whole general submission section that we go through, the managing editor goes through, to identify  just really incredible, excellent literature,” according to Harper.

In addition to the upcoming Virtual Champagne Luncheon, Red Hen is also looking forward to reopening its public space at 1540 Lincoln Ave. on Nov. 12, Fernandez said.

More information, including a link to purchase tickets, can be found online at Items available for auction can be viewed at

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