History PFWA
The Beginning

The Pasadena Festival of Women Authors (PFWA) founders, Susan Long and Elsie Sadler, felt that book lovers in Pasadena would embrace the experience of a literary event and would make donations to support the community. In 2009, they launched the first PFWA at the Pasadena Senior Center where it was hosted for 7 years.

The Mission

To recognize the accomplishments of authors, to advance community dialog about the literary arts and to raise money for literary programs at community non-profits.

Non-profit status and growth

In 2016 PFWA Committee established the Pasadena Literary Alliance (PLA) and moved the popular PFWA event to the Pasadena Hilton Hotel to accommodate a larger audience. The PLA is a 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID: 47-2569785. The Pasadena Literary Alliance Board members are:

  • Katie Poole, President
  • Peggy Adams
  • Melanie Clark
  • Cristin Crum
  • Cristina Finney
  • Caitlin Latta
  • Norah Morley
  • Carmie Rodriguez
  • Grace Russak
  • Shelley Thompson
  • Liz White
  • Leslie Zasa


In 2017 the following organizations received grants from the proceeds of the PFWA:

  • Pasadena Senior Center: Masters in Learning Series
  • Pasadena City College: Writers in Residence & Summer Creative Writing Academy
  • Pasadena Public Library: One City, One Story Program
  • WriteGirl: Seminar at the Huntington Library
  • PEN Center: Emerging Voices Stipend

New Events

In 2017 the PLA board formed the Open Book Committee to host year round author events starting in 2018.