Leslie Schwartz is the author of two literary novels, Jumping the Green (Simon & Schuster, 1999) and Angels Crest (Doubleday, 2004.) Jumping the Green won the James Jones Literary Society Award for Best First Novel and was published in three languages. Angels Crest was a Book Sense 76 pick and was published in nine languages. The film version of the book debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival in April and June of 2011. It was released and distributed nationally by Magnolia Pictures in January, 2012.
During her career as a writer, which has spanned over two decades, Schwartz has been named Kalliope Magazine’s Woman Writer of the Year and has won many awards for her fiction and her community service as a writer, including three artist-in-residence grants from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the West Hollywood/Algonquin Award for Public Service in the Arts and a California Council for the Humanities Fellowship.
In addition to her novels, Schwartz has published short stories, articles, essays and book reviews in various newspapers, magazines and literary journals. Some of these publications include the Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, Teachers & Writers, Sonora Review and the online journal Narratively Speaking.
She has won fellowships to Soapstone Writers Residency, Millay Colony for the Arts, Ucross Writers Residency, and was twice awarded residency fellowships to Hedgebrook.
A past president of the board of directors for PEN USA, Schwartz has worked collaboratively with PEN USA in their many programs designed for at-risk youth and young writers in programs such as Pen-in-the-Classroom and PEN’s Emerging Voices Fellowship. She taught writing and published two literary magazines for Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention agency in the United States. She recently curated, edited and published the literary magazine Charlotte.
She has taught writing at UCLA Extension, the University of Iowa’s Summer Writing Festival, Vroman’s Ed, Homeboy Industries and privately in workshops and one-on-one mentoring.
Schwartz received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her MFA from Pacific University.