With my background first as an entertainment journalist and now as a young adult author and fiction writer, I am interested in sharing my unique publishing journey and the transformative nature of literature for young reluctant readers. My young adult novel The Education of Margot Sanchez explores class and race in the Latino community, gentrification in the South Bronx, New York, and the perils of addiction. My craft workshops include ways to mine personal history for compelling fiction, how to tackle tragedy in young adult fiction, and an exploration of speculative literature.
All the elements of a classic teenage drama are in effect—the infuriating parents, the party that could make or break a tenuous high school life, romantic prospects. But Rivera's book also explores further terrain: race, class, and identity. A 2017 Face to Watch — Los Angeles Times
The Education of Margot Sanchez becomes a novel full of heart about trying to find your place in the world. — Paste Magazine
This novel is a bildungsroman for brown girls and anyone who's ever felt like they don't fit in. — Lenny Letter
You had me at Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx. — Bustle
Debut novelist Rivera doesn’t sugarcoat Margot’s conflicted life as the teenager juggles the sexist attitudes from the men in her family, the judgments from “cashieristas” at the store and her party-happy Somerset friends alike, romantic conflicts involving boys from school and the neighborhood, and family crises that arise. Margot makes mistakes, misplaces her trust, and gradually reestablishes who she is in an emotional story about class, race, hard work, and finding one’s place. — Publishers Weekly
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, a contemporary young adult novel available now from Simon & Schuster. The novel was nominated for a 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult Fiction by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Recently named a "2017 Face to Watch" by the Los Angeles Times, she is also a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion alumni with a Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship. She has been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Speculative Literature Foundation. Her short story "Death Defiant Bomba" received honorable mention in Bellevue Literary Review's 2014 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by author Nathan Englander. Lilliam's work has appeared in Tin House, Los Angeles Times, Latina, USA Today, and Los Angeles Review of Books, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.