Rick Wartzman, who wrote the acclaimed narrative, King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire, with Mark Arax, will be taking over the Los Angeles Times Magazine later this year. He plans to revamp it completely and make it a leading voice of the west.
“It’s going to be rooted in place,” Wartzman told the writers gathered this week at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers at Lake Tahoe. “That place is California, of course.”
Wartzman is actively soliciting writers to examine all aspects of California -- the mountains, the deserts, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Central Valley, design, fashion and music. He wants narrative pieces that illuminate what makes California distinct from the rest of the country.
“I want stories that are provocative, told from the inside out, not the outside in,” said Wartzman.
In addition to narrative pieces, Wartzman plans to run short fiction each week. He is looking for 2,500-word pieces that aren’t necessarily about California, but use California as a setting. Memoir is OK , too. His fiction editor? None other than Amy Tan.
In the past few years, many newspapers have eliminated their Sunday magazine because they rarely turn a profit. The San Jose Mercury News killed West, also known as S.V. during a lean period around 2000. The San Francisco Chronicle still has a magazine, but it is paper thin.
The relaunch of the Los Angeles Times Magazine is set for late this year or early next year.