When she was eight years old, Judy discovered, or decided, she was a writer and the written word shaped her life from that time forward. After more than 25 years in a variety of commercial writing-related jobs (newspapers, radio, television, public relations, advertising, marketing), she chucked everything except her notebooks, booked an around-the-world airline ticket and took off in search of a new Muse.
But like Dorothy, the yellow brick road that went all the way around the world led her right back to her own back yard where, in 1993, she co-founded The Writing Center, a nonprofit literary arts organization, which had a glorious, albeit brief five-year life as the center of San Diego’s (California) literary community.
Out of the ashes of The Writing Center came her first book, A Writer’s Book of Days, A Spirited Companion & Lively Muse for the Writing Life (New World Library, 1999), which was based on her popular lunchtime writing session at The Writing Center, the Brown Bag Writing Group. Over the years, hundreds of writers have written on hundreds of original topics during these sessions and others like them. The book was chosen as a Featured Alternate by Quality Paperback Book Club and Writer’s Digest Book Club. Writer’s Digest magazine named it one of five “Hottest Writing Books.” A 10th Anniversary Revised Edition featuring an introduction by Janet Fitch, was released in the Fall, 2010 and won Best Nonfiction Book in the San Diego Book Awards.
Her second book, Writing Alone, Writing Together, (New World Library, 2002), evolved from her experience as the creator and teacher of a variety of creative writing classes and workshops, and leader of dozens of writing groups.
A Creative Writer’s Kit, a gift package based on A Writer’s Book of Days, was released in the fall of 2003. And, in 2005, The Writer’s Retreat Kit, which features twenty innovative retreats for creative writers beautifully presented in a 176-page guidebook and a deck of twenty-five cards.
Wild Women Wild Voices — Writing from Your Authentic Wildness, is Judy’s latest book, published by New World Library in Spring 2015. The book is based on her popular Wild Women writing workshops.
Love took Judy to Barcelona for a few years in the early-2000s, but a longing for home brought her back to San Diego, where she co-founded a second nonprofit literary center, San Diego Writers, Ink. She served as Executive Director from 2005 – 2010.
Other publication credits include a three-year stint as a feature columnist for Personal Journaling magazine. She edited a number of publications and chapbooks during her time at The Writing Center and served as editorial director for three anthologies published by San Diego Writers, Ink. Her work has appeared in the San Diego Reader, The Frozen Moment, Connotation Press, and other publications, including San Diego Writers, Ink anthology, A Year in Ink, and her poetry has been published in several journals including Serving House Journal, Magee Park Poets, and Waymark. Her experience with and love for writing in community appears as a chapter in the textbook Expressive Writing: The Classroom and the Community. The Fritz Theater in San Diego produced two of her plays, which she wrote with a women’s writing ensemble. The first, “Women of the Violet Wynn,” was based on a colorful bit of history of San Diego’s Quong Building, which was, many years before it served as home to The Writing Center, a brothel.
Teaching is as much a love and way of life as writing and Judy continues to teach at San Diego Writers, Ink and other venues, and holds private workshops and writing retreats. She also leads workshops and speaks at writing conferences internationally.
Awards and honors include San Diego Writer’s Monthly “Woman of the Year;” the 2001 Odin Award for Community Service from the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild; recognition for Service to the Community of Artists, Children and Patrons from the African American Writers & Artists, Inc. Mayor Jerry Sanders proclaimed July 24, 2010 “Judy Reeves Day” in San Diego.