Hi! My name is Monica Luhar and I’m a freelance writer, journalist, and aspiring pre-school teacher based in Los Angeles, California.
I am a second-generation Indian American and the proud daughter of immigrant parents. My grandfather (dada) always nurtured my love for writing and inspired me to continue telling untold stories. We’d often play Scrabble and memorize words from the dictionary and make new words out of words. He’d be the first to read the LA Times front and back before anyone else in the house. I owe my grandfather everything because I wouldn’t have pursued journalism without his support for the craft.
Over the years, I’ve written about a female Hawaiian tattoo artist who specializes in creating tribal tattoos for sexual assault survivors.
My childhood dreams came true when I interviewed Far East Movement‘s Kev Nish while he was on tour in Korea. We talked about losing and finding their identity with the launch of their comeback album, Identity.
For NBC Latino, I interviewed a tactical self-defense instructor who has dedicated his life to empowering women, ensuring that a tragedy like the one he experienced would never be repeated. I have also interviewed survivors of the Cambodian genocide and a CSULB researcher who put together an oral archive history project, making sure the voices of Khmer women would not be erased as the elders began to age out of the population
My bylines have appeared in several hyperlocal and national news outlets: VICE.com’s Tonic, NBC Latino, NBC Asian America, NBC Out, Yahoo! News, Huffington Post Los Angeles, KPCC, KCET, Time Inc’s Hellogiggles, New America Media, India-West, LA Beez, OC Weekly, the Aerogram, AOL’s Patch.com, San Diego Free Press, Louisiana Weekly, DISFunkshion Magazine. Before I became a freelance journalist, I previously served as assistant digital producer and site and social media editor for two seasons of KCET’s award-winning newsmagazine show, “SoCal Connected,” and also worked as a general assignment reporter at India-West newspaper in Northern California.
I am currently at work on a memoir, battling my complicated Virgo tendencies. My hope is to continue telling impactful stories across multiple platforms. I learn something new every day and am so grateful for crossing paths with remarkable individuals who deserve to have their stories told.