Gloria Steinem and Alice Walker to keynote February Writers’ Conference

By Susan Page

The 10th Anniversary celebration of the San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival, to be held at the Real de Minas Hotel next February, will feature seven of the most distinguished writers of our day, all gathering here in San Miguel for the conference of a lifetime! The entire five-day conference includes 56 workshops for writers (each participant may select seven), and many other events. However, individual tickets are available for all of the ballroom events, including the seven keynote addresses.

San Miguel International Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival
February 11 to 15, 2015
Registration Now Open

The event will open Wednesday at 1:30pm with a keynote address by Tracy Chevalier. She is the author of seven novels including The Girl with the Pearl Earring, which has sold four million copies worldwide and was made into a movie starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson.

Wednesday evening, the extraordinary, Pulitzer Prize-winning, legendary Alice Walker will take the stage, in conversation with San Miguel’s own writer, Carol Merchasin, author of How it Goes in Mexico: Essays from an Expatriate. Their topic will be, “Infinite Grace: The Inexhaustible Wonder of Writing,” and their conversation will cover as wide a range of topics as Alice’s writing and her life itself.

On the second day of the conference, we will hear an address and poetry reading by Obama’s second inaugural poet, Richard Blanco. He is the youngest, the first Latino, the first immigrant, and the first openly gay writer to hold the honor of presenting a President’s inaugural poem. A Cuban who has lived in several countries, Blanco writes about identity, the importance of belonging, and the role of place in the struggle to achieve individuality.

The dean of legal thrillers, like Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow, will present an address on Thursday evening, discussing his balancing act of being both a lawyer and a novelist. From 2010 to 2014, Turow was the president of the Authors Guild, the nation’s largest membership organization of professional writers, so he will also address some of the political and ethical concerns facing both writers and readers in today’s turbulent publishing industry.

Mexican novelist and journalist Ángeles Mastretta will address the conference on Friday evening. Mastretta’s novel, Tear This Heart Out, won the Mazatlan Prize for Literature for Best Book of the Year when it was published in 1985. It was made into a much-beloved movie in Mexico in 2008. Mastretta is well known for creating inspirational female characters and fictional pieces that reflect the social and political realities of Mexico. Another of her popular books is Women with Big Eyes, autobiographical narratives of women who decided their own destinies.

Saturday is Canadian night, featuring the award-winning novelist Jane Urquhart. Her novels have won or been short-listed for a long list of awards including The Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, and Britain’s Man Booker Prize. Urquhart has received numerous honorary doctorates from Canadian universities. Her novels include The Underpainter and The Stone Carvers.

Ernest Hemingway himself will be at the Conference, in the person of the remarkable playwright and actor, Ed Metzger, who will portray the explosive life story of the celebrated American novelist in his highly acclaimed one-man show, Hemingway: On The Edge. This will be presented on Sunday afternoon at 1:30.

To bring this historic literary week to a close, none other than the iconic Gloria Steinem, co-founder of Ms. Magazine and standard-bearer for the contemporary women’s movement, will talk on the topic, “Writing Our Way to the Revolution.”

All of these celebrated writers will be present on Sunday afternoon in the hotel gardens for a gala book signing reception, free and open to the public.

Individual tickets will also be available for an exciting Special Event to take place on Saturday morning called “Book Club Boot Camp.” We hope all of San Miguel’s many book groups will attend this enlightening and entertaining morning about how to gain the most out of your book group experience. Several panel discussions are also open to the public.

For those who register for the full conference, the week will include both daily and longer intensive writing skills workshops; pitch sessions with leading literary agents; open mic readings; receptions; our legendary Mexican Fiesta; a Salsa Dance party; discover San Miguel excursions, and more. Three different Conference “packages” are available for those electing minimum to maximum involvement in the Conference, including a “Basic Package,” designed for local residents who want all the meat but don’t really need all the parties.

For the complete exciting information on the conference, to purchase single event tickets, or for easy, online registration for the full Conference, visit our website at We encourage you to register early for your choice of workshops. A special “Early Bard” discount is available for the first 50 individuals who register for each of the three conference packages.

If you require personal assistance in registering, write to for a personal appointment.



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