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Writers’ Conference Reveals 2016 Keynote Speakers

By Susan Page

Another epic week is being planned for the 11th annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival, February 10 to 14, 2016. Today for the first time, the conference is excited to announce the distinguished writers who will present keynote addresses from the conference podium and to open registration for the conference.

San Miguel International Writers’ Conference
and Literary Festival
Feb 10-14
Hotel Real de Minas
Registration now open

In addition to the keynote addresses, the conference includes 70 90-minute workshops for writers (each attendee may select seven), plus seven workshops or panels in our popular “The Pleasures of Reading” track designed for people who love to read but are not necessarily writers. On the conference “Adventure Day,” attendees may select intensive three-hour workshops, a variety of San Miguel excursions, or a co-cultural panel with several of the keynote speakers. Literary agents will be on hand to hear pitches for book projects from aspiring writers. And the week is peppered with a variety of readings and social events, including our now legendary Mexican Fiesta.

Post-conference intensive workshop

This year, for the first time, we are offering a six-day immersion workshop, “The Ultimate Memoir Workshop,” with Dr. Susan Brown, following the conference. Dr. Brown is a highly acclaimed teacher whose students sing her praises, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this workshop as an added bonus for dedicated writers.

Spanish language events

All of the keynote presentations will be simultaneously translated into Spanish. Each time we offer breakout sessions, we always offer one in Spanish. In addition, a full program of Spanish language keynote addresses and workshops, integrated into the English language schedule, will take place at Bellas Artes.

Registration and tickets

The conference offers three registration packages: Basic Conference (all the keynotes and workshops, available to the first 60 people who select this); Full Conference (all the keynotes, workshops, social events, and some extras); and The Whole Enchilada (includes two three-hour intensives plus an intimate round table discussion with one of the keynote speakers).

A special “Early Bard” 10-percent discount is available to the first 50 people who sign up for any of the packages.

In addition to these packages, individual tickets are available for each of the keynote speeches, for the three-hour intensive workshops, and for some other events. Please note that most of the keynote speeches and all of the packages sell out early. Registration is now open, so don’t delay too long before making up your mind.

For the complete exciting information on the Conference, to purchase single event tickets, or for easy, online registration for the Basic, Full, or Whole Enchilada Conference, visit our website at We encourage you to register early for your choice of workshops. If for any reason you can’t register or buy tickets on line, write to Nathan Feuerberg at

The 2016 keynoters are

Joyce Carol Oates, the legendary Pulitzer Prize winning writer of more than 60 books.

Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition and author of a bestselling new memoir, Unforgettable.

Gail Sheehy, whose influential book, Passages, invented a new way of thinking about the phases of adult life, and was named one of the 10 most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress.

Kirk Ellis, prolific screenwriter, who won two Emmys, a Golden Globe, a WGA Award, a Peabody, and the Humanitas Prize for his work on the HBO miniseries John Adams.

Elizabeth Hay, Canadian novelist and short story writer, who has won countless awards for her writing, including the prestigious Giller Prize, and who spent several years living in Mexico as a freelance writer;

Luis Urrea, bicultural critically acclaimed, best-selling author of 13 books, back on our podium by popular demand, so spellbinding was his keynote address at our 2013 conference.

Lisa See, whose novels have all been instant New York Times bestsellers or selected as Notable Books of the year, and several of whose books have been optioned as movies.

Juan Villoro, Mexican writer and journalist who has been well known among intellectual circles in Mexico, Latin America, and Spain for years; recipient of the Herralde Prize for his novel El testigo.


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