Writers’ Conference Is for Readers, Too!
By Susan Page
San Miguel International Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival
Hotel Real de Minas
Registration and tickets available now
Another epic week is being planned for the eleventh annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival, February 10 to 14. Tickets and registration for full conference packages are going fast. We encourage everyone to purchase tickets or packages now to avoid being disappointed, as almost all events and packages sell out early.
We welcome readers
Our conference is a literary festival, designed as much for readers as for writers! We encourage all book lovers to consider registering for a full conference package and to enjoy the entire five days immersed in this literary whirlwind. Every time we break into smaller groups, there is always a session in our “The Pleasures of Reading” series, designed especially for avid readers and taught by world-class teachers. Don’t limit yourself to the keynote addresses just because you are not a writer. The networking, casual meals, sunny afternoons in the lovely gardens, amazing discussions that happen through serendipity, and all that goes on between formal sessions are a big part of the value of the conference/festival. The full conference package is an excellent value and will give you an unforgettable week. And if you are a writer, it’s hard to imagine a more inspiring and educational opportunity than the five days of this event, “one of a handful of must-attend writers’ conferences,” as one reviewer recently remarked.
Meet our keynote speakers
There is little need for us to introduce Joyce Carol Oates, the legendary American author who has written more than 100 books and whose work has won numerous awards; Scott Simon, the beloved host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition;” or Gail Sheehy, whose book Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life, is one of the most influential books of the 20th century, according to the Library of Congress. However, don’t make the mistake of not ordering tickets for keynoters with whom you are not as familiar. Last year, everyone who missed hearing Richard Blanco was filled with regret when they heard people endlessly raving about the brilliant, heartfelt presentation he gave.
That is sure to be the case again for the closing keynote address by Kirk Ellis, writer and director of the highly praised HBO series, John Adams. Ellis is passionate about the value of storytelling. “Stories define who we are, and enlighten us on the ways other people see the world,” he says. Ellis is lovable and fascinating. His vast experience creating movies and TV series, along with the “who’s who” of people he has met along the way, make him an unforgettable speaker. His own stories both entertain and educate.
We were thrilled when John Perkins agreed to be part of the conference at the last minute. His book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, is one of the most astonishing books I have ever read, and John himself is equally amazing. After participating in some of the most devastating “deals” made between the US and underdeveloped countries, John has become an activist in preserving indigenous communities and saving the environment around the world. His appearance at the conference will be a benefit for the San Miguel non-profit called Caminos de Agua (formerly CATIS), which has changed the lives of, arguably, a greater number of individuals than any other nonprofit in San Miguel by being certain that many rural communities have safe drinking water and also that they learn sustainable agricultural strategies. When you purchase your ticket for the John Perkins keynote, you will know that you are making a substantial contribution to this extraordinary non-profit and at the same time you will be assuring yourself a seat at this mind-bending presentation.
If you have ever read one of Lisa See’s runaway bestselling novels, you will want to hear her discuss the origins of her stories. And if you have not read one of her novels, you won’t be able to resist doing so after you hear her talk. Lisa is the great-granddaughter of Fong See, who overcame obstacles at every step to become the 100-year-old godfather of Los Angeles’ Chinatown and the patriarch of a sprawling family. She is able to draw on her own experience as well as her extensive background in journalism. Her talks are beautifully crafted and take us deep into the experience of writing a novel.
Where to buy tickets or register for a package
It’s easy to purchase tickets to individual events or to register for a full conference package on the conference website: www.sanmiguelwritersconference.org. We have also created opportunities for you to purchase tickets in person. At the Literary Sala monthly author reading at Hotel Aldea on January 14, beginning at 4:30pm, our sales director, Nathan Feuerberg, can register you or sell you individual tickets in person. The Sala event begins at 5pm.