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Writers’ Conference Plans Epic Week

Carol Saline

By Susan Page and Maia Williams

Contrary to rumors you may have heard, the Writers’ Conference is not sold out! Tickets remain for a Full Conference Package (designed as much for avid readers as for writers); for most of the keynote addresses; for Intensive Workshops; for panels, including the extraordinary co-cultural panel, “Global Migration: People and their Stories;” for our “Pleasures of Reading” presentations in the ballroom; and now, for the first time, for individual daily workshops. We advise you buy your tickets now to avoid being disappointed. Most of our events do sell out! The Conference dates are February 10 to 14, 2016.

In addition to the nine highly acclaimed keynote speakers, the Conference offers seventy-seven 90-minute workshops on topics ranging from various writing and marketing skills to “A Discovery of Travel Literature;” a slide show by the author of the bestseller, Sisters; and a talk about “Poetry: Window on the Soul,” by Roger Housden, the author of the beloved Ten Poems to Change your Life.

Until January 15, we held the spaces in these daily workshops for Full Conference participants. But now, you may purchase a ticket to any daily workshop that is not already full. The ones that take place in the ballroom are not likely to fill up. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear these bestselling, highly sought after charismatic personalities, presenting right here in San Miguel.

Tickets to our now famous Fiesta, a party to end all parties, are also now available to the general public. Enter the world of a pueblo jardin on the night of a special celebration, with entertainment, a wide variety of food, and many surprises all night long. The Fiesta will be tented this year, but we are sure it will not rain!

Adventure Day

On Saturday, February 13, you will be able to choose between taking an in-depth writing workshop, called an Intensive, or spending time exploring magical San Miguel during a group excursion. In some cases, you might be able to do both. Excursions include, for example, a trip to Agustin Gonzales, a Mexican village of Otomi pyramid descendants. This tour will give you a rare glimpse into another culture and lifestyle, from learning traditional stone carving to cooking with nopal cactus to the ancient language of the Otomi.

Other Saturday excursions include a visit to Atotonilco Church, a World Heritage Site often called “The Sistine Chapel of Mexico,” and to Galeria Atotonilco, widely considered to be the finest collection of Mexican Folk Art and country antiques in all of Mexico, in a beautiful country setting and a much-published, architecturally interesting building. Or if you long to kick back and luxuriate, you can sign up for our bus trip to La Gruta Hot Springs.

Those who prefer to stay in town on Saturday may take our “elegant homes” tour to go behind some of San Miguel’s famous doors to see the astonishing interiors of these grand residences. Or, we also offer an historic walking tour of San Miguel.

We offer excursions on other days also, including our very popular Cantina Crawl, a tip of the hat to historic watering holes in San Miguel and also to the Beat Writers (some of whom might even show up at one of the cantinas), on both Thursday, February 11, and Friday, February 12. Other excursions include dinners: Gourmet Tapas, Gourmet Burgers; and Maia’s Magical Art, Architecture & Design Tour.

Registration and Tickets

For full information about all the events mentioned above, visit the Conference Website: It is easy to purchase tickets online. If you prefer to purchase tickets in person, you may do so at the Aldea Hotel, Ancha San Antonio 15, on January 28 from 4:30 to 6pm; or at the Sala Literaria in Bellas Artes on Hernandez Macias at Canal on February 4 from 2 to 4pm.

The Writers’ Conference presents these world famous writers, February 10 to 14, 2016:

Joyce Carol Oates, the legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of more than sixty 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 ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress

John Perkins, author of the runaway bestseller, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, speaking on “Transforming our World: Corporate Greed Meets Indigenous Spirituality.” This talk is part of our series called, “Writing for Change.”

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 thirteen 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 and/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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