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Panels and Workshops Open to the Public

Author High Res

By Susan Page

The San Miguel Writers’ Conference opens on February 14 with something for everyone. Of special interest to those not attending the entire Conference are the panel discussions.

Panel Discussion: “Writers as Activists in Dangerous Times”

We could not have a timelier topic, right at this moment in history. Novelist and keynote speaker Wally Lamb will be a member of this panel as well as two of Mexico’s most celebrated writers. Felipe Restreppo Pombo is a Colombian journalist, editor and author, named one of the best Latin American writers under 40. Ivan Rios Gascon is a novelist, editor, and journalist whose novel Luz Estéril is widely regarded as one of the top 100 books of Mexican literature. Nonfiction writer and master teacher Laura Davis will round out the panel. Thursday, February 15, 11am.

Panel “Writers and the Brave New World of Publishing” promises to be an intriguing look at the rapidly changing routes to publication for writers, and how they affect both writers and the reading public. Jane Friedman, widely respected for her popular blog on publishing, will be joined by nonfiction writer Gerry Helferich, who also spent 25 years as a senior editor at several New York houses, and Merilyn Simonds, author of more than 20 books in a wide variety of genres. Are paper books going the way of buggy whips? Come and see what the experts have to say! Friday, February 16 at 11am.

Panel: Blasting the Boundaries: Making the Novel Novel Again

Do writers have to stay within traditional genre categories? This panel features three writers whose careers are all about exploding limitations and expectations in writing. Leanne Dunic is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer who won the 2015 Alice Munro Short Story Contest. Thomas Gammarino is a fiction writer who recently won Hawaii’s highest literary honor. Multi-genre writer Merilyn Simonds will join them on this panel. Sunday, February 18, 11am.

Our most popular panel every year is the “Co-Cultural Panel: Our Cultures, Ourselves.” Our tri-cultural literary event at the crossroads of Canada, the States, and Mexico is the perfect opportunity for several of the Conference keynote speakers to discuss how their culture affects their writing. African American former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove will be joined by panelist John Vaillant, an American/Canadian writer who also spent time in and writes about Mexico; Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden, who writes about First Nations people but currently lives in New Orleans; and celebrated Mexican novelist Jorge Volpi.

The four literary agents on our faculty this year will present a panel entitled, “Do You Need a Literary Agent and How To Find the Right One for You.” Friday, February 16, 9am.

How to Purchase Tickets

Tickets for panels are available on line at Don’t miss the excitement, networking, fun, and high-energy of the Writers’ Conference, just because you are not a writer. The entire event is designed for readers as well as writers. Explore the website! Find the events that excite you most.



San Miguel Writers’ Conference

All panels are open to the public!

Hotel Real de Minas ballroom

Tickets at


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