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San Miguel Writers’ Conference Announces New Events for 2019


By Susan Page

The San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival coming in February 2019 has announced a brand-new event, open to the public and part of several of the conference’s available packages.

In “The Interviews,” on February 17 at 2pm, veteran Canadian literary host Hal Wake will interview three of the conference’s keynote speakers—Jennifer Clement, Adam Gopnik, and Paul Theroux. Each of these 20-minute interviews will afford us a personal, in-depth experience with some of the conference’s keynote speakers.

Part of the Canadian literary community for more than 30 years, Wake was the book producer for CBC Radio’s Morningside with Peter Gzowski in the mid-1980s. He has hosted or moderated more than 100 literary events at festivals in Vancouver and Victoria. Most recently, he was the artistic director of the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival. His in-depth literary expertise and interviewing style are beloved across Canada.

In addition to Adam Gopnik, Jennifer Clement, and Paul Theroux, keynote speakers include Cristina Rivera Garza, Sandra Gulland, and Susan Orlean.

Post-Conference Workshops

For writers passionate about refining and furthering their writing, the conference is offering a week-long, in-depth workshop immediately following the conference with one of three celebrated writers and teachers.

Novelist, poet, and president of International PEN Jennifer Clement will hold a five-day fiction workshop. “We will discuss essential skills but also delve into more mysterious areas of writing like metaphor and simile, persona work, the senses and synesthesia, dialogue, memory, etymology, and music,” she says.

Award-winning, bestselling author Gerard Helferich will teach a nonfiction workshop, appropriate for writers of all levels of experience. Topics will include how to recognize a promising nonfiction idea, how to create an effective narrative structure, how to successfully blend scene and summary, how to cultivate a unique voice, and how to apply six key principles of good writing.

Poet Laura Juliet Wood’s poetry workshop promises to be unusual and timely. “We will use migration as a metaphor for poetry,” she says. “Where do we come from in a poem, and where do we go? What does it mean to be a ‘refugee,’ and what is our refuge? The works of migrant poets and our questioning will be backdrop for our own writing. I intend for this class to surprise us all, to be a journey, a shift into new light, an embarkation.”

Sold Out? Only for a While

When individual tickets on the web site say “Sold Out,” be advised that this is only temporary. We have to hold tickets for those who purchase packages, and we will likely be able to release more tickets in late December. However, we encourage you to consider buying one of our new, innovative conference packages, designed specifically for writers or readers. They are clearly presented on the home page of the conference’s website. Guarantee your seats by purchasing a package at



San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival

Wed–Sun, Feb 13–17, 2019

Registration and individual ticket sales:



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