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San Miguel Writers’ Conference 2020 Guest List Brings Many Highly Lauded Authors

Villoro Signing

By Susan Page

As it reaches its fifteenth anniversary in 2020, the San Miguel Writer’s Conference celebrates with a number of keynote speakers who are bright lights on the North American literary scene, including a New York Times bestseller, a MacArthur Grant winner, a former US poet laureate, and an American Book Award winner.

Keynote speakers

The February 2020 event brings together the most decorated group of authors the literary conference has ever presented at a single event.

Keynote speaker Valeria Luiselli’s recent book, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions has been called “the first must-read of the Trump era” by the Texas Observer. The book has been named a National Book Critics Circle and a Booker Prize for Fiction finalist. In February, Vanity Fair did a major profile piece on Luiselli, a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner.

Author Delia Owens’s book Where the Crawdads Sing has spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list, most weeks at the top. She will also be a keynote speaker at the conference, as will Tommy Orange, whose debut novel There There won the American Book award and who is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

The conference will also feature former US poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera; the most celebrated of Canadian writers, Madeleine Thien; and beloved Mexican novelist Rosa Beltran.

Literary Death Match

This hilarious literary game show was so beloved last year that the conference is has brought it back for 2020. Four-rising star writers will be judged by a panel of four highly entertaining judges.


The conference’s popular panels on critical, timely topics include a star-studded event entitled “Tools for Young People, an Alternative to Crime: Reading and Creative Writing” and a cross-cultural panel, “Global Migration: People and Their Stories.”

Anniversary anthology and quinceñera fiesta

This year, the conference has published an anthology of works by many of its previous keynote speakers, including Barbara Kingsolver, Elena Poniatowska, Margaret Atwood, Luis Urrea, Calvin Trillin, Lisa See, Juan Villoro, Laura Esquivel, and more than 30 other eminent authors. The publication’s launch party will be part of the conference’s fifteenth anniversary celebration, which organizers are referring to as its “quinceñera fiesta.”

The conference is offering customized packages. For full information and to register or purchase tickets, visit



San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival

Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration

February 12–16, 2020

Register early to insure your choice of events


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