A Gang of Writers
Surging into the picturesque, Colonial “silver city” in Mexico like a tsunami of aspiration and intention, 300 writers, authors and poets gathered for the 2014 San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference. A snob about writers’ conferences, I seldom attend such a massive confab of scribes, as I expect the crowd to be mostly wannabes asking, “What’s a query letter?”
Well, I nearly drowned in this ocean of accomplished, sophisticated and savvy writers. If a wannabe was hiding in the group, he or she kept a low profile.
Long, intense days of workshops were punctuated by an extraordinary slate of speakers, from Calvin Trillin to Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate and Malinche), Yann Martel (Life of Pi) and others, and that sauve, sexy poet, David Whyte, whose audience of several hundred emerged from his talk with tears streaming down their faces.
Agents were buttonholed, readings were rampant, books were signed and sold, while social media was closely examined and touted and raged against. Cultural expeditions around the area were enjoyed, and a wild and crazy fiesta topped the evening events. (One of our members, Lee Daley, presented a workshop entitled: Travel Writing: a World Of Markets–to rave reviews.)
I’m telling you all this as a way of recommending the conference and the experience of hobnobbing with writers of ilks other than their own. Together in one place at one time, romance and mystery writers, children’s book authors, novelists, memoirists, bloggers and ebook authors and publishers are an inspirational gang from which I learned a lot.
Here’s something you’ll love. I met dozens of writers during the conference week, and when we asked each other, “What do you do?” and I said, “Travel writer,” every one of them asked, wistfully, “Aaaah–does that mean you get to travel and write about it?”
Aaaaah, yes, we do.
P.S. The 10th annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival will be held February 11-15, 2015. As the conference fills up fast every year (and so do lodgings during, before and after the event), you may wish to connect to the blog and website for updates and news of the conference. Here’s the link: http://sanmiguelwritersconferenceblog.org/