I'm happy to announce that I'll be returning to the San Miguel Writer's Conference in February of 2018. The San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival is the largest and most prestigious co-cultural, bi-lingual literary gathering in the Americas, attracting distinguished authors, established and emerging writers, industry experts, teaching professionals, and avid readers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
It's my favorite writer's conference - full of fantastic workshops for writers at all levels from beginner to advanced. There are tracks dealing with fiction, non-fiction, the business of writing, social media, playwriting, poetry and more. You can pitch to an agent, hear an amazing array of keynote speakers, and enjoy their world-famous fiesta. San Miguel is a wonderful place to visit and the conference is a great next step for writers who want to take their writing to the next step and build new skills.
This year I'll be teaching two workshops, participating on a panel, "Writers as Activists in a Dangerous World" and for the first time teaching a five-day post-conference retreat, "Using Memoir Writing to Explore Your History, Your Beliefs, and Your Strengths in a Conflicted World."
Below are details of the workshops I am hosting.
Laura Davis is a phenomenal teacher, mentor and coach. Her clarity and insight helped me find the courage to bring all of who I am into my writing and into my life. The openness and warmth of Laura’s heart is matched by the wealth of experience she brings as a successful author.
--Jacalyn Buettner, First-time author
Using Memoir Writing to Explore Your History, Your Beliefs and Your Strengths in a Conflicted World: A Five-Day Post Conference Workshop with Laura Davis
Monday, February 19: Introductory Session 6:00-9:00 PM
Tuesday, February 20 through Saturday, February 24: 10:00 AM-1:00 PM and 4:00-7:00 PM
Real de Minas Hotel $850 (US Dollars--tuition only)
When the world around us is polarized and the future is uncertain, this workshop offers a way to clarify what you believe, find you own steady center, and determine what gifts you have to offer a conflicted world. Whether it’s a beautiful garden, a peaceful steady heart, a book of poems that inspire, or engagement in work that knits communities together, each of us has something to contribute.
This memoir workshop will help you explore which path is most authentic for you so you can live — and respond — with calm rather than confusion, paralysis or fear. During this intensive five-day workshop, master teacher Laura Davis will use guided writing practice to help you explore your deepest values and beliefs, find inner stability, and discover the strengths you need to face uncertainty in an unstable world. It’s time to stand up and show your soul. This workshop will show you how.
WORKSHOP 106 MEMOIR: How to Write About What You Can’t Remember
Wednesday February 14: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Many of us hold a deep dream of wanting to write, yet there is so much we don’t remember. This often stops us; we’re certain our memory gaps doom our writing before we begin. This workshop will teach you how to capture the memories you do have while enhancing recollections that are fuzzy or unclear. We’ll discuss five specific strategies for writing about what you can’t remember. You’ll learn strategies for writing about parts of your history you can never know for sure. You’ll leave with a myriad of strategies for writing about events that happened years ago with immediacy. Discover how to transform scraps of memory into a rich written legacy.
WORKSHOP 210 PERSONAL WRITING: The Transformative Power of Writing Practice
Thursday, February 15th: 9:00-10:30 AM
Writing practice is to the writer what stretching and yoga are to the ballerina. It forms a foundation from which all other writing can be drawn. The concept of writing practice was developed by Natalie Goldberg as a means to focus your attention, discover your wild mind, and unleash the deep power of writing from your core. It is a powerful tool if you want to know yourself better, and it’s a great way to generate vivid, emotionally connected raw material. You will be astounded at how deep writing practice can take you.
Participants will learn how to do writing practice and about why separating the editor from the creator is so essential when drafting new material. Both aspiring and published writers of all genres can benefit from a daily writing practice.
PANEL 310: Writers as Activists in Dangerous Times
Thursday, February 15: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
We suddenly find ourselves in a world of frightening levels of incompetence and corruption, where truth and justice are struggling for a handhold on a slippery slope. Public lies and devastating new policies are driven by openly hostile xenophobia, racism, and greed. The humane, compassionate world that we have spent our lives believing in, and working to make better, is disappearing before our eyes.
There is a long tradition of authors and poets speaking the truth and standing up for democracy and social justice in their written work. What is our role as writers, right now?
In this panel, we will address the following questions:
- How can we as writers change the world and shift the conversation? Do we have a special responsibility as writers?
- What role can personal testimony and individual stories play in fighting injustice?
- Does our responsibility as citizens extend to our writing life? Do we have to address the numerous current public crises in our own writing?
- What is the impact of this public drama on personal creativity?
- How can writing be used as a self-care tool for activists who feel burned out and overwhelmed?