Fun Times!

This year’s San Miguel Writers’ Conference was even better for me in particular because I was even more involved than last year. I took a leap and proposed and was accepted to participate in this prestigious event both as a panel discussion on marketing for writers as well as my own ninety minute talk on “Engaging Your Followers on Social Media”. Not being one to naturally stick my neck out like this, public speaking being a fear to overcome, I figured that my passion for working and playing with social media over the last decade would see me through, and it did! I survived and maybe even thrived! Want to hear it? It’s available in this link. The entire $10 proceeds will go to bringing books to children in Guanajuato Mexico.

The bookstore in full swing

The bookstore in full swing

It’s liberating to know I can speak in front of people without freezing up. Sure, I’m used to doing so online and through my art, but this was a new challenge.

People who attended the panel and my Talk made a point to come to me afterward and tell me what they had gotten out of each. That made my heart sing. Want to see the gist of my talk? I prepared a super comprehensive web page on my marketing site to accompany my talk. Here’s the link, the password is SMAWC2016

Top Notch

Each year as it has for the past eleven years, the conference features a wide array of best selling authors who are invited to come down, give a talk and mingle with everybody. This year we had:

Click on each name to see their author page. Be ready to be impressed!

My top new favorite from this auspicious list would have to be Mexican-American Luis Urrea. He’s funny and, oh, so smart. His life as a person who straddles the Mexican-American border is a work of art he deftly shares with humor and insight. He’s also chosen to teach in my home town, Chicago. I know they love him there.

NPR's Scott Simon and me just before his keynote

NPR’s Scott Simon and me just before his keynote

From the opening keynotes to the very last salsa party with workshops of marvelous scope and scale in between, this five day extravaganza brings a level of talent and expertise unrivaled in the country. The concurrent Spanish language  literary festival, the Festival Internacional de Escritores is likewise gaining momentum throughout Mexico as a Go-To event. This year’s two Mexican born speakers, Luis Urrea and Juan Viloro spoke at both major events. The Festival Internacional de Escritores also runs a series of writing workshops for Mexican youth who come from all over the country to learn and share.

The San Miguel Literary Sala

The package of projects, the San Miguel Writers’ Conference, the Festival Internacional de Escritores and the writers’ conference blog fall under the auspices of the overarching organization known as the San Miguel Literary Sala. The reach these people have throughout the local communities as well as out into the country and world at large is inspired.

Rubbing shoulders with successful creatives who peddle in ideas and words has given me the push I needed to look into developing my own writing. Just this week I began a writing workshop entitled “The Wild Muse Show Up and Write” developed by Maia Williams. I met Maia through the writers conference, and she was also one of the Monarca Mujeres with me last Day of the Dead!

Images from the #SMAWC2016