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Author of Wage Peace, poet Judyth Hill will lead a workshop aimed at expanding writers' awareness of cross-cultural and experimental poetry to improve technique. The author of Wage Peace, poet Judyth Hill, will lead a workshop aimed at expanding writers' awareness of cross-cultural and experimental poetry to improve technique.

San Miguel Writers Conference takes its acclaimed writing workshops online

Classes will take place this year via Zoom videoconferencing

While the coronavirus pandemic has postponed or canceled many cultural events worldwide, some organizers of such gatherings have seen the possibilities in transforming their events into virtual ones this year, using webinars, streaming services and videoconferencing.

The San Miguel Literary Sala in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, a local organization that hosts the internationally known San Miguel Writer’s Conference every year, has responded to the pandemic’s challenges this year by reinventing what would normally be in-person workshops in the Magical Town into online events anyone around the world can easily attend via Zoom.

The Literary Sala not only successfully attracts big-name authors as speakers (this year, Tom Hanks and Matthew McConaughey, who both published books in 2020, are featured virtual guests), it also puts on several workshops at the conference on writing, editing, and the publishing industry, led by accomplished writers, poets, and editors.

In 2021, the Literary Sala has been hosting virtual events since the beginning of the year and will continue doing so at least through August. This month, it is presenting four live Zoom workshops on writing with authors, journalists and writing coaches:

  • Narrative Voice: Where Prose Comes Alive. May 17 and May 19. Taught by Amy Gottlieb.
    Gottlieb, a book coach and writing instructor whose debut novel The Beautiful Possible, was a finalist for the Ribalow Prize, Wallant Award, and a National Jewish Book Award, will lead a three-hour workshop on crafting memorable character voices to bring a compelling authenticity to a story that makes it come alive.
  • World Travels and Travel Writing: Turning One Passion into Another. May 17 and 19. Taught by Laurie Gough.
    Gough, a journalist, author and freelance editor who has written for several newspapers such as The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and the Globe and Mail, where she was a travel columnist, is also the author of three memoirs. Her workshop will be on travel writing, a genre she points out is needed more than ever with people stuck at home due to the pandemic. Attendees will engage in inspiring writing exercises and discuss the importance of conveying the wonder of the place about which one is writing.
  • Writing for Teens (even if you aren’t one). May 18 and 20. Taught by Kat Falls.
    Falls, the author of the Scholastic Press science fiction series for tweens and teens called Dark Life, will be leading a workshop for both experienced writers and beginners who want to learn how to write a middle-grade or young adult novel. The seminar will include writing exercises and will touch on current and upcoming market trends, as well as how to catch an agent’s eye.
  • Shamanic Origins of Poetry: The Deep Magic of Saying. May 18 and 20. Taught by Judyth Hill.
    Hill is a poet, author, editor and teacher who is the author of the internationally acclaimed poem, Wage Peace. Her workshop will expose attendees to examples of cross-cultural poetry, unusual styles and techniques for making poems and poetry through the ages, all with an eye toward gaining new skills of description and musical language.

All four events will be one-time workshops that are not recorded. Each costs $80 but can also be bundled for a discounted price with other events coming up between May and August, including the Matthew McConaughey interview on May 14 and an event featuring Hallie Ephron and April Eberhardt on June 20.

For more information on times and purchasing tickets, visit the San Miguel Literary Sala website.

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