Just finished the 2-day workshop at Vallarta’s only Biblioteca. Los Mangos is a huge white building enclosed by large metal gates and set back behind a huge lawn with a sprawling veranda. And a mango tree. It has been on life support for the past 2 years, existing on a contributions and charity. For heaven only knows what reason, the government cut all funds. It has been rough, but pushed the library even further in the direction of becoming a cultural community center, as these kinds of events become fund raisers.
The staff appears to survive on love and roses. How else do you describe a manager that works from 9 am to 9 pm M-F, 9 – 6 Sa & Su and has to be the last to leave from the library’s many events, often getting home at midnight? They couldn’t afford to hire a part-timer to help out and I’m guessing if we knew his wages and those of the rest of the staff we would laugh or cry.
But to the conference. The theme of ‘Becoming a Writer — Seriously’ felt both tantalizing and irrelevant to me going in. Me? Of course I’m a serious writer. Why would you even ask! I’ve done it for a living for the past 20+ years and have written, written, written for myself since I was a teenager. Oh, wait a minute. Did you mean something like sending out a query to a publisher? Looking for an agent? That process? No, I don’t think so. You must have me confused with someone who can handle rejection. Add in that I’d never been to a writer’s conference and you might intuit that even though I was very excited, I had mixed feelings going in.
Here was the line-up: http://www.puerto-vallarta-writers-group.com/Conference.php
2011 FEATURED SPEAKERS & SEMINAR PRESENTERS:
|Opening speaker Rick Najera promises to mix humor with insight as he outlines the pitfalls he encountered on his way to becoming the man Hispanic Business Magazine twice selected among “the 100 most influential Latinos in America.” Najera has written movies (Nothing like the Holidays), starred on Broadway and has written pilots for major TV networks. He’s also one of the most sought-after comics in the industry. His talents will also be shared in a seminar on using humor to best advantage in writing.|
|Concluding speaker Lisa Brackmann, whose first novel Rock Paper Tiger was ranked by Amazon as one of the top 100 books of 2010, comes with an impressive background in the film industry, a worker on a presidential campaign and a singer in a rock band. Her talk will follow the conference theme: Becoming a Writer – Seriously. She will also lead a seminar on “writing the high impact novel.”|
|Susie Albin-Najera, an extensive traveler who has covered broad facets of travel, tourism, art, entertainment and culture, will conduct a seminar on travel writing blogging and freelancing.|
|Sunny Frazier, who specializes in writing mysteries with an astrological twist and has edited four anthologies of mystery stories, will address the issue of finding a publisher and delve into the question of what publishers are looking for. As an acquisitions editor at Oak Tree Press, Frazier will also be on the lookout for potential manuscripts.|
|Sarah Cortez, who has received a PEN Texas literary award for poets and has edited and published an anthology of short mystery fiction by Latino authors, will discuss the fundamentals of writing a memoir.|
|Michael Bracken, who has written 11 books and more than 1,200 shorter works that have appeared in over 150 publications, will recount how he became successful at selling and writing confessions.|