Meet the 2014 Writers’ Conference faculty — listed here alphabetically.
For more information about each faculty member, or the classes and workshops they will be teaching, click on any individual image.

San Miguel Writers' Conference Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass
Poetry & Keynote Speaker

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Margot Boland
Book Design

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Deborah Bosley
Grant Writing for Writers

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Deborah Brevoort
Playwriting

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Lee Daley
Travel Writing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Yvonne Daley
Fiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Kelly Daniels
Creative Nonfiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Laura Davis
Memoir

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Hollye Dexter
Memoir

San Miguel Wrters' Conference

Kathi Diamant
Kafka!

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Nancy Ellen Dodd
Fiction

April Eberhardt Fiction & Publishing

April Eberhardt
Fiction & Publishing

Laura Esquivel San Miguel Writers' Conference 2014

Laura Esquivel
Keynote Speaker

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Barry Evans
Journalism

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Betsy Graziani Fasbinder
Fiction & Publishing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Amy Ferris
Memoir

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Mary Flinn
American Literary Quarterlies

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Kate Fowler
Ninja Marketing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Irene Goodman
Literary Agent

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Aysha Griffin
Marketing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Robert Groos
Travel Photography

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Judyth Hill
Poet

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Jeff Kleinman
Literary Agent

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Arlene Krasner
Nonfiction

San Miguel Writers Conference

Alice Kuipers
Children and YA

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Jana Laiz
Fiction YA

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Bill Lavender
Publishing & Marketing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Robert Levine
Publishing & Marketing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Suzanne Braun Levine
Chronicling Women’s Lives

San Miguel Writers' Conference

David Lynn
Fiction

Yann Martel San Miguel Writers' Conference 2014

Yann Martel
Keynote Speaker

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Janet McAdams
Poetry

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Valerie Mejer
Poetry

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Pooja Menon
Literary Agent

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Dinty Moore
Nonfiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Mary Morris
Memoir

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Tina Packer
Shakespeare “Women of Will”

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Leslie Hall Pinder
Nonfiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Ray Rhamey
Fiction & Nonfiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Roberta Rich
Historical Friction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Elizabeth Rosner
Fiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Andy Ross
Literary Agent

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Benjamin Alire Saenz
Keynote Speaker

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Penny C. Sansevieri
Publishing & Marketing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Mark Saunders
Playwriting

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Jon Sievert
Self-Publishing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Anita Soluna
Nonfiction

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Willard Spiegelman
American Literary Quarterlies

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Teresa Stack
Publishing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Tom Swick
Travel Writing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Lulu Torbet
Collaboration Panel

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Stephanie Bennett Vogt
Publishing & Marketing

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Brooke Warner
Publishing & Coaching

San Miguel Writers' Conference

David Whyte
Keynote Speaker

San Miguel Writers' Conference

Victoria Zackheim
Fiction & Nonfiction

During the registration process, you’ll be required to choose ONE Daily Workshop per session.

Session #1 — Thursday, February 13 –– 9:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

101 – Fiction Creating and Developing
Characters in your Novel
Victoria Zackheim
102 – Fiction Using the Story Map to
Find the Holes in Your Fiction

Nancy Ellen Dodd

 

103 – Travel Writing Travel Writing: A World of Markets

Lee Daley

 

104 – Nonfiction Write What You Eat:
A Workshop for Food Lovers

Arlene Krasner

 

105 – Publishing and Marketing PANEL: New Era of Publishing:
Making It Work For You
April Eberhardt,
Brooke Warner,
Betsy Graziani Fasbinder,
Stephanie Bennett Vogt
106 — Publishing and Marketing Ninja Marketing:
create your own video book trailer
Kate Fowler
107 – The Pleasures of Reading The Odes of John Keats

Willard Spiegelman

Session #2 — Thursday, February 13 — 11:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

201 – Fiction/Nonfiction

Crafting A Killer First Page

Ray Rhamey

202 – Fiction

The Historical Novel: A Guided Hallucination Into the Past

Roberta Rich

203 – Nonfiction

The Art of Vivid Description

Dinty Moore

204 – Travel Writing

Writing the World: Workshop in Travel Writing

Tom Swick

205 – Playwriting

The ABC’s of Dramatic Action

Deborah Brevoort

206 — Publishing and Marketing

Publication Strategies for the Contemporary Market

Bill Lavender

207 – Poetry

Writing and Drawing: Writing Poetry is like Drawing an Object

Valerie Mejer

Session #3 — Friday, February 14 — 9:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

301 – Fiction

Writing Your Way Home: How to Discover your Material and How your Material Discovers You

Elizabeth Rosner

302 – Fiction

How to Create Characters So Real You’ll Be Tempted to Claim Them as Dependents on Your Own Tax Return

Jeff Kleinman

303 – Fiction/Nonfiction

The Source of Stories: Writing from Your Own Experience

Mary Morris

304 – Memoir 

Writing About Childhood: Using Writing Practice to Vividly Recreate the Past

Laura Davis

 

305 – Special Topics

Grant Writing for Writers

Deborah Bosley

306 – Publishing and Marketing

Today’s Dynamic World of Self- Publishing

Jon Sievert

307 – The Pleasures of Reading           

Chronicling Women’s Lives (Including My Own): from Ms. Magazine to Post-Fifty Posse

Suzanne Braun Levine

Session #4 — Friday, February 14 — 11:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

401 – Fiction

The Scene as the Basic Building Block of Fiction

Yvonne Daley

402 – Fiction – YA

Writing for Teens: The Crossover Novel

Jana Laiz

403 – Nonfiction

Making a Difference In the World:
From Passion to Action to Publication

Anita Soluna

404 – Memoir

Righting Your Life by Writing Your Life

Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

405 – Special Topics

How To Design A Book Cover That Gets Attention

Margo Boland

 406 — Publishing and Marketing

PANEL: When You Need a Literary Agent and How to Connect with the Right One for You,

Panel of Literary Agents

407 – Poetry

Discovery:  Writing at the Edge

Ellen Bass

Session #5 — Saturday, February 15 — 9:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

501 – Fiction

Writing Your Way Home: How To Discover Your Material And How Your Material Discovers You

Elizabeth Rosner

502 – Children & YA

Writing for Children & Young Adults

 Alice Kuipers
503 – Fiction/Nonfiction

Your Outline:
The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Brooke Warner

504 – Nonfiction

Building the Personal Essay,
One Paragraph at a Time

Victoria Zackheim

505 – Special Topics – Journalism

500 Words A Week:
Writing a Print Column

Barry Evans

506 — Publishing and Marketing

How to Sell Books by the Truckload
on Amazon

Penny Sansevieri

507 – The Pleasures of Reading

Reading Literature About Mexico by Authors From Both Sides of the Border

Yvonne Daley

Session #6 — Saturday, February 15 — 11:AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

601 – Fiction

Truth in Your Fiction: Robbing from Real Life
to Give Your Fiction Essential Truth

Betsy Graziani Fasbinder

602 – Fiction

How to Launch Your Story

David Lynn

603 – Nonfiction – Memoir

PANEL: The Art of Memoir
Women Write Their Lives

Amy Ferris, Victoria Zackheim, Teresa Stack, Brooke Warner, Hollye Dexter

604 – Nonfiction

Structuring Your Book-Length True Story

Kelly Daniels

605 – Special Topics

Can A Writer Have Friends?

Leslie Hall Pinder

 

606 — Publishing and Marketing

Market Your Book With Love

Aysha Griffin

607 – Poetry

Poetry: Wild Revision

Janet McAdams

Session #7 — Sunday, February 16 — 9:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

701 – Fiction

The Seven Stages of Revision

Nancy Ellen Dodd

702- Fiction

The Life of Your Fictional Character:
Creating the Back Story

Yvonne Daley

703 – Memoir

Five Secrets to Writing Successfully About Things That You Don’t Remember

Laura Davis

704 – Playwriting

The Big Ten: Writing the Ten-Minute Play

Mark Saunders

705 – Special Topics – Literary Journals

PANEL: American Literary Quarterlies:
Their Place and How to Use Them

Willard Spiegelman,
David Lynn, Mary Flinn

706 — Publishing and Marketing

The E-Book Publishing Revolution

Robert Levine

707 – Poetry

David Whyte

Session #8 —Sunday, February 16 — 11:00 AM

Track and Number

TOPIC

PRESENTER

801 – Fiction

Three Keys to Killer Storytelling

Ray Rhamey

802 – Fiction – Short Story

Nailing the Spike:  
Short Story Structure and Marketing

April Eberhardt

803 –Nonfiction

Just Add Water: Instant Experimentation
in Creative Nonfiction

Dinty Moore

804 – Poetry

Let’s Get You Published:
The Sweet Ecology of Manuscripts!

 Judyth Hill
805 – Special Topics

The Rewards and Challenges
of Collaboration: How to Create a Successful Partnership
With a Co-Writer or a Ghost Writer

Laura Davis , Ellen Bass,
Amy Ferris, Hollye Dexter,
and Lulu Torbet

806 — Publishing and Marketing

Publication Strategies for the
Contemporary Market

Bill Lavender

807 – Pleasures of Reading

How to Read Shakespeare

Tina Packer

You are invited to work all day with the same instructor or to mix and match. Material from the morning will not be repeated in the afternoon, and material in the afternoon will not depend on what was taught in the morning.

Monday Workshops — Morning: 9 to 1

Fiction &
Nonfiction

Plotting and Executing the Arc in Fiction

Victoria Zackheim

Memoir

Writing About Anger, Grief, Joy & Exultation: How to Express Emotions on the Page Without Resorting to Clichés

Laura Davis

Nonfiction

Four Secrets to Writing Absolutely Compelling Memoir

Dinty Moore

Playwriting

Beginnings

Deborah Brevoort

Poetry

Location, Location, Location:
The Poetry of Place

Ellen Bass

Social Media

Fans, Followers and Friends – How to Maximize and Monetize Social Media – Part 1

Penny Sansevieri

Creative Writing.Travel
Photography. 

Poetry & Prose

Writing from Your Own Experience:
Memory

Seeing Through the Lens
Putting People in Focus – travel photography that any publisher
will love!

Writing’s Secret Way:
The Art of Asking for Invisible Help.

Mary Morris

.

Robert Groos & Anita Soluna

.

David Whyte

Monday Workshops — Afternoon: 2 to 6

Fiction &
Nonfiction

The Acorn Workshop: I’ve Got This Great Idea…Now What?

Victoria Zackheim

Memoir

The Quirky, Craggy, Unusual Detail

Laura Davis

Nonfiction

A River Runs Through It:
What Makes a Story Whole

Dinty Moore

Playwriting

Plotting Along

Deborah Brevoort

Poetry

Metaphor: What Is It Like?

Ellen Bass

Social Media

Fans, Followers and Friends – How to Maximize and Monetize Social Media – Part 2

Penny Sansevieri

Creative Writing..The Pleasures of Reading

Writing from Your Own Experience:
Building Scenes

Understanding The Bow and the Lyre, by the Mexican Nobel Prize Winner,
Octavio Paz

Mary Morris

.

Antonio Vilanova

Seize This Rare Opportunity To Present Your Book Proposal to a Literary Agent!

These one-on-one sessions are available only with a Full Conference or Whole Enchilada registration. Your Full Conference or Whole Enchilada registration entitles you to pitch sessions with two agents.

If you would like to pitch to a third agent, the cost is $35 usd, as long as appointment times are available. You may request a third pitch session at the Registration Desk when you arrive at the Conference.

How to Sign Up

When you register for the Conference on our Registration Site on line, or in person at the Biblioteca, as part of your registration, you will be given the opportunity to register for two agent pitch sessions if you so desire, and to select the time you prefer for an appointment.

Guidelines for pitching your proposal are published HERE. Please read the Pitch Guidelines carefully before you sign up for appointments. This is not the time to run an idea past an agent; you must have a complete proposal ready.

Pitch Session Times

Each pitch session will be 10 to 15 minutes long. Pitch sessions will be scheduled during the following times:

Thursday, February 13          3:30 to 5:15
Friday, February 14               3:30 to 5:15
Saturday, February 15            3:30 to 5:15
Sunday, February 16               3:30 to 5:15

The following agents will be present at our 2014 Conference:

San Miguel Writers' ConferenceAndy Ross Literary Agency

Andy Ross is a legend in the book industry. He represents Daniel Ellsberg, Jeffrey Mason, Michael Parenti, Paul Krassner, and many others!

More about Andy Ross here.

 

San Miguel Writers' ConferenceJeff Kleinman

Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency.

Nonfiction: especially narrative nonfiction with a historical bent, but also memoir, health, parenting, aging, nature, pets, how-to, nature, science, politics, military, espionage, equestrian, biography.

Fiction: very well written, character-driven novels; some suspense, thrillers; otherwise mainstream commercial and literary fiction.
More about Jeff Kleinman here.

San Miguel Writers' ConferenceIrene Goodman

Irene Goodman has been a leading member of the publishing community for over 25 years. Her clients are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, Walden, Publishers Weekly, and Bookscan bestseller lists.

Her fiction list includes upmarket women’s fiction, middle grade, young adult, thrillers, historical fiction, and mysteries. Her non-fiction list includes pop culture, animals, science, Judaica, Francophilia, and lifestyle. Together with her dynamic staff, her agency represents over one hundred authors in these fields. More about Irene Goodman here.

San Miguel Writers' ConferencePooja Menon

Kimberly Cameron and Associates Literary Agency

Pooja Menon joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2011. She says, “We are a boutique agency and care deeply about our clients. We champion the books we work on and collaborate openly among agents. We are persistent in our pursuit of publication at the most respected publishing houses, and when we believe in someone, we do not give up easily.”

As a relatively new agent, Pooja is looking to build her client list and is eager for submissions by debut novelists and veteran writers. She represents fiction and non-fiction for both Adult and YA markets. More about Pooja Menon here.

San Miguel Writers' ConferenceApril Eberhardt

April is not available for scheduled pitches, but she is an agent-in-residence who represents authors for both traditional and alternative avenues to publishing. She is teaching workshops 105 and 802, and is available for individual consultations. (Sign up at the Information Desk.)

April Eberhardt helps authors explore both traditional publishing and the emerging options for self-publishing, including agent-assisted independent publishing. Her agency specializes in building long-term strategies with authors, which often include a blend of traditional and self-publishing.

A self-described “literary change agent” and author advocate, April works with serious authors who recognize the need for professional support, and the importance of publishing in the highest-quality way.

April is a reader for the Best American Short Stories series published annually by Houghton Mifflin each October. She served as head reader for Zoetrope–All Story, Francis Ford Coppola’s literary journal for many years. She holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing and a CPLF from the University of Paris. The agency’s website is www.aprileberhardt.com

Individual Consultations with Seasoned Professionals During the Conference

Some members of our world-class faculty are offering you the opportunity to work with them in an individual session on your personal project.

Consultations are available only to Conference registrants (Whole Enchilada, Full Conference, or Basic Conference.)

To make an appointment for an individual consultation during the Conference, e-mail our Services Coordinator, Carole Schor: seashorewrites@yahoo.com. Please tell Carole:

• the person with whom you would like an appointment.

• whether you prefer an hour or a half hour, if there is a choice.

Carole will inform you by e-mail of your appointment time. At that time, you will meet your consultant at the “Individual Consultations” desk in the lobby.

You’ll pay your consultant directly at the time of your appointment. Please bring sufficient cash (dollars preferred) or your checkbook.

You may still make an appointment at the Conference itself if any appointment times remain, although please note that some consultants need to see your manuscript before the Conference.

THE PERFECT BEGINNING with Victoria Zackheim

We all know the importance of the opening paragraphs of a novel, but what about creative nonfiction? Whether you’re writing a personal essay or memoir, you want to grab your readers—including potential agents and editors—and hold their attention. Through my anthologies, I’ve worked with more than 100 writers, including Pulitzer winners, national and international bestsellers. Together, you and I will craft that compelling introduction and lay out the structure of your essay or memoir. Please send me the first two pages of your work in advance of our meeting. (vdzack@aol.com)

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes: $60

MEMOIR with Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

Truth is what resonates with a reader. It’s what makes a story compelling, and leads the reader to trust you, the narrator. Writing your truth frees you to write authentically and fearlessly. Amy and Hollye, both authors of memoirs, and editors of the new anthology, Dancing at the Shame Prom, have a gift for finding the gem of truth in a story. Together, they will work with you to polish that gem and make your essay or memoir shine. Please email up to ten pages before the conference, to dexsongs@aol.com and asferris@aol.com.
Full hour: $60

90 minutes: $100

Paola Tinoco García

Entrevistas individuales con Paola Tinoco, experta en el ramo editorial. Pide una cita con Paola para hablar de distribución de libros, edición, promoción de libros, revisión de textos para oferta en editoriales, etc.

Paola Tinoco García (Ciudad de México, 1974) es escritora, editora y socióloga. Actualmente es representante en México de las editoriales españolas Anagrama, Siruela, Acantilado, RBA y Axial. Directora de difusión y prensa de la distribuidora de editoriales españolas Colofón y coordinadora del área de coediciones de las editoriales Axial y Colofón.

Ha publicado cuentos, crónicas y entrevistas en Revista 1.9.2., Milenio Diario, 24 horas, Replicante, Playboy, la Gaceta del Fondo de Cultura Económica, Luvina, Revista DF por Travesias y es columnista de la revista Marvin. Finalista del concurso “Mano de obra” convocado por el Instituto de Comunicación y Cultura de Oaxaca S.C. Editora y compiladora de las antologías de cuento latinoamericano De lengua me como un cuento (2009), publicada por Axial, Cuentos desde el cerro de la silla (2010), publicado por Anagrama y la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Más de lo que te imaginas, cuentos perversos (2012) publicada por Cal y arena. Sus cuentos han sido incluidos en diversas compilaciones. Oficios ejemplares, publicado por Páginas de espuma, es su primer libro. @paolatinoco

Costo por entrevista

30 minutos $300 pesos

1 hora $500 pesos

YOUR POETRY BOOK: DREAM IT AND DO IT! with Judyth Hill

Let’s co-create, design, and plan your Poetry Dream project!  YOUR book: all the way to giving Readings, book in hand!  We’ll look at your collection together, and create a step-by-step plan.

I can also, by email, continue to support you in your process, all the way, in every way! I have taken many poets through the entire process of selecting and editing their poems, setting them into an organic, sensuous, and powerful order; suggesting appropriate publishers, writing query letters, and choosing the best poems to include. — Then I gift you a blurb for your back cover! Let’s start NOW on your BOOK!

I will pre-read 5 poems for instant response when we meet. Email me, judythhill@gmail.com.

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes: $60

FINDING THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE with Dinty W. Moore

One of the more difficult aspects of writing about the self is correctly locating the central story of a complicated life, the “invisible magnetic river” that makes for a coherent and active memoir. I am happy to review up to ten pages of your memoir essay ahead of time, or ten pages from the opening chapter (if your memoir is book length), and we will meet to discuss invisible rivers, coherent structure, and the power of a story.  Send the ten-page, double-spaced sample ahead of time along with any specific questions you might have about your project or ways  to approach the writing of memoir (moored4@ohio.edu).  I am also happy to discuss possible approaches to your memoir even if you have not yet begun writing: just send me some questions ahead of time and we’ll chat.

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes:  $60

STORY CRAFT CRITIQUE IN FICTION with Ray Rhamey

Critique of your narrative on how well it delivers the story experience through description, dialogue, action, and language. Send a chapter as an attachment by email to [ray@rayrhamey.com] before the conference (preferred, you’ll get a better critique), or bring 10-15 pages to the consultation (double-spaced, etc.)

30 minutes: $45

ARE YOU AGENT READY? with Brooke Warner

Brooke Warner has shepherded hundreds of authors to publication over the course of publishing career. She packs a ton of feedback into her one-on-one consultations, offering sage advice about your pitch, your platform, your proposal, or your writing. You can send her work ahead of time or bring it on the spot. Send your URL, social media links, proposal, and/or sample writing. If you feel like you’re not landing a publishing deal and you’re not sure why, Brooke will point you toward what you need to tweak, hone, and polish to make sure you get noticed, signed, and on track for getting published.

 [brooke@warnercoaching.com]

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes: $60

SCRIPT CONSULATIONS with Deborah Brevoort

Is there a scene in your play that isn’t quite working? Send it to me before the conference via email (DBrevoort@aol.com). In our session we will examine all the elements (character, action, conflict, story, plot) to see what might be missing. For a half hour session, please send no more than 10 pages. For an hour session, please send no more than 20.

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes:   $65

ALL YOUR MARKETING QUESTIONS ANSWERED with Penny Sansevieri

Is marketing your book becoming a confusing task? Let’s spend some time together breaking down your marketing, what’s best for your book and how to market it most effectively. I’m happy to address Internet marketing or traditional publicity such as getting on TV and into magazines. Not sure where to start getting your book out there? We can discuss that, too. After our session, you’ll have the outline for your marketing plan.

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes:   $65

THE BEST PATH TO PUBLICATION FOR YOUR BOOK with April Eberhardt

Let’s talk about the best way for your book to be published! For some, it’s the traditional route. If that’s what your heart desires, we’ll look at how to polish and pitch your work to give it its best shot with agents and editors. For others, the new, cool indie route is most appealing, due to the control it provides you, along with the quick-to-market-and-profits appeal. Send along the first three chapters of your novel, and let’s look at the surest route to success for you! Please email a double-spaced Word attachment to april@aprileberhardt.com. I’ll provide detailed notes and a personally tailored strategy. Can’t wait to brainstorm with you!

30 minutes: $45

60 minutes: $65

What’s missing from my story? with Nancy Ellen Dodd

Would you like to find the holes in your story? Nancy Ellen Dodd can help you create a story map to see what you know and don’t know about your story. Perhaps you are unsure whether you are showing or telling? She will share visual secrets that help you bring the reader into the character’s world. Should you look for a traditional publisher or self-publish? Are you bogged down in revision hell? Are you struggling with tension and pacing? Is your screenplay on track: formatted correctly, using the right voice, following the genre conventions, visual?  Email nancy@thewriterscompass.com for an appointment, or make an appointment at the conference, include a synopsis or 5 double-spaced pages, and be sure to include the major area of concern you would like to focus on.

30 minutes:  $45

60 minutes: $60

San Miguel Excursions

All Excursions are Single Ticket options only (NOT included in any of the Conference Packages).
Excursions are available for purchase during registration for a Conference Package, or HERE without a package.

Febuary 13 and 14 from 3:30-5:30pm – $30
Hotel Real de Minas — SOLD OUT

Literature and Cuisine: Recipes, Magical Realism, and cooking from Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate. Full details can be found here.

                                                                                                                                 

Saturday, February 15; 3 – 5:30PM
Practice Mindful Photography In San Miguel – $15 usd 

Two and a half hours. Photograph San Miguel with veteran photographer Dinty Moore.
Meet in Hotel Conference Room # 3 for a short meeting before heading out to photograph San Miguel.

The beauty of San Miguel de Allende is easy to see, but not always so easy to capture.  Is it the people?  The architecture?  The light?  All of these?  This afternoon photography workshop will focus on using mindfulness, or “awareness of the present moment,” to forget our expectations, preconceptions, anxieties, and our storehouse of standard imagery in order to see San Miguel de Allende’s beauty with fresh eyes and capture it with our lens.  We will begin with a brief discussion and then take to the streets, somewhat aimlessly,  open to the possibility of the unexpected. Bring an open mind, comfortable shoes, and a camera, digital or film.

                                                                                                                           

February 15th and 16th  from 3:30 to 5:30
Cantina Crawl: “Beat” Afternoon in San Miguel’s Old Cantinas: $15 USD

Meet in the Jardin on the Parroquia side.

Come out for an afternoon of walking through the sun-drenched streets of San Miguel and visiting three of the oldest cantinas in town.  Learn the history of these old taverns and the writers who frequented them.

Sit at the bar while actors portraying Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and others entertain you.  Tours are limited to 25 people.

Each participant receives a commemorative cup, one drink, and a fun filled afternoon visiting some of the most memorable drinking establishments in San Miguel.

                                                                                                                                   

Monday, February 17 – 10 AM
Historic Walking Tour of San Miguel: $15 usd

Two and a half hours. A great way to explore the city given its rich colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and fascinating history.

Meet in front of the Parroquia – cathedral-like church – in the main square downtown.

A well-informed guide, passionate about the extraordinary history of San Miguel, will walk you through San Miguel’s glorious past, showing you historic buildings, former convents, churches, markets, and homes. You will learn surprising historic facts, hear stories and “urban legends,” and meet some of San Miguel’s famous personalities. The tour, which includes an in-depth look at the interior of the Parroquia (parish church), will last between two and three hours, covering a ten-block area.

                                                                                                                  

Monday, February 17 – 2:00 PM — SOLD OUT
Tour of Elegant Homes in San Miguel: $10 usd

Two and a half hours. Go behind some of San Miguel’s famous doors to tour the astonishing interiors of these grand residencies. The gardens alone will take your breath away!

Meet in front of the Parroquia – cathedral-like church – in the main square downtown.

Most of central San Miguel was built in the early-to mid-1700s, when the town thrived as a way station along the silver route; midway between the between the silver mines of the north and Mexico City. Lavish homes were built by wealthy merchants. In other towns in Mexico, these gorgeous homes were destroyed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but because of a series of lucky circumstances, virtually the entire town has been preserved in San Miguel.

When San Miguel became a colony for the arts in the late 1940s, individuals began to purchase and restore old mansions or to build new homes in neo-colonial or “Mexican modern” styles. Several families have graciously offered to give us an inside view of their beautiful homes.

                                                                                                 

Bus trip to Atotonilco: $10 usd — SOLD OUT
Monday, February 17 — 10 AM; Meet at the front door of Real de Minas Hotel to board the bus.

Three hours. Enjoy one of two options in this nearby historic town.

Excursion Option #1: Historic Church: “The Sistine of Mexico”: A World Heritage Site AND Galeria Atotonilco – The Best of Mexican Folk Art

OR

Excursion Option #2: La Gruta Hot Springs  (Separate 90 pesos admission, payable at the door.)

Excursion Option #1:

Historic Church: “The Sistine of Mexico”: A World Heritage Site AND Galeria Atotonilco – The Best of Mexican Folk Art

The Atontonilco sanctuary is not a huge, spectacular cathedral, but a simple country church, with extraordinary paintings. The walls and ceilings of the interior are nearly entirely covered in mural work, sculpture, inscriptions and oil paintings in a style called Mexican folk Baroque, although indigenous influence can be seen.  This mural work has led the complex to be called the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas”.

UNESCO long ago identified the sanctuary as an important World Monument and, ten years ago, allocated funds to restore the paintings. Restoration is now complete. The church also played an important role in Mexico’s war of independence from Spain, which began in 1810.

AND

Galeria Atotonilco:  A 3000 sq. ft. showroom of the best of Mexican Folk Art, country antique furniture, vintage serapes and other textiles, and historic photographs. Trip Advisor’s #1 Shopping Destination in San Miguel.

Galeria Atotonilco houses a stunning collections of high quality Mexican folk art, in a gorgeous country setting in a much-published, architecturally interesting building. The owner, former ceramic artist Mayer Shacter, travels all over Mexico to find the best artists working today, and then he buys their finest work. Mayer will give a short talk about the history, importance, and variety of Mexican folk art, and then give you the opportunity to view his breathtaking collection of paper Mache, wood carvings, ceramics, yarn paintings, weavings, and more. Many visitors to San Miguel say this gallery was the highlight of their entire visit.

OR

Excursion Option #2: La Gruta Hot Springs (Separate 90 pesos admission, payable at the door.)
Bring a towel, wear a swim suit, prepare to totally relax! Gardens, restaurant, 3 pools (from hot to tepid swimming), massage available, and the famous “source water cave.”

If you are longing to luxuriate in the San Miguel’s famous hot springs, you will have two hours to do just that. La Gruta Spa’s has several pools including one that takes you through a mysterious tunnel to a cave where you can situate yourself under the forceful stream of water pouring from the cave wall for a reviving shoulder-and-back massage or simply soak in the soothing warm waters.  Relax and enjoy! An informal restaurant serves drinks and snacks delivered right to your lounge chair!