Enduring Spirits Untold Stories
This year, the Women Writing the West’s conference will meet in Santa Fe for the first time. Celebrating the lives of forgotten women of the past, the enduring spirits of our characters and our members, and the untold possibilities of our futures, we will embrace the community that seized its own possibilities and grew from a small inn to a territorial/state capital and thriving cultural hub. We’ll honor this home of the Harvey Girls and their many stories and salute the city that inspired Willa Cather as she wrote Death Comes for the Archbishop. Conference dates are Oct. 13-16, 2016 and we’ll be staying at Drury Inn on the Plaza.
Programming is still being added but here’s a glimpse of what we already have planned!
Attendees will have the opportunity to jump-start the conference with our Oct. 13 Add-on Day. A tour of Ghost Ranch, home of and inspiration to artist Georgia O’Keeffe, will be offered in the morning. A three-hour afternoon session will be taught by acclaimed film-writer Kirk Ellis. Thursday evening, we will host our WILLA Readings Reception where our award winners and finalists will read from their works. A gala social hour will precede the readings with local writers and VIPs joining conference attendees to celebrate the spirit of Santa Fe and our common writing bonds
The basic conference will open on Friday, Oct. 14, with the day devoted to general sessions focusing on “the business of writing.” We’ll hear from a bookkeeping professional about business practices, inventory, and tax issues. As well, library professionals will share their expertise on how libraries select books for their collections and how to best catch their attention. Other sessions will round out the first half of the day and attendees will have late afternoon and evening to explore the city.
Saturday sessions will focus on “the art, craft, and spirit” of our writing with the day full of breakouts to lift our spirits, improve our craft, and explore the art of others.
And, of course, we will recognize and celebrate with winners and finalists in the LAURA Shorty Story contest and the WILLA Literary Awards. Our keynote for the Friday Laura Luncheon will be acclaimed author Denise Chavez. Luci Tapahonso, Navajo Poet Laureate, will provide the keynote address at the WILLA Award Banquet on Saturday evening. WILLA finalists will be honored at a Saturday luncheon.
Our WWW traditions will also be included. Local art and jewelry will be featured as part of our regular silent auction and our traveling quilt will be on display. The WWW book sale will be open throughout the conference and our member book-signing will occur on Saturday. Pitch appointments will be available on Friday with a large slate of editors and agents from the Southwest and New York City--meet small press and big house editors; print and film rights agents.
On Sunday, another Add-On Day, attendees may participate in a Historic Walking Tour around the core of Santa Fe with tour guides in costume and character. Attendees are invited to bring their own costumes for the walk.
Santa Fe is a city of deep history, rich culture, delicious food, diverse art, and unique charm. Since around 1050, the city has been home to Pueblo (Tewa) Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and Americans. The oldest European city west of the Mississippi and the site of the oldest public building in America, it was a key station on the Santa Fe Trail and today is recognized as one of the most intriguing cities in the nation. Its historic buildings have been preserved along with its rich cultural heritage. Today, it is the Santa Fe is the home of renowned artists, talented Native American artisans, the Santa Fe Opera, art museums, historic site, and diverse restaurants, all worth extending a stay before or after the conference itself.
Consider bringing your family along to explore the area. Ballooning, river trips, horseback riding, cooking classes, local pueblo tours, historic sites, natural parks, and the pure charm of the city await! See http://santafe.org for more details on this one of a kind city and activities!
Getting to Santa Fe is easy! Located off interstate 25, it is an easy six hour drive from Denver and just 50 minutes from Albuquerque. Shuttle service operates between Albuquerque International Airport and Santa Fe; American Express and United fly directly into Santa Fe Municipal Airport
Drury Plaza, our conference hotel, sits on five beautiful acres adjacent to St. Francis Cathedral, built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886. The hotel features spacious, light-filled rooms with stupendous views of the Santa Fe skies. The restaurant draws from local ingredients and influences to create a mouthwatering cuisine and the rooftop bar by the pool has breathtaking views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The fully renovated buildings are steeped in history, and surrounded by a pedestrian oasis - all in downtown Santa Fe. Conference rate is $139 per night and includes free full hot breakfasts and free evening receptions with food & cocktails. Reservations: 1-800-325-0720 or www.druryhotels.com. Mention Group Number 2240633.
More details are being worked out daily. Watch the Women Writing the West listserve or Facebook page for developing details. Questions? Contact Conference Chair Pamela Nowak: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference registration opens in April. Please check back for further details.