Opening day:This year's conference is all about mentoring and supporting each other's work. Rigoberto Gonzalez sets the tone in his wonderful keynote address. He fills the room with hard truths and inspiration. He tells us we all play a role in building a community of writers and readers, and that we need to support each other's work, by reading, reviewing, promoting each other's work. And yes, by buying each other's work too! We feel we've just listened to a manifesto. It was about time!
Demetria Martínez discusses the archeology of memory. Our stories are all around us, in photographs, letters, refrigerator postings, newspaper clippings, horoscopes... Those are all the artifacts of memories. Learn to recover them and use them to tell your story. And tell it in a beautiful way.
The organizers decided to double the open mic time this year. So instead of a band, there was poetry. And short stories and memoir. Fitting music for a writer's conference.