This is the second in a three-part series about expat writers in Cuecca. To read yesterday’s article, click here.
Text and photos by John Keeble
Writers in Cuenca have many options for meeting, learning and working – but the jewel in the crown is the Cuenca International Writers Conference being held this year at the stylish Zahir 360 hotel from 14-17 March.
The first conference, last March, was a resounding success and this year’s conference has attracted speakers from the U.S., Canada and the UK as well as our best-known writers and support specialists who live in Cuenca. More than 40 of the 50 registration places have already been taken and the organisers expect to fill all the places in the next few weeks.
The city of Cuenca is taking a role in the conference this year by providing publicity through its tourist board network and by giving souvenir bags and goods for participants and speakers. Next year, it plans to work with the organisers to help the conference grow.
The conference, from March 14 to 17, begins with a series of workshops: Conjuring intriguing plots and characters using prompts; Driving traffic to your website with social media; How to get started and maintain book sales; and The sound of four rivers (poetry).
The following three days will have a total of 18 sessions with specialist speakers on many aspects of writing fiction and non-fiction, poetry, print and digital article writing, publishing and marketing. These will include sessions with very successful writers including New York Times bestselling author Andra Watkins and the prolific mystery writer George Wier.
In addition, there will be open panel discussions – including a session with local publishers who will be saying what they want from writers.
But it is not all work. Social events include a tapas party, a banquet, readings and performances, and a book signing opportunity. And endless opportunities for making new friends and networking with useful people.
Other resources for writers
Writing Our World (WOW): See the WOW page on Facebook; attend the monthly lunch meeting with a speaker, work with the Roving Writers flash-mobs who congregate at good coffee places to write, learn at workshops on subjects useful to writers.
Cuenca Writers Collective (CWC): Critique group meets at Sunrise Cafe, Calle Larga, at noon every Wednesday. The Spoken Word, a monthly evening of readings, are held at Sunrise Cafe on Calle Larga … you can read your own work to audiences of around 50 people, or enjoy others’ work.
CWC/Publishers Support Group: See the group’s Facebook page.
Tomorrow: What inspires expat writers? Personal viewpoints.