The 7th Annual PVWG conference was held at Biblioteca Los Mangos in Puerto Vallarta from the 24th February to 26th February.
The conference featured William Gordon husband of renowned Latina writer Isabel Allende, the outrageous James Strauss discretely supervised by his delightful but understandably stressed agent Susan Crawford, the diligent and congenial Caleb Pirtle 111 from Texas, the thoroughly professional agent Marcy Posner from Folio NYC, the noble Joe Staszak from Mexico City, Eileen Obser presenter on memoirs and personal essays, Daniel Grippo and Joy Eckel presenters on editing and the truly well prepared children’s workshop presenter Marie Beswick-Arthur.
Ted Druch was this year’s conference chairman who managed to pull the whole thing together even when the main presenter had to pull out at the 11th hour because of emergency surgery. Ted did an amazing job along with the ever reliable and supportive Maria Ruiz and conference committee members Colin Hamilton, Judith St Gaudens and William Jory. Well done and thank you!
One doesn’t necessarily want to be entertained at a Writer’s conference. The purpose of attending for me was a quest for further education especially when it comes to electronic media. I wanted to get more information on how to use Facebook but the presentation though highly entertaining was light on structure, factual information and tools on how to use Facebook. I have learned however that if I am to successfully self publish that I should have my maximum 5000 friends on Facebook in order to maximise my marketing opportunities. I very much hope that I will never need to self publish and so avoid 5000 friends…..
Presenting for a conference should involve a lot of preparation, so that participants who have paid good money are really well informed through the workshops and all questions can answered with cogence, coherence and competence. Marcy Posner and Marie Beswick-Arthur are two such well prepared professionals. Caleb Pirtle 111 and Joe Staszak possess the same great qualities and should be proud of representing the teaching side of the literary industry.
As a venue, Puerto Vallarta is an ideal location. It is readily accessible by air from all over Canada and the US. The weather at this time of year is unbeatable and makes a refreshing break from the cold of the northern wastelands as I like to call them.
Los Mangos Library provides a calm and tranquil environment with large airy rooms, although sometimes the acoustics are trying. It is easily accessible by bus or taxi from any part of Puerto Vallarta and is just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean. The staff are very welcoming, helpful and hospitable.
The highlight of the conference for me was the Bookfair, with the Mariachi band, and wonderful folk dancing. This took place on Sunday afternoon after the main event was over.
Overall I rate the conference as highly enjoyable even if I didn’t leave as well educated and as informed as I had hoped and I am already looking forward to next years event.