A Brief History of the San Miguel Writers’ Conference

When Susan Page moved to San Miguel in 2004, she was surprised to learn that this city, rich in literary history, had no regular author readings and no bookstore featuring local authors. She started a small organization, called the San Miguel Literary Sala, which rapidly became a popular gathering place for writers and literary activities.

Active Sala member Jody Feagan turned to Susan one day and said, “San Miguel is a world-class destination. We should have a Writers’ Conference here.” Susan agreed, and Jody went to work. The First Annual Conference was held in 2006 under Jody’s capable leadership, with keynote speaker, John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

By year two, it was already apparent that the Conference would serve not only as a cultural event for all of Central Mexico but as an internationally appealing event for both writers and readers from all over the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In subsequent years, the event became fully bilingual and began to feature keynote speakers from all three countries.

It became known as, “The Creative Crossroads of the Americas,” and is now the largest international, fully bilingual event of its kind in all of the Americas.

Jody Feagan directed and grew the Conference for its first four years, when, for her growing family, she needed to move to Aspen, Colorado. At that point, Susan Page took over the directorship, and Jody continued to be involved from Aspen in selecting faculty and sending ideas.

The Conference is run entirely by volunteers, so obviously, many people have been critically important in its growth including Mary Katherine Wainwright, Dorit Arazi, Nathan Feuerberg, April Gaydos, Manja Argue, Barbara Archibald, and many others, too numerous to mention here.

Over the years, the Conference has been honored to present to this international audience distinguished literary figures, including:

Barbara Kingsolver

Margaret Atwood

Naomi Wolf

Tom Robbins

Elena Poniatowska

Sandra Cisneros

Cheryl Strayed

Luis Urrea

Juan Villoro

Lawrence Hill

Donna Masini

ZZ Packer

Mónica Lavín

Joy Harjo

Erica Jong

Todd Gitlin

Joe Persico

Tony Cohan

John Berendt

Sena Naslund

Rebecca Walker

Jackie Lyden

Jason Beaubien,

John Cassady

Kathryn Blair

Mary Morris