Yucatan Writing Conference
Now in Isla de Cozumel
Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? Frida Kahlo
“Why the Yucatan?” we are often asked. There is no one answer. You simply have to be here, experience its beauty, vitality, and mystery. The Spanish conquistadors thought they conquered this land, but they did not. The Maya spirit reigns in the hearts, minds, and souls of the peninsula’s people and in the beautiful tropical island just off its coast: Cozumel, home to the Mesoamerican Reef System, also know as the Great Mayan Reef, the second largest reef system in the world.
Join us on Cozumel, the Isle of Swallows, for small, intimate writing conferences in which your writing will deepen, your artistry will grow, and your work will find its wings.
What is the Yucatan Writing Conference?
The Yucatan Writing Conference is about art and craft, yes. But it is also about creating an ongoing community of writers that sustains each individual far beyond these Yucatecan shores. Building on the successes and lessons of The St. Augustine Writers Conference, we are committed to offering small, intimate learning environments–each conference is limited to six to eight participants–in which the work is approached holistically, in a positive, nurturing, vigorous atmosphere. We are also committed to cultural engagement and exchange. That is why during each conference, participants will become immersed in Maya history, art, music, food, Cozumel's natural abundance, and more.
Why should I attend the Yucatan Writing Conference?
The Yucatan Writing Conference is a rarity in the writing conference world. Our emphasis is on quality learning and lifelong community building. By limiting our conferences to between six and eight participants, we are able to build a workshop that considers more pages than traditional conferences (forty versus twenty or less), more time to delve into the work of each participant, more one-on-one time, and an increased ability to forge professional and personal relationships that will sustain you for years to come. Imagine the friendships and learning that take place among six people versus twenty, ninety, or more.
When and where are the conferences held?
Our first conference was held in the Yucatecan capital of Merida in October 2016. Our 2017 conference will be held on the beautiful island of Cozumel, where turquoise seas meet an endless blue sky:
The Yucatan Writers Conference--Experience El Día de Los Muertos in Cozumel:
October 30-November 5, 2017
The conferences are held on Isla de Cozumel in the Centro district of the island's only town, San Miguel. Participants will workshop, discuss craft, and explore writing and publishing issues at the conference headquarters located one block away from the world famous malecon. In addition to the conference activities, participants will have available to them all the island has to offer: snorkeling, diving, fishing, nature walks, sunbathing, sidewalk cafes, galleries, museums, cantinas, boutiques, and world cuisines including Yucatecan.
Whose brainchild is The Yucatan Writing Conference?
Author Connie May Fowler and her husband Bill Hinson, founders and directors of The St. Augustine Writers Conference, first visited the Yucatan in 2014. It was, for them, love at first sight: the wide, blue Yucatecan sky; the tropical birds resplendent in rainbow colors; the clear waters of the Caribbean sea that lead to jungle and then more sky. The generosity and kindness of the people moved them. The celebrations of art, culture, food, and family fed them. On March 31, 2016 they moved to the Yucatan, eventually finding their way to the tropical paradise of Cozumel, and the Yucatan Writing Conference was born.
What is the tuition and what does it cover?
The tuition fee covers conference activities (full-immersion workshops in which participants discuss up to 40 pages of each submitted manuscript; craft, process, and publishing discussions; readings, and more). Additionally, the fee includes opening and closing night receptions. Throughout the week, optional dining and island excursions are offered.
Tuition is $775 for the entire week. Thanks to the generosity of Yucatan Writing Conference participants, scholarships are available and are awarded on a rolling basis so early applications are highly recommended.
What are the tuition deadlines?
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 Conference:
Upon acceptance and registration: non-refundable $200 deposit via PayPal
June 1: $200 deposit via PayPal
October 20: $375 balance due via PayPal
Please note: The June 1 and October 20 deposits are refundable only if the cancellation occurs 60 days in advance of the conference start date anda replacement participant is found. Because of the work involved and expenditures made, no refunds can be made under any circumstances for cancellations made 40 days or less in advance of the conference start date.
In addition to my forty pages submitted for workshop, can I get a full manuscript evaluation?
Yes. Connie May Fowler will accept a limited number of full manuscripts. They must be no longer than 350 pages, rendered in Word, and double-spaced in 12-point type, Times New Roman font, with default margins. Fee: $1,000. Contact Connie via the contact form on this site or via email@example.com for more information.
How do I apply to the Yucatan Writing Conference?
Send ten pages of prose--fiction or creative nonfiction--as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org (we are sorry, but at this time poetry workshops are not offered). The manuscript must be rendered in 12 point type, Times New Roman, and double-spaced. Participants who have attended other conferences Connie directs (namely, the St. Augustine Writers Conference and the Vermont College of Fine Arts Novel Retreat) need only register. However, given the small nature of our gatherings, our conferences fill quickly so early registration is essential to insure a spot.
How do I get to Cozumel?
Major airlines fly into both Cancun and Cozumel. Cancun offers more routes and sometimes more economical flights but you will then need to transfer via bus and ferry (both are easy, economical, and safe). Cozumel, of course, delivers you directly to this island paradise. We will help you navigate the process no matter which airport you use. On the Riviera Maya, English is widely spoken.
Where do I stay in Cozumel?
Cozumel has an abundance of lodging and English is spoken widely here. Once accepted into the conference, we will send you a list of recommended lodging, all withing a short walk of the conference headquarters.
Do I need to be concerned about my safety?
The Yucatan, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, and the Riviera Maya are extremely safe. People are friendly, generous, and quick to help. Transportation is inexpensive and efficient. There are several very fine hospitals on the island in case you fall ill. The State Department has no warnings for the Cozumel area.
Are there other opportunities to work with Connie?
Yes! If you’d like to bring a group of three to eight writers for a workshop that falls at a time other than our two yearly offerings, let us know and we’ll see if our schedule can accommodate you. Individual residencies are available as well. Connie also works privately with students via email, Skype, and phone. If interested, please email her at email@example.com or fill out the contact form.