why 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 Caribbean shores. Building on the successes and lessons of the St. Augustine Writers’ Conference, we are committed to creating small, intimate learning environments–each full-immersion workshop is limited to six to ten participants–in which the work is approached holistically, in a positive, nurturing, yet vigorous atmosphere. We are also committed to cultural engagement and exchange. That is why during each conference, participants will learn about Maya history, art, music, food, Cozumel's natural abundance, and more.
The Yucatan Writing Conference is a rarity in the writing conference world. Our emphasis is on quality learning and lifelong community-building. By keeping our workshops small, we are able to consider more pages than traditional conferences (thirty 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 participants for years to come.
The conference is held on Isla de Cozumel in the Centro district of the island's only town, San Miguel. Participants will discuss craft and explore writing and publishing issues at the conference headquarters, Hotel Casa Mexicana, located directly on the world famous malecon. Workshops and readings will be held in air-conditioned conference rooms suitable for lively, focused discussions. 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. Midway through the conference, we take a day off so that participants can go explore. We end our free day with an evening of food and dancing at Hemingway’s, an open air, oceanfront bistro and bar with a distinctly Caribbean vibe.
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.