Lake Chapala Writers’ Conference

Lake Chapala Writers’ Conference


By Herbert W. Piekow

writers conference


The 2019 Lake Chapala Writers’ Conference promises to be the best, most comprehensive ever. The Storytelling theme covers many forms of writing including articles, short stories, novels and plays. Multiple award-winning writer Eric Witchey is known for teaching clear, useful writing skills. He has sold more than 200 short stories and five novels. Some of his stories have garnered awards such as The International Book Awards, Short Story America, The Irish Aeon Awards and others. Witchey will present a series he calls Fiction Fluency. In this high-energy interactive session Witchey will demonstrate the nature of the written story, and also share powerful tools for managing scenes, which are the emotional building blocks of all stories.

Kali VanBaale is the author of several award-winning novels and numerous short stories. She is the recipient of an American Book Award, an Eric Hoffer Book Award and a Silver Medal for Fiction, plus she has received a State of Iowa major artist grant. VanBaale teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Lindenwood University. VanBaale will share her writing techniques in three sessions. She promises not to grade us, but to encourage us in our writing process.

Canadian bestselling author Roberta Rich always delights her readers with her stories she will share her knowledge. During her workshop titled: Unleashing the Muse (or How many uses are there for a brick?) Rich will help attendees understand and use both sides of the brain because when we write we need all of our brain.

International award winner, Rachel (R.J.) McMillen, British born, Australian raised and long term resident of Canada, will talk about incorporating personal beliefs into your story as she does in her four popular Dan Connor mystery series. She says; “I am honored when people read my books and tell me they have learned from them and been influenced by them.” McMillen may be local, but her message is for the world and her writing techniques are universal.

From the time of her first interview, as a young woman, with Hugh Heffner, Rose Grayson has mastered the art of asking questions. She will share her interview techniques, some of which have led to her exposure on the pages of international publications. Rose is always spot on in her interview style and wit, charm and intelligence always delight both the interviewee and the audience.

What can you do in ten minutes? Is both the title and challenge of Mark Boyer who received his M.F.A. in Theatre Directing at Yale University`s School of Drama. He says, “Regardless of your writing genre, writing a ten-minute play will sharpen your overall writing skills.

Sandi Gelles-Cole will be available to critique your manuscript and to offer suggestions to make your manuscript print ready. For years Sandi was the Senior Acquisitions Editor for Dell/Doubleday where she worked with several bestselling writers.

Since 1994 the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency has been opening publishing doors for writers in different genres. Early registrants will have an opportunity to have a one on one session to pitch their writing projects. Angela is always looking for the next client. Check out her website to get an idea of the type of writing her agency represents.

The 2019 Lake Chapala Writers Conference dates are March 6­­­th, 7th and 8th. Registration forms are available at Diane Pearls in Ajijic or you may email Herbert W. Piekow at or Registrar, Victoria Schmidt at Further information will be in the January issue of the Ojo del Lago.


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