Writers’ round table
The Taos Storytelling Festival and Women Writing the West conference
Why not make October your month for writerly socializing and learning? First up, Somos, the literary society of Taos, hosts the 17th annual Taos Storytelling Festival, offering the artsy Northern New Mexico village a roster of local and imported talent along with workshops and story swaps where participants can read out loud to a crowd. The events on Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8, take place primarily at the Somos Salon (108-B Civic Plaza Drive) in downtown Taos. Featured storytellers and teachers include Laura Simms, Elaine Muray, Cisco Guevara, and James Navé, the festival director. Many events are free, but some require paid admission at the door. The Taos Storytelling Big Stage Show, at the Taos Community Auditorium (145 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte), starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday; tickets, $20, must be reserved in advance by calling 575-758-2052. For a complete schedule, visit www.somostaos.org. The following weekend, beginning Thursday, Oct. 13, the 22nd annual Women Writing the West conference holds a variety of workshops, lectures, and discussions at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe (828 Paseo de Peralta). From 8:40 to 9:40 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, presents “The Right to Write,” in which she proposes that all the writing paradigms commonly taught do not encourage the writing impulse but squelch it. Denise Chávez (The King and Queen of Comezón) delivers the keynote speech at the Friday luncheon at 11 a.m. Other topics addressed during the conference are book-cover design, procedures for submitting to agents and publishers, and many aspects of craft, including voice in biography, ghosts in fiction, flash memoir, and even how to outline a story or novel. Admission to the full conference, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 16, is $325; single-day and single-event rates are also available. For a complete schedule and registration information, visit www. womenwritingthewest.org.
— Jennifer Levin
Taos Storytelling Festival director James Navé