The first-ever New Mex­ico Writ­ers Din­ner; lo­cal au­thor Alexan­dra Diaz wins a na­tional award

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On Thurs­day, March 2, es­tab­lished and emerg­ing writ­ers from the Land of En­chant­ment meet at La Fonda (100 E. San Fran­cisco St.) for the first-ever New Mex­ico Writ­ers Din­ner in celebration of the state’s lit­er­ary arts. This event in­vites pub­lished writ­ers to ven­ture out of their usu­ally soli­tary ex­is­tences in or­der to net­work with their peers — nov­el­ists, screen­writ­ers, play­wrights, and po­ets as well as jour­nal­ists, ed­i­tors, li­brar­i­ans, and book­sellers. Part of the pur­pose of the evening is to raise money via a si­lent auc­tion for a writ­ing schol­ar­ship for a New Mex­ico stu­dent; a cul­tur­ally and eth­ni­cally di­verse ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee will de­ter­mine ex­actly how this ed­u­ca­tional schol­ar­ship is to be awarded. The din­ner’s key­note speaker is Dou­glas Pre­ston, the best­selling mys­tery au­thor from Santa Fe who formed Authors United to stand up to Ama­zon in a 2014 dis­pute. Don­ald Lamm, the former CEO of W.W. Nor­ton & Co., will also make re­marks. Tick­ets are $75, with a cash bar; the event be­gins at 6 p.m. and seat­ing is lim­ited. To find out more, write to mail@ jamesm­c­grath­mor­

One Santa Fe writer mak­ing a name for her­self is Alexan­dra Diaz, the au­thor of young-adult nov­els in­clud­ing When We Were (Pa­per Lantern Lit/The Stu­dio, 2015) and Good Girls Don’t Lie (Leap Books, 2016). In Jan­uary, Diaz learned that she won the Pura Bel­pré Award for The Only Road (Si­mon & Schus­ter/Paula Wise­man Books, 2016), a mid­dle-grade novel about a twelve-year-old boy’s ar­du­ous jour­ney from Gu­atemala to the United States. The an­nual award, pre­sented by the As­so­ci­a­tion for Li­brary Ser­vice to Chil­dren (a divi­sion of the Amer­i­can Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion), is pre­sented to Latino/Latina writ­ers and il­lus­tra­tors whose work “best por­trays, af­firms, and cel­e­brates the Latino cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence in an out­stand­ing work of lit­er­a­ture for chil­dren and youth.” — J.L.

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