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