I had planned to attend the 4th Annual Comadres & Compadres Latino Writers Conference in NYC this weekend, but I just couldn’t make it happen. *Heart breaks* While all my crafty life is happening, I still have one foot in the book world too. I temporarily paused writing my novel manuscript, hoping to find the right time to start again, only to realize that EVERY DAY is the right time.
I happened to be in NYC last week and met with my new book editor. She infused me with massive motivation, I’m ready to clear a lot of things from my mental and physical desk in order to get this manuscript done. If you want to reach a big dream/goal, you HAVE to work on it EVERY day. I’m posting this here as a reminder to myself and to all of us. A little bit every day adds up to big things! You don’t need a coach, a class or a conference to get started – it helps, but it’s going to take you taking action. Empower yourself to get the wheels turning, the only way to get there is to DO IT. for me, that is writing, and not stopping until THE END.
Regardless, this conference is a very important event – for all book lovers and writers. Why? Because by fostering more Latino literature for the world to read, it shows how beautifully diverse, yet unified we all are. We need to have books out there that show experiences from all backgrounds and cultures. Even though I can’t attend the conference, I asked to interview one of the founders of the event, editor and consultant, Marcela Landres. Marcela has been there for me all through my writing career, she never fails to offer tips and advice and if you are a writer hoping to become published, I highly suggest signing up for her e-zine where she shares publishing opportunities! She also has services for editing and more.
The other founder is Dr. Nora Comstock, international founder and CEO of Las Comadres Para Las Americas. She runs a book club featuring Latina authors, and I’m honored to say one of my novels was once included! The group hosts teleconferences every month, in addition to the writing conference! And the third partner is former editor, Adriana Dominguez.
2015 Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference Registration
|Register to Attend
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2015
Place: The New School
55 W 13th Street, New York NY 10011
|Registration Deadlines to Attend:
Regular Registration–September 17 to October 2:$150.00
On-site Registration–October 3: $175.00
(On Site registration by credit card or check only)
Here is my interview with Marcela!
KATHY CANO-MURILLO: How is this writers conference different from others?
MARCELA LANDRES: To the best of my knowledge, the Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference is the only New York-based conference featuring agents and editors who have a track record working with—and actively seeking more—Latino writers. In addition, most of our panelists are Latino authors who generously share their publishing stories so the attendees will get a sense of what may lay ahead in their own writing careers.
KCM: What will people walk away with at the end?
ML: Attendees with leave the conference with practical advice on what to do—and what not to do—to become well-published. They will also come away with a sense of the particular challenges, and opportunities, faced by Latino writers. Those writers who signed up for one-on-one sessions with agents and/or editors will get specific feedback on a portion of their manuscripts. Past conference attendees report they especially appreciated the inspiration and sense of community. Last but not least, nearly every year at least one or two writers have been signed up by agents they met at the conference.
KCM: Why is contemporary Latino fiction so hard to find these days and how can we change that?
ML: There are actually numerous contemporary Latino novels on the shelves, and more coming out every year. The trick may be to expand your focus beyond the large houses to include the smaller independent and university presses that do an excellent job of consistently publishing Latinos. Some of my favorites are Coffee House Press, The University of Arizona Press, and Akashic Books. The best way Latinos can ensure more contemporary Latino novels are published is to buy them and/or write them.
KCM: How can we support Latino authors?
ML: The most direct way to support Latino authors is to buy their books. (Just not used books, as the publishers make no profit and the authors make no royalties.) NOTE FROM KATHY: Do not lend/share your books, that does not help sales, it hurts the authors, and it doesn’t show publishers the demand for more books like this.
Indirect ways of supporting Latino authors are:
– Check out their books at the library.
– If your library doesn’t carry a Latino book you want to read, ask them to buy a copy for their collection.
– Write glowing reviews on well-trafficked sites such as amazon.com and goodreads.com.
– Praise books you love on social media.
In addition, be a sponsor and/or donate to Las Comadres, which is a non-profit. Membership in Las Comadres is free, so they rely on sponsors and donors to help fund efforts that support Latino authors, such as Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club as well as the Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference. For sponsorship opportunities, visit http://lascomadres.com/latinolit/2015-ccwc/2015-sponsorship-options/; to donate to Las Comadres, visit http://lascomadres.com/lco/.
KCM: How can people connect if they cannot make the conference?
ML: The conference was created by Nora Comstock (founder of Las Comadres), Adriana Dominguez (agent at Full Circle Literary), and me. Some ways to connect with us if you can’t make it to the conference this year are:
Sign up for Marcela Landres’ free e-zine, Latinidad: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/marcelalandres/ and on Facebook.
On a side note – I’m excited to share that I’m one of the authors included in the new book, Latina Authors and their Muses by Mayra Calvani!
To order this book: