By Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor
What a joy to return for a third year to see all my comadres and compadres in one place, the 4th Annual Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference.
This time, the conference was hosted at the New School on 13th Street in Manhattan.
Comadres Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Adriana Domínguez, and Marcela Landres, welcomed us to another year of fellowship and creative encouragement in the Latin@ literary scene. We were met with a full day of information panels, craft workshops for adult and children’s literature, and one-on-one sessions with influential members of the publishing world.
This year’s conference included panels with kid lit authors Meg Medina, Angela Dominguez, and Daniel José Older, literary agent Linda Camacho, Nikki Garcia, an editorial assistant at Little Brown Children’s Books, and Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary Services. The keynote speaker was Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban, King of Cuba, and these books for younger readers: The Dog Who Loved the Moon, I Wanna Be Your Shoebox, and Dreams of Significant Girls.
For me, attending the conference over the last three years has become my personal mark to the start of the back to writing season. Since it takes place just after summer and shortly before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it provides me with the jump-start I need to tap into my creativity.
I left the conference energized to continue to edit the manuscript I wrote during NaNoWriMo, especially since I shared my work during a one-on-one with Leticia Gomez, CEO of Savvy Literary Service and left the session with a million dollars’ worth of suggestions and ideas on how to tighten my manuscript.
I even had the joy of celebrating a fellow comadre’s recent publication. Eleanor Parker Sapia was one of the first people I met the first time I attended at Medgars Evers College. I was happy to have an autographed copy of her debut novel, A Decent Woman, published by Booktrope and she was equally enthused by updates on my adventures with La Cucarachita Martina, reinvented in my Children’s books. And just for a day in New York City, in early fall, we were two Latina writers and comadres chatting over café con leche.
I am already looking forward to attending next year’s event.
Photos below are courtesy of Eleanor Parker Sapia. From left to right in the second photo are: Eleanor Parker Sapia, Charlie Vázquez, Director of the Bronx Writers Center, and Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor.
Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor is a public service attorney working with at-risk youth in NYC. Before working with young people she worked as prosecutor for Bronx County. She has published two children’s books, Martina Finds a Shiny Coin and Martina and the Wondrous Waterfall. Both books were illustrated by Alba Escayo, a Spanish Artist who has ancestral roots in Cuba. Yadhira lives with her family in New York. Follow her on twitter at @gothamesq or Martina the character on twitter at @martinascoin.