Las Comadres y Compadres 4th Annual Writers Conference


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.

Cristina Garcia

Author Cristina García

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.

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FullSizeRenderYadhira 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.

The Comadres and Compadres Latino Writers Conference


By Lila Quintero Weaver

Writers workshops and symposiums are every place you look, but only The Comadres and Compadres Latino Writers Conference is specifically geared toward the interests of Latin@ writers. I attended the conference last year and found not only wisdom for the writing life, but also an amazing level of mutual support and enthusiasm for networking among my fellow attendees. Another of the conference’s major strengths is the accessibility of the presenters. The roster of speakers includes authors, editors, agents, and other members of the literary and publishing industry with keen interest in increasing Latin@ representation in books.

My co-blogger Cindy L. Rodriguez wrote about her experience at the 2014 conference, and the year before, Yadhira Gonzalez Taylor shared a recap of the sessions she attended.

This year, on October 3, the 4th Annual Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference will be held at The New School, in Manhattan. The New School is also a co-sponsor of the event.

Adriana Dominguez, of Full Circle Literary, is one the conference founders and organizers. Speaking of this year’s line up, she says, “We will have some amazing editors in attendance on the children’s side, which represents an amazing opportunity for Latino authors in particular! This is the only conference that focuses specifically on Latino writing, and as the numbers of Latino authors (and editors and agents) have dwindled in recent years, we know that our work is more important than ever.”

Please note that the deadline for the lower registration fee ($125) and to sign up for one-on-ones with agents and editors is 9/16, so best to sign up now, while you can still get a one on one, and before the fee goes up to $150 on site!

Cristina Garcia collageThis year’s keynote speaker is Cristina García,  the bestselling author of Dreaming in Cuban and other important books.

Meg Medina, best known for her Pura Belpré prize-winner, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, will lead the children’s writing workshop. Other panelists of note include Angela Dominguez, author-illustrator of many adorable picture books, such as Knit Together, and Daniel José Older, writer of the highly acclaimed YA novel Shadowshapers. You can learn more about the conference program and registration details at the Las Comadres website.

Comadres panelists