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Hillerman conference attracts authors to Santa Fe

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Historian-author Thomas Chávez will give the keynote address that wraps up the 2012 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Hotel Santa Fe.

Chávez’s talk will be in celebration of New Mexico’s first 100 years of statehood. The centennial is this year.

Chávez is a former director of the Palace of the Governors and a former executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Even before the workshop-laden conference begins Thursday evening, Nov. 8, there will be an all-day preconference workshop. Authors Jo-Ann Mapson and Judith Ryan Hendricks will discuss “Pacing Your Book from Start to Finish: Adding Tension to Tighten a Sagging Middle.” Their workshop starts at 9:15 a.m.

The conference officially commences at 7 p.m. Thursday when author Anne Hillerman and photographer Don Strel give a free talk on “Adventures with Tony Hillerman.”

The first full day of conference workshops is Friday, Nov. 9. These are that day’s events:

  • At 9:15 a.m. Friday, authors Richard Peck, J. Michael Orenduff and Steve Brewer will talk about “Writing With Humor.” Peck is a former president of the University of New Mexico. Orenduff is a former president of New Mexico State University.
  • At 10:45 a.m. there’s a Q&A session with David Morrell and Johnny Boggs on their lives as writers.
  • At a noon luncheon Steve Wolf will talk about his book “Comet’s Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life.”
  • At 1:45 p.m. Peter Joseph, editor of St. Martin’s Press, will discuss “How To Be Your Own Best Editor.”
  • At 3 p.m. James McGrath Morris gives a workshop on “Duplicate the Magic of Successful Novelists and Nonfiction Writers.”
  • And at 7 p.m. Morrell and literary agent Liz Trupin Pulli will give flash critiques of selected writings from conference attendees.

Among Saturday’s workshops are Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhetts of LPD Press/Rio Grande Books discussing “A Publisher’s Perspective” at 11 a.m. and Mark Bryant, the editorial director and co-founder of, talking about “Digital Publishing of Short Fiction and Nonfiction” at 3:45 p.m.

To register or for more information on the conference, visit All events are at Hotel Santa Fe, 1501 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe. The conference is named for Tony Hillerman, the late Albuquerque mystery writer.