Writers have probably been sharing company and debating ideas since Gutenberg invented moveable type, more recently in the salons and bookstores of 1920’s Paris, and post-WWII in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s North Beach. These days, etailers like Amazon Books afford readers access to the work of authors so scattered around the globe that they’re unlikely ever to meet each other except online.
There remains, though, a community of writers who still embrace the value of living and working among each other. They’re to be found in a string of villages along the shores of Mexico’s Lake Chapala, drawn by the same pull which has attracted English language writers and poets to the area for nearly a century. The continuing stream of newly arriving writers leaves no doubt that its appeal is stronger now than ever before.
Today, readers can choose from nearly 100 Amazon titles by more than 30 authors who have learned to their delight that the Riberas de Chapala – the shores of Lake Chapala – can coax even the most reluctant muse into fruitful inspiration.
These book authors, though, are just the tip of the iceberg. The work of scores more – including, poets, short storytellers, essayists, memoirists, and humorists – appear often in anthologies and in the area’s English language periodicals. In fact, it’s hard to pass a day here without sighting one or more – writers going about their daily affairs on along cobblestone streets.
They work from homes scattered around a picturesque, mile-high lake nestled among the mountains of western Mexico. The area boasts a unique micro-climate known for sun-bathed winters and a welcome absence of steamy, subtropical summers.
And while the seclusion which many writers crave is not hard to come by, these wordsmiths frequently come together for readings, workshops, and the area’s annual writer’s conference. Experienced writers often coach aspiring writers, and it’s not uncommon to see a budding author grow from apprentice to journeyman to maestro under the influence of expert coaching.
The world of publishing has been turned on its head in the past couple of decades, but it seems a fair bet that writers – regardless of changes imposed by technology – will continue congregating here over the next 100 years as they have in the first.
Read more about this area’s rich literary tradition on these related posts:
Browse local authors – and find links to their Amazon books and reviews – in our Authors Gallery.