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Latinx author, David Bowles, to keynote at James River Writers Conference

David Bowles
David Bowles, author of the award-winning book, They Call Me Güero, will keynote for the upcoming James River Writers Writing Conference.

Mexican-American author, David Bowles, will headline the 19th Annual James River Writers Conference this October.

Bowles, a native of South Texas, has written more than two dozen books, exploring Mexican mythology and the Latinx experience for youth in the United States. They Call Me Güero, his 2018 story written in verse, won multiple awards including the Pura Belpré Honor and a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award.

In addition to writing, Bowles teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley and he co-founded #DignidadLiteraria, a grassroots activist campaign for greater Latinx representation in publishing.

“A lot of my work, as a writer trying to center on Latinx lives and trying to undo the exclusion of voices from our community in the publishing world over the past 100 years, parallels the social justice work I've done through #DignidadLiteraria to get people to think about the literary dignity of marginalized and minorities communities,” said Bowles in a recent interview.

In his role as keynote, Bowles plans to engage conference attendees in how writers can use their voices, platforms, and connections to transform the world – especially in the genre of children’s literature, where many of his stories are centered.

“It just strikes me that kid-lit is a place where we really need to be working overtime to rectify the historical inequities that have existed.”

Local author and Newbery winner, Meg Medina, recommended Bowles to James River Writers Executive Director, Katharine Herndon.

“We knew he was the perfect speaker for the 2021 conference,” said Herndon. “Not only does he have a tremendous range in his writing but his commitment to activism makes his keynote timely and important for writers of any genre.”

The James River Writers Conference begins Friday morning, October 8, and will conclude Sunday evening, October 10. Attendees will have options to enhance their writing and marketing skills through master classes, workshops, and intensives. There will also be one-on-one opportunities with literary agents and networking chat rooms for writers to make community connections.

Like last year, the conference will be virtual, allowing writers from all over Virginia and beyond to participate.

Those interested can purchase all-inclusive or one-day passes. James River Writers provides discounts for members and students, as well as scholarships for those who qualify.

Purchase tickets at James River Writers website.