BY MELISSA ESPINOZA
Photo courtesy of Divina Esquibel. Guest programming for the 2019 Writers Festival.
A three-day Rancho Mirage Writers Festival took place at the Rancho Mirage Library on Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, where the 75th anniversary of D-day (WWII) was the theme this year.
This sold-out event included numerous speakers, lunches and closing luncheons. This year the festival brought 45 authors and other media personalities, like Meryl Gordon, Maureen Dowd and Geoff Dyer. A big name in this year’s festival was actor Tom Hanks who opened the festival with a Q & A on Jan. 29, in front of festival donors.
Hanks talked politics, his acting career and about his book Uncommon Type: Some Stories, which is a collection of seven short stories. This literary fiction brings to life the stories of an Eastern European immigrant who migrates to New York. The story of a divorced woman starting a new life in a new neighborhood and also the tale of four friends trying to fly to the moon on their hand-made rocket ship.
Now on its 6th year, the Writers Festival was a recipient of the PR Excellence Award from the California Library Association or CLA. It has also been contributing to the community of Rancho Mirage by giving additional festival proceeds to programs in pursuit of improving the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. This year, the festival will be giving $60,000 for glass facade for the windows in the children’s room in the library.
Founded in 2014, by author Jamie Kabler of The Hollywood Cookie Diet: The First Delicious Way to Lose Weight, the festival offers sponsorship opportunities by local business in the Coachella Valley that are called “Angels” when they donate. They can contribute tax-deductive $5,000 donations that would give attendees two all- access passes, lunches, reserved seating and VIP access to Angels Night. The Q & A with the festivals guest speaker.
The festival also created The Rancho Mirage Writer’s Festival Book Club and Film Club. Both of these clubs are free for the public and the book club meets every last Wednesday of the month (except for summers), while the film club meets every third Thursday of each month (will continue until June 2019).
The Writers Festival will be coming back on 2020 with James Patterson said to be the festival’s speaker. Tickets will be available for purchase on beginning March 2019 for $500 that admits attendees to author speaking sessions, lunch during the festival and after as well as free valet parking.