Santiago Writers began in a donut shop in downtown Santiago, Chile, in 2001, when Susan Siddeley and Ellen Hawkins agreed to start a writing group. It was 2004, a time when few were writing in English in this Spanish-speaking world. Word of their audacity reached other budding authors but only Jane Newbold stayed in town long enough to join them. Together they published Friday’s Fare, an anthology of short stories with a Chilean flavor
Whether fueled by kindness or curiosity, the book sold well in the expatriate and Anglo-Chilean communities. This modest success kindled interest in the group, and as its numbers increased, so did the diversity of its membership. At their weekly Thursday meetings, East not only met West, but the pensive, the eloquent, the witty and the erudite came together to grapple with the demands of writing. What emerged was a dedicated group with the confidence to call themselves Santiago Writers.
With roots in Argentina, Canada, England, Guyana, Japan, and the United States, each of seven contributing authors brought a distinct voice and style to their second anthology, In Transit, which appeared in 2007. Perspectives, published in 2011, featured the work of eleven members and completed the trilogy. Three new writers, from Australia, South Africa and the US have joined us since then; you’ll also find their work on this site.
Central to the coherence and development of Santiago Writers is the annual Writers’ Workshop hosted by Susan Siddeley at her vineyard home on the outskirts of the city. Poets, novelist, editors and journalists visiting from Canada, Australia and Britain have brought fresh ideas and new insights to this dynamic group.