Writer’s Workshops

“Once Upon a Time in San Miguel de Allende”

A Three-Day Intensive Children’s Writers Workshop

(Two different sessions)

Friday, Oct. 12 to Monday, Oct. 15

Friday, Oct. 26 to Monday, Oct. 29


This is an intimate, intensive, three-day writers workshop for aspiring writers of picture books – limited to four students per session – who want to develop a picture book concept, hone their manuscripts, and learn about the publication process. If you’ve been struggling to produce a picture book manuscript, been discouraged by the tight publishing market – and, most of all, want to improve your writing – this workshop is for you. The goal is to inspire you to find both your voice and success in the children’s writers market.  The seminar will be held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Dianna Hutts Aston has been successfully working in the children’s publishing industry for almost 15 years. She is the award-winning author of a number of best-selling children’s books: “An Egg Is Quiet;” “A Seed Is Sleepy;” “A Butterfly Is Patient” (all illustrated by Sylvia Long); “The Moon Over Star” (illustrated by Jerry Pinkney); a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and President Barack Obama’s choice to read to schoolchildren in Washington, D.C.; “Dream Something Big/The Story of the Watts Towers, illustrated by Susan Roth;” and the forthcoming, “A Rock Is Lively,” also illustrated by Sylvia Long. She has been living in San Miguel for six years. To learn more about her work and other books, you can visit her web site at diannahaston.com.

To register, contact us now.


 “Dianna helped me immensely in understanding how to write for children. Her thoughtful suggestions were gentle and very useful. She is an excellent facilitator and discussion leader — knowledgeable, energetic, and certainly inspiring. Dianna made me want to be a better writer.” - Marian Lewis, Owens Cross Roads, AL 

“Her professionalism, creativity, and attention to detail taught me so much about becoming a writer.  And her kindness and friendly support helped me reconnect with becoming myself.” - Amanda Jaros, Ithaca, NY 

“My children’s book manuscript went from good to great and then great to sellable, thanks to Dianna’s thoughtful commentary and guidance. Her pragmatic, experience-driven consultation liberated me to make the edits I had been resisting for years and this has made all the difference.” - Stacy Clark, Dallas, TX

“Learning from Dianna Hutts Aston was a stimulating experience! She gave valuable advice while sharing her personal writing journey, and after her thorough and insightful critiques, I left with renewed inspiration and motivation.” - Sophie Cayless, Brecksville, OH


(All breakfasts and lunches are included in the cost.)

2 p.m.        Get settled in Casa Rose and walking tour of San Miguel for early arrivals. (Bring comfortable walking shoes!
6 p.m.        Hors d’Oeuvres and drinks at Casa Rose/ Informal time for all to get acquainted

8 a.m.        Breakfast and informal discussion
9 a.m.        Group manuscript critiques
Noon      Lunch
1 p.m.        Presentation: “Sources of Inspiration”
2 p.m.        One-on-one manuscript critiques and writing time
5 p.m.        Free time for writing or exploring San Miguel

8 a.m.    Breakfast
9 a.m.        Group critiques
Noon      Lunch
1 p.m.        Presentation: “A Perfect Marriage of Text and Illustration”
2 p.m.        One-on-one critiques and writing time
5 p.m.        Free time for writing or exploring San Miguel

8 a.m.        Breakfast
9 a.m.        One-on-one time with instructor
11 a.m.      Questions and answers: “Passing It Forward: Personal Journey”
Noon      Lunch
Conclusions and departures

Or, stay longer to spend time dining in great restaurants, visiting the hot springs and markets, writing in the parks and plazas, taking a photography workshop or hot-air balloon ride, and visiting art galleries of all kinds!


$695. Includes lodging, breakfast and lunch at Casa Rose. Please visit their web site for amenities. . You may pay for the workshop by PayPal at diannahaston.com; personal check or cashier’s check. As a working experience, the fee and related expenses are tax-deductible.  Deposit: $115 non-refundable, Balance due by July 12


You may cancel by Aug. 15 for a 75% refund, less deposit. After that, no refund is available.


San Miguel de Allende is a charming, 500-year-old Spanish colonial town in the heart of Mexico. This is a cobblestoned pueblo of bougainvilleas, margaritas, mariachis, salsa, fiestas, fine dining and cultural events. A mecca for writers, artists and creative people of all kinds, it is a place where the ordinary and the magical embrace with uncommon vibrance. The temperate climate is pleasant year-round, but temperatures can drop a bit after dark so bring a sweater or light jacket. San Miguel has a large English-speaking population. About 10 percent of San Miguel residents are American or Canadian ex-patriots. Language barriers for those who speak little or no Spanish are minimal.


San Miguel de Allende is often cited as one of the safest destinations in Mexico. The incidence of violent crime here is less than most major American cities, and the people are friendly and welcoming. The town and the surrounding states of Guanajuato, Querétaro, and San Luis Potosí have some of the lowest incidents of crime in Mexico.


From the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/21/greathomesanddestinations/21expat.html?pagewanted=all

A good overview of the town of San Miguel de Allende, from Smithsonian Magazine:  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/Under-the-Spell-of-San-Miguel-de-Allende.html

For writers who are also photographers: private tutorials with award-winning photojournalist and author Robert de Gast:  www.robertdegast.com

For information on hot-air balloon rides: The Oz Project www.theozproject.org or


There are direct flights to the airport in León, (BJX) from Houston or Dallas (1.5 to 2.5 hours) and other U.S. cities.

Shuttle service via Bajiogo Shuttle, from the León airport to your door in San Miguel (1 hour), is $56 US round-trip. (Not included in cost)


NOTE - The workshop is filling quickly. Since it is limited to four students per session, you’re encouraged to make your reservation as soon as possible.

 We look forward to seeing you in beautiful San Miguel!