An excerpt from the upcoming book by Armando Nieto, Mary Conrad, and Matt Pallamary: The Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scrapbook — Words of Wisdom from Thirty Years of Literary Excellence 1973 – 2003
In 1975 the SBWC established itself at the Miramar Hotel in Montecito, just South of Santa Barbara, kicking off a twenty five year Santa Barbara literary tradition. This was the first year our beloved Charles (Sparky) Schulz came to the conference and not only decided to stay the entire week, but became a mainstay of the conference, coming and staying for the entire week all the way through to the end of his life in 2000.
Picture a sea of blue roofed cottages glimpsed from the 101 Freeway against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.
Sid Stebel, fresh from his successful Australian based Picnic at Hanging Rock premiere, became legendary for his honest, open and laser like critiques of every student in his class, eventually earning the moniker "Samurai Sid", and referring to his students as "Sid's Snowflakes", acknowledging the fact that each was unique in his or her own way.