An excerpt from the Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scrapbook by Armando Nieto, Mary Conrad, and Matt Pallamary: The following news clipping from May 31 1986 was published prior to the 14th annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference which took place from June 20-27, 1986. By then, the SBWC was fully established in the cottages and confines under the landmark blue roofs of the Miramar Hotel in Montecito, where legends were both celebrated and created.
Over the space of a quarter of a century, for one magical week a year the SBWC took over the old fashioned resort and became a world unto itself. There was a piano bar where you might walk in to find Steve Allen, Barnaby Conrad, or Cliff, the black house piano man tickling the ivories, and a long hallway that connected the registration desk to the bar and restaurant, aptly nicknamed "Peacock Alley" where people strutted their stuff, and a huge conference hall where the keynoters spoke.
In a smaller hall nestled beneath the main hall, Pirate Workshops were held after the evening speaker, ending when the last person read, almost always after midnight, and often into the wee hours of the morning. Night or day that setting was bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful Miramar beach front facing cottages, with tennis courts, and railroad tracks that sent locomotives and rattling box cars through the middle of the property at all hours of the day and night, past a stationary railroad club car restaurant beside the tracks. It was a perfect setting for a gathering of creative talent of all levels and genres, all dedicated to nurturing and celebrating their shared love of writing with varying degrees of angst, anger, fear, passion, and hope.