Rancho Mirage Writers Festival

Jan 30-Feb 1, 2019

About Us

Writers Festival

The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival is a world class gathering of writers, thinkers, and people contributing to the intellectual vitality of our time. The City of Rancho Mirage, California, welcomed 50 authors and 1,000 readers to the Fifth Annual Rancho Mirage Writers Festival from January 24-26, 2018. Writers talked about their books, their source of ideas, and the mechanics of writing for publication.

The Festival was founded in 2014 by Jamie Kabler, who wanted to bring a premier intellectual event to the Coachella Valley. As Festival enthusiast Mark Hogan describes it, the Festival is “Coachella for the brain.” The Festival began as a small gathering with 400 readers and 6 founding angels to a sold-out event that attracts over 1,000 readers and allows only 150 Angels. The Festival has featured authors who are the recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, among other honors. Many featured books are New York Times bestsellers. The Festival has become truly international with authors from all over the world.

During the day the Festival is held at the award-winning Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, with 90 sessions over three days. Our writers are all experts in their field, distinguished historians, respected journalists and gifted storytellers.

New for the 2019 Festival! We are appreciative of Connie and Bob Lurie for generously sponsoring a select group of outstanding College of the Desert students to attend the 2019 Festival.

We are grateful to Jeannette and Raymond Galante for sponsoring the best and brightest students in the Coachella Valley, along with their teachers, to attend the 2017 Rancho Mirage Writers Festival. These talented students were able to fully participate in the Festival, as well as engage in private meetings with the Festival authors.

We thank Bryn and Richard DeBeikes for underwriting a program for the 2018 Festival to bring exceptional college students from southern California universities, including USC and UCLA, to participate in the RMWF.


The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Foundation is committed to giving back to the community. We are proud to partner with the award-winning Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, and all extra proceeds from the Festival go back to support programs and improvements at the Library. The Foundation has committed $60,000 toward the cost of the beautiful glass façade that encloses the children’s room.

The Foundation also sponsors the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Book Club. This is a free event that focuses on books written by Festival writers. The Book Club is hosted at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, where readers gather to discuss books such as Last Hope Island by Lynn Olson, The Soul of America by Jon Meacham and Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba. The Book Club meets the last Wednesday of the month, except during the summer. Attendance is limited. Please email Jeff Clayton at jeffreyc@ranchomiragelibrary.org for information on how to join.

Starting on September 20, 2018, a new event will take place at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Film Club is a free series, held on the third Thursday of each month from September 2018 to June 2019. Films will start at 3 pm and free popcorn and water will be available. A new sound system has been installed in the room for the highest quality viewing experience. Films are selected by Jamie Kabler and Peter Bart. The theme for the 2019 Festival centers around the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. These movies have been selected to complement and explore that theme.
Explore Film Club

The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Writers Series presents a series of talks by eminent authors throughout the year. This event is free and takes place at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. Details about the Writers Series will be sent to our readers via email. This year, writers included A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window, the most widely acquired debut novel of all time & instant #1 New York Times bestseller. We also welcomed Andrew Morton, known for his biographies of royal and famous figures, and Lisa McCubbin, author of Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer, with special guest Susan Ford Bales. This year the Foundation has spent $20,000 purchasing books to give out to our readers.
Explore Writers Series


PRExcellence award

We are proud to announce that the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival is the winner of the 2018 California Library Association PRExcellence Award.


“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it”
—Samuel Johnson

The mission of the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival is to bring authors and readers together for an exchange of ideas where all will celebrate the enduring intellectual power of the written word.


Heart of the Palm Springs Valley

Rancho Mirage

Nestled between the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south and the snow-capped San Jacinto range on the west, Rancho Mirage is one of the most beautiful desert cities in the world. Presidents, corporate executives and Hollywood celebrities have designated this enclave the preferred luxury destination in the Palm Springs Valley.

  • Southern California resort city
  • Dubbed “Playground of Presidents”
  • Beautiful weather, 65–80 degrees throughout January
  • A wide range of fabulous restaurants and world-class resorts
  • Over 200 golf courses, and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the second largest tennis stadium in America.
  • The Palm Springs Art Museum, The Galen, The Mccallum Theatre, Sunnylands Center and Gardens
  • The Palm Springs International Film Festival, and Modernism Week


A Cultural Center for Our Community

Rancho Mirage Library

The Writers Series is held at the award-winning Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. The library ranks at the top of California libraries in check-outs per hour, books added annually, total annual visits and total check-outs per capita for children and adults. The Library is the home of the Festival, as well as the site for our other community events, including the Book Club, the Writers Series, and The Best Movies from Books.

The Rancho Mirage Observatory, dedicated in March 2018, is an exciting addition to our community. This first of its kind research level facility in the Coachella Valley will provide an opportunity for experts and novices alike to explore our universe — from right here in Rancho Mirage! This remarkable scientific and educational project will be in the capable hands of astronomer Eric McLaughlin, who will guide its use as a dramatic tool to further the Library’s mission — making lifelong learning available with its many possibilities for all of our residents and everyone in the Coachella Valley.


Board of Directors

  • Jamie Kabler, Chairman and President
  • Susan L. Davis, Vice President
  • Helene Galen, Secretary
  • Madeline Redstone, Treasurer
  • Mayor Emeritus Iris Smotrich
  • Mayor Emeritus G Dana Hobart
  • Aaron Espinosa, Executive Director
  • David Bryant, Executive Director Emeritus
  • Legal Services Donated by Law Offices of Quintanilla & Associates


  • Jamie Kabler
  • (Co-Founder: Susan Rosser)

Team Members

  • Jamie Kabler, Founder, Chair and President
  • Aaron Espinosa, Executive Director
  • Debbie Green, Executive Producer
  • Deborah Dejah, Director of Programming
  • Rachel Horwitz, Art Director
  • Robert Rekuc, Operations Manager
  • T.J. Hicks, Lead Author Concierge
  • Liz Lorenz, Lead Angel Concierge
  • Cristal Ortega, Logistics Coordinator

Download the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival financial statements