James Michener, John Barth, and Gilbert Byron – all experienced success as writers using the Chesapeake Bay region as inspiration for their penned words. This winter,aspiring and established writers from the region will have the opportunity to learn from 23 experienced authors, poets, film writers, writing instructors, editors, publishers and agents at one of the region’s premier educational seminars – the 13th Annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD on February 20, 2010.
Registration for the conference will be from December 1, 2009 through February 12, 2010. Advance registration is required as past conferences have sold out. The program is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, a nonprofit organization supporting writers and the literary arts across the Delmarva Peninsula.
The largest number of expert speakers in the conference’s history will address writing craft for prose and poetry, inspiration, publishing, marketing and up-to-date uses of the Internet.
Over 1,000 writers from five states have attended the event over its history. Due to its popular response, this year’s conference will increase its capacity to 175 attendees. Registrants will be able to sign up for five of 19 session offerings.
Among the writers addressing writing craft are Barbara Esstman, internationally published and awarded author; novelist Kathryn Johnson, author of 41 books; Khris Baxter, screenwriter, producer, and script consultant; New York film maker David Garrett; award-winning author and instructor Kate Blackwell; mystery novelist and teacher Austin Camacho; and William O’Sullivan, award-winning essayist and senior managing editor of the Washingtonian Magazine.
A variety of sessions will explore getting your writing ready for publishing, selecting publishing options and using literary agents. Presenters include Richard Peabody, editor of the 34-year old Gargoyle Literary Review; Jamie Brown, founder, publisher and editor of the Broadkill Review; John Ellsberg, poet, teacher, publisher, and member of the Editorial Board of The Delmarva Review; Melissa Rosati, a 15-year veteran of the New York publishing industry and is a leader in “e-learning” education; editor, writer, and publishing consultant Ally E. Peltier; Gregg Willhelm, director and editor-in-chief of Apprentice House, the country's only campus-based, student-staffed publishing company (based at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland); and literary agents Jeff Kleinman, of New York, and Laura Strachan, of Washington, D.C..
With the Internet changing daily, speakers Leslie Walker, a previous editor at The Washington Post and Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation at the University of Maryland's College of Journalism; online writer and blogger Mary McCarthy; and author Mindie Burgoyne will explore Internet trends, writing online for pay and marketing your writing using the "big 5" social media networks.
Two “free write” workshops will be led by instructor and award-winning author Maribeth Fischer, of Rehoboth Beach, DE. Melanie Rigney, writer, previous editor of Writers Digest, and current copyeditor for The Delmarva Review, will remind writers why they wanted to become a writer in the first place by stretching their mind in painless, invigorating ways!
Poets will enjoy a number of new opportunities at this year’s conference including a panel discussion lead by Pulitzer nominated poet and writing instructor Sue Ellen Thompson, along with three other award-winning poets, Anne Agnes Colwell, a poet and fiction writer; Ellen Wise, published poet and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow; and Meredith Davies Hadaway, poetry editor for The Summerset Review. Thompson will also lead a 90-minute Metaphor Workshop for up to 15 poets.
This year’s conference will again feature expert manuscript reviews for $40 each, a book store, and will present the winners of the Bay to Ocean Writing Contest. The contest, sponsored by ESWA, will honor first-rate writing in short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, with submissions due December 1, 2009.
The cost for the 2010 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference is $89 for adults and $55 for students and includes a continental breakfast, refreshments and a networking lunch. Advance registrations will be accepted online from December 1, 2009 to February 12, 2010. For complete information, visit the website www.baytoocean.com, or write Bay to Ocean, PO Box 544, St. Michaels, MD 21663, or call (443) 786-4536.