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Bay to Ocean Writers Conference 2024
Saturday, March 9th
at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD

Organized and sponsored by the nonprofit Eastern Shore Writers Association, the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference (BTO) is dedicated to providing first-rate educational sessions and inspirational tips across a variety of writing genres. Choose a track to follow, or mix it up and select sessions that are just right for you!

This year’s keynote speaker is Grace Cavalieri and features six tracks with thirty-one sessions to help writers develop their craft, edit, publish, and market their writing. The sessions, all 50-minutes in length, are carefully designed to help attendees generate solid writing, hone their craft, and ask pointed questions of published and award-winning presenters about the process. 

About Keynote Speaker:

GRACE CAVALIERI was Maryland’s tenth Poet Laureate. Her new book is The Long Game, Poems Selected & New (The Word Works.)  She founded and still produces “the Poet and the Poem” for public radio, now from the Library of Congress, celebrating 47 years on-air.
     Among other awards she holds two Allen Ginsberg Awards and the CPB Silver Medal. She’s an Academy of American Poets Fellow. She’s written 26 books of poems and plays produced on American stages. Women in history are her specialty and the last play produced was Quilting The Sun about ex-slave quilt-maker Harriet Powers.  It was staged in 2017 in New York City.
     The last 25 years of her podcasts have been sent to the moon on Lunar Codex.

Early-Bird Rates:

through January 15th, 2024
Members $125
; Non-Members $160

Regular Rates:

January 16th – March 8th
Members $135
; Non-Members $170

ESWA members must be logged in to the website to receive the member discount.

Thirty-One Sessions to Choose from!


Using Joseph Campbell's ˜Hero Cycle" to Create Character and to Develop Plot
Thom Brucie

Be Be a Plotter AND a Pantser – Plan Your Novel So It’s Easy to Write!
Michele Chynoweth

Calm and Chaos: Mastering the Art of Narrative Tension
Ariele Sieling

He Said, She Said: The Art of Writing Dialogue
Kathleen Barber

Navigating the Literary Landscape to Land on the Editor's Desk with a Yes!
Julie Wakeman-Linn, Amy Holman, Lisa Kaplan Friedman


Special Session: Poetic Yoga
Christina M. Rau, Certified Yoga Instructor

Fruitful Frustration and Resistance: the Energy of Poetic Constraints
Kari Ann Ebert

Braiding Voices: A Collaborative Generative Workshop
G.H. Mosson & Marcus Colasurdo

How to Get Out of Your Way and Let the Poem Have Its Say 
Nancy Mitchell

Getting Unstuck: Experimental Poetic Form & Technique
Matt Hohner

The Poetry of Migration
Indran Amirthanayagam


No Red Bows: How to End an Essay (or any work, really) Meaningfully, Honestly, and “Perhaps" Openly
Randon Billings Noble

Is Your Nonfiction Book Naked? Maybe It Needs an Index...
Judy Reveal

From Memories to Memoir
Veronica Li & Sverrir Sigurdsson

Navigating Trauma in Memoir
Lynne Schmidt

How to Write a Braided Essay
Laura J. Oliver


Spells or Newscasts?
Jane Edna Mohler

Bronco Poetics: How to Ride Line Breaks Deeper into the Narrative Process
Bhodi Tims

The Art of the Critique: It's Not Rocket Science; It's MUCH Tougher Than That
D.J. Stevenson

Familiar History: Using Family Stories and Hands-On Research to Bring the Past Alive
David Healey & Pat Valdata

The Tales, the Traumas, the Beauty, the Poetry and the Music of Ireland
Christopher T. George & Denny Lynch


Personal Brand Strategy for Writers
James Irwin

Stop Struggling With Social Media - Everything You Need to Know to Harness the Power of the Internet
Amy Schisler

Making Money As a Freelance Writer
John Riddle

Let's Chat About AI: How Is AI Impacting Writers and Publishers
Gregg Wilhelm

Are you Publicist Ready?
Cherrie Woods


Facing Your Writing Fears
John DeDakis

A Place to Stand: Staying Grounded in the Writing Life
Kris Faatz

The Disappearing Bookshelf: Why You Should Write Kidlit in the Era of Book Challenges
Panel: Laura Shovan, Heather Murphy Capps, Meg Kuyatt Eden

Archetypes, Metaphors, and Mental Musings – How Do Your Writing Ideas Manifest?
Dennis Lawson

Art at Night (but During the Day): Ekphrastic Writing
Jen Pitoniak

By attending this event, it should be known that you may be recorded for our online video archive available to members.

2024 Conference At-A-Glance

Highlights from the 2023 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

Saturday, March 4th, 2023 was dedicated to providing first-rate educational sessions and inspirational tips across a variety of writing genres. Featuring six tracks with thirty sessions helping writers develop their craft, edit, publish and market their writing. The 2023 conference included a keynote by Mariah Burton Nelson.

Learn all about last year’s sessions by viewing the full Program PDF at the link below.

2023 Conference Program PDF

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