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Bay to Ocean Writers Conference 2023
Saturday, March 4th

at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD

Organized and sponsored by the nonprofit Eastern Shore Writers Association, 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 Mariah Burton Nelson and features six tracks with thirty sessions to help writers develop their craft, edit, publish, and market their writing. The sessions, all 50-minutes in length, were carefully designed to help attendees generate solid writing, hone their craft, and ask pointed questions from published and award-winning presenters about the process. 

About Keynote Speaker: Mariah Burton Nelson

A former Stanford and professional basketball player who has written primarily about the empowerment of women through sports, Mariah Burton Nelson has written creative nonfiction books for Random House, Harcourt Brace, Harper San Francisco, and William Morrow — as well as stories for Bay to Ocean Journal 2021, The New York Times, Newsweek, Newsday, Working Woman, Ms., Glamour, USA Today, and other publications. She wrote columns for The Washington Post and the Washington Business Journal and has won numerous writing awards.
     She has given public presentations in 49 states and has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, PrimeTime Live, Dateline, Nightline, Donahue, Larry King Live, Crossfire, CBS Evening News, Geraldo Rivera, National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show, Terry Gross Show, and myriad other shows. She’s working on a graphic memoir about aging, death, motherlove, and ancient goddess figurines.

Early-Bird Rates:

through December 31st
Members $125
; Non-Members $160

Regular Rates:

January 1st – March 2nd
Members $135
; Non-Members $170

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

Thirty 50-Minute Sessions to Choose from!


Understanding Unreliable Narrators in Fiction
Andrea J. Johnson

Finding Empathy for Fiction Characters (Even When You Don't Like Them)
Lynne Streeter Childress

Writing Your Debut Novel in Two Simple Steps
Heather Davis

Authentic Fiction: Write What You Know
Amy Schisler

Good to Be Bad: Crafting Great Villains and Antagonists
Dylan Roche


Linear Thinking–The Line, The Break, and the Craft of the Poem
Gerry LaFemina

Generating New Work via the Proustian Path to Conjuring Memories or What the Nose Knows
Nancy Mitchell

Swamp Monsters and Snotflowers: Poetry and the Non-Human
Catherine Carter

Titles Like Blackbirds: Exploring Different Ways
G. H. Mosson

Beyond the Haiku: Writing Syllabic Poems
Kim E. Roberts


Generating Poems Through Research
Lynne Schmidt

Where to Begin? Openings, Stakes, Theme, and Deeper Meaning in Your Book
Kristina Gaddy

On Co-Writing
Elizabeth Kasper & Emily Johnson

Assessing Your Intuition for Maximum Creativity
Dennis Lawson, MHt.

The Freedom of an Unreliable Narrator in Poetry
David P. Kozinski


Podcasting as Promotion
Paul Comfort

Buffing and Polishing: The Art of the Rewrite
John DeDakis

Handselling Books
Kenton Kilgore

How to Give a Book Away: Using Free Books as a Marketing Tool
Ariele Sieling

Scrivener for Writers & Poets
Meg Eden Kuyatt


Tidewater: Writing (and Drawing) Centered in Place; A Poetry and Short Prose Generative Workshop
Lara Payne

Exploring the Unexpected: Writing with a Magical Twist 
Kris Faatz

Writing Identity Through Art
Tara Campbell

Diversity in Writing
K. McCoy

The Practice of Translation
Nathan D. Horowitz


How to Write Micro-Memoir
Laura J. Oliver

Keys to Successful Nonfiction Publishing: How I Did It and How You Can Too
Jean Burgess, Ph.D.

Your Story Matters: The Art and Craft of Personal Essay and Memoir
Rus VanWestervelt

Know 10 Times More Than You Tell: Research, Responsibility, Resources & Rabbit Holes 
Brent Lewis 

Listing Your Way to a (Lyric) Essay
Randon Billings Noble

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

2023 Conference At-A-Glance

Highlights from the 2022 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

The 2022 conference included a keynote by Cave Canem Fellow, Poetry Coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library, and award-winning poet, Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Featuring eight tracks and over 30 sessions sure to fit all your writing needs, the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference celebrated a quarter of a century of helping writers develop their craft, edit, publish, and market their writing. The sessions, all 90-minutes in length, were carefully designed to help you generate solid writing, hone your craft, and ask pointed questions from published and award-winning presenters about the process. Attendees chose a track to follow, or mixed it up and selected the path that’s right for each individual!

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

2022 Conference Program

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