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Conference Overview & History

Every winter since 1998, the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference has brought together writers, editors, agents, and publishers from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C.  and surrounding states.  This one-day event has grown into a premier event for writers in the Mid-Atlantic.  In 2019, Writer Magazine named BTO the best writing conference in Maryland.

BTO is a volunteer-run conference sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Our mission is to inform, encourage, and inspire writers and help them unravel the mysteries of the ever-changing publishing business. 

The first BTO conference was held 20 years ago by Friends of the Talbot County Free Library. It was and continues to be dedicated to the legacy of Gilbert Byron (1903-1991), who did more to capture the unique ambience of the Eastern Shore than any other writer in his time. To learn more about Gilbert Byron's novels, poetry, and essays and the museum celebrating his life, visit the website of the Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

The next BTO conference takes place March 7, 2020.   

Travel & Hotels

The one-day event takes place at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The campus sits 15 miles east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Md. Rt. 213 in Queen Anne's County, 15 miles east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Directions.

Its central location in Delmarva makes the college about an hour's drive from Washington's Capital Beltway, the Baltimore Beltway or Dover, Delaware.  It's only slightly farther to Salisbury, Md. (75 minutes) or Rehoboth Beach DE (90 minutes.)

Attendees looking for overnight accommodations should consider the Holiday Inn Express Easton about 13 miles east of the college on US Rt. 50 in Easton, Md. It has reserved a block of rooms  for BTO attendees at the nightly rate of $121 (plus tax.) Reservations must be made by February 6, 2020 by calling 410-819-6500 and mentioning the conference name.  

Attendees from the Western Shore might consider the hotels on or near Kent Island, including the Holiday Inn Express Annapolis East-Kent Island; the Best Western Kent Narrows Inn; or the Hilton Garden Inn Kent Island.


Early bird pricing is available through Jan. 1 in two categories -- ESWA members and non-ESWA members. See details of pricing and register here on our Registration page.

You may cancel your reservation up until Feb. 8, a month before the conference, and receive a refund. No refunds will be available after Feb. 8.




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