MEETINGS & EVENTS
Join us on Zoom for ESWA's seasonal Open Mic Night! Zoom with us and read a few of your poems, an excerpt from a story, novel, or creative non-fiction piece you've written! We ask that you please limit your time in the spotlight to 4 minutes. Join us for this fantastic Winter ESWA members-only reading and listen to some of the hottest writers on the Eastern Shore!
Want to Read? To ensure your spot as a reader, please send Dylan an email at email@example.com
Limited space for readers available. First come, first served.
Please note: An email with Zoom link will be emailed to all registrants 12 hours before the event.
Dedicated to empowering our country’s future leaders and marginalized groups, Amber has served as a Youth Development Specialist for her local city government, sits on both the Youth Development Advisory Committee and Human Rights Advisory Committee, and founded Fenix Youth Project Inc., a creative arts youth development 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on empowering youth to make social change while using art as a tool.
Amber studied English literature with a concentration in communications at the Historically Black University, The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. It was there she fell in love with digital media storytelling. Her passion for the community proved to be an asset as she took her skills in video production, web design, social media management, and research to enhance her ability to become an advocate for juvenile justice and other social justice issues.
Emmy-nominated producer Sidney Clifton has over twenty years of experience as an executive producer, producer, casting director, voice director, director and creative development executive in animated and live-action content across multiple platforms.
In her career to date, Ms. Clifton has worked with artists and creators including comic book legend Stan Lee, Dr. Maya Angelou, Ringo Starr, BB King, comedian Jeff Dunham, Tyler Perry, Leann Rimes, Naomi Judd, and Harry Connick, Jr. Her credits include Celebration Table with Maya Angelou, Tripping the Rift, Stan Lee's The Condor, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Rob Zombie's The Haunted Movie of El Superbeasto, Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love; Me, Eloise, and BET's animated series, Marvel's Black Panther.
She recently joined the Jim Henson Company as Senior Vice President of Animation and Mixed Media, and serves as Senior Consultant with Black Women Animate. As a mentor and recruiter, she has been a featured speaker at colleges and universities across North America, including California Institute of the Arts, Pratt Institute, Maryland Institute of Arts, NYU-Tisch, Sheridan College, Savannah College of Art and Design, George Mason University, and Ringling College of Art & Design.
Ms. Clifton’s passion for developing and supporting the underserved community of writers, artists, storytellers and creators was the catalyst for her launching The Clifton House; an writer’s and artist’s workshop and retreat space centered at her childhood home in Baltimore Maryland—the home she shared with her five siblings and parents, educator/activist Fred J. Clifton and National Book Award winning poet and author Lucille Clifton.
Please note: A Zoom link will be emailed to those who register 24 hours before the event.
Get Lit: Discussions on Creating Compelling Fiction and Literature
with Dylan Roche
This Month's Special Focus: Style featuring Figurative Language
There’s a lot that goes into creating a good story, and every writer’s process is a little different. All fiction writers (of any experience level) are invited to join for a lively discussion on the elements of good storytelling, how to develop your narrative and characters, what goes into themes and motifs, and why your voice and style matter. Each month of this behind-the-scenes look at fiction will offer a chance for authors to share their work, give and receive feedback, and enjoy a support network with their fellow “narrators.”
Dylan Roche is a novelist, playwright, journalist, copywriter, blogger, editor, and creative writing coach with years of professional experience in a breadth of writing-related endeavors. Whether he’s writing magazine features about fitness and nutrition, farcical sitcoms for the stage, or ad copy for small businesses, he loves connecting with and resonating with readers. His first novel, The Purple Bird, a YA fantasy adventure, debuted in 2019. He lives in Annapolis with his dog, Tyrion the corgi, and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found going on long-distance runs.
Please note: a link to access this session will be emailed to all registered 24 hours before the event begins.
Quarantined at the Keyboard:
An evening of playing with writing prompts
with your host, Fran Severn
In March, quarantine seemed almost exciting; it was a drastic move to address a drastic situation. We were up to the challenge! We developed the tracking instincts of a well-trained bird dog as we sussed out the last stockpiles of disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, and antiseptic alcohol. We signed up for half a dozen streaming services, reveling in the opportunity to enjoy cultural programming, rediscover old TV series, and watch Jimmy Buffett concerts twice a week. We downloaded books and spent far too much time and money shopping online. We vowed to work out every day and emerge from quarantine with a body that would make Beyonce spit. If we had kids, we jumped into the home-schooling programs with willingness, if not exactly enthusiasm, certain that this was temporary and come September, we’d be back to normal.
And, hey, think of all the time we’d have to write! No outside distractions (unless you had kids). No excuses not to be at the keyboard. A writer’s Nirvana!
Six months on and we’ve had enough fun. Enough of the pioneering spirit; we want to go to Agave Azul with our friends and order a Margarita Swirl; find what we are looking for at the first grocery store we hit; and gorge ourselves on a bucket of popcorn (extra butter) at a movie. We’ve abandoned the workouts in favor of sourdough bread and Peppermint Patty brownies. Parents are occasionally considering retroactive birth control and think that schoolteachers are not paid enough. Ever.
Writing? We’re feeling flat, uninspired. The mental stimulation we get from interaction with other people and other places is missing. FaceBook posts just raise our blood pressure and there is no inspiration watching re-runs of Poirot. Most days, we aren’t writing; we’re typing. And the bloody keyboard doesn’t spell any better now than it did in March.
It’s time for a mental reboot! Time to get together with other writers and have some fun. Shake up the little grey cells with some new ideas. Share stories and recharge our enthusiasm.
It’s time for “Quarantined at the Keyboard.” On Monday, February 8th, I’ll email a few writing prompts to those that register. Pick which one(s) you want and play with them. On the evening of Thursday, February 11th, we’ll ZOOM together and share our writing. The operative word here is ‘fun.’ Shake up your imagination. Get silly. No gloom or depression allowed. That is a very real problem right now, especially for those of us who are naturally inclined to be somewhat isolated. An energetic evening of creative silliness can help turn that around. So sign up! Then check email on Monday and join us on Thursday.
Flash Fiction: Fantastic New Forms
Have you ever looked at an order form or a recipe and thought, “There’s a story there?” No? Well, it’s time to change that. In this workshop, we’ll explore different forms of flash fiction and use them as the basis for our own off-kilter creations. These stories are often called “hermit crab” stories because they hide in unexpected shapes. Come ready to read, write, and uncover new stories of your own!
Tara Campbell (www.taracampbell.com) is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, and fiction editor at Barrelhouse. She received her MFA from American University in 2019. Previous publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Jellyfish Review, Booth, Strange Horizons, and CRAFT Literary. She's the author of a novel, TreeVolution, and three collections: Circe's Bicycle, Midnight at the Organporium, and Political AF: A Rage Collection.
Please note: A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 12 hours before the event.
Featuring poetry written by Bay to Ocean faculty: Nancy Mitchell, James Arthur, Marlena Chertock, Taylor Lewis, John Nieves, David Kozinski, Ann Quinn, Jane Mohler, and Truth Thomas. A collection of poems (found online), will be sent to all registrants for personal study.
This generative workshop will explore family and ancestry through poetry. Using close readings of Etheridge Knight, Rita Dove, Lucille Clifton and more, we will consider how poems can examine, celebrate and/or reconsider history, and also discuss how persona and voice inform that work.
TERI CROSS DAVIS
Teri Ellen Cross Davis is a poet and the author of a more perfect Union, 2019 winner of The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize (forthcoming February, 2021 -- Mad Creek Books). Her debut collection Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) won the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She is the recipient of literary scholarships from the Sewanee’s Writer Conference, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Community of Writers Poetry Workshop, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split This Rock (a biennial poetry festival in Washington DC) and has served as a semi-finalist and finalist judge for Poetry Out Loud for the National Endowment of the Arts. She has received a Meret grant from The Freya Project and is an awardee of a 2019 Sustainable Arts Grant. Her work has been published in many anthologies including: Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, Growing Up Girl, Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, D.C., Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees, The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, Not Without Our Laughter: poems of joy, humor, and sexuality, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic, Rocked By The Waters, and Choice Words. Her work can be read online in the following: Academy of American Poets, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Kestrel, Little Patuxent Review, PANK, Poet Lore, and Tin House, among many others. She recently served as the 2019-2020 Howard County Poetry and Literature Society writer-in-residence for Howard County, Maryland and is the current poetry coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.
Please note: A Zoom link will be emailed out to all registrants 24 hours before the session begins.
This special Women's History Month poetry reading features the powerful work of Kayla Rodney, Kari Ann Ebert, Zorina Frey, and Merdith Davies Hadaway!
Dr. Kayla Rodney, a New Orleans native, has been studying and writing poetry for the last fifteen years. She’s a graduate of Lusher Charter High School, Xavier University of Louisiana, San Diego State University, and University of Florida. After being displaced due to Katrina, and then later migrating to different cities for her education, she felt a pull to write about home and the tremendous power of community, landscape, family, and water. She is the author of Swimming Home (Unlikely Books, 2019) and is currently a lecturer at Clayton State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
KARI ANN EBERT
Kari Ann Ebert is the Poetry & Interview editor for The Broadkill Review and the Project Director of Downtown Dover Poetry Weekend. Winner of the 2020 Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry, the 2019 Crossroads Ekphrastic Writing Contest, and 2018 Gigantic Sequins Poetry Contest, Kari’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Mojave River Review, Philadelphia Stories, Main Street Rag, The Ekphrastic Review, and Gargoyle as well as several anthologies. She has been awarded fellowships from Delaware Division of the Arts (2020), The Shipman Agency (2020), BOAAT Press (2020), and Brooklyn Poets (2019). Though she spent her formative years in Tennessee, she lives and writes in Dover, Delaware.
Zorina Frey is an author, essayist, screenwriter, and spoken word poet living in Miami, Florida. Her work has been published in Of Poets & Poetry, Shondaland, Filter.org, and Writing Class Radio. Zorina freelances as a copywriter, graphic designer, and publisher. She is also an MFA candidate at Converse College and recipient of the 2021 Palm Beach Poetry Festival's Langston Hughes' Fellowship.
MEREDITH DAVIES HADAWAY
Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of three poetry collections: Fishing Secrets of the Dead, The River is a Reason, and At The Narrows (winner of the 2015 Delmarva Book Prize for Creative Writing). She has received fellowships and awards from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was, for ten years, poetry editor for The Summerset Review. Hadaway is a former Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence at Washington College where she taught ecopoetry and served as chief marketing officer for 30 years.
A year ago, quarantine seemed almost exciting; it was a drastic move to address a drastic situation. We were up to the challenge! We developed the tracking instincts of a well-trained bird dog as we sussed out the last stockpiles of disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, and antiseptic alcohol. We signed up for half a dozen streaming services, reveling in the opportunity to enjoy cultural programming, rediscover old TV series, and watch Jimmy Buffett concerts twice a week. We downloaded books and spent far too much time and money shopping online. We vowed to work out every day and emerge from quarantine with a body that would make Beyonce spit. If we had kids, we jumped into the home-schooling programs with willingness, if not exactly enthusiasm, certain that this was temporary and come September, we’d be back to normal.
Writing? We’re feeling flat, uninspired. The mental stimulation we get from interaction with other people and other places is missing. FaceBook posts just raise our blood pressure and there is no inspiration watching re-runs of Poirot. Most days, we aren’t writing; we’re typing. And the bloody keyboard doesn’t spell any better now than it did last March.
It’s time for “Quarantined at the Keyboard.” On Monday, March 8th, I’ll email a few writing prompts to those that register. Pick which one(s) you want and play with them. On the evening of Thursday, March 11th, we’ll ZOOM together and share our writing. The operative word here is ‘fun.’ Shake up your imagination. Get silly. No gloom or depression allowed. That is a very real problem right now, especially for those of us who are naturally inclined to be somewhat isolated. An energetic evening of creative silliness can help turn that around. So sign up! Then check email on Monday and join us on Thursday.
REGISTER NOW FOR BTO 2021
The first BTO to be held entirely ONLINE
The 24th annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference will take place Saturday, March 20, 2021. The entire conference will be held online via Zoom.
How This Works: After you register, you will receive a confirmation email. On March 1st, you'll receive an email which includes the conference brochure in a handy dandy PDF file for ease of printing. You'll also receive a copy of the conference grid to help you plan your day! The Zoom conference will consist of a main room and six different breakout Zoom rooms. The day of the conference, you pick and attend whichever sessions you want to attend! No signups needed for sessions!
Your Zoom link for the conference will be emailed to you 24 hours prior to the conference.
Several dozen accomplished writers and editors will lead outstanding workshops on many areas of writing. This event is sponsored by the nonprofit Eastern Shore Writers Association. See the full program.
BTO will feature something for writers at all levels. It features a keynote address by poet Truth Thomas and 30 individual sessions in the following six tracks:
HOW TO REGISTER
Tickets are available by clicking the REGISTER button on this page and selecting the appropriate ticket type. (The register button appears at top of the page on phones, or at left if you're viewing this on a laptop/desktop.)
Members of the Eastern Shore Writers Association are eligible for a discounted rate. They must sign into the website first in order to purchase a ticket at the ESWA member rate.
General ticket prices this year are $60 for the Early Bird Rate, available through Feb. 15, and $70 after that.
For ESWA members, the Early Bird rate is $50; tickets are $60 after Feb. 15.
Non-members do not need to sign into the site to purchase a ticket to BTO.
Both members and non-members will pay online via credit card. Refunds will be available to those who cancel by March 7.
Now it its 24th year, the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference is a one-day event that has attracted more than 3,500 writers over its history. It is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA), a nonprofit organization of writers from across the tristate Delmarva Peninsula.
Our mission is to inform, encourage, and inspire writers of all levels, from beginners to published authors. We strive to share helpful knowledge and experiences among writers about every facet of writing.
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