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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the BTO conference held?

Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland, at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Maryland Route 213. The address is 1000 College Circle Wye Mills, MD 21678. Visit our MAP page for an interactive map and driving directions.

Where on the campus does the conference take place?

The Kent Humanities Building, at the back of the campus of Chesapeake College, on the side farthest from U.S. Route 50.

How do I find the sessions/workshops in the Kent Humanities Building?

A full-page map and schedule of speakers’ presentations will be in the printed program you will receive in your conference folder at check-in on the morning of the conference.

When does registration open, and how can I find the form?

Online registration will start October 1, 2016 for the 2017 Bay to Ocean Writers conference. See our Registration page for more information. On the day of the conference, check-in starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Kent Humanities Building on the back side of the campus. 

Is there a deadline for registration?

Yes. You must register online by February 25, 2017, two weeks before the conference. There will be no walk-in registration on site at the conference. The BTO conference typically sells out well in advance of the deadline, so we urge you to register early.

What is the registration fee?

Regular ticket:  $100 ESWA Members, $120 non-members 

Student ticket:  $55 

What is the definition of “student” with regard to the registration fee?

A student is someone who is registered and taking classes at a qualified educational institution. To qualify for student registration, you must bring your student ID card and show it when you sign in on site the morning of the conference. 

Are there group rates? 

No, the registration fee for this nonprofit conference is already modest, so group discounts are not feasible at this time.

What is the refund policy?

You must fill out the refund request form at (the registration service for the BTO) by February 18, 2017, three weeks prior to conference, in order to obtain a full refund of your fee. It will be processed as a credit on the credit card that you used to register. 

Could the conference be canceled because of bad weather?

Yes, although that hasn’t happened in nineteen years. For inclement weather information the morning of the conference, call Chesapeake College at 410-822-5400 and listen to the recorded message. Or check this website for information about cancellation due to bad weather. We will post a notice on the home page regarding any weather-related issues.

Will there be refunds if the conference is canceled due to bad weather?

If the conference is canceled due to adverse weather conditions, you will be reimbursed your registration less handling and food fees for which the conference is responsible. Payment will be made within 60 days of cancellation, via a credit on your credit card.

What does the registration fee include?

It includes your choice of five from among 30 different presentations offered, continental breakfast, networking buffet lunch, snacks, beverages, access to the on-site conference bookstore featuring speakers’ books, and a printed program of the day’s schedule.

What is the program lineup, and how does it work?

You may attend up to five sessions from 30 different sessions offered throughout the day. Six sessions are offered concurrently in each time slot, with 15-minute breaks between them. Simply walk into the classroom hosting the speaker of your choice and you’ll be able to attend that session, unless the room capacity has already been reached. There are enough topics and sessions, though, that everyone should be able to attend most of their first choices. The program runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Do I need to sign up in advance for the sessions I want to attend?

No, but some sessions may have a full audience, in which case you can go to any of the other sessions offered during that time period. The online registration form has a checklist where you can indicate which sessions interest you most, which will help the organizers assign the most popular speakers and topics to the largest classrooms available. Providing this requested information does not mean that you are assured a seat in that session. There are no reserved seats.

How can I reserve a seat for a particular session?

You can’t. Seats for sessions cannot be reserved and are on a first-come, first-served basis. No one will be permitted to “save” seats for other attendees. The conference must adhere to the maximum capacity posted in each classroom as determined by the local fire marshal. When a classroom is filled to capacity, “Session Closed” signs will be put on the closed door. There can be no exceptions.

Can I use my laptop or iPad at the conference?  

Yes, the buildings and all the conference sessions have free WiFi available.

How can I get my manuscript reviewed at the conference?

A limited number of manuscript review sessions are available for a fee of $60 on a first-come basis. The writer will have half an hour on the day of the conference with a published author/instructor who will have studied the manuscript. Formatting guidelines and additional instructions are on the Manuscripts page of this site.

What if I have a dietary restriction?

Menus for the continental breakfast and networking buffet lunch do provide a variety of options. We regret that we are unable to provide food to meet individual needs. If you have any concerns, it is strongly suggested that you provide your own food.

Are pets allowed to accompany attendees?

No animals except service animals are permitted.

Can I bring my children?

No. Children will not be permitted. 

Do I get course credit for attending BTO? 

No, no course credit is given for the conference.

Can I sell my books at the BTO bookstore?  

This option is only available to presenters and members of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. If you qualify, you may contact Hal Wilson at for more information on how to display your books.

How do I become a speaker at a future Bay to Ocean Writers Conference or volunteer to help with the conference?

We encourage you to contact the conference committee via email.

How do I join the Eastern Shore Writers Association, which sponsors the Conference?

Fill out the membership form you’ll receive in your conference folder and return it with your dues payment at the end of the day of the conference, or mail it to the address on the form. To become a member online click here.

How can I submit material to the Delmarva Review?

Submission guidelines are on the magazine’s  website:

I have other questions. How can I contact the organizers?

We regularly check our email at You may also contact one of the conference co-coordinators directly:

  • home: 410-482-6337

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

March 11, 2017

Sponsored by the



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