WYE MILLS Registration has opened for the 15th annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference, which is set for Feb. 25 at Chesapeake College.
Both aspiring and established writers will have the opportunity to hone their writing skills and hear new tips about the business of writing, including digital tools available for publishing and marketing writing today.
Participants can select up to five workshops and programs from 25 sessions presented by experienced authors, poets, screenwriters, writing instructors, freelance writers, agents, editors and publishers.
More than 1,200 writers from five states have attended the conference in its history. The event has sold out in advance for the past five years. This year's attendance will be limited to 200. Advance online registration is required. See the conference website (www.baytoocean.com) for registration.
The program is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers' Association (www.easternshorewriters.org), a nonprofit organization supporting writers and the literary arts across the Delmarva Peninsula.
Several themes will dominate this year's conference, including the craft of writing prose and poetry; specific writing genres, including romances, mysteries and memoirs; digital writing tools; and publishing and marketing writing.
A number of new speakers will be featured: Award-winning humorist, award-winning writer and instructor Fay Jacobs will cover the rules for writing memoirs and a foolproof method for curing writer's block; USA Today best-selling author Rebecca York (aka Ruth Glick) will explain the elements that must be in every romance; historical novelist Pat Valdata will provide tips for researching historical fiction; Lynn Schwartz will explore techniques to inspire, focus and energize writers; self-published author Leonard Kinsey will present on e-book publishing; editorial consultant Shannon O'Neill will provide tips for finding and working with an agent; attorney Cynthia Blake Sanders will help writers understand their rights under copyright and publishing laws; and award-winning writer Laura Oliver will show how to turn skillfully written manuscripts into captivating ones.
Other presenters include novelist Kathryn Johnson, author of 41 books; mystery novelist and teacher Austin Camacho; Melanie Rigney, writer and past editor of Writers Digest magazine; Khris Baxter, screenwriter, producer and script consultant; publishing consultant Ally E. Peltier; and Gregg Willhelm, director of Baltimore's CityLit and editor-in-chief of Apprentice House publishing at Loyola College.
Speakers covering writing for the Internet will include social media specialist and author Mindie Burgoyne; author, web developer and Internet marketer Angela Render; online writer and blogger Mary McCarthy; and Leslie Walker, the Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation at University of Maryland's College of Journalism and a past editor of The Washington Post.
Pulitzer-nominated poet and writing instructor Sue Ellen Thompson and award-winning poet Anne Colwell will be joined by panelists Barrett Warner, Amanda Newell and J. Wesley Clark to explore approaches to writing about love and desire in poetry.
A panel, including Terry Plowman, publisher and editor of Delaware Beach Life; John Lewis, arts and culture editor/columnist and arts blogger at Baltimore Magazine; John Lewis an award-winning writer and arts critic; and Holly Smith, managing editor of Maryland Life, will cover what freelance writers need to know from magazine editors.
This year's conference again will feature one-to-one manuscript reviews by published authors and professional editors. This additional service will be $45 each for registered attendees.
The cost for the 2011 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference is $89 for adults and $55 for students. The fee includes a continental breakfast, refreshments and a networking lunch and a book store. Advance registrations will be accepted online through Feb. 15.
For conference and registration information, visit www.baytoocean.com, write to Bay to Ocean, PO Box 544, St. Michaels, MD 21663, or call 410-200-3082.