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January 2017 ESWA Newsletter




Our ANNUAL MEETING is set for Saturday, January 7th from 10am to noon at the Denton Library located at 100 Market Street, Denton, MD. The Library has a nice conference room on the second floor. Park on the Franklin Street side of the library and use the entrance off that parking lot. 


This year we will feature a panel of storytellers who have spent many years writing about Eastern Shore culture and heritage.  

Ed Okonowicz is a Delaware native who currently lives in Elkton. He's written over 20 books on Delmarva and Maryland folklore, oral history, regional culture, crime and ghost stories including The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories, Disappearing Delmarva and Civil War Ghosts at Fort Delaware.

Ann Foley has lived 20 years on Elliott's Island in Dorchester County. In that time, she's published articles in the Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, Chesapeake Bay Magazine and Bay Sailor Magazine. She is also author of several books on the Eastern Shore's rural culture including A Dorchester County Scrapbook, Having My Say: Conversations with a Chesapeake Bay Waterman and Elliotts Island: The Land the Time Forgot.

Gary Crawford is a regular contributor to the Tidewater Times and, along with his wife Susan, operates Crawford’s Nautical Books, a unique bookstore on Tilghman Island. Gary has authored numerous publications about the area, including some video presentations, and for five years published the “Island Flyer,” a weekly paper for Tilghman Island.

Please come out and hear these talented storytellers talk about some of the amazing characters they've met while doing Delmarva research. After their presentations, we will open the floor for questions. 


DATE: January 7, 2017
TIME: 10am to noon
PLACE: Denton Library - 100 Market Street, Denton MD
RSVP: To Mindie at 

******SEATING IS LIMITED- The room only holds 50 people so if you intend to come, please RSVP to Mindie at  as soon as possible. ESWA members will be given first priority. 






  Bay to Ocean Writers Conference
     March 11, 2017

Volunteers needed for the 2018 BTO!!!
This is a year of so many opportunities for YOU!
If you would like to be a part of the exciting committee that brings the Bay To Ocean writer’s Conference, please let us know. Get in touch with Judy Reveal: jreveal@
Not only will more than 150 creative minds gather at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland next year, but also March 11, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference.  This conference has historically been known for its rich content, variety of topics, connections made and inspiration cultivated and all at a reasonable cost.
Workshops will feature 30 one-hour sessions bringing back some regulars such as Austin Camacho, Barbara Esstman, and Robert Bidinotto.  Added for 2017 will be Robert Whitehill who will speak about researching thrillers, Tara Laskowski on flash fiction, romance novelist Gail Barrett about crafting just the right point of view, and Glen Finland, author of Next Stop, who will discuss memoirs.  Loriann Oberlin, an Easton therapist and author of Overcoming Passive-Aggression, will show how to write difficult people into your novels and tap her years of freelancing with “writing to make money,” both of which are new topics at Bay to Ocean.

The writing conference draws together more than 200 attendees who come to meet and learn from authors, editors, poets, promotion experts, and publishers. Attendees exchange ideas, hone their craft, and network with writing colleagues during lunch. Register early for one-on-one manuscript reviews by published authors at additional cost. These are by appointment only.

Conference fees are $125 for adult non-members and $100 for members. Students with ID pay $55. Includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, and all workshops. Manuscript reviews are additional at $66 each.  An onsite bookstore runs throughout the day with participant books.

As one of the region’s premier educational seminars, the Bay To Ocean Writers Conference last year attracted attendees from eight states as well as the District of Columbia.  To join the email list, visit Registration is now open. Alert your writing colleagues and share links on Twitter @ewriters and at This conference sells out annually so reserve your spot soon. To commemorate the 20th anniversary year, visit to see a video produced for the occasion.


Welcome New Members!

Please welcome our new ESWA members, who have joined this fall:
Sharon Sheppard
Magnolia, DE
Carol Svecz
Denton, MD
Christine Hanson
Columbia, MD
Michelle Berberet
Marian Molinaro
Tara Elliott
Bonnie Evans
Lorraine Kelly



Member news!

Pat Valdata had a busy fall, doing presentations at the JustWrite Conference sponsored by the Harford County Library, and the Celebrate the Book Festival sponsored by the Bosler Memorial Library in Carlisle, PA, and a poetry reading in Lancaster, PA.


She also had a poem accepted for publication by the journal Italian Americana, and two others were accepted by the journal String Poet. All will be forthcoming in 2017.


On a personal note. Pat and her  husband are moving to Crisfield early in 2017. Their new address is 5063 Annemessex Road, Crisfield, MD 21817.

Lots of member news at the ESWA website!

There is so much going on that it is hard to include it all in the email newsletter each month. Please be sure to click on the link to see a roundup of members news that includes latest books, book signings, and upcoming talks across the Delmarva region!

Delmarva Review announces Pushcart Prize nominations


The Delmarva Review announced six Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and nonfiction by authors featured in Volume 9, the 2016 edition. Pushcart editors invited nominations from the Delmarva Review for the top national awards. 

The Review’s nominations include four poems and two personal essays. The poems are: “Troubling Over Ovid’s Story to Actaeon,” by Delaware poet James Keegan; “Dry Dock Music: Baltimore,” by Maryland poet David Salner; “Fiesta Cruise Day, San Pedro Harbor,” by California poet Jeffrey Alfier; and “Painting Suite #5 Without Words 7, 9, and 12,” by Suzanne Parker, from New York.

The nominations for nonfiction are: “The Bone Bag,” an essay by North Carolina author Michael Gutierrez, and “To The Three Suburban Moms Too Frightened To Drive Their Girls to My Detroit Neighborhood,” by Michigan author Laura Bernstein-Machlay.

The six nominations were chosen from 47 poems and 18 prose selections published in the ninth annual edition of The Delmarva Review. Pushcart editors will select winners to publish in the 2017 anthology, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, due in the fall.

The prestigious literary prize honors writing published in small presses “dedicated to exciting, innovative and eclectic prose and poetry”

The submission period for The Delmarva Review’s Tenth Anniversary edition is open now through March 31, 2017 and welcomes all writers. The submissions link is on the guidelines page of the website

The Delmarva Review, published by the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA), is produced entirely by regional volunteers. Partial financial support comes from tax-deductible contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Review is available on and major online booksellers, in both print and electronic editions, as well as at the News Center, in Easton, Mystery Loves Company, in Oxford, and The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda. 


Opportunities for writers


SAVE THE DATE: June 3rd, 2017, Saturday!
The third annual Writing Intensive at St. John’s College

We are so excited about this year’s faculty and menu of workshops. Our keynote address will be given by critically acclaimed novelist and University of Virginia professor, Christopher Tilghman. We also are welcoming Professor and author James Hall from Wilmington College, author Caroline Preston, who will be teaching the graphic novel, Sam Horn, author, speaker and an expert in promoting your work, critically- acclaimed debut novelist Christopher Scotton and several others. And of course there will be breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee and a wine reception in the garden. Go to the St. John’s website or for more information as we get into the new year and save the date!

Life as Story Workshop

Tuesday evenings 7-9 p.m. Mid-February to May
A ten-week workshop studying the craft of writing memoir and essay by reading both fiction and nonfiction selections, writing prompts, in-class discussion of your own and published work.  or call 410-626-2881.


Our purpose for the C3 Con is to gather readers and writers of 
mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal fiction.

                                          Sept 8 – 10, 2017
                            Sheraton Columbia Town Center
                                    Columbia, MD


Library programs


Upcoming Programming at the Talbot County Free Library in January
Contact Person: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877, e-mail:
Note: All library programming is free and open to the public.
Easton Library to Reveal … The Future!
Monday, January 23, 6:00 p.m.  Join “the library guy,” Bill Peak, for a discussion of Scientific American’s September issue, which was devoted exclusively to an examination of the future.  Find out what tomorrow holds in store for the human race, the planet, and you!  Extra copies of this special edition of the magazine are available for check out at the library.
   Among Friends Gala: Celebrity Stumpers … A Battle of the Wits
Friday, January 27, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Enjoy an evening of fine food and drink, great company, and a live, TV-style game show in which famous celebrities match wits with local notables trying to answer questions about the Eastern Shore and all things Maryland.  The fourth annual Among Friends Gala—Celebrity Stumpers … A Battle of the Wits—has it all!  Bring your thinking caps as well as your sense of humor as each team will poll the audience to help them answer the questions.  Watch your mail and e-mail for your invitation to this must-attend Among Friends event.  Individual tickets are $50 and sponsorships are available.  Spend a warm, lively winter evening celebrating and supporting the work of our Talbot County Free Library. 
St. Michaels 
Memoir Writers
Thursdays, January 12 & 26, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Record and share your memories of life and family with a group of friendly, like-minded people.  Participants are invited to bring their lunch.  Patrons are asked to pre-register for this program.
Book Discussion: When Breath Becomes Air
Wednesday, January 18, 3:30 p.m.   The St. Michaels book group discusses this work by Paul Kalanithi.  Open to all. 
St. Michaels Library to Reveal … The Future!
Thursday, January 26, 3:00 p.m.  Join “the library guy,” Bill Peak, for a discussion of Scientific American’s September issue, which was devoted exclusively to an examination of the future.  Find out what tomorrow holds in store for the human race, the planet, and you!  Extra copies of this special edition of the magazine are available for check out at the library.

Welcome to Delmarva Review's new editor


EEF (ESWA Educational Fund) has a new Executive Editor for The Delmarva Review. Her name is Emily Rich and we will have lots more to say on this incredible lady in the next issue. Just a tease for now so stay tuned! Welcome, Emily.


Bonnie Feldstein, ESWA Newsletter EditorMy Turn

First of all, Happy New Year and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It is a new year filled with opportunities. I bought a small stuffed pillow recently and it said, “Don’t wait for Tomorrow.” I realized those four words would become a new creed for me to live by each day for the rest of my life. I have always felt that way and taken life by the horns and went for it, but as time seems to slip by, I get a bit complacent from time to time about being quite so zealous.  So let’s all repeat those words to ourselves and truly take them to heart in this new year. If we want to start a book or poem or any literary endeavor, let’s get to it and not let it sit on our desks or in a drawer never to be finished. Let’s grab that brass ring on the merry go round and get it done. We will feel something so wonderful in the accomplishment of the task at hand. 

   So as we begin to embark on the new year ahead of us, let’s be happy we have so much to look forward to. And let’s not forget to register for BTO and not put it off and then find out it’s sold out.  And don’t forget we are always looking for volunteers to help grow ESWA and keep it the great organization it is.  Happy New Year all my dear writers and readers of this newsletter.  

   As always, if you have something to say or want to tell us all about, please stay in touch with me at:


See you next month!


Bonnie Feldstein, Editor, ESWA online newsletter
Aimee Mantell Heilman, Associate Editor, ESWA Newsletter
David Healey, ESWA Board, Communications and Newsletter Design.

Copies of I Vaguely Recall: A short, incomplete history of the Eastern Shore Writers Association, by ESWA Vice President, Susan Jones are now available for a $5 donation. Contact Susan Jones at to get your copy. Copies will also be available at the Regional Writer Connections meetings. 
Are you an ESWA member? Please consider joining the Eastern Shore Writers Association if you are not currently a member.  Annual membership is just $35. Members received the ESWA membership directory, discounted prices on some events, invitations to member-only events, a free copy of the Delmarva Review and the opportunity to support the literary arts on the Eastern Shore. Find out more and register online at the ESWA website
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