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March ESWA Newsletter


 Monthly meetings are important and where you get to understand ESWA, YOUR organization. Please join us if at all possible. Thanks.
 Ron Sauder, President, ESWA

The next regular business meeting of the ESWA board will be held at the
Richardson Maritime Museum, 401 High Street, Cambridge, from 10 am - 12 noon on Saturday, March 4. ESWA members are always welcome to attend. There will be no public program at this meeting, just the regular business of the association to be conducted.


  Meet the new ESWA board members!

Jim Duffy Cambridge resident, veteran magazine journalist, as well as the author of the self-published Eastern Shore Road Trips: 27 One-Day Adventures on Delmarva and the forthcoming Tubman Travel Companion: Stories of the Underground Railroad in Maryland and Delaware. He signed on to the ESWA board in hopes of paying forward in some small way all of the inspiration and advice he has received over the years from fellow writers.
Susan Hargreaves Parker  ESWA member, Engagement & Community Content Editor at The Daily Times. Susan won a newspaper award for her timely article on drug addiction. Link to story: Addicts Families Face Anguishing Choices on How to Help 

Pat Valdata
 writes novels, poems and nonfiction. Her publications include the poetry books Where No Man Can Touch (WCU Poetry Center, 2015) and Inherent Vice (Pecan Grove Press, 2011), the novels The Other Sister (Plain View Press, 2008) and Crosswind (Wind Canyon Publishing, 1997), and the poetry chapbook Looking for Bivalve (Pecan Grove Press, 2002). Valdata received an MFA in writing from Goddard College and works as an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Valdata has judged creative writing competitions in poetry and fiction. She participated in the Women's History Month reading at Stockton State College in March 2011 and has also read in Washington, DC; Bethesda, MD; Columbia, MD; Elkton, MD; New Brunswick, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and Amherst, VA.

Fran Severn
, who is our “Lady in waiting.”  She will be the next ESWA president. Yes, we just elected Ron Sauder, but thought you might like to see our succession. I am sure you will agree, Fran is a busy lady.
Fran started in broadcast news -- radio and TV in the 1970s. She began travel writing when the Air Force sent my husband (and me) to England in the 1980s. Returning home, she was the PR Director for the Maryland Office of Tourism in the early 90s, ran her own motor coach tour company, and did more travel and lifestyle writing for magazines and guide books. In addition to travel, she also writes for equine-related magazines and is working on a book with trainer Kelley Brooke Nolte about riding.
Fran lives in Salisbury with her husband, three dogs, and two horses. If she’s not at the keyboard, she’s at the stable.


Member news!

Susan Jones will introduce her newest book,
For Better and for Verse
 Readings of “vocabulary verse”
and accompanying music.
(Amazingly, she plays the piano and clarinet at the same time!)
Come.  Enjoy.  Meet the author.
Become “wordly” wise and well versed.
Saturday, March 18th
2:00 p.m. St. Michaels Library



Author Event

Sunday March 05, 2017 2:00 PM
(Local Interest, Fiction, Other)
Event Description
Join us from 2 to 4pm as we welcome authors Karen Huston Karydes, Ann Hymes, Don Parks, William Peak and Barbara Lockhart from Secant Publishing! All five authors will be here to discuss their books and sign copies for customers. For more information please visit


"An exploration of what a contemporary Job might look like, Chynoweth's tale should more than satisfy." 
By Award-Winning Author Michele Chynoweth
Now available in paperback, hard cover, e-book
and where most books are sold!

A contemporary suspense/romance based on the Bible's Book of Job
and the verse, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" from the Prophet Samuel. The characters come to life in the setting of a current US Presidential election with issues that are more relevant than ever today!


News and Updates




VINCE GISRIEL spoke from his heart about selling books and his love for veterans. Good program filled with helpful gems. Thanks for joining us, Vince!

For more information see



You will find information about the series on this page, including a request for people to contact me if they want to do a presentation or workshop: .

"teryg93@teryg" <>


"The Write Place" is becoming a moveable feast. The group will meet on Tuesday, March 28, at the Easton Library. Both sessions will be held from 11:30 to 1:30. The welcome mat is out for writers at all levels, whether published or not. Please join us for a lively session. For more information contact
Mary Dolan, e-mail address is



Chesapeake Voices literary contest sponsored by The Delmarva Review

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Delmarva Review is excited to announce a commemorative writing contest: Chesapeake Voices, a celebration of the history, land, people, and mythology of the Chesapeake Bay.  

The contest will be judged by Laura Oliver, author of The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers (Penguin Random House, Nov. 2011) named by "The Writer Magazine" as one of the best writing books of the year, and selected by "Poets and Writers Magazine" as one of the best writing books ever published. In addition to teaching both essay and fiction writing at the University of Maryland, Oliver is currently an award-winning writer and creative writing workshop instructor at St. John's College and Washington College. 

More information about her can be found at her website:   TIMELINE: Submissions are open February 1 thru May 31, 2017. Winners will be notified in July, 2017.   GUIDELINES: Submit a work of fiction or nonfiction prose, up to 5000 words, through our Submittable page, which you can access through our website You need not be a resident of the Chesapeake Bay area, though familiarity with the region is obviously a plus.   We can only accept online submissions.   We charge a $20 entry fee per submission. There are no limits on the number of pieces you can submit.   

All entries must be double-spaced and in 12pt font. Please include a cover letter with your name and full address. Do not put your name on the submission itself.  

Current Delmarva Review board and staff are ineligible.  

PRIZES: First prize is $500 and publication in the 10th Anniversary Issue of Delmarva Review. If merited, two first prizes will be awarded, one each for fiction and nonfiction. Second and third prizes will also be awarded. All entries will be considered for publication.





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.
Adult Programs
Bill Peak
Communications Manager (aka "the library guy")
Talbot County Free Library
Read his library column in The Star Democrat
or archived at
Telephone: 410-822-1626

Lawyer/Author to Discuss His New Novel: Big Law
Thursday, March 16, 6:30 p.m.  Attorney and author Ron Liebman talks about his new novel, Big Law, a story of life and intrigue in a prominent law firm.  Publisher’s Weekly called Big Law “compelling.”
Monday, March 20, 6:30 p.m.  The Easton Library Book Group discusses Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.
St. Michaels
Memoir Writers
Thursdays, March 9 & 23, 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.
St. Michaels Book Group to Discuss The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
Wednesday, March 15, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.



Mystery Loves Company and BTO have been partners for a long time

Thank you, Kathy!


It began with an email in early 2008 from Diane Marquette, author and mover and shaker behind the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA) and the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference (BTO). I had hosted an author signing for Diane for her Chesapeake Conference Center mystery at the store in 2008 and I had encouraged her to attend Bouchercon in Baltimore coming up in September 2008--the mystery extravaganza annual event. At my table in the Dealers Room at the 2008 Bouchercon I had about 200 attending authors’ books displayed, Diane had attended and she was impressed by the layout. Later Diane wanted to know would I be willing to take over for the organizers in the Dealers’ Room for the next BTO in February 2009. She said after Bouchercon that BTO would be a “piece of cake” to organize.

I thought BTO would be a great opportunity for the store, and would make me more familiar with the writing talent on the Eastern Shore. I enthusiastically said yes. I would love to take over the responsibility of the Dealers’ Room at the 2009 BTO.

It was a great time to meet personally with so many exciting local writers. When I had moved Mystery Loves Company Booksellers from Baltimore to Oxford in 2006, I felt keenly that there was, at the time no local store highlighting local authors. I was determined that this was the direction I wanted the store to go, to not just carry mysteries, but carry local Chesapeake fiction and non-fiction authors.

During this time, publishing was heading in challenging directions. Away from traditional publishing and going for many reasons to independent publishing, and print on demand. It had been increasing easier for an author who either had left traditional publishing or was producing their debut book to get their wares out on the street. Technology was a friend to those authors who understood print-on-demand and web site development. The book world was changing rapidly in 2008.

So much of what I carried in the BTO Dealers’ Room throughout these years has turned out, not to be published by traditional publishers, but independently published. For that reason many of the books had to be provided by the authors themselves on consignment. I think for the most part, this works out well.
Recently ESWA has allowed any member who attends BTO to place their books in the Dealers’ Room. This insures that the Dealers Room at BTO is an excellent annual showcase for the perusal local talent. There is no question that BTO and the ESW have encouraged many wonderful writers to tell, as Laura Oliver says in her extremely helpful book their “Story Within.”

Through BTO, over the last nine years, I have met so many amazing authors who have made the Eastern Shore a better place to live, work and write. Their works are on the shelves of Mystery Loves Company and sell well. I am grateful to Diane, ESWA, and the organizers of BTO. All of you have been a joy to work with. I have been happy to have played a part in what has made BTO, in my opinion and many others, the premier writers’ conference in Maryland.
All of us at BTO thank you for your years of coming, schlepping, and enjoying the conference along with so many of us. You are a great part of our family.

Bonnie Feldstein, ESWA Newsletter EditorMy Turn

      Happy March, the month of our Bay to Ocean Writer’s Conference. I hope you have registered. If not, rush to the website ( and register today. You will be glad you did.

   This is also the month we dream of lovely springtime thoughts. We think of gardens and being outdoors much of the time. As writers this becomes a difficult time to stay focused and finish that work we started a long time ago. My advice is to shut the blinds and don’t walk out the door. Absent that, just stay in the writing moment and surround yourself with other writers and network every chance you can. A critique group is excellent and so is a book club to get a feel for what others are reading and to have your piece closely read and opinions given. All these are good solid writing habits and you might consider them. ESWA, moving forward, will be offering more programs for you to attend and learning seminars to teach craft. In every aspect your life is that of a writer. Embrace it and know you’re hooked for life. You may choose, at some point not to write long novels, but rather choose short stories, even give poetry a try, but it’s who you are.

   Remember the time change this month: Saturday, midnight, March 11th to be exact. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face. You will  have an extra hour of daylight to enjoy and maybe write that great American novel or Pulitzer Prize winning poem. Carry on!
   See you at BTO!

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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