"Writers at the Beach" Conference
|Award-winning Authors Volunteering in First "Writers at the Beach" Conference
Southern Coastal Delaware is the perfect place to hold the kind of writing conference that quickly develops a national reputation. And this is exactly what the planning committee of Writers at the Beach: Pure Sea Glass has in mind as they prepare for the first conference to be held in Dewey Beach, March 5, 2005.
Many of the features that make writing conferences successful already exist in the Rehoboth/Dewey Beach area. A great resort location; a thriving literary culture, and renowned inns and first-rate restaurants.
Add to this the most important characteristic of any good writing conference: a group of fantastic authorsand in the case of Writers At The Beach, the list is impressiveand you've got all the makings of a successful event.
More than a dozen award winning writers will lead workshops, host discussions, and give readings, including Fleda Brown, the poet laureate of Delaware; Carolyn Parkhurst, whose novel, The Dogs of Babel, was not only chosen by Anna Quindlen as a Book of the Month Club Selection, but became a Today Show book pick, and was listed as one on Esquire's "34 Reasons to be Optimistic About 2003;" and Sheri Reynolds, whose second novel, The Rapture of Canaan, was chosen by Oprah as one of her book club selections, and went on to become a New York Times best seller.
Other fiction writers who will participate in the inaugural conference include Brad Barkley, "one of the breakthrough authors you need to know," according to Book magazine, and the author of two novels, Money Love (named one of the best books of 2000 by the Washington Post), Allison's Automotive Repair Manual (a Book Sense 76 selection), and the short story collection, Another Perfect Catastrophe; Liam Callanan, author of the novel, The Cloud Atlas, and a contributor to Slate, Forbes, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Magazine, and WAMU's Morning Connection in Washington D.C.; and Leslie Pietrzyk, the author of two highly successful novels: Pears on a Willow Tree and most recently, A Year and A Day, which was chosen as a Book of the Month Club Alternate Selection.
Non-fiction writers include naturalist Tom Horton, the award-winning author of numerous books and articles, including Bay Country, Turning the Tide, and An Island Out of Time; Richard LaMotte, the author of Pure Sea Glass, the book that inspired the conference's theme, William O' Sullivan, a features editor of The Washingtonian since 1999, a teacher for over 12 years at the Writing Center in Bethesda and a published essayist himself with three notable mentions in Best American Essays; Terry Plowman, the publisher and editor of Delaware Beach Life, the only full-color glossy magazine in coastal Delaware; and Debra Puglisi Sharp, author of Shattered: Reclaiming a Life Torn Apart by Violence, who has appeared on Oprah, 20/20, the John Walsh Show and other national and regional talk shows.
Along with Fleda Brown, the poets include Vanessa Haley, a poet and practicing psychotherapist, whose debut collection, The Logic of Wings, was published this past April; and Erin Murphy, who currently teaches at Washington College in Chesterton, Maryland and is the author of Science of Desire, and the forthcoming, Too Much of This World (2005), which has already received the Anthony Picconi Poetry Prize.
Obviously, the best reason to attend the conference is the writers. But perhaps it should be mentioned that all of these authors have waived their usual fees and are donating their time so that 100% of the profit can be donated to The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (Mitochondrial Disease, a disorder of energy metabolism, is rarely spoken of, yet it affects as many as one in 2000 children with numerous families from Southern Delaware, Maryland and Virginia already listed in the UMDF database). "Attendees aren't just getting access to excellent writers, but to excellent, extremely generous individuals," says the conference's founder, Maribeth Fischer, a published writer herself, whose nephews, Sam aged 7 and Zachary, aged 12, are severely stricken with the disease.
Registration forms, information about the conference, and great deals on motels for attendees, can be found at www.writersatthebeach.com, or by calling 302-841-2172 or writing P.O. Box 1326 Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 1February 11, 2005