The “Best Of”

February 24, 2014

The “Best Of”

In previous years, the Writers in Paradise Faculty have selected a “Best Of” and an honorable Mention from work critiqued in each workshop. The “Best Ofs,” announced on the final day of the conference, were later revised based on workshop commentary and printed in Sabal, a literary journal published by Writers in Paradise.

This year, we handled “Best Ofs” in a different way. As part of the program at our Brunch on Saturday, January 25, faculty recognized a wide array of bests, such as “Best Line,” “Best Character Name,” etc. After the conference concludes, and writers have had a chance to digest and revise, all participants of the 2014 Conference are invited to submit work to Sabal. Works selected by the editors will be published in Sabal Volume 9.

We hope this new approach to “Best Ofs” will contribute to the enjoyment and spirit of our conference whose purpose is to nurture writers, encourage them to transcend boundaries, and also to showcase the talent they brought to us for a wonderful week at Eckerd College.


1.) In order to be eligible, you must have attended the 2014 Writers in Paradise as a conference participant.

2.) Submissions should be formatted as follows: Times New Roman, 12 Font, standard margins, double-spaced, maximum of 25 pages.

3.) You may only submit writing in the genres which were represented in this year’s workshops: i. e., Novel, Nonfiction (memoir/essay), Short Story, and Young Adult Writing.

4.) You may submit any piece of writing which has not been previously published before. You are not limited to submitting what you workshopped during the conference. We hope what you will apply what you learned during the conference to all of the writing you are working on. 

5.) The deadline to be considered for SABAL 2014 will be Friday, March 28, 2014. Submissions are due via email to:

Your submission should be saved as an MS Word or PDF attachment.

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission.

Submissions will be considered final. No further revisions will be allowed with the exception of minor editing for typos and grammar if the work is selected for publication in SABAL.

6.) Notification of the works selected for publication will be sent via email on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Good luck!

John White

January 28, 2014

John White’s short fiction, Mathers Bridge, was published November 25 by Akashic Books on its Mondays are Murder page.

Congrats, John!

2014 ECWC Evening Reading Series

January 12, 2014

2014 Evening Reading Series

Readings will begin at 8:00 pm and will be followed by author signings. Books will be available for purchase. All readings will take place in Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College and include a wine and cheese reception in the Miller Auditorium lobby before each reading, 7:30-8:00 pm. The Eckerd College Writers’ Conference Evening Reading Series events are free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. For further information, contact Christine Koryta at 727-864-7994. Events are subject to change.

2014 Eckerd College Writers’ Conference Evening Reading Series:

Saturday, January 18

Tim O’Brien with Q&A moderated by Dennis Lehane

Sunday, January 19
Dennis Lehane and Andre Dubus III

Monday, January 20
Jon Chopan and Les Standiford

Tuesday, January 21
Laura Williams McCaffrey and Peter Meinke

Wednesday, January 22*

Thursday, January 23
Lori Roy and Stewart O’Nan

Friday, January 24
Ann Hood and Sterling Watson

Saturday, January 25
Laura Lippman and Attica Locke


Athena Sasso

January 12, 2014

Congratulations to ECWC alumna Athena Sasso, whose short story “Throw Down” is forthcoming in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature (March 2014). 

Congrats, Athena!

Sarah Gerard

December 27, 2013

Great news for ECWC Alumna Sarah Gerard. From Publisher’s Marketplace:

Sarah Gerard’s BINARY STAR, a story of young lovers struggling to overcome personal addictions in the midst of a culture designed to keep them sick while on a roadtrip across America, to Eric Obenaufat Two Dollar Radio, in a nice deal, for publication in January 2015, by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary Services(NA).

Congrats, SARAH!!!

Athena Sasso

December 16, 2013

Congratulations to ECWC alumnus Athena Sasso, whose short fiction “City of Dead Souls” was published on December 9 by Akashic Books on its Mondays are Murder blog. 


2014 Keynote Speaker – Tim O’Brien, Author of The Things They Carried

October 18, 2013

We are so very pleased to announce that this year’s Keynote Speaker will be Tim O’Brien, author of the Pulitzer Prize Finalist, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.

Tim OBrien


Tim O’Brien received the National Book Award in Fiction in 1979 for his novel,Going After Cacciato. In 2005, the New York Times named The Things They Carried as one of the 22 best books of the last quarter century. It received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The French edition of The Things They Carried received one of France’s highest literary awards, the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger. The title story from The Things They Carried received the National Magazine Award and was selected by John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the CenturyIn the Lake of the Woods, published in 1994, was chosen by Time magazine as the best novel of that year. The book also received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was selected as one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times. In 2010, O’Brien received the Katherine Anne Porter Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, for a distinguished lifetime body of work. In 2012, O’Brien received the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. In 2013, O’Brien received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Pritzker Military Library. O’Brien’s short fiction has appeared in The New YorkerAtlanticEsquirePlayboyHarper’s, and numerous editions of The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Best American Short Stories. His novels have sold more than 3.5 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages.


Sandra Gail Lambert

October 16, 2013

Congratulations to ECWC alum Sandra Gail Lambert! Sandra’s novel, THE RIVER’S MEMORY, which she worked on at Writers in Paradise back in 2008, has been accepted for publication by Twisted Road Publications and is slated for a Fall 2014 release.


If you’d like to follow Sandra’s road to publication, you can follow along on her blog.

Congrats, Sandra!

Sharman Egan

September 30, 2013

ECWC alumna Sharman Egan graduated from Goucher College this past August with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her thesis received Honorable Mention for Goucher’s Christine White Award.

Congrats, Sharman!


September 27, 2013

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for the Tenth Annual Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise

Join best-selling authors, Andre Dubus III (Townie and House of Sand and Fog), Attica Locke (Black Water Rising and The Cutting Season), and Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Live By Night) for the Tenth Annual Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise, on the shores of Boca Ciega Bay at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, January 18-25, 2014.

This is your chance to participate in a week-long, intensive workshop in which your work will be critiqued by fellow students and our award-winning faculty (workshops include: nonfiction, novel, screenwriting, short story, and young adult writing).  Workshops will be led by Andre Dubus III (Townie), Ann Hood (The Obituary Writer), Laura Lippman (And When She Was Good), Danielle Trussoni (Angelology), Les Standiford (Bringing Adam Home), Stewart O’Nan (The Odds), Sterling Watson (Fighting in the Shade), and Laura Williams McCaffrey (Water Shaper). Additional special guest speakers include: Lori Roy (Bent Road), Peter Meinke (The Contracted World), Jon Chopan (Pulled from the River), Johnny Temple (Akashic Books), Lisa Gallagher (Literary Agent), and more…

There will also be lectures on craft by Attica Locke and Sterling Watson.

Additional conference events include: roundtable session with workshop faculty, student readings, evening readings by our faculty, evening receptions, craft luncheons hosted by low-residency MFA programs, panels on editing and publishing, how to find an agent, how to handle criticism, beginnings, and more.

We understand the financial difficulties for aspiring writers and we continue to offer scholarship assistance based on need and merit.

Application Deadline: November 25, 2013.


Application Fee: $25 (If you are accepted, we apply the application fee to the conference fee balance)

Conference Fee for 2013: $700

Special Housing at the Magnuson Hotel: $70 (per night based on single occupancy).

This room rate includes all applicable taxes. It does not include a meal plan. There will be a complimentary shuttle provided by the College which will run between the hotel and College at designated times per the conference schedule of events. If you are traveling to the conference with another accepted participant, you may arrange to split the cost of the room fee. All reservations will be handled through the conference coordinator. Limited Availability – Apply Early. 

Visit: for more information.

To Apply: Writers in Paradise Online Application 

Are you uncertain which workshop to apply for? Worried about housing? Concerned about what to send as a writing sample? Contact us and we’ll be more than happy to discuss the various options that are available to you.

We hope alumni of the conference will drop us an email and let us know about recent awards, publications, acceptances, degrees, etc. We are so proud of each and every one of you; we would love to share your good news here on our Alumni Blog.

Please kindly forward this announcement to any writing friends you believe would be interested in experiencing a challenging and rewarding week with us this January.


Christine Koryta

Conference Coordinator


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Located on the beautiful waterfront campus of Eckerd College, this writers’ conference features professional writers at the top of their form spending time with motivated and talented participants who seek an intimate, unhurried climate for learning . . . in paradise.



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