Best Of the 2011 Workshops

January 26, 2011

On Saturday, January 22, 2011, in a standing room only, Miller Auditorium, co-directors Sterling Watson and Dennis Lehane, announced the “Best Of” the 2011 workshops. Honorable Mentions will receive notation in SABAL Volume 6, and the “Best Of” will have an opportunity to revise based on the comments received in the workshops and then have their work published in the next issue of SABAL.

Congratulations to these individuals, but more importantly, to each person who participated in this year’s conference. Your energy and desire to learn about the craft of writing made this conference an unforgettable experience. We can’t thank you enough.


Honorable Mention: TIE
Laura Starkey and Karen Kenney
Best Of: Junia Ancaya

Honorable Mention: Christopher Shaun
Best Of: Cheryl Romo

Honorable Mention: Wendy Clark
Best Of: TIE
Gerry Wilson & Eric Gerard

Honorable Mention: No Honorable Mention
Best Of: TIE
Kathlene Postma & Gretchen Jaeger

Honorable Mention: Christine Phillips
Best Of: Kate LeSar

Honorable Mention: Gelareh Asayesh
Best Of: Sanderia Smith

Honorable Mention: Maureen Ungar
Best Of: Charlie Clark

2011 Evening Reading Series Starts Tonight!

January 15, 2011



Readings will begin at 8:00 PM and will be followed by author signings. Books will be available for sale. All readings will take place in Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College and include a wine and cheese reception in Miller Auditorium’s 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. We hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Richard Russo *

Richard Russo’s works include six novels and one collection of short stories. His 2001 novel, Empire Falls, won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was also adapted into an HBO mini-series, starring Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Helen Hunt. Russo earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in fine arts, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

*Mr. Russo’s reading will be followed by an on-stage interview conducted by conference co-director, Dennis Lehane.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Les Standiford and Sterling Watson

Les Standiford is the author of 15 books, including the novels Bone Key and Havana Run and the critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, Last Train to Paradise; Meet You in Hell; Washington Burning; and The Man Who Invented Christmas.  He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  He is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami.  In March 2011, Ecco Press will publish Bringing Adam Home, an account of Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews’ 27-year quest to solve the 1981 kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh.

Sterling Watson directs the Creative Writing Program at Eckerd College and is the author of five novels: Weep No More My Brother; The Calling; Blind Tongues; Deadly Sweet; and Sweet Dream Baby. Weep No More My BrotherFighting in the Shade, is forthcoming from Akashic Books.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jane Hamilton and Peter Meinke

Jane Hamilton lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin. Her short stories have appeared in Harper’s magazine. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Her second novel, A Map of the World, was an international bestseller.

Peter Meinke is Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg. His work has appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and dozens of other journals. He’s published 15 books of poems, 7 in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series, the most recent being The Contracted World (2006). His poetry has received many awards, including 2 NEA Fellowships and 3 prizes from the Poetry Society of America. His book of short stories, The Piano Tuner, won the 1986 Flannery O’Connor Award. He directed the Writing Workshop at Eckerd College for many years, and has often been writer-in-residence at other colleges and universities, most recently (2010) at the University of South Florida/Tampa. In 2009 the U. of Tampa Press published Lines from Neuchâtel—illustrated by his wife Jeanne—in a handsome 35th Anniversary Edition, with added poems and drawings. He writes a bi-weekly column, Poet’s Notebook—also illustrated by Jeanne—in Tampa Bay’s alternative newspaper, Creative Loafing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Julianna Baggott and Ann Hood

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott has published 16 books, including national bestseller Girl Talk, Boston Globe bestseller The Miss America Family, and the Boston Herald Book Club selection, The Madam.Which Brings Me to You with Steve Almond, a Best Book of 2006 (Kirkus Reveiws) optioned by Richard Brown with Kate Winslet to star. She writes novels for younger readers under the pen name N.E. Bode, most notably The Anybodies trilogy, a Booksense selection. Baggott’s work has appeared in over 100 publications, including the The New York Times, The Boston Globe,, and the Washington Post. She is an associate professor in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University.

Ann Hood is the author of nine novels, including Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, The Knitting Circle, and most recently, The Red Thread. She has also written two memoirs, Do Not Go Gentle: My Search for Miracles and Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of Entertainment Weekly’s Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2008. She is the winner of two Pushcart Prizes, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and a Best American Spiritual Writing Award.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Readings

Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Dufresne and Michael Koryta

John Dufresne is the author of the story collections The Way That Water Enters Stone (1991) and Johnny Too Bad, Louisiana Power & Light (1994) was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, as was his second novel, Love Warps the Mind a Little, Deep in the Shade of Paradise (2002), Publishers Weekly wrote, “Imagining John Irving, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor or Max Shulman (or all of the above at once) on peyote juice only begins to evoke the dimension and energy of the seriocomic fantasies of Dufresne at his freewheeling, frenetic best.” In July 2008, W.W. Norton released his most recent novel, Requiem, Mass. In addition to his works of fiction, he has a book on fiction writing titled The Lie That Tells a Truth.  Carl Hiassen chose Dufresne’s story “The Timing of Unfelt Smiles” for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories 2007.   Since 1989 he has been teaching in the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University.

Michael Koryta is the author of six novels, most recently So Cold the River, and his work has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Great Lake Books Award, and St. Martin’s Press/PWA Best First Novel prize, while also earning nominations for the Edgar, Quill, Shamus and Barry awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times prize for best mystery, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader’s Digest condensed book. His work has been translated into nearly twenty languages. His next novel, The Cypress House, will be released by Little, Brown and Co. January 24, 2011.**

** This reading is the first stop on Michael’s book tour for The Cypress House.  We will have copies of The Cypress House available for purchase before everyone else!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Laura Lippman and Tom Perrotta

Laura Lippman was a reporter for 20 years, including 12 years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Shamus, Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe, Quill, and Barry awards. Her works of fiction include: What the Dead Know; Another Thing to Fall; Hardly Knew Her; Life Sentences; and I’d Know You Anywhere.

Tom Perrotta is the author of six previous work of fiction: Bad Haircut; The Wishbones; Election; the New York Times bestselling Joe College; Little Children; and The Abstinence TeacherElection was made into the acclaimed 1999 movie starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. Little Children was released as a movie starring Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connelly in 2006.  Perrotta has worked as a screenwriter and a journalist, writing for several major publications including the New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone and GQ. He has taught writing at Yale and Harvard.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dennis Lehane

Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he has published seven more novels with William Morrow & Co. that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone Baby Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day. Morrow also published Coronado, a collection of five stories and a play, and both Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone have been made into award-winning films. In February 2010, Columbia Pictures released the motion picture adaptation of Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, and Mark Ruffalo. Moonlight Mile, his ninth novel, was released on November 2, 2010. It debuted at #6 on the New York Times Best-Seller list.