Now Accepting Applications for 2012 Conference

Join best-selling authors, Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and Townie), Elizabeth Berg (Once Upon a Time, There Was You, Open House, and The Last Time I Saw You), and Dennis Lehane (Moonlight Mile, Shutter Island, and The Given Day) for the Eighth Annual Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise, on the shores of Boca Ciega Bay at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, January 14-22, 2012.

This intensive eight-day experience of intimate workshop classes, roundtables, panel discussions, readings, book signings and cocktail receptions is designed for those who are passionate about writing. Our award-winning faculty and guest speakers will also include Debra Dean (The Madonnas of Leningrad); Ann Hood (The Red Thread); Michael Koryta (The Ridge); Laura Lippman (The Most Dangerous Thing); Peter Meinke (Lines from Neuchatel); Stewart O’Nan (Emily, Alone); Elissa Schappell (Blueprints for Building Better Girls); David Hale Smith (InkwellManagement); Les Standiford (Bringing Adam Home), Sterling Watson (Fighting in the Shade); Daniel Vilmure (Toby’s Lie); and David Yoo (The Detention Club).

Workshops Include:

Narrative Writing (Fiction and Nonfiction)

This workshop is open to both fiction and nonfiction writers who are interested in improving their storytelling and broadening their range of techniques. The focus will be on how the handling of core issues such as character, plot, tension, and emotion are imperative regardless of the form, demonstrating that fiction writers can benefit from seeing how journalistic techniques can add depth and realism to their own work, while nonfiction writers can benefit from learning how to build scenes, create suspense, and use dialogue. Faculty: Michael Koryta


This workshop explores several modes of creative nonfiction, including essays, cultural criticism, humor, and memoir. The boundaries between fiction and nonfiction will be explored as well as the narrative techniques that best convey the truths of a particular moment. Discussion will touch upon the process of structuring life experiences into a book length work. Faculty: Ann Hood


Novel I, II, III
These workshops focus on the process of novel writing. Students will submit synopses of their novels as well as 25 pages of fiction. Structure, voice, characterization, point-of-view, plot, and imagery will be discussed. Some attention will be paid to publishing. Faculty: Debra Dean (I) Laura Lippman (II)  Stewart O’Nan (III)

Writing the Middle (Novel)
This workshop will feature synopses and writing samples from the middle portions of novels-in-progress. Although we will workshop chapters from the middle, discussion will focus primarily on synopses, the three act structure of a novel, and the concept of the dramatic question. In addition to their writing samples, participants will submit detailed synopses, either of completed or partial drafts.  In the latter case (partial drafts), participants will provide detailed speculative plans for a dramatically inevitable ending. The middle chapters should be as complete and dynamic as chapters in the beginning.  Faculty:  Sterling Watson

Short Story
This workshop focuses on the art of the short story, including complex characterization, apt language (diction, mood, tone, and imagery), appropriate and accurately rendered setting, structural integrity, thematic complexity, and point-of-view appropriate to the characters and the action. Faculty:  Elissa Schappell

Young Adult Writing
This workshop will focus on the art of writing fiction for teens, middle grades, and younger readers. All genres are welcome, from gritty realism to magical realism to science fiction/fantasy. Attention will be paid to plotting, mapping entire novels, and discussing the fundamentals of fiction: character, plot, setting, mood, theme, and epiphany–with an eye toward language and the development of conflict. Faculty:  David Yoo

Application Deadline: December 1, 2011

For more information:


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