2012 “Best Of”

January 24, 2012

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, the 2012 Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise concluded with the final Evening Reading Series event featuring a reading from co-director Dennis Lehane and the announcement of the 2012 “Best Of” workshops.

Thank you to ALL the writers for a wonderful week of shared information and shared love of words.

2012 “Best Of” Workshops

Narrative Writing Workshop with Michael Koryta

Honorable Mention (TIE):
Junia Ancaya
Catherine Hovis
“Best Of”:
Kristen Davis

Nonfiction Workshop with Ann Hood

Honorable Mention:
Carmen Palmer
“Best Of” (TIE):
Kath Gillett
Karen Soltero

Novel Workshop with Debra Dean

Honorable Mention:
Eric Gerard
“Best Of”:
Gale Massey

Novel Workshop with Laura Lippman

Honorable Mention:
Darren Lewis
“Best Of”:
Russ Aborn

Novel Workshop with Stewart O’Nan

Honorable Mention:
Angela Small
“Best Of”:
Kent Bailey

Novel Workshop with Sterling Watson

Honorable Mention:
Susan Turner
“Best Of”:
Tim Keenan

Short Story Writing with Elissa Schappell

Honorable Mention:
Angie Jones
“Best Of”:
Kate LeSar

Young Adult Writing with David Yoo

Honorable Mention:
Amy DeBevoise
“Best Of”:
Patricia Sweet

The participants selected for “Best Of” honors will revise their works based on the feedback received in workshops and will be published in the 7th Volume of the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference’s literary journal, Sabal.


2012 Evening Reading Series – Free and Open to the Public

January 11, 2012

2012 Evening Reading Series


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 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 Caya at 727-864-7994 or cayacr@eckerd.edu.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Event: Evening Reading Series – Andre Dubus III – Keynote Speaker

After reading there will be Q&A onstage with Dennis Lehane.

Reading and Q&A followed by author signing.

Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog (published in 20 languages), and The Garden of Last Days, a New York Times best seller. His memoir, Townie, was released in February 2011 by W.W. Norton. His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994, The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and The Best of Hope Magazine. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for fiction, the Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters. An Academy Award-nominated motion picture, House of Sand and Fog was a fiction finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Booksense Book of the Year, and was an Oprah Book Club Selection and #1 New York Times best seller. A member of the PEN American Center, Andre Dubus III has served as a panelist for the National Book Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, and Emerson College.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Event: Evening Reading Series with Debra Dean, Sterling Watson, and David Yoo

Debra Dean’s bestselling debut novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad, was voted a New York Times Editors’ Choice; a Borders Original Voice; #1 Booksense Pick; Booklist Top Ten Novel; Most Recommended Book of the Year by the Salt Lake City Tribune; and an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year. It has been published in 17 languages. Her collection of short stories, Confessions of a Falling Woman, won the Paterson Fiction Prize and a Florida Book Award. Her new novel, The Mirrored World, is due from Harper in Summer 2012.

Sterling Watson is the author of six novels, including The Calling; Deadly Sweet; Blind Tongues; Sweet Dream Baby; and Weep No More My Brother. His most recent novel, Fighting in the Shade, was published in 2011 by Akashic. Watson’s short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Georgia Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Southern Review. He is director of the Creative Writing Program at Eckerd College and holder of the Peter Meinke Chair in Literature and Creative Writing.


David Yoo is the author of Girls for Breakfast, which was named a NYPL Best Book for Teens and a Booksense Pick, and Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before, a Chicago Best of the Best selection. His first middle grade novel, The Detention Club, was published in 2011, and a collection of essays, The Choke Artist, is forthcoming in Spring 2012. He holds a B.A. from Skidmore College and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder.



Monday, January 16, 2012

Event: Evening Reading Series with Michael Koryta, Stewart O’Nan, and Daniel Vilmure

Michael Koryta has written eight novels, praised by such authors as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, and his most recent novel, The Ridge, was called, “a freshly imagined and elegantly constructed variation on the dead-of-night ghost story,” by the New York Times and “a chilling supernatural thriller by a rising literary star,” by the Wall Street Journal. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader’s Digest condensed book. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.




Stewart O’ Nan’s dozen novels include Snow Angels; A Prayer for the Dying; The Good Wife; Last Night at the Lobster; and Emily, Alone.  In January 2012, Viking will publish his thirteenth, The Odds.  He was born and raised and lives in Pittsburgh.





Daniel Vilmure is the author of two novels, Life in the Land of the Living and Toby’s Lie. The Los Angeles Times called Life in the Land of the Living “remarkable,” and the New York Times described Toby’s Lie as “superb.” Toby’s Lie was nominated for a Lambda Book Award. A Fulbright Senior Lecturer to the University of Jordan and Istanbul University, he was also the Jenny McKean Moore Writer-In-Residence at George Washington University and has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, UCross, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Gumusluk Akademisi. A Tampa native, Daniel Vilmure is a graduate of Harvard, Stanford, and Essex Universities.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 

Event: Evening Reading Series with Elizabeth Berg and Peter Meinke

Elizabeth Berg has been on the New York Times Best Seller list multiple times. Durable Goods and Joy School were both selected as one of the American Library Association’s Best Books of the Year. Talk Before Sleep was shortlisted for the Abby (American Bookseller’s Book of the Year). Open House was an Oprah’s Book Club Selection. In 1997, Elizabeth won the New England Booksellers Award for her body of work. She was made a “literary light” by the Boston Public Library, has been honored by the Chicago Public Library, and was given the AMC Cancer Research Center’s Illuminator Award for shedding light on breast cancer resulting in increased public awareness and concern.


She adapted her novel, The Pull of the Moon, into a play which has twice been performed in Chicago to sold-out audiences. Her article on a cooking school in Positano, Italy, which appeared in National Geographic Traveler magazine, won a North American Travel Journalists Association award and has been nominated for a Lowell Thomas award. She has been translated into 27 languages.




Peter Meinke is Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, Florida. His work has appeared in the New Republic, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Poetry, and dozens of other journals. He has published 15 books of poems, seven in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series, the most recent being The Contracted World (2006). His poetry has received many awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and three prizes from the Poetry Society of America. His book of short stories, The Piano Tuner, won the 1986 Flannery O’Connor Award. In 2009 the University 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. He is on the faculty of the University of Tampa’s new low-residency MFA in Creative Writing.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Readings.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Event: Evening Reading Series with Elissa Schappell and Les Standiford

Elissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, Use Me (which was a finalist for the PEN Hemingway award, a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year), and Blueprints for Building Better Girls. She co-edited two anthologies, The Friend Who Got Away, and Money Changes Everything. She is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where she writes the Hot Type column, a founding-editor now editor-at-large of Tin House magazine, and formerly a senior editor of The Paris Review. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Paris Review, Vogue, SPIN, GQ, and Real Simple; her fiction and essays have been published in Bomb; One Story; Nerve; The Literarian; The KGB Bar Reader; The Bitch in the House; Cooking and Stealing; and The Mrs. Dalloway Reader. She teaches in the creative writing department at NYU and in the low-residency MFA program at Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn.


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. Last Train to Paradise was one of the History Channel’s Top Ten picks. The Man Who Invented Christmas was a New York Times Editors’ Choice in 2008. 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 published Bringing Adam Home, an account of Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews’ 27-year quest to solve the 1981 kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh.  The book, which the Associated Press called “the best true crime story since Thomas Thompson’s 1978 Blood and Money,” became a New York Times best seller and was for three weeks the #1 selling True Crime book on the Wall Street Journal list.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Event: Evening Reading Series with Ann Hood and Laura Lippman

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 Editors’ Choice and one of Entertainment Weekly’s Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2008. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times; the Paris Review; the Washington Post; O; Glimmertrain; and Tin House.  The winner of two Pushcart Prizes, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island. The Knitting Circle will soon be an HBO movie starring Katherine Heigl.

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. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence (Baltimore) and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Her works of fiction include: Baltimore Blues; Charm City; Butchers Hill; In Big Trouble; The Sugar House; In a Strange City; The Last Place; Every Secret Thing; By a Spider’s Thread; To the Power of Three; No Good Deeds; What the Dead Know; Another Thing to Fall; Hardly Knew Her; Life Sentences; I’d Know You Anywhere; and The Most Dangerous Thing. She lives in Baltimore.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Event: Evening Reading Series with Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane grew up in Boston. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he has published eight more novels with William Morrow 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; The Given Day; and Moonlight Mile. Morrow also published Coronado, a collection of five stories and the play, “Coronado,” which has been produced in New York City; Chicago; San Francisco; and Genoa, Italy. Three of his novels–Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island–have been adapted into award-winning films. Mr. Lehane and his wife, Angie, divide their time between the West Coast of Florida and Boston.

Augusta Scattergood

January 3, 2012

Congratulations to Augusta Scattergood, whose book, Glory Be, was recently published by Scholastic Press for young folks ages 8 and up!

Here’s a little bit about Glory Be from Augusta’s website:

A Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool.

As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

Augusta Scattergood has drawn on real-life events to create a memorable novel about family, friendship, and choices that aren’t always easy.

Advance praise for Glory Be:

“Glory Be is a lovely debut novel for younger readers, akin to Kathryn Stockett’s The Help—an important read that raises powerful racial issues of the 1960s American South.”

—Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award-winning author of Mockingbird

Glory Be weaves a seamless story of sisterly love, broken friendships, and the strength that it takes to stand up for the right thing. Augusta Scattergood is at the top of my debut-authors-to-watch list.”

—Barbara O’Connor, Parents’ Choice Award-winning author of How to Steal a Dog

Augusta will be at Inkwood Books in Tampa this Thursday, January 5 at 6:00pm to launch Glory Be.  Be sure to stop in and show your support if you’re in the area!

Congrats, Augusta!