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 Conference Overview & History

Every winter since 1998, the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference has brought together writers, editors, agents, and publishers from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C.  and surrounding states.  This one-day event has grown into a premier event for writers in the Mid-Atlantic.

BTO is a volunteer-run conference sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Our mission is to inform, encourage, and inspire writers and help them unravel the mysteries of the ever-changing publishing business. 

The first BTO conference was held 20 years ago by Friends of the Talbot County Free Library. It was and continues to be dedicated to the legacy of Gilbert Byron (1903-1991), who did more to capture the unique ambience of the Eastern Shore than any other writer in his time. To learn more about Gilbert Byron's novels, poetry, and essays and the museum celebrating his life, visit the Web site of the Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

The next BTO conference will take place on March 9, 2019.  Visit our Registration page for details and to reserve your seat.  See an overview of the speakers and sessions here.


The one-day event takes place at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The campus sits at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Md. Rt. 213 in Queen Anne's County, 15 miles east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Directions.

Its central location in Delmarva makes the college about an hour's drive from Washington's Capital Beltway, the Baltimore Beltway or Dover, Delaware. 

Attendees looking for overnight accommodations should consider the Holiday Inn Express about 13 miles east of the college on US Rt. 50 in Easton, Md. It has reserved a block of rooms  for BTO attendees at the nightly rate of $125. Reservations must be made by February 8, 2019 by calling 410-819-6500 and mentioning the conference name.  Attendees from the Western Shore might consider the hotels on or near Kent Island, including the Holiday Inn Express Annapolis East-Kent Island; the Best Western Kent Narrows Inn; or the Hilton Garden Inn Kent Island.

2019 BTO Coordinating Committee

Ron Sauder - Coordinator

Robert Bidinotto

Paul Briggs

Tara O'Brien Elliott

Kenton Kilgore

Keith Shaffer

Leslie Walker

Ann Wilson

How to Contact Us

College phone for weather cancellations: 


Email the organizers:

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

March 9, 2019

Sponsored by the



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