Intensive workshops in three genres (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction) for serious adult writers at all levels of experience. Additionally, we offer:
  • A Youth Workshop, in which high school students work closely with our award-winning faculty and practice a wide range of genres and styles, from prose poems to TV scripts.
  • Undergraduate course credit (two credit hours of college credit from St. Mary's College of Maryland)
  • Professional Development Credit for teachers (two graduate credit hours from St. Mary's College of Maryland). 
  • A day of visiting publishing professionals, including one-on-one meetings.
Application Nitty Gritty
  • You may apply to more than one workshop genre (fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction). Ultimately, though, if you are accepted in more than one genre, you will have to choose a workshop (because the workshops all meet at the same time).
  • For poetry submissions, upload 4-6 poems (in one file/document please).
  • For prose, include no more than 15 pages (double spaced) of a story, essay or novel. Please include a short synopsis if your manuscript is excerpted from a longer project. It is fine to include more than one piece (either complete or excerpts). Again, please upload just one file/document per genre.
  • Please do not include your name anywhere on your writing sample itself.
  • If you plan to apply to the conference as a college student wishing to pursue the course credit option or intend to receive course credit (and Professional Development Credit) for the teachers’ workshop, please be sure to check the appropriate box below.

There will again be a limited number of full scholarships to the conference (available only to SMCM students and alumni). Scholarships cover tuition, room, and board. In exchange for this funding, scholarship recipients will assist with the preparation for and facilitation of the conference.

The 2018 Chesapeake Writers’ Conference (June 24-30) invites SMCM students interested in creative writing to apply for the 2018 conference scholarships. Scholars will be provided with shared accommodations in the Townhouse Greens, meals for the duration of the conference, and placement in a writing workshop best suited to his or her writing sample and interest (fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction).

The SMCM Scholars will form the core conference staff and each scholarship recipient will be expected to contribute in important ways to the functioning of the conference. The parameters of each scholar’s assignment will be worked out with the director, but a sampling of the kinds of tasks that will be involved includes:

  • Transporting conference guests in state vehicles to and from surrounding airports and county locations. Certification to drive a state vehicle is strongly desirable in all scholars.
  • Guiding recreational activities, including excursions to such locations as Solomon’s Island and Calvert Cliffs State Park, as well as leading participants in recreational activities (i.e., kayaking).
  • Organizing and MCing the conference’s participant readings.
  • Organizing and guiding activities for the youth workshop attendees.
  • Writing and delivering introductions of faculty and visiting writers at nightly open-to-the-public literary events.
  • Maintaining the conference social media outlets before and during the conference.
  • Creating a daily newsletter for participants.
  • Coordinating with various campus offices in order to assure that the conference runs smoothly.
  • Facilitating participant check-in and check-out.
  • Giving tours of the campus.
  • Taking photographs of events for promotion of future conferences.
  • Setting up before events.
  • Providing general support for conference participants (i.e., helping participants navigate the campus and the county).
  • Organizing and facilitating meetings for participants with agents and publishers.
  • Designing tools with which to collect input about the conference.

Deadline for applications is February 19, 2018.

Applicants may demonstrate an interest in one or more of the offered workshops.

Please include:

  1. A personal statement describing your interest in the conference and detailing what you would hope to gain from the experience.
  2. A writing sample in your desired genre (15 pages double spaced for prose; 4-8 poems for poetry). (If you wish to apply in more than one genre, you are welcome to do so; just be clear, in your personal statement, which is your first choice, and include samples from each).
  3. A current résumé.

If you have questions, you can contact Jerry Gabriel, Conference Director: