Skip to content

Chesapeake Writers Conference – Day 4 1/3

One third of day four is in the books down here at the Chesapeake Writers Conference. I’m dividing the day into 3rds as we’ve only had the craft talk portion of the day, even if it wasn’t exactly that. That and why I’m posting early will be explained …

Craft Talk

Instead of the usual craft talks we’ve had the other few days, we had an editor and a literary agent discuss the business of publishing.

I won’t print their names since they’re not in the official schedule online, but it was an insightful talk. I learned that a lot of what I’ve heard about publishing is pretty accurate.

I asked about how to structure a submission for a piece of creative nonfiction –memoir, full length essay, etc– since it’s not necessarily general nonfiction (like how-to’s, history, science, etc) or fiction.

The answer was, in general, what I expected, that it will probably be treated closer to fiction and to follow submissions guidelines, whatever those are.

Another participant asked why so many poets don’t have agents and the answer was that publishers like to work with poets directly.


Participants who signed up, are able to have one-on-one meetings with the two. I’m over here writing because I went to the sign-up document late and none of the earlier slots were open; but still, I’m not necessarily ready to send a book out, so there’s little reason for me to go and talk to either of them. Even the editor who was there, while he’s a writer and has worked in several different roles in publishing, he’s an editor at a fiction mag and aside from getting ideas for where to send my work, I’m not sure what else I’d talk to him about.

The best thing for me during this time was to come back here and write. Even if it’s blogging, I’m getting the practice and habit of being back in front of this computer and putting down words. There’s certainly value in that, especially given where I am. I need to work. When I’m ready, the doors will open.

Besides, I’ll probably try to get a response from Angela since she’s doing the kind of work I want to do, has had a book published, and is working on another right now, I believe. Jerry was on the panel to give perspective as a writer, but I wish Angela had been up there to give the perspective as a nonfiction writer as Jerry writes fiction. Again, largely the same, it seems, but not exactly.

Kids and Food

Went off campus again for breakfast. No other comment.


Very much looking forward to it. One of my fellow participants wrote a really good essay that we read last night for workshop today.

Plus, we’re covering lyric essay today. Also assigned were Girl by Jamaica Kincaid, Things To Do Today by Joe Wenderoth, and Captivity by Sherman Alexie. All really good, lyric essays. I can’t wait to discuss them.

One of my own lyric essays will be workshopped tomorrow. Probably best that I procrastinated until last night to submit it for critique.