Frequently Asked Questions
Preparing Your Application
1. I'm not sure what to write in the statement to the directors. Any advice?
If you have a background in writing, let us know where you studied. If you have any publications, have won any awards, attended any other conferences, etc., let us know. If you are relatively new to writing, then please tell us what you hope to achieve by participating in the conference.
2. I'm working on a novel, and I have a prologue, dedication, and epigraph. Do these count toward my 25 pages?
Yes, so the best thing to do is get to the beginning of your text asap. If you are having trouble with this due to formatting, etc., you may contact the coordinator and she can assist you.
3. I'd like to apply for one of the novel workshops. Can I submit a previously published short story as my writing sample (I think it's my most polished work)?
No. We can only consider applicants who submit a writing sample in the genre of the workshop to which they are applying. For a novel workshop, novel excerpts only. For a short story workshop, short story manuscripts only. No exceptions.
4. I'm torn between applying for the nonfiction workshop and the novel workshops. Or, I can't decide if I want to apply for short story or nonfiction. Can I ask to be considered for multiple workshops?
Yes. You will be able to mark on online application the workshops you want to be considered for and submit the appropriate writing samples in each genre. For example, if you want to be considered for short story and nonfiction, submit a short story AND a nonfiction writing sample. You will only be allowed to attend ONE workshop.
5. I'm submitting the opening chapters of my novel-in-progress for the novel workshops. I'll do revising between when I submit my application and when the manuscripts are due via email. Is this okay?
Yes. You will have the opportunity to submit a revised/edited manuscript in mid-December.
6. I'm not changing the manuscript I submitted with my application. Why do I have to re-email the manuscript?
This will allow you to review your manuscript one last time. We will then distribute the manuscripts to your fellow workshop members via email.
7. I have submitted my application online. Now what?
You will receive an automatic response email which will have a copy of your application (your writing samples will not be attached in this automated response). You will then receive a separate email from the conference coordinator confirming receipt of your application and letting you know if your application is complete or if there is anything missing. You will need to submit the missing information before the application can be reviewed by the directors.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, you will not have a decision regarding your application until Wednesday, December 5, 2012.You will receive notification of acceptance/rejection, scholarship award, and workshop assignment via email on December 5. These emails are tailored to each individual accepted into the conference. Please be patient. It is not uncommon for emails to be written well into the evening.
Once You Have Been Accepted
1. Where is Eckerd College?
From East and North: Take I-4 West or I-75 and I-275 South to Tampa. Continue on I-275 across Tampa Bay via the Howard Frankland Bridge to St. Petersburg. Continue south on I-275 past the downtown St. Petersburg exits, all the way to Eckerd College at Exit No. 17 (Pinellas Bayway/St. Petersburg Beach) bearing right as the exit splits. The College entrance is 1/4 mile on the left before the tollbooth.
From the South: Take I-75 North to I-275 and the Sunshine Skyway. After you cross the bridge, exit left on Exit No. 17 (Pinellas Bayway/St. Petersburg Beach). Turn left at the traffic light onto 54th Avenue South. Proceed 1/2 mile and turn left into the Eckerd College entrance.
From Tampa International Airport: As you leave the airport, follow the signs to I-275 South and St. Petersburg. Follow directions above from the North. Car rental, taxi, and limo services to campus are available at the airport.
From St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport: Exit the airport and turn left onto Roosevelt Boulevard (686). Continue onto the overpass, which immediately merges with Ulmerton Road (688). Continue on Roosevelt to the I-275 interchange, and then bear right onto I-275 South to St. Petersburg. Then, follow directions above from the North. Car rental and transportation services to campus are available at the airport.
2. Which airport is best?
Most major airlines serve Tampa International Airport, easily accessible by highway
(I-275) and about 25 miles from the campus. The St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is about 20 minutes from campus, but doesn't have a large selection of airlines. Transportation is easy from both, but we recommend Tampa International Airport.
3. I've never been on the Eckerd College campus. Where do I register on January 19?
Here is a map of the campus
You will enter the campus from 54th Avenue South. A security guard will be on duty in the welcome station at the main entrance to the College. Please let the guard know that you are with the Eckerd College Writers' Conference: Writers in Paradise. Proceed to the first rotary, head left toward Avenue of States, and enter the first PARKING area on your left, next to the Continuing Education Center. The Flamingo Room, where Registration will be held, is located through Entrance B of the Continuing Education Center.
After Registration, there will be a campus tour for those interested in learning the location of the buildings where workshops will meet, the library, cafeteria, Triton's Pub, the Miller Auditorium (where the evening readings will take place), and more.
4. What will the weather be like?
The best thing to do is to check out the ten-day forecast!
5. What should I wear?
Dress comfortably: casual to business casual. Most people will wear jeans, shorts, casual shirts. No cocktail attire necessary. Some buildings are cooler than others, so it's a good idea to bring a sweater or sweatshirt, just in case.
6. What if I can't make the registration on Saturday, January 19?
That is not a problem. You can pick up your registration packet on Sunday morning before the first morning session.
7. If I miss the registration on Saturday, can I still go to the Ann Patchett reading and attend the welcome reception that evening?
Of course! The reading will start at 8:00 pm in Miller Auditorium and the guard at the Welcome Center will happily provide directions if you are unfamiliar with the campus. The Evening Reading Series is free and open to the public, so we recommend that you arrive a few minutes early. Seating is first come-first served.
8. What is in the registration packet?
The final conference schedule; hours of operation for the library, CEC Café, Main Cafeteria, and Triton's Pub; important campus phone numbers; a campus map highlighting the rooms where your workshops will take place; a participant email list; a Guide to Downtown St. Petersburg; and a letter from the co-directors.
9. Should I bring my laptop?
Most people do not bring laptops into the craft lectures or workshops. Some faculty prefer that students not use laptops in workshops. Many people will find themselves inspired to work on revising or writing new material throughout the week, so having your laptop handy back at the hotel is a good idea.
10. I need to be able to check in with work and handle some emails between sessions. Is there a place I can do this?
The Flamingo Room will be available to participants between the craft lectures and workshops. Free wireless is available throughout the building. Participants are also welcome to use the space to read and prepare for the workshops. The Armacost Library also has computers available for your use.
11. I've just printed the manuscripts for the participants in my workshop and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. What should I do with them between now and the conference?
If you have not been to our conference before and are looking at the stack of manuscripts you have just printed, wondering, "Now what am I supposed to do?" we recommend that you read and critique each individual's work with the time, energy, and care that you would expect a classmate to apply to your work. Read a piece for the first time without a pen in your hand. The second time you read it, make notes in the margins; and on a separate piece of paper write or type an end note (usually one single spaced page) to the author that covers any thoughts, concerns, or suggestions that can't be addressed in the margins of a piece. Put your name on the manuscripts and end notes.
Be sure to read the directors' letter in your packet. It includes advice about how to respond to the work of fellow writers.
Some of your workshop faculty will ask you to do more in the way of critique and preparation. If so, they will contact you in advance with instructions regarding their approaches to guiding a workshop. We anticipate that you will follow their recommendations as well as those in the directors' letter.
12. What day will my manuscript be critiqued?
Some faculty members will tell you the "order" of manuscripts to be workshopped. Some will wait until the first day of workshops to announce an order. It is best to be prepared to discuss any manuscript on the first day.
You will not need the manuscripts until 1:30 pm on Sunday, January 20, the first scheduled workshop.