Registration & Fees


All correspondence regarding receipt of application, notifications, updates, etc., will occur via emails from Christine Koryta, Conference Coordinator. Please make sure the email address is in your email address book.

Monday, November 25, 2013
Applications Due (submitted online)
Items to have ready when applying:

  • Writing Sample (saved as .doc, .docx, or .pdf)
  • Brief paragraph explaining your background as a writer and what you hope to learn by attending the conference
  • Brief paragraph regarding your financial situation (only applicable to those applying for a general scholarship funds – those applying for named scholarships, should have pertinent brief paragraphs prepared)
  • Credit Card for the $25 application fee

Friday, December 6, 2013
All Applicants Notified
Scholarship Awards Announced
Workshops Announced

Friday, December 13, 2013
Confirmation of Attendance Due
Final Balance of Payment Due
Manuscripts to be discussed in Workshop, emailed to Christine Koryta (MS Word format only)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Workshop manuscripts emailed to participants. Participants should print the manuscripts and bring them to the conference. Details about how to prepare for discussion of the manuscripts in the workshops will be provided at this time.

Admission Requirements

The 2014 Eckerd College Writers' Conference is for writers of various styles and approaches. While admission is selective, the admission committee accepts writers with early potential as well as those with strong backgrounds in writing.

Application materials required of all participants: Acceptance is based on a writing sample and a statement detailing your writing background. If you have previously attended the Eckerd College Writers' Conference, your statement should describe what you learned and what you hope to accomplish by attending again. Guidelines for the writing sample are as follows:

Nonfiction Workshop (Two Sections: I and II)
Faculty: Andre Dubus III and Les Standiford
Submit the opening 25 pages of a memoir-in-progress or other non-fiction work, plus a two-page synopsis. If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).

Novel Workshop (Three Sections: I, II, III, and IV)
Faculty: Ann Hood, Laura Lippman, Lori Roy and Sterling Watson
Submit the opening 25 pages of a novel-in-progress, plus a two-page synopsis of the book. If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).

Short Story Workshop
Faculty: Stewart O’Nan 
Submit one short story (25 pages maximum). No synopsis necessary.

Young Adult Writing Workshop
Faculty: Laura Williams McCaffrey
Submit the opening 25 pages of a YA work-in-progress, plus a two-page synopsis of the book.
If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).

Required format for writing samples:

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12 pt Times New Roman.
  3. All prose manuscripts must be double spaced and contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  4. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  5. If you submit more than 25 pages (does not include synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary. I.e., if you submit 27 pages, plus two page synopsis, pages 26 & 27 will be deleted to keep within the page maximum.
  6. Do not include title pages or dedications.
  7. You may substitute for your application writing sample a new piece, or a revised version of the original; if you do this, please fill out the appropriate information on your application regarding the new submission.

Upon your acceptance, send the piece you would like discussed in your workshop as an e-mail attachment in MS Word Format to Christine Koryta by December 13, 2013. (Please re-send even if your piece is the same one you sent as your writing sample.)


Residential and PEL Eckerd College students pay no extra fees.

Students attending the Eckerd College Writers' Conference for credit should contact the residential or PEL registrar to ask about tuition.

Application Fee: $25

The application fee is due via our secure website when you complete the online application. For those accepted, the fee will be included in their non-credit, workshop-only fee of $700. For those who are not accepted or who withdraw from the conference, the application fee is non-refundable.

Non-credit, Workshop-Only Fee: $700
The non-credit workshop-only fee is due upon acceptance. Once accepted, you will be sent a secure link to pay your balance online. You may also send a check to the attention of “Writers in Paradise” and payable to Eckerd College.


General Scholarship funds in $100 increments will be available to Eckerd College Writers' Conference participants. Awards will be based on need and merit, as determined by the conference directors. If you are awarded scholarship funds, the funds will be applied to your account and you will only need to pay the balance. Scholarships will not be awarded in excess of the conference fee of $700.

The Larry and Marcia McCartt Scholarship is given annually to a woman who has overcome personal hardships and shows talent and a strong commitment to the craft of writing and its ability to heal the human spirit. The scholarship covers the entire cost of non-credit workshop tuition ($700). After the recipient is chosen, all applicants for this scholarship will be considered for general scholarship funds.

The James R. Carlson Scholarship honors the spirit of creativity and innovation of the founder of the Eckerd College Theatre Department. The scholarship will cover the cost of non-credit workshop tuition ($700). All applicants for aid will be considered for the Carlson Scholarship.

The Standiford is a scholarship named in honor of noted author, teacher, and longtime friend to the conference, Les Standiford. The consummate professional writer, Les Standiford always strives not only to improve his own craft but to help the next generation of writers. The Standiford will be awarded to two participants in the Eckerd College Writers' Conference (one fiction writer and one nonfiction writer). It will cover two full, non-credit conference fees of $700. All applicants for aid will be considered for The Standiford.

Writers applying for a scholarship may be considered for different scholarships. For each named scholarship, applicants wish to be considered for, you should provide a brief paragraph in the text box provided in the online application discussing why your work and circumstances make you the ideal candidate for each scholarship.

Course Credit

A select number of Eckerd College residential and PEL students will participate in the Eckerd College Writers' Conference: Writers in Paradise for course credit. Two courses will be offered, Intro and Advanced. The Intro course will be an enriching experience for any student regardless of major. Both courses will expose students to some of America's finest practitioners of the literary arts. You will find complete descriptions of course activities below.

Eckerd College residential and PEL students will register for course credit and will not be charged extra conference fees.

How to enroll in Writers in Paradise as your Winter Term:

  • Due to limited space in workshops, residential and PEL students who wish to enroll in Writers in Paradise: Advanced, will need to email Conference Coordinator, Christine Koryta for permission. Once a spot is secured in a workshop, the student will have permission to contact the Registrar to finalize enrollment. The cap for Paradise: Advanced is 10 and the pre-requisite is CW100A or any CW course at 200 level or above.  See below activities and requirements for Advanced.
  • Residential and PEL students do not need permission to enroll in Writers in Paradise: Intro. Students may contact the Registrar directly. The cap for Writers in Paradise: Intro is 8. There are no course pre-requisites. See below activities and requirements for Intro.
  • Students enrolling in Writers in Paradise: Advanced or Intro do not fill out the online application located on this website. The application is for non-credit applicants only.

Students with questions and concerns regarding the conference are encouraged to contact Christine Koryta, Conference Coordinator.

Writers in Paradise Conference: Intro
Instructor: TBA | Prerequisites: None

  1. Students will attend _____, pre-conference meetings, dates and times TBD.
  2. Students will select two books by conference faculty (from the list provided below) and write a three to five page essay on each book examining one element of craft. These essays are due Saturday, January 18, at conference check-in (CEC, Flamingo Room).
  3. Students will submit for critiquing ten pages of fiction or nonfiction (never previously submitted for course credit).
  4. Students will attend all conference activities, except workshops, from Saturday, January 18, to Saturday, January 25. A complete schedule of events will be sent to students prior to the Holiday Break.  All means ALL, not some or a few.
  5. Students will submit a revision of their creative writing based on critique by January 25 to the Professor of record via email.

Reading List for Intro – Select Two:

Townie, Andre Dubus III

Comfort, Ann Hood

What the Dead Know, Laura Lippman

Live By Night, Dennis Lehane

The Cutting Season, Attica Locke

Last Night at the Lobster, Stewart O’Nan

Bent Road, Lori Roy

Water Shaper, Laura Williams McCaffrey

Bringing Adam Home, Les Standiford

Fighting in the Shade, Sterling Watson

Writers in Paradise Conference: Advanced
Instructor: Sterling Watson | Prerequisite: CW 100A & Instructor Permission

  1. Students will attend one pre-conference meeting at 6:30pm on Monday, January 6, 2014.
  2. Students will schedule by email individual appointments with Professor Watson to discuss one book by the author leading their workshop (list provided below), discuss the etiquette and protocol for critiquing manuscripts, and answer any questions or concerns regarding the student’s original piece of writing to be discussed in workshop. These meetings will take place before January 18.
  3. Students will submit via email no later than January 14 to the conference coordinator ( a minimum of 12 pages (or a maximum of 25) of fiction or nonfiction, or a minimum 15 pages (or a maximum 30) of a screenplay.  This must be new work (never previously used for course credit).
  4. Students will also provide one single-spaced page of feedback for each manuscript in their workshop (one copy will be given to each author in the workshop, the other to Professor Watson at the brunch on the last day of the conference). Students will receive the manuscripts written by the non-credit seeking participants in their workshop by December 18 via email.

Reading List for Advanced--Select one book by the workshop leader:

Townie, Andre Dubus III

Last Night at the Lobster, Stewart O’Nan

The Red Thread, Ann Hood

Bent Road, Lori Roy

What the Dead Know, Laura Lippman

Water Shaper, Laura Williams McCaffrey

Bringing Adam Home, Les Standiford

Fighting in the Shade, Sterling Watson


While many participants will choose to arrange their own accommodations in local hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts, Eckerd College will offer a limited number of rooms available at the Magnuson Hotel, located less than two miles from the campus. Eckerd College will provide a private, complimentary shuttle which will run between the hotel and campus at designated times throughout the day based on the conference's schedule of events. Rooms are $70.00 per night, per person (all taxes included). Rooms are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to accepted applicants. Once you are notified of your acceptance, you will be sent instructions on how to complete your hotel reservation at the Magnuson Hotel (reservations and payment will be handled by Eckerd College and a final room list provided to the Magnuson Hotel). The deadline for confirming your reservation is December 13, 2013. Scholarship funds are not available for housing. If you are traveling to the conference with another accepted participant, you may arrange to split the cost of a room. Please inform the coordinator in advance if you plan to share a room, so that the proper reservations are made.

Eckerd College Special Rate at Magnuson Hotel - Rate: $70.00 per night. (Total for entire conference: $ 560.00)

The Magnuson Hotel has laundry facilities, a restaurant, bar/lounge, two outdoor pools, hot tub, fitness center and more. A room at this rate will have two double beds. This rate does not include a meal plan.

Check-in: Saturday, January 18, 2014. Check-out: Sunday, January 26, 2014.

Please visit the Magnuson Hotel website for photos and further information about the property. Only reservations made with the conference coordinator from accepted conference participants will be eligible for this rate.

If you wish to arrive earlier than January 18 or depart later than January 26, you will need to make these arrangements directly with the hotel. Accommodations will be subject to availability.

Alternative Housing Options

St. Pete Beach
(3-5 miles from Eckerd)
Various hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts often provide a discount to programs associated with Eckerd College

Inn on the Beach
1401 Gulf Way
St. Pete. Beach, FL 33706
A Conference Participant Favorite!
Special Rate For Conference Participants! Mention Writers in Paradise when making your reservations.

The Alden Beach Resort
5900 Gulf Blvd.
(800) 237-2530
Ask for Eckerd College Discount

Bay Palms Waterfront Resort
4327 Gulf Blvd.
St. Pete Beach, FL
(727) 360-7642
Ask for Eckerd College discount

Bay View Plaza Waterfront Resort
4321 Gulf Blvd.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
(727) 367-2792
Ask for Eckerd College discount

Bilmar Beach Resort
10650 Gulf Boulevard
Treasure Island, Florida 33706
Ask for Eckerd College rate for discounts 

Blind Pass Resort Motel
7901 Blind Pass Road
(727) 360-6737

Don CeSar Beach Resort, A Loews Hotel
3400 Gulf Blvd
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
(727) 360-1881
(800) 282-1116
Ask for Eckerd College discount

Beach House Suites by the Don CeSar
3860 Gulf Blvd
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
(727) 363-0001
(800) 221-0007
Ask for Eckerd College discount

Howard Johnson's
6100 Gulf Blvd
(727) 360-7041

Liberte Management
Vacation Rentals
Minimum 3 night stay required
(800) 542-3668
Use reservation code ECK

Plaza Beach Beachfront Resort
4506 Gulf Blvd.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
(727) 367-2791
Ask for Eckerd College discount or enter promotional code "Eckerd" online

6000 Gulf Blvd
(727) 360-5551

Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center
5300 Gulf Blvd
(800) 344-5999

TradeWinds Resorts
5500 Gulf Blvd
(727) 367-6461
(800) 251-0613
Limited time discount promotion (PDF)

Grand Plaza Hotel
5250 Gulf Blvd
(727) 360-1811

(5 miles from Eckerd)

La Veranda
111 - 5th Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
A Conference Participant Favorite!
Special Rate for conference participants - mention writers in paradise when making your reservations.

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort
501 5th Ave. N.E.
(727) 894-1000
(800) 468-3571

America's Best Inn
342 3rd Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 894-3248

Hampton Inn & Suites
80 Beach Dr. NE
(727) 892-9900

333 1st Street S.
(727) 894-5000

Hotel Indigo
234 Third Avenue North
(727) 822-4814

Dickens House Bed & Breakfast  
335 8th Avenue NE
(727) 822-8622


Participants may purchase lunch or dinner in the Continuing Education Center (CEC) Dining Room, College Cafeteria, Triton's Pub, or dine off-campus.

For further information regarding campus dining options, you can view hours and menus here.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Applicants who cancel must do so via mail, email, or fax. A $150 cancellation fee will be assessed to refund requests posted after notice of acceptance. No refunds will be issued after January 2, 2013, or if the participant chooses to leave the conference early. A $35 handling fee will be assessed for returned checks.

All courses, speakers, and faculty are subject to change. Participation in the Eckerd College Writers' Conference is at the sole discretion of the co-directors. Participants who engage in disruptive behavior or interrupt the instruction of fellow students will be asked to leave.