Past Programs of the Chesapeake Bay Writers

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On April 2, 2019 Sally Stiles on
"Aha! Moments: Inspiration through Haiku"
in honor of National Poetry Month

Chesapeake Bay Writers and Yorktown Library presented Sally Stiles: “Aha! Moments: Inspiration through Haiku,” at the  Yorktown Library on April 2nd.

It was a great presentation! The bad weather kept attendance down, but we'll look into setting up another date for this program.

Sally Stiles has called four continents, six countries, eight states and one small trawler home. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has taught and published poetry, fiction and non-fiction, including hundreds of magazine articles.  She worked in New York City as an editor and advertising executive. Among her five published books are two volumes of haiku.

Her interactive program led participants to seek aha! moments through haiku which can enrich and add depth to a writer's work.
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February 13, 2019  Tim Holland spoke on "Product Management for Writers: For whom do you write?"

  • Should writers/authors look at their output as literary art or a commercial product?
  • Does it matter? Can it be both? Should it be both?
  • Why knowing who you are writing for is the first step in writing both non-fiction and fiction.
  • From the Brontë sisters to Louise Penny.
  • A look at other elements in managing a product.   
Tim Holland left the world of international banking and product management in 1997 (he had been vice president and senior product manager of the Bank of New York and also served as Chairman of the Forum of Bank Product Management of the Bank Administration Institute). He has given speeches and presentations in twenty-two states and twelve countries covering a variety of financial and literary topics. Since leaving the banking world, he has written for a variety of magazines, newspapers and literary journals. He is also the author of the Sidney Lake mystery series and the stand alone novel What the Mirror Doesn’t See. The next Sidney Lake lowcountry mystery, The Murder of Amos Dunn will be released on September 7, 2019.
In addition to being a member of Chesapeake Bay writers (Virginia Writer Club) he is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and The Brontë Society of Haworth England.

Wednesday, November 28th
at the Two Rivers Country Club in Williamsburg
Annual Gala Luncheon and All Stars Contest!

Those in attendance voted for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners who received cash prizes of $75, $50 and $25 and a separate contest for the Rick Baily Humor Award and $25 prize.
And the winners were:
1st Place – Ann Skelton
2nd Place–  Frank Milligan
3rd Place – Cindy Freeman
Rick Bailey Humor Award – Cindy Freeman
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Frank Milligan, Past President

Saturday, October 27, 2018 Frank Milligan on "How to Get Started as a Writer"

As part of the Kickoff for National Novel Writing Month, in a joint project between the Williamsburg Library and Chesapeake Bay Writers, Frank Milligan presented a free 2-hour program in the Williamsburg Library Theater.
Whether retired and ready to live the long deferred dream of becoming a writer or need to fit writing around school or  job and family, this fast- moving and fun session gave an overview of the writing life from thinking like a writer to publishing your work. Learn the four critical elements every successful story must include; to discover techniques that will make fiction and nonfiction stories come alive, and, understand the two critical skills required to create successful fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama. This was a great  opportunity to get down-to-earth answers to all the participants' writing questions.

Frank Milligan is author of the writing reference book: Time to Write: Discovering the Writer within after 50, published by Quill Driver Books, and winner of a 2009
Silver Award at the National Mature Media Awards. He has published and won awards for both fiction and non-fiction. He holds a bachelor’s in psychology; a master’s in business and public administration; and a master of arts in writing (fiction) from the Johns Hopkins University. Frank has taught creative writing at Northern Virginia Community College, the College of William and Mary’s Christopher Wren Association, and at various other venues. He is past-president
of Chesapeake Bay Writers.
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September 18, 2018
The Fictional Dream
with Lauran Strait

Chesapeake Bay Writers sponsored “The Fictional Dream,” a workshop geared toward helping writers hide the narrator. Lauran Strait conducted the workshop at the Yorktown Public Library at 7 PM. Hiding the narrator, whether in a first person story or a limited third one, greatly enhances reader engagement with the characters and is something all writers should learn how to do. When the narration is limited and hidden to the extent possible, the FICTIONAL DREAM will result. In this workshop, participants will learn what the fictional dream is, about its advantages, and how to achieve it. Hurricane Florence kept some folks away, but those who attended enjoyed the evening!

Lauran Strait, former writing instructor and workshop facilitator at the Adult Learning Center in Virginia Beach, is the founder and executive director of Hampton Roads Writers. She occasionally teaches writing workshops for HRW and the Muse Writers Center. She also works as a freelance book editor for a few select clients.

Her print and online work appears in Dog-eared, The Gator Springs Gazette, Atomic Petals, Retrozine, The Copperfield Review, A Woman of a Certain Age, Moondance Magazine, Monkey Bicycle, Insolent Rudder, LongStoryShort, Edifice Wrecked, The Virginian Pilot, Whistling Shade Literary Review,, The Green Tricycle, Reading Divas, The Angler, Salome Magazine, Quiction, Bewildering Stories, Tiny Lights—a flash in the pan, Down in the Cellar, Tuesday Shorts, Six Sentences, and HeavyGlow. Some of her other fiction and creative nonfiction appears in anthologies such as Random House’s Knitlit the Third—We Spin More Yarns,Better Non Sequitur's See You Next Tuesday, and Smith Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak.
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June 20, 2018 Alice Osborn
"How to be a Rock Star at PR"

Wow! What a great program! Alice Osborn showed us how to stand out from the crowd and make others remember who we are through our personal brand at our June 20th dinner meeting! Alice started her own successful writing and editing services company over a decade ago and shared her secrets with us after playing her guitar and singing while we visited and networked before the meeting. Her workshop, showed us how to build our brand by highlighting what makes us different from the crowd through our personal story, how we show up, and how we network/volunteer our time. A great program where we learned how all of our printed and online materials (website, social media networking, and business cards) work together to create a powerful brand will help attract, engage, and retain new readers and fans as it builds the loyalty of our current ones.

 Visit Alice's website at and check out her music at
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April 18, 2018
Ann Eichenmuller on
"Writing for $$$: 5 Steps to Getting Published in Magazines"

If you love to write, it is possible to turn that skill into a fulfilling and even lucrative second career. Ann Eichenmuller will introduce you to the world of freelance magazine writing and share from her own experience the possibilities and pitfalls of getting paid for what you write.
      Learn about the markets available to writers, the kinds of articles magazines want, and how to research, develop, and pitch winning ideas. Become familiar with the business side of this kind of freelance writing, from contracts and invoices to payments to kill fees. No matter what your age or interest, there is an audience out there waiting to hear from you.
     The library is located at 117 N. Church Lane, Tappahannock, to the right off US 17N, between Tappahannock Elementary School and Queen Street (Route 360). There is no charge and non-members are welcome to attend.

About Ann Eichenmuller
     Ann Eichenmuller is an award-winning educator and writer and creator of Motorhome magazine’s popular “Classic Ride”  series. A regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Chesapeake Style,  and the Caribbean All at Sea, her articles were recognized at the 2016 and 2017 Boating Writers International Annual Awards. She is a former recipient of the WashingtonPost Agnes Meyer Award for Excellence in Education and the author of two mystery novels, Kind Lies (2017) and The Lies We Are (June 2018). Ann has recently completed her first non-fiction book, The Writing Cure, about the healing power of writing.
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February 14, 2018
Dan Duke, of The Virginian-Pilot
spoke on
"Fake News and

Dan is entertainment editor at The Virginian-Pilot, directing coverage of arts and entertainment and the Flavor section. In 23 years at The Pilot, he also has worked as a copy editor, copy desk chief and assistant business editor, while staying busy outside the newsroom as, at various times, a Cub Scout den leader, a youth soccer coach, a writing and editing teacher and an amateur musician trying to do right by his 1981 Gibson ES 335.