This morning, I leave the Chesapeake Writers’ Conference, at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Jerry Gabriel, an English professor at the college, organized and ran the conference, which brought four writer-teachers together with about thirty-five writer-students for a week of craft talks, writing exercises, and summer vacation. The small size of the group encourages conversation. The salt marsh air and hot weather encourage informality. People return year after year to St. Mary’s, so the conference is taking on the flavor of a family reunion–without those unbearable relatives.