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Our Prince of Scribes Writers Conference & Reception

  • Circular Congregational Church 150 Meeting Street Charleston United States (map)

Join Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy contributing writers Stephanie Austin Edwards, Ellen Malphrus, Sean A. Scapellato, Marjory Wentworth, Jonathan Haupt, and Alex Sanders for a lively series of four writing workshops and a panel discussion at Charleston's Circular Congregational Church on Saturday, June 29--presented in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center, South Carolina Writers Association, Buxton Books, and the Companion Foundation.

$50 for SCWA members and $70 for non-members, all-day registration includes all 4 workshops, the panel discussion, and a catered lunch. Books by presenting workshop faculty--including Our Prince of Scribes--will be available for sale and signing. Click HERE to purchase your ticket!

9:45 to 10:00 a.m.: Welcome | Jonathan Haupt

10:00 to 11:00 a.m.: WORKSHOP 1: The Lukeman Hurdle and How to Leap It | Sean A. Scapellato
Literary agent Noah Lukeman said agents and editors don't read manuscripts to enjoy them. Rather they read with an eye to dismiss them, to get through the pile before the next wave of submissions. In this workshop, Sean Scapellato will explain and expand on Lukeman's premise by discussing the importance of beginnings (short stories and novels) and why so many writers are rejected before the end of the first chapter. He will compare and contrast the current-day novel opening with books that were popular 10, 20, 50 years ago, and how distractions of culture, social media, and binge-watching have now forced writers to be more nuanced and urgent in their storytelling. Sean will also discuss several advanced fiction techniques with printed examples that might help in getting your manuscript read beyond the first chapter. These subtleties can elevate ordinary plot and character elements in ways that will distinguish your writing from the masses and demonstrate dedication to mastery of the craft regardless of genre or commerciality.

11:15 12:15 p.m.: WORKSHOP 2: Poetry of Place | Marjory Wentworth
In his famous opening line from The Prince of Tides, "Pat Conroy wrote My wound is geography." His lyrical descriptions of his beloved South Carolina low country are some of the most beautiful passages in American literature. Pat loved poetry and used poetic devices to bring the landscape to life. In this workshop, we will analyze the poems: Coming Home, Detroit, 1968 by Philip Levine, Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni, and Nantucket by William Carlos Williams. These poems are distinctly different in form, style, and tone. We will discuss these differences. We will also discuss the poetic devices that all three poets use successfully. Then we will write poems about a place that are significant for each of us.

12:30 to 2:00 p.m.: LUNCH & PANEL DISCUSSION of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy with Stephanie Austin Edwards, Ellen Malphrus, Alex Sanders, Sean A. Scapellato, and Marjory Wentworth, moderated by Jonathan Haupt
Lunch catered by Brown Dog Deli; books available for sale and signing.

2:15 to 3:15 p.m.: WORKSHOP 3: Nature Writing, with a Side Order of Journaling | Ellen Malphrus
Pat Conroy, in the foreword for her novel Untying the Moon, said, "Ellen Malphrus writes about [the Lowcountry] with the osprey-eyed vision of a native [and] possesses a raw genius for nature writing." In this workshop, Ellen will lead us on a journey of observation, not only into the alluring landscapes of the South Carolina Lowcountry (and beyond), but also inward as we explore what the natural world can teach us about ourselves. Look deep into nature, Albert Einstein said, and you will understand everything better. Let's do--and then let's write about it!

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: WORKSHOP 4: Creative Organization for Writers | Stephanie Austin Edwards
Finding time for writing is a challenge for many, so lets learn to make the most of limited time through being better organized for creativity. This class offers productivity advice and tools on how to get started and keep going for maximum creative flow and minimum technical frustration. Novelist and writing teacher and consultant Stephanie Austin Edwards will guide participants through making and maintaining a writing schedule; organizing documents and files for consistent easy access; formatting work for submission to editors, agents, and publishers; discussing book genres and manuscript lengths for publication; and sorting through the abundance of online help and software available. This workshop is designed to help writers create and maintain a personal system of organization that then allows time for writing focus more impactfully on the creative act itself.

4:30 to 4:45 p.m.: Closing | Jonathan Haupt

5:00 to 6:00 p.m.: Reception and book signing at Buxton Books, (160 King Street, Charleston)