Member News   

  • 02 Apr 2021 9:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” ― Margaret Atwood

    A former boss used to say, “Just get going. You’ll figure out the best turns along the way.”  I remind myself of that and the words of Margaret Atwood when I need a nudge. Hopefully, they will help you if you’re procrastinating.

    One thing you shouldn’t procrastinate about is registering for the SCWA Virtual Conference April 16 to 18. Registrations are nearing the max. Look for registration details at myscwa.org/ann_conf_2021.

    Here are some highlights of things your board is working on:

    SCWA Growth Through Diversity – SCWA membership has been recovering from the impact of the pandemic, however, our demographics do not reflect the diverse population across the state. We’re hoping to change that with the launch of the Growth Through Diversity initiative. A subcommittee of members, chapter leaders and board members is being organized to recommend how to meet the needs of all writers, including writers of color, writers with disabilities, minorities, gender and age. A separate email describing this is coming your way. Please consider joining in this important effort by contacting Laura Corbin at writersassociationsc@gmail.com.

    Partnership Project – SCWA has been leading a project to identify collaboration opportunities for S.C. organizations associated with literary arts. The project team has concluded phase one of this project and has reviewed the results with participants. A project report soon will be issued to all participants and sponsors and made available to anyone interested.

    The project helped identify many groups that support not just writing but also literacy. Check out The Palmetto Literacy Council www.palmettoliteracy.org, one of the many fine groups that offer programs to help support that cause.

    A calendar update for you: If you were planning to attend the April 24 Board of Directors meeting, we’ve changed it to April 27 at 7 p.m. Please contact Laura at writersassociationsc@gmail.com if you’d like to dialogue with the board at that meeting.

    Mike Lee, President

    Come Write with Us

  • 04 Mar 2021 3:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    • When asked to describe who we are and what we do at SCWA, we typically highlight a few member benefits as captured on our website (something we’re mighty proud of). In a recent planning session, board member Roger Jones described it the best when he summed up our elements into three areas:

      Association, Education and Publication. 

      Association – Those membership activities that form our community of writers, such as our local chapters and critique groups, The Quill newsletter, the use of our website as a primary networking tool and the relationships we’ve established as writers.

      Education – Our efforts to continue to work on our craft and understanding the business of writing by offering programs or workshops such as Writing Conversations and Become an Author and our virtual annual conference set for April 16 to 18, 2021.

      Publication – Providing the unique opportunity to members to be published in SCWA’s Catfish Stew and The Petigru Review and keeping our writers informed of other publications and contests in which they can participate.

      We find the description quite fitting. You’ll hear us use it more, but most importantly you’ll see and feel the benefits of your organization as we deliver on those elements.

      Here are a few highlights of activities under way:

      • We have embarked on a statewide Literary Arts Partnership Project in which we are identifying writing groups in South Carolina and how we can collaborate to improve services to all writers. Our co-sponsors are The Pat Conroy Center and the South Carolina Academy of Arts, and we’ve received a grant from the S.C. Humanities. The survey has been conducted, the responses have been analyzed and we are in the process of presenting results to the respective boards. We will have an open meeting with all survey participants later in March and will keep you posted on the progress. 
      • Did you know there’s a second SCWA out there? The Southern California Writers Association is dedicated to those writers in the southwest, so between the two of us you might say the southern coasts are covered east to west. We’ve been in touch with SCWA-West and are beginning discussions on how we can work together. Stay tuned for more information on your west coast cousins.
      • Do you have IT skills? We are still in need of a board member who has an IT background. Please consider joining the board or referring someone who might be able to help.
      • We try to keep members informed of publication-related opportunities. Members can find SCWA-related opportunities at myscwa.org/publications. We like to share other opportunities as well. Here are two that deserve a look:
      • Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellowship, which supports work by academics, independent scholars and writers working on significant projects relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830.
      • Level:deepsouth, an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

    Remember that SCWA members are welcome to attend (virtually, for now) any board meeting to observe or participate with board members. This is your organization, so please join in. We don’t bite and we try to have fun. The meeting dates are on our website at myscwa.org/board-schedule. Please contact Laura Corbin, administrative assistant, at writersassociationsc@gmail.com if you’d like to attend so she may provide you with the Zoom link.

    Mike Lee, president, South Carolina Writers Association

    scwritersassociationpresident@gmail.com

    Come write with us!

  • 12 Feb 2021 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    An advisor we cherish, agent Marly Rusoff, recently made the observation that SCWA is reinventing itself. It hadn’t occurred to me that the path we’ve chosen was perceived that boldly, but there’s truth in that.  

    When we look back at the accomplishments of our members and our board in 2020, there’s much to be proud of. Our writers created wonderful prose and poetry across all genres for which they achieved much recognition. We congratulate and brag about you. As for the board, our 2020 Annual Report reflects the results of the work your dedicated board members provided. It’s pretty amazing, and I’m fortunate to be part of this team.

    We look ahead with much hope and promise. Our 2021 objectives reflect an ambitious agenda that fits with Emerson’s philosophy, something I believe applies to organizations too. 

    Our board wishes you much personal and professional success in 2021.

    Read the 2020 SCWA Annual Report.

    Read the 2021 SCWA Business Plan, which includes the organization’s objectives.

    SCWA will hold its 2020 Annual General Meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, as part of the February board meeting, at which time we’ll recap 2020 and discuss plans. Members are welcome to participate and dialogue with the board. Please register in advance with Laura Corbin, administrative assistant, at writersassociationsc@gmail.com so she can provide you with the Zoom link.

    Other SCWA news:

    We welcome new board director Len Lawson, who is no stranger to South Carolina’s writing community with his award-winning poetry. We’re delighted to have Len’s support and guidance on how SCWA can better diversify to reach minority writers. 

    The submission window for Catfish Stew has closed with record-setting interest in this members-only publication. Congratulations to all of the authors selected. (See the graphic below.) Our Publications Team under the direction of managing editor Amber Wheeler Bacon will have the 2021 edition ready in time for our conference in April. Similarly, we’re anxiously waiting for the selections of award winners with our partner, the South Carolina Academy of Authors, for the Carrie McCray Nickens and Elizabeth Boatwright Coker fellowship awards.

    Registrations for our April 16-18 virtual conference are off to a strong start. The talent of the faculty – composed of writers, agents and editors – and the workshop content, provides attendees with knowledge about all areas of the writing life including craft and publishing, revision and promotion. For more details and to register, go here. Student scholarships are available that include free conference registration, a 10-page critique, and a one-year SCWA membership. Click here to apply.

    Don’t forget our programs of Writing Conversations and Become an Author, which are free and open to the public. Please go to myscwa.org/virtual-events to register. Take a look at our new virtual genre groups at myscwa.org/chapters/ and get in touch with a leader listed if you’d like to join.

    Mike Lee, president, on behalf of your board of directors

    Come write with us!

     

  • 05 Jan 2021 7:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dum spiro spero

    Before sharing SCWA’s news let me express, on behalf of our board, our sincerest best wishes for our members, especially those who have experienced difficulties this year. We care about you and hope that your writing is a source of comfort and strength. While I breathe, I hope.

    Here’s the latest with SCWA:

    Publications: The Petigru Review. We’re proud of our 2020 edition and congratulate everyone who submitted to what proved to be the most competitive edition in our history. We’re also grateful for the excellent work of our publications team. Enjoy this collection of great writing at https://thepetigrureview.com.

    Catfish Stew. The window for submissions to SCWA’s members-only anthology, Catfish Stew, remains open until Jan. 15. 

    McCray Nickens and Coker Fellowships. We’re so proud to partner with the South Carolina Academy of Authors to offer $1,500 poetry and fiction fellowships, judged this year by Wiley Cash and Tiana Clark. Submissions also are open through Jan. 15.

    Submit entries for Catfish Stew and the McCray Nickens and Coker Fellowships at https://thepetigrureview.submittable.com/submit.

    Events & Education We’re delighted to announce that registration has opened for SCWA’s April 2021 conference, which will be a virtual event. We have an exciting program and an outstanding faculty to help all writers improve their writing talents, have their work critiqued by professionals or meet with authors and agents. Get details and register here: https://myscwa.wildapricot.org/ann_conf_2021.

    We’re also announcing our stellar lineup of 30 new 2021 programs, which are free to members, which also are posted on myscwa.org. We’ll offer 24 Writing Conversations and six Become an Author sessions throughout 2021, the first of which is Jan. 12 featuring award-winning author Susan Zurenda with “Family Stories: Evoking Emotion in Your Characters.”

    Virtual Genre Chapters: We’re pleased to announce that in January 2021, four SCWA statewide virtual genre groups will begin meeting virtually. The purpose of these genre-specific groups is to enable writers to delve deeper into their genre with their peers. The genres represented are Memoir, Short Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Nonfiction/Creative Nonfiction. For more details, go here. If you are interested in joining any of the groups, please contact the chapter leader identified in this listing: https://myscwa.wildapricot.org/chapters/.

    If you are interested in leading a group in a genre not already specified, please contact SCWA membership chair Nancy Allen-Mastro at scwamembership@gmail.com.

    Board of Directors: Please join me in saying a heartfelt goodbye to Past President Carol-Ann Rudy, who is retiring from the board. Carol-Ann not only helped SCWA succeed but also helped lay the foundation for an even brighter future. We’ll miss you, Carol-Ann.

    The board also is extremely grateful to Vice President Mary Sturgill and Past President Amber Wheeler Bacon for their years as directors/officers and their many significant contributions. SCWA members will be very fortunate to benefit from their ongoing expertise and guidance as they serve as advisors to the board during 2021.

    Now, we are delighted to announce the appointment of the following new board members, who will join us in January:

    Directors: Dorree Lynn, Dan Mooney and Sara Thornhill

    Advisors: Art Turfa, Yvette Murray and Bill Bruehl

    Our new board members, all of whom are accomplished writers, will further strengthen SCWA’s leadership. Welcome and thank you for your dedication to the writers of South Carolina.        

    Partnership Project: A quick word on this initiative, in case you haven’t heard. We recently announced our plans to reach out to writing associations across the state to identify how we can collaborate to improve the writing experiences of all South Carolina writers. We’ll keep you posted on developments, but if you’d like more information please contact our project manager at scwaprojectmanager@gmail.com.

    Stay safe and best wishes for the new year,

    Mike Lee

    President, SCWA Board of Directors

  • 16 Dec 2020 5:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Come write with the South Carolina Writers Association. Registration is open for the 2021 Virtual Writers’ Conference set for April 16-18.

    The conference will feature presentations and workshops by Patti Callahan Henry, best-selling author of 15 novels, and Jeffrey Blount, award-winning author of three novels and acclaimed television director, plus classes with novelist Belle Boggs, memoirist Cinelle Barnes, poet and prose author Ray McManus and more. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from agents, editors and publishers and to pitch their works. Manuscript critiques also will be offered.

    Early bird pricing of $125 for SCWA members and $175 for non-members ends Jan. 15; after that, registration will be $165 for members and $215 for non-members. Students may attend for $75.

    To register and get more details, go to https://myscwa.org/ann_conf_2021.

    To join SCWA, go to https://myscwa.wildapricot.org/join-us. Discounted memberships through March 31, 2021, for new members are $26.


  • 02 Dec 2020 5:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The South Carolina Writers Association is pleased to announce the creation of the SC Literary Arts Partnership ProjectThe purpose of the project is to understand the scope of services being provided to writers by various groups across the state and identify potential opportunities to collaborate, all with the objective of improving the writing experiences of South Carolina writers.   

    The project is funded by SC Humanities, The Companion Foundation/Raise Up Charleston, together with the project sponsors: the South Carolina Writers Association, The Pat Conroy Literary Center and the South Carolina Academy of Authors. A project consultant, Mary Greene, has been engaged as the project manager.

    “It’s all about the writers.” says Mike Lee, president of the South Carolina Writers Association Board of Directors. “There are many writer groups and organizations across the state supporting writers and published authors. Many of these groups offer programs and workshops in the writing craft or the business of writing. Often, writers aren’t aware of writing groups or the services available or where to go for help. This initiative is intended to help us understand the groups that exist, the services they provide and whether there are opportunities to collaborate to better support South Carolina’s writers.”

    Phase 1 of the project is intended to collect the data, discuss it among participants and issue a report early in 2021. A survey is being distributed to potential participants. If your group is interested in participating or would like more information, please contact scwaprojectmanager@gmail.com.

    Project Funding and Sponsorship:

    South Carolina Humanities (schumanities.org), a not-for-profit organization, inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage. 

    The Companion Foundation and its subsidiary Raise Up Charleston raiseupcharleston.com) dedicated to enriching the lives of South Carolinians through outreach programs.

    South Carolina Writers Association (myscwa.org), with a mission to offer a supportive environment for people to become better writers.

    The Pat Conroy Literary Center (patconroyliterarycenter.org), which nurtures a diverse community of writers, readers, teachers and students by offering educational programs and special events that celebrate the transformative power of story, expanding our impact through collaborations with local and national partners.

    South Carolina Academy of Authors (scacademyofauthors.org), the purpose of which is to identify and recognize the state’s distinguished writers and to promote their literature’s influence on our cultural heritage.

  • 24 Nov 2020 10:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SCWA has been as busy as ever this fall. Here are updates on our various activities:

    Website:

    The new SCWA website is up and running, and it’s serving our members well. As with every new site, there have been minor glitches, which are being addressed. We appreciate your patience as we do so.

    The new site is designed to serve or membership better, but we’re not stopping there. Beginning in the new year, we plan additional upgrades and an optimization project to improve how we reach writers everywhere.  

    Publications:

    The Petigru Review. We’re excited about the 2020 edition of The Petigru Review, which is just days away from being issued. Look for a special announcement on it soon.

    Catfish Stew. The window for submissions to Catfish Stew will remain open until Jan. 15. Submitting your writing in a competition is a proven way to grow as a writer and enhance your skills. We encourage you to submit to this members-only anthology.

    McCray Nickens and Coker Fellowships. We’re so proud to partner with the South Carolina Academy of Authors to offer $1,500 poetry and fiction fellowships, judged this year by Wiley Cash and Tiana Clark. Submissions are open through Jan. 15.

    Submit entries for Catfish Stew and the McCray Nickens and Coker Fellowships at https://thepetigrureview.submittable.com/submit.

    Membership/Chapters:

    First Statewide Virtual Genre Group. Join SCWA for the launch of its first statewide virtual genre group, Memoir Writing. Mary Sturgill will host this new chapter starting on Jan. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. The group will meet virtually every second Thursday of the month thereafter at that same time. Participants will upload their writing via the new forum link on the SCWA website. If you would like to participate in this chapter, please contact Mary Sturgill at MarySturgill2003@yahoo.com. She will ensure you get a meeting link.

    Other Statewide Genre Groups. If you are interested in hosting a statewide group in your preferred genre, please contact Nancy Allen-Mastro at scwamembership@gmail.com. You need not consider yourself an expert, only someone who wants to connect with others writing in that same genre. The host’s responsibility is to distribute meeting links and facilitate the meeting, while each participant brings insight and expertise to the conversation. We do not intend the statewide genre group to compete with local chapters but to offer you yet another collaboration outlet to support your writing.

    Membership renewal. Membership renewals will occur as of April 1; however, new members can join for the remainder of 2020 and Q1 2021 for only $26. Please encourage your writer friends to take advantage of this discounted rate and build our membership roster.

    Events & Education:

    As announced in October, the April 2021 conference will be a virtual event. The Conference Committee is working hard on the details and examining delivery options. We hope to announce plans and open registration in December. 

    In the meantime, we still have two programs to deliver to complete our 2020 virtual Member Pro Series:

    “The Subtle Art of Suspense” by Craig Farris at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

    “Self Editing: What Editors See That You Don’t See” by Michelle Buckman at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. (Rescheduled from Nov .11). 

    These events have free registration on our website at myscwa.org.

    As you know, SCWA has been awarded a grant from S.C. Humanities to assist in developing new programs, Writing Conversations and Become an Author. The Events & Education Committee is working on the delivery plans, which we expect to announce next month.

    Other News:

    Board of Directors nominations. We still are accepting nominations for the board of directors, either as a director or an advisor. We continue to need more talent to build on our successes and ambitious growth plans. Please contact me at scwritersassociationpresident@gmail.com if you are interested or have a suggestion. We need more diversity in all respects.

    Diversity: Speaking of diversity, check out this link with Periplus. Periplus (not affiliated with SCWA) is a brand new mentorship collective for writers of color, and they are accepting applications until Dec. 15.

    Writing organizations in South Carolina: SCWA is delighted to be part of the rich community of writing associations across the state offering support to all writers. However, we think there is an opportunity to better understand these organizations and examine opportunities to improve value to our members. We are creating a new initiative, the S.C. Literary Arts Partnership Project sponsored by SCWA and other essential partners. We’ll make an announcement soon! 

    As always, we love hearing from our members. Please let us know how we can better serve you or how you can help our great association. You are welcome to join our board meetings, too!

    Come write with us!

    Mike Lee

    President, Board of Directors

    scwritersassociationpresident@gmail.com

  • 23 Oct 2020 4:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • Dear SCWA Members and Friends,

      The South Carolina Writers Association Board of Directors has accomplished several important and exciting objectives to support our membership so far during 2020, despite it being an extremely challenging year.

      We are excited about what has been accomplished and what is yet to come, and we want to encourage you to consider joining our board of directors or becoming a board advisor to help us go even further in 2021.

      Among our 2020 accomplishments are:

      • Implementing a new, member-centered website.
      • Creating and delivering 12 Summer Series and seven Member-Pro workshops – all virtual to support members due to the inability to meet in person.
      • Publishing our Catfish Stew anthology and our online journal The Petigru Review.
      • Implementing new policies to support members and regional chapters, including additional funding and creating chapter liaison roles.
      • Creating a new administrative assistant staff position.

    We are developing ambitious objectives for next year, including offering a virtual major conference, additional workshops and developing strategic partnerships with other writing organizations across South Carolina. To achieve our goals, we need a more diverse board that more broadly represents all demographic groups. We also need skills and experience in many areas including publishing, the use of technology, promotions and social media, and grants.

    Please give some thought to joining our board or nominating another member. Below is additional information and instructions on making a nomination. I also am available to discuss interests.

    Come write with us!

    Sincerely,

    Mike Lee

    President

    SCWA Board of Directors

    scwritersassociationpresident@gmail.com

    Nomination Form for SCWA Board of Directors

    In accordance with the South Carolina board nomination procedures, the formal period for nominations to the SCWA Board of Directors opens on Oct. 15 and closes on Nov, 15 of each year. The board will consider all nominations and make elections by Dec. 31.

    We strongly encourage colleagues to either apply themselves or nominate a fellow member to serve. We especially seek nominations of and applications from members who demonstrate a commitment to writing and to the SCWA’s mission. 

    A very important process to follow: If you are nominating another member, please check with the person to ensure that she or he is willing to run. If you are nominating yourself, please review the SCWA Bylaws on myscwa.org.

    SCWA values and seeks leadership representing diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, geographic location and type of experience in both writing and personal/work experience.

    SCWA has identified a number of desired attributes that are included in the selection process for potential new board members. Applicants should possess:

    • Demonstrated leadership commitment and involvement with SCWA and/or the nonprofit community.
    • Demonstrated positive leadership and personal attributes with the ability to work collaboratively and professionally.
    • Availability and commitment to participate in regular board meetings and in board committees.
    • Relevant experience and/or competency to make a meaningful contribution to the organization.
    • The desire to help a wonderful association.

    Thank you for taking an active role in this year's nomination process. A dedicated, competent and skillful board of directors ensures the future success of SCWA and the writers of South Carolina.

    Please send the following information by Nov. 15 to scwritersassociationpresident@gmail.com:

    Nominator's first and last name
    Nominator's email address
    Nominator's telephone number

    Nominee's first and last name
    Nominee's email address
    Nominee's telephone number

    Has the nominee been made aware of and agreed to this nomination?
    NA/This is a self-nomination.
    Yes, the nominee is aware of the nomination.
    No, the nominee is not aware of this nomination.

    Date of nomination.
    Signature of nominator.

  • 23 Oct 2020 3:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The board of directors of the South Carolina Writers Association has determined it necessary to change the 2021 spring conference, scheduled from April 16 to 18, 2021, to a virtual event due to the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    It is extremely disappointing that we cannot continue with our plans for an in-person event. The board and SCWA members were excited to be able to spend time in person with the participants and faculty to benefit from us all being together to talk about writing. However, we still look forward to experiencing a wonderful event, albeit in just a different way. 

    Our Conference Committee is working on how to conduct the best virtual experience possible and will share plans with you very soon. In the interim, registration fees that have been paid will be refunded.

    We are dedicated to delivering an outstanding writers’ conference and appreciate your understanding and support in this decision. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

    Keep writing, and stay tuned….

    Mike Lee

    President

    SCWA Board of Directors

    scwritersassociationpresident@gmail.com


  • 16 Oct 2020 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    South Carolina Writers Association has received a $7,500 major grant award from South Carolina Humanities for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The grant funds will be used to support SCWA in three significant areas: development and delivery of a series of new educational programs for South Carolina writers, optimization of SCWA’s new, updated website (myscwa.org) and to support SCWA’s April 2021 annual conference, which will feature speakers Patti Callahan Henry and Jeffrey Blount as well as numerous other authors, agents and editors.

    “The South Carolina Humanities grant is a terrific way for SCWA to celebrate our 30th anniversary,” says board president Mike Lee. “We are grateful and proud to have such strong support from S.C. Humanities for the literary arts. All writers of South Carolina will benefit from the new and enhanced programs and services the grant will support.”

    SCWA is a literary arts non-profit organization offering a supportive environment for people to become better writers. SCWA, which began in 1990 as the South Carolina Writers Workshop, is dedicated to writers in all genres and levels of writing skill. It is led by a diversified, volunteer board of directors, all of whom are writers themselves.

    The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This not-for-profit organization presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors composed of community leaders from throughout the state.


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