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 email@example.com if you’d like to attend so she may provide you with the Zoom link.
Mike Lee, president, South Carolina Writers Association
Come write with us!