May 2021 Message from the President

03 May 2021 5:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

What are you reading these days?
Ken Burn’s fascinating documentary on PBS about Ernest Hemingway revealed the man behind the stories. Love him or hate him, Hemingway changed the trajectory of literary arts in the 20th century. Yet, as accomplished as Hemingway was, he still was inspired by other writers. After reading “West with the Night” by Beryl Markham, Hemingway wrote that he was ashamed by his own writing talent compared to her, saying “She could write rings around all of us.” 
I believe one can’t be a good writer without a steady dose of reading. I regularly read the books our SCWA members publish, and I learn from each one. They inspire me and remind me that we have such immense talent among us. I’ll try to continue to learn so maybe someday I can find a glimpse of a Hemingway masterpiece inside – just without the drama and saltiness of the rest of his life.
Mike Lee
Here are some highlights of things going on in SCWA:
We’re proud to say that the April 2021 Conference was a huge success. Over 100 people came together virtually to network and participate in 22 interactive sessions with a spectacular faculty of agents, editors, renowned authors and experts in publishing. The individual critique and pitch sessions, open mic and slushfest once again were very popular features. Our new technology platform performed extremely well and gave registrants the opportunity to either participate live or access recordings. We are very grateful to the conference committee (especially Amber Wheeler Bacon and Kasie Whitener) and the many other board volunteers and sponsors who made it a success.
Those who were registered attendees can access the recordings and handouts/slides by going to
Catfish Stew:
We expect to publish Catfish Stew during May, delayed by a few weeks due to our conference planning.
Upcoming Events:
Starting in May we resume our popular events Writing Conversations and Become an Author with a terrific schedule of topics, including discussions with Jonathan Bahr Heinen, managing editor of Crazyhorse Magazine; how to write bad guys with Duncan Murrell; and, back by popular demand, Turning Memories into Stories, in partnership with The Pat Conroy Center.
Please register for these free events on
Do you realize that SCWA could not operate as we do without the grants we receive? Our grant funding is critical to our ability to keep membership fees low while being able to deliver high quality programs. Two organizations in particular have made this possible.
We are honored to have the support of South Carolina Humanities who helped sponsor our April virtual conference, our Partnership Planning Project and the entire Writing Conversations and Become an Author series as well as other projects. The commitment of SC Humanities has been vital to supporting the literary arts in South Carolina and makes it possible for SCWA to offer our events.
Similarly, The South Carolina Arts Commission, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, has generously supported SCWA with two grants – one to enable us to develop plans to improve communications and a second grant to support our operating expenses and minimize the impact of the pandemic.
Our board expresses our sincere appreciation. We are humbled by the trust in our board and the support provided to SCWA members.
SCWA Board Membership Update:
Two board members have found it necessary to resign. Bill Bruehl, an advisor in the Events & Education area, and Sara Lea Thornhill, whose short tenure as secretary/social media director proved very valuable to SCWA. We will miss Bill and Sara in many ways and wish them well.
We very much need some additional board secretary support so please consider volunteering. The role involves working with the executive board and administrative support to ensure SCWA is run professionally. We also throw in a load of laughs and camaraderie. Please join our team. We need your help. Interested? Please contact me at
Come write with us!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software