Log in
logo For the South Carolina Writers Association.

SCWA Newsroom

South Carolina Writers Association hosts 2024 Storyfest Sept. 27-29:
Bestselling authors, acclaimed editors, agents to be featured speakers

2024 Storyfest logo COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Writers Association will host its annual conference, 2024 Storyfest, Sept. 27 through 29 in Columbia, featuring more than a dozen acclaimed authors, agents and editors.

The event, to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, will include presentations and classes by writers from South Carolina, Georgia, California and New York, including Lynn Cullen, national bestselling author of “The Girl with a Cure” and “Mrs. Poe;” Grady Hendrix, screenwriter and author of “How to Sell a Haunted House” and “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires;” and Tiffany Yates Martin, author of six novels and the how-to book “Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing.”

Other features of 2024 Storyfest will be masterclasses, free talks, panels and keynote addresses, manuscript critiques, craft classes, and meetings with sought-after editors and agents, including Andrew Geyer, the award-winning author or co-author of 10 books and editor of SCWA’s literary journal, The Petigru Review.

Speakers also include award-winning South Carolina novelist and short story writer Scott Gould; Southern Indie Bookstore bestselling author Mindy Friddle; Columbia poet laureate Jennifer Bartell Boykin; New York Times noteworthy author Cinelle Barnes; military science fiction and post-apocalyptic writer Alex Rath; and screenwriter and producer Alan Roth, a winner of the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship Award in Screenwriting.

Some of the South’s top publishers also will attend, including Arcadia Publishing, Palmetto Publishing and the University of South Carolina Press.

Registration opens TODAY, April 15, with early bird registration fees for the full three-day conference of $250 for members and $325 for nonmembers; those fees will increase by $30 on June 16, so register early to save! Student registration for the full conference is $140. A one-day ticket for SATURDAY SESSIONS ONLY is available for $195. Masterclasses, manuscript critiques and query pitches will be available for additional charges as add-ons to your registration. For full details go to 2024 Storyfest. If you are not a member of SCWA, join now to enjoy the member rate for Storyfest as well as other SCWA benefits. Membership is $75 annually; go to Join Us. (Be sure to renew if you haven't already!)

SCWA, which began in 1990, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping its members become better writers through networking; educational opportunities, such as virtual and in-person presentations, classes and the annual fall conference; and publishing opportunities.

For more information about the South Carolina Writers Association, visit or email

SCWA joins Substack

Issues of The Quill now are being produced and distributed through SCWA's Substack. Go to South Carolina Writers Association Substack to read the newsletter and other information online and to subscribe to our Substack email list. Please subscribe, follow us/recommend us on your Substack and recommend us to your friends.

Archives of The Quill also can be found on the Substack website.

Questions? Email

Graphic promoting Author's Toolbox with Robert Maynor

Award-winning writer Robert Maynor discusses his debut novel in April 18 Author's Toolbox

First novels by Southern writers often shake the literary landscape.

Here are a few:

The Great Santini, Pat Conroy

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Native Son, Richard Wright

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

Book Cover: The Big Game is Every NightLowcountry South Carolina writer Robert Maynor will discuss his debut novel, The Big Game is Every Night, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in SCWA's Author's Toolbox via Zoom.

Here’s what the critics say about the book, the winner of the 2022 South Carolina Novel Series:

"Robert Maynor knows South Carolina. He knows catfishing and football. More than anything, though, he knows how to spin a yarn. Each line of his poignant debut bleeds raw emotion and powerful, dark energy. The Big Game Is Every Night hits like a linebacker on a backside blitz. Not to be missed."

—Eli Cranor, author of Don't Know Tough

"Written in spare yet evocative prose, Robert Maynor's The Big Game is Every Night is a quiet and powerful meditation on broken families, fractured friendships, the pain of reckoning with having the thing that most defines you taken away in an instant, and the legacy violence leaves in its wake."

—John Vercher, author of After the Lights Go Out

"A heartfelt story of ambition, family, and frustration."

—Kirkus Review

Maynor's work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the past recipient of the Larry Brown Short Story Award and the Coker Fellowship in Fiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

His talk is the fourth in SCWA's Author’s Toolbox, a series of conversations with acclaimed authors and agents.

Don’t miss it! Register for this event and other upcoming talks at:

More information and online registration: Author's Toolbox: Award-winning Lowcountry Author Robert Maynor: First Novels and the South


Art Turfa, Caucasian man with light background

Poet Arthur Turfa to present 'Writing Poems about Family without Anyone Getting Upset' April 10

Poets often write about their families. Some are kind. Some are brutal.

Sylvia Plath and Raymond Carver had daddy issues, and the poet Philip Larkin left little doubt about where he stood on parental authority.

Parents screw you up, he warned. "They may not mean to, but they do," he wrote. "They fill you with the faults they had/And add some extra, just for you."

Poems about family members don't have to cause grief, says acclaimed South Carolina poet Art Turfa. A Lutheran pastor and a retired Army reservist, Turfa will tackle the subject in his April 10 SCWA Author's Toolbox session, "Writing Poems about Family without Anyone Getting Upset."

Originally from Pennsylvania, Turfa has lived with his family in the Midlands of South Carolina since 2005. His roots – and the places where he has lived or traveled – are never far from his mind or poetry. Since 2005, he has been an adjunct instructor for English at Midlands Technical College. He has been published in U.S. and international print and electronic journals and was in the Top Ten of the Pangolin Literary Review 2019 Poetry Prize. His books include Places and Times, Accents, Gemini, Saluda Reflections and All in the Family with artist Carol Worthington-Levy.

More information and register online: Author's Toolbox: Arthur Turfa

Poster for Author's Toolbox with Holly Goddard Jones

Acclaimed author Holly Goddard Jones presents 'Writing Short Stories and Novels' March 28 in SCWA’s Author’s Toolbox

Holly Goddard Jones writes about the world we live in. In her latest short story collection, Antipodes, you’ll find sinkholes, floods, video games, the pandemic, social media, texting and climate concerns.

Book cover: "antipodes" with blue background.In the title story, a character says, “We have entered an era of unknowability, of persistent strangeness … the old rules don’t apply anymore.”

Jones grew up in a small central Kentucky town, where she wrote for the high school newspaper. After earning a B.A. from the University of Kentucky and an M.F.A. from Ohio State University, she wrote stories and novels—and placed many of her characters in a small, fictional Kentucky town.

The critics took notice.

“Jones writes with grace and ease,” Publishers Weekly said of her debut collection, Girl Trouble: Stories.

Her next three books The Next Time You See Me, The Salt Line and Antipodeswon rave reviews from fellow writers.

“Erase every qualifier: American, living, southern. Holly Goddard Jones is one of our greatest storytellers — period — and Antipodes is a testament to her continued mastery, wit, and grace. Brimming with unparalleled empathy for their characters, these stories prove, once again, that Goddard Jones knows us better than we know ourselves,” said author David James Poissant.

“Holly Goddard Jones writes like a force of nature; her prose is strong, solid, and full of power. Her voice is miraculous in its ability to be singular even while she takes on eclectic premises and themes. Goddard Jones is one of our best writers, and Antipodes is her best book yet,” said award-winning Kentucky author Silas House.

Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, and Tin House magazine. She received The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Jones will discuss her latest short story collection and novel writing on March 28 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. as part of SCWA’s Author’s Toolbox series.

Don’t miss the chance to hear her!

More information and online registration: Author's Toolbox: Author Holly Goddard Jones

Paula Munier, Caucasian woman in black hat with light background

Paula Munier, agent and author

Agent, author Paula Munier to present Author's Toolbox Feb. 29

Join top agent and author Paula Munier for a one-hour talk on how to hook readers - and agents and publishers - with a memorable opening as she presents for SCWA's Author's Toolbox at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29.

Munier is the senior agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services and a USA TODAY bestselling mystery author.

Over 20 years, Munier has conceived, created, produced and marketed content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as WGBH, Fidelity, Disney and Gannett.

Her books on writing include The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That Sell, Writing with Quiet Hands: How to Shape Your Writing to Resonate with Readers, and Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene.

A Borrowing of Bones, the first in her ongoing mystery series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

Munier’s books on writing have been called brilliant, practical, inspiring, and “loaded with tips and tricks.”

Program is free for SCWA members; $25 for nonmembers. The Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

Renee Fountain, Caucasian woman with light background

Literary agent Renee C. Fountain

Agent Renee Fountain offers critique sessions
February 2, 2024

In partnership with South Carolina Writers Association, literary agent Renee C. Fountain, president of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management, is offering critique sessions.

These sessions will be available for purchase:

Book Pitch with 15-minute Zoom session
Cost: $75

One-Page Query or 1st Page Critique (no Zoom session)
Cost: $75

10-Page Reading with 15-minute Zoom session
Cost: $100

10-Page In-Depth Critique (no Zoom session)
Cost: $110

To register for any of these sessions, go to the SCWA Online Store, select your desired session(s) and pay via credit or debit card. 

Once payment is confirmed, you will receive an email with instructions regarding your submission and/or scheduling your session with Fountain, if applicable. Note that ALL payments are ONLINE via credit card or debit card; PayPal, Venmo or other cash-apps are not accepted. Payment must be received within two (2) hours of placement of the order or it will be canceled.

Renee C. Fountain champions various genres, ranging from adult thrillers to informative nonfiction and close-to-her-heart YA. Over the years, Fountain has helped launch several crime thriller writers and series, including Sarah Cain’s The 8th Circle, Michel Logan’s Hell’s Detective and Jonathan Fredrick’s Cain City series. Before putting on her agent hat, she spent five years working for the CW television network as a book scout and story analyst for television development. She spent nearly a decade working in major publishing houses, including Harcourt Brace and Simon & Schuster, where she worked with some of the best writers and illustrators in the publishing world.  In addition to looking for the next best-seller, Fountain also can be found on the faculty of Manuscript Academy, providing developmental editing and writing critiques.

Questions? Email

Ash Smith, elected president

New officers elected
February 1, 2024

The year is off to a great start with our new board of directors, which met in person in January to conduct SCWA business and to elect our new officers for 20204.

Ash Smith was elected president, and Charles Hall was elected 1st vice president. Lynn Volkenant will continue as treasurer. We continue to seek someone to take over the role of secretary. If you have an interest, pleas contact our administrator, Laura Corbin, at; she will fill you in on the responsibilities of the office.

Smith has a BFA in creative and professional writing. They currently are working on their first novel. A graduate of Converse University, Smith lives in Spartanburg and has served on previous boards in both Spartanburg and Converse University communities. They are very excited to serve on SCWA’s board and look forward to growing with this community.

A native South Carolinian, Hall is new to the novel-writing game. Previously, his efforts were focused on speech and stage writing. He uses his writing talents primarily in the political world as an issue activist. In fiction writing, he finds Heinlein, Crichton, Grisham, Harris and Conroy to be inspirations. Outside of writing you will find him at home on the tennis court and camping. You can find him on most social media platforms at Chip Hall.

As announced las month, our vice presidents are: Pat Brandon, Events & Education; Ben Culbreth, Marketing; and Jay Sauls, Membership. Kasie Whitener continues on the board as immediate past president.

Connect with SCWA

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software