The Quill 2021 Archive

The Quill / October 2021


October 2021

Message from the President

As we enter the final quarter of the year, the SCWA board's sights are on finishing 2021 strong and planning our 2022 member programs. Our recent member survey has provided very helpful perspectives on member opinions and preferences and areas we can improve. Results are being analyzed and incorporated into our planning and will be available soon. Thanks to all who responded. We appreciate you taking the time to improve SCWA.
Interested in joining the SCWA board? It’s a very rewarding experience. We are recruiting for 2022 board positions as directors or advisors and would welcome interest from members with experience in critique groups, membership, publications or delivering conference and educational programs. We also could use help in the IT, finance/treasury and board secretary support areas. Please nominate yourself or someone else. Nomination and application forms are available by contacting Laura Corbin, administrative assistant, at
Congratulations to these SCWA members on recent accomplishments:
  • Catherine Con, whose "Feuillemort" made the finalist list for the Anne C. Barnhill Prize for Creative Nonfiction and will be published on Longridge Review.
  • Finalists in the Southeastern Writers 2021 contests: Candace Carter, Kasie Whitener, Martha Thwaite Weeks and John MacIlroy.
  • Yvette R. Murray, who has been named one of the 50 Finalists for the anthology "Best New Poets" for 2021.
We’re proud of your success. SCWA members are encouraged to share your publications news in Publications & Awards under Member News on and in our Facebook group.
Updates on partner associations:
The Palmetto Literacy Council will host an author event on Oct. 16 in Myrtle Beach, featuring Jonathan Haupt of the Pat Conroy Literary Center. For information, contact Patricia D’Ascoli at
Charlotte Lit announces the inaugural Writers/South Awards – $10,000 in prizes plus publication. Four categories: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction and flash. Four prize levels: $1,500 first, $500 second, $250 third, $50 honorable mentions. All prize winners published in the new Writers/South: Journal of Charlotte Lit. Judges: Ron Rash (fiction, 4,000 words), Jessica Jacobs and Nickole Brown (poetry, 1-3 poems), Stephanie Elizondo Griest (nonfiction, 4,000 words), and flash (1-2 pieces, up to 500 words each). Submissions are open until Dec. 1. The entry fee is $15, which includes a print copy of the journal. To enter, go to or

October guest column:

I'm happy to introduce our guest writing contributor, Bill Bruehl, a distinguished scholar and gifted writer who we love having as an advisor to our board. Being around Bill leaves one inspired and wanting more. Enjoy his column below.

Mike Lee
SCWA Board of Directors
Come Write With Us!

William Justice (Bill) Bruehl, of lives in Seneca, S.C., earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and is professor emeritus of theater arts at Stony Brook University on Long Island. He has written more than 25 plays, many of which have been produced. He was awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts and has turned his playwright's skills to narrative fiction, essays and poetry. Bruehl has published two collections of coming-of-age short stories, "The Wally Weet Stories" and "What the Girl at the Picnic Said." His memoir, "A Pilgrimage Like No Other," explores his experiences as a seeker. His study of acting, "The Technique of Inner Action," examines Stanislavsky's later contributions to the art of performance. Bruehl now is working on another collection of stories about coupling. His latest novel is "The Final Retreat from Yudam Ni," a story that explores the life of a veteran of the Korean War who did a terrible thing in battle. His new collection of mostly narrative poetry, "The Fearsome Colors of Forsythia," is available on Amazon in print and as an eBook.

(Send your own guest column submission for consideration to Laura Corbin at
Bill Bruehl
Deep cultural changes tend to inform my work more than any other theme and the angry controversy about white supremacy has concentrated that attention. I believe a better understanding of the impact of a 500-year-old legal document could help add nuance to the discussion. 

I believe we descendants of white Europeans bear responsibility for the consequences of a 500-year-old international law our ancestors obeyed called the Doctrine of Discovery. Enunciated in an edict promulgated by Pope Alexander IV in 1493, the Doctrine of Discovery gave Europeans the right to convert, take away land and enslave brown people all over the world. We, the children of those 15th century Europeans, have been indoctrinated to believe it was God's will that Europeans had the legal, religious and political right to claim the property, convert, dominate and even massacre other people. We called it colonization and believed it was a good thing for humankind.
Because no other idea competed with the papal edict, the doctrine became the single most powerful political idea in modern history. European monarchs used religion to justify using military power to conquer the world. Our ancestors - righteous in their beliefs - dominated and exploited, free of guilt, because of the Doctrine of Discovery.  European fashions and the arts, norms of beauty, ideas about science and engineering dominated the world. White men, especially Englishmen and Spaniards, subjugated the western hemisphere, most of Africa, most of the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, governed India, and overwhelmed native peoples everywhere (except Japan) like no other force in history.
Again, no legal or religious idea countered the Doctrine of Discovery. Thomas Jefferson claimed that the Doctrine of Discovery was international law. Chief Justice John Marshall agreed; later President Monroe established the Monroe Doctrine to justify the American takeover of North America. Rudyard Kipling wrote about the white man's burden to civilize brown people. It was our duty. Senator Tillman of South Carolina claimed the U.S. should control the Philippines because the people "are not suited to our institutions … not ready for liberty … do not want it." Ordinary people believed that our behavior was divinely ordained. There are those among us who still believe that.
One problem with the pope's edict is that it undermined the very freedoms European culture proclaimed to the rest of the world. Should it be radical to say that we have a responsibility to live in harmony with all, for the good of all? Someday the Doctrine of Discovery and its consequences will become an unrecognizable piece of history to amaze our great-great-grandchildren. I wish I could live to 2100 and write about those days that I surely hope are coming.

"In a real sense all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." – Martin Luther King Jr.
Events and Education


Join us as we close out the fall presentations of Writing Conversations and Become an Author. Register for these free programs at Virtual Events:

Oct. 5, noon: Writing Conversations: Megan Galbraith: Memoir
Oct. 12, 7 p.m.: Become an Author: Amy Collins: Get an Agent, Tools and Pathways

Agent, editor and author Felice Laverne and Amber Wheeler Bacon will discuss a myriad of topics, including the difference between a good story and a "sellable" story, what "diversity in publishing" actually means, and more. Join them at 7 p.m. Nov. 11. Register at Virtual Events.
Visit SCWA's Calendar for Updated Events
Contest News

South Carolina writers are invited to submit their works to The McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship and The Coker Fiction Fellowship presented by the South Carolina Academy of Authors and sponsored by SCWA. Go to SCAA's website for competition details and submit your works here.
Membership News


Are you a romance writer? SCWA is pleased to add a new statewide virtual genre chapter for romance writers. The group will meet via Zoom at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month starting on Oct. 21. Chapter leaders are Kasie Whitener and Bettie Williams. If you are interested in participating, you must contact Whitener in advance at She will add you to the group forum and provide you with the meeting link.

We've been reminding you for months about the Aiken Indie Book Fair on the campus of University of South Carolina Aiken from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13. SCWA is a co-sponsor of the event. 

This will be a great day to support writers and readers in South Carolina and learn more about writing craft. Forty authors are signed up to exhibit their books, and a full slate of talks and panel discussions are scheduled. Click here for a full schedule of sessions. Kasie Whitener, a member of the SCWA board, will keynote the event. Don't miss it!

The event will be held at the Robert E. Penland Administration Building, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, S.C. 29801. Ample free parking is available.
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