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Second Writers’ Retreat at the Anchorage Inn – Beaufort, SC2018-07-07T21:24:08+00:00

The Pat Conroy Literary Center presents
Our Second Writers Retreat Weekend at the Anchorage 1770 Inn

September 14-16, 2018

Anchorage 1770 Inn

Join us for our second Writers Retreat Weekend at the award-winning Anchorage 1770 Inn, September 14-16.

You’re invited to join us for an exclusive weekend writers retreat focusing on the Next Steps of Revision and Submission, held at an award-winning historic inn located in the heart of Southern Living’s 2017 Best Small Town in America—beautiful Beaufort by the sea. Participating writers will immerse themselves in a collaborative experience certain to inspire and enlighten. Our distinguished faculty of award-winning writers and publishing professionals will share their insights and experiences in the same generous mentoring spirit as the late Pat Conroy. In the retreat’s intimate setting, writers will get to know one another as well as our instructors over a span of three days and two nights of empowering workshops, discussions, writing prompts, readings, critiques, and social gatherings.

Retreat Faculty: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons, Pulpwood Queens Book of the Year novelist Bren McClain, Columbia One Book One Community novelist Carla Damron, literary agent MacKenzie Fraser-Bub, editor Michael Signorelli, and USC Beaufort Writer in Residence Ellen Malphrus.

Proceeds benefit the year-round programming of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, an affiliate of the American Writers Museum and an American Library Association United for Libraries Literary Landmark.

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 14

Optional afternoon activities

Noon–4:00 p.m.: Visit the Pat Conroy Literary Center at 308 Charles Street (a short walk from the Anchorage 1770 Inn) for a guided exploration of the writing life of the author of The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and The Prince of Tides. Free and open to the public. www.patconroyliterarycenter.org

2:00–3:30 p.m.: Reserve your seat on Beaufort Tour’s guided bus tour of Pat Conroy’s Beaufort. Departs from the Beaufort Marina Store (across from the Anchorage 1770 Inn) promptly at 2:00 p.m. for a 90-minute tour. Advance registration required: www.beauforttoursllc.com/pat_conroys_beaufort.html

Early Dinner on your own: The Anchorage 1770 Inn will provide a list of recommended restaurants within walking distance of the Anchorage 1770 inn for dinner on your own along Beaufort’s iconic waterfront and downtown.

Retreat officially begins

5:30–7:00 p.m.: Welcome and Introductions
Meet the retreat faculty and come prepared to introduce yourself, explain the topic (or desired topic) of your work in 1–2 sentences.

Light hors d’oeuvres, wine, and non-alcoholic refreshments served.

7:00–8:15 p.m.: Story Hour #1 hosted by Ellen Malphrus**
During Story Hour retreat participants will have the opportunity to share a five-minute reading sample—preferably the opening—of their writing. The reading can come from a finished product, an idea, or a work in progress. The retreat faculty will offer constructive feedback.

Requirements: Readings not to exceed five minutes. Each individual reading in the group setting will be followed by supportive and constructive feedback from the retreat leaders. Samples are to be read out loud or circulated as a handout if the participant prefers. (Participants are to provide adequate number of handouts for participants and retreat leaders.)
**Participants should be prepared to share on either night, as half the participants will share on Friday and the remaining half on Saturday.

Saturday, September 15

8:00–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast with our faculty

9:30–10:30 a.m.: SESSION 1 — CJ Lyons, Why?/Why Not?
New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons leads a frank discussion of traditional versus independent self-publishing including: the truth about the money and numbers, marketing and pricing strategies, time involved, as well as the perils and pitfalls to avoid.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking and writing exercises.

10:30–11:00 a.m.: Coffee break

11:00 a.m.–noon: SESSION 2 — Carla Damron & Bren McClain, Our Paths to Publication
Two of our distinguished faculty will discuss how their writing lives began, what led to their own first (or most recent) publications, and what they’ve done to foster their writing lives as engaged members of communities of readers and writers.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking.

Noon–1:30 p.m.: Lunch with our faculty
Retreat faculty will join participants for lunch and conversation on the writing craft.

1:30–2:45 p.m.: SESSION 3 — Carla Damron, Getting to the Heart of It: A Revision Workshop
“First drafts are for learning what one’s fiction wants him to say. Revision works with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to reform it. Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.”—Bernard Malamud

The words are there. The story is complete. Now comes the next step: revision. How do we make our narrative resonate? Does the tension accelerate our reader’s pulse? Do our characters breathe with life? Have we found—and shared—the project’s soul? How will reading experience affect the reader? This session will offer techniques to sharpen and shape one’s work and explore revision as a process of discovery.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking and writing exercises.

2:45–3:00 p.m.: Break

3:00–4:00 p.m.: SESSION 4 — MacKenzie Fraser-Bub, The Publishing Biz from an Agent’s Perspective
Let’s talk publishing 101 from the standpoint of a literary agent—including best practices for query letters, finding and working with an agent, understanding your rights as authors, and the myriad paths to publication in the modern publishing landscape. Brave participants will have an opportunity to submit their query letters beforehand to be critiqued during the workshop.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking and writing exercises.

4:00–4:15 p.m.: Break

4:15–5:30 p.m.: SESSION 5 — Bren McClain, Deepen the River: The Key to Revision
Bren says: A very wise editor told me one time, “Get rid of the tributaries, and deepen the river.” The River is the heart of your novel. It’s what you’re really trying to say. It likely started with the first honest impulse that drew you to write your story or novel. I’ve heard it said that if you ever get lost, go back to that first impulse that drove you to put your butt in the chair in the first place. I think that’s key. And I also think that’s where the energy of your story is. It’s where your soul feels lifted, where you slow down to read vs. skimming through. What is the heart of your book? What drew you to the story in the first place? How can you deepen it? Bring pages. Let’s talk.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking and writing exercises.

5:30–6:00 p.m.: Break

6:00–7:15 p.m.: Story Hour #2 hosted by Ellen Malphrus**
During Story Hour retreat participants will have the opportunity to share a five-minute reading sample—preferably the opening—of their writing. The reading can come from a finished product, an idea, or a work in progress. The retreat faculty will offer constructive feedback.

Requirements: Readings not to exceed five minutes. Each individual reading in the group setting will be followed by supportive and constructive feedback from the retreat faculty. (Participants are to provide copies of their pieces for retreat faculty.)
**Participants should be prepared to share on either night, as half the participants will share on Friday and the remaining half on Saturday.
Cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres served.

7:30 p.m.: Dinner on your own

The Anchorage 1770 Inn will provide a list of recommended restaurants within walking distance of the Anchorage 1770 inn for dinner on your own along Beaufort’s iconic waterfront and downtown.

Sunday, September 16

8:00–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast with our faculty

9:15–10:15 a.m.: SESSION 6 —Breakfast – CJ Lyons – Build Your Brand
Join New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons in an exploration of what “branding” is and is not, including an illustration of how she crafted her own “Thrillers with Heart” brand. Volunteer participants are invited to submit their own websites or visual branding efforts (logos, book covers) for review and feedback from CJ and fellow participants so that when they go to pitch, query, or publish they will be communicating their brand clearly.
Continental breakfast and coffee served.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking and writing exercises.

10:15–10:45 a.m.: Break & check-out time (bags can be held in the lobby until departure)

10:45–11:45 a.m.: SESSION 7 – Michael Signorelli – An Editor’s Guide to the Editorial Process
What happens to a manuscript after acceptance for publication (or representation) and before final publication? What role(s) should authors expect to play in this collaborative process? Let’s ask an accomplished editor for an insider’s guide to the path from your manuscript to published book.

Requirements: Pen and paper and/or laptop for note taking and writing exercises.

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.: Closing Roundtable: Closing discussion with all your retreat faculty. This is your last chance to ask that all-important question!

1:00 p.m.– Lunch on Your Own

Optional afternoon activities

1:00–4:00 p.m.: Visit the Pat Conroy Literary Center at 308 Charles Street (a short walk from the Anchorage 1770 Inn) for a guided exploration of the writing life of the author of The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and The Prince of Tides. Free and open to the public. www.patconroyliterarycenter.org

2:00–3:30 p.m.: Reserve your seat on Beaufort Tour’s guided bus tour of Pat Conroy’s Beaufort. Departs from the Beaufort Marina Store (across from the Anchorage 1770 Inn) promptly at 2:00 p.m. for a 90-minute tour. Advance registration required: www.beauforttoursllc.com/pat_conroys_beaufort.html

Meet Your Faculty

Faye Bender

Carla Damron is a novelist, short story writer, advocate, and social worker. Her novel The Stone Necklace, which was selected the 2016 One Book, One Community read for Richland County, South Carolina, was chosen to receive the prestigious “Star” Award for Best Novel by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Her short stories have appeared in the Offbeat Literary Journal, Fall Lines, Jasper’s Marked by Water, Melusine Magazine, and other journals. Carla began her writing career (not counting the bird poem she wrote at age eight) authoring the Caleb Knowles Mystery series. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a masters degree in social work.

MacKenzie Fraser-Bubis

MacKenzie Fraser-Bub is a literary agent representing a wide range of adult fiction and nonfiction projects. She began her career as a teenager reading manuscripts and writing readers reports at the Crown Publishing Group. She is a veteran of the Columbia Publishing Course, Simon and Schuster (Touchstone Books), and Trident Media Group. MacKenzie’s diverse list includes multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling titles, including romance, young adult, women’s fiction, and cookbooks. MacKenzie also serves as agent for Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, featuring remembrances from 67 writers inspired by Conroy.

Faye Bender

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday). Her novels have twice won the International Thriller Writers’ prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

Faye Bender

Bren McClain is a native South Carolinian, having grown up in the upstate town of Anderson. Her debut novel, One Good Mama Bone, was published to critical acclaim in 2017 by Pat Conroy’s fiction imprint, Story River Books. Among the novel’s honors: Long-listed for the coveted Southern Book Prize by the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance, named Pulpwood Queen 2017 Book of the Year, a 2017 Great Group Reads by the Women’s National Book Association, top book of 2017 by Lit Picks, a finalist for the 2018 Crook’s Corner Book Prize and a starred review in Booklist. Bren is a two-time winner of the SC Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the SC Arts Commission. She is at work on her next novel, Took, which received the gold medal for the 2016 William Faulkner–William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress.

Faye Bender

Ellen Malphrus is the writer in residence and a professor of English at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, where she teaches creative writing and southern literature. Malphrus is the author of the novel Untying the Moon, published by Pat Conroy’s Story River Books. Like Conroy, she was a student of the poet and novelist James Dickey. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Southern Literary Journal, Review of Contemporary Fiction, William and Mary Review, Georgia Poetry Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and the anthologies Essence of Beaufort and the Lowcountry and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. Ellen is the deputy director of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival and a member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center advisory council.

Marly Rusoff

Michael Signorelli has more than twelve years of experience in trade publishing, most recently as a senior editor at Henry Holt & Company. There, among other notable titles, he published the New York Times bestselling and Man Booker Prize-longlisted novel The North Water by Ian McGuire and, most recently, the highly acclaimed biography Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous by Christopher Bonanos. Previously, he worked at HarperCollins Publishers, where he helped launch Johnny Depp’s imprint, Infinitum Nihil. He has edited the work of writers such as Nicola Barker, Philip Caputo, Dennis Cooper, Dan Chaon, Woody Guthrie, Hannah Nordhaus, Lisa O’Donnell, Sarah Parcak, Charlie Smith, Justin Taylor, Simon Van Booy, Marilyn Yalom, and a great many more.

Call (877) 951-1770 for Reservations
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