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Circular Congregational Church, Charleston, SC

Our Prince of Scribes goes to Writers Conference in Charleston, SC on June 29, 2019

Join Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy contributing writers Stephanie Austin Edwards, Ellen Malphrus, Sean A. Scapellato, Marjory Wentworth, Jonathan Haupt, and Alex Sanders for a lively series of four writing workshops and a panel discussion at Charleston’s Circular Congregational Church on Saturday, June 29–presented in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center, South Carolina Writers Association, Buxton Books, and the Companion Foundation.

All day registration fee is $50 for SCWA members and $70 for non-members and includes all 4 workshops, the panel discussion, and a catered lunch. Books by presenting workshop faculty–including Our Prince of Scribes–will be available for sale and signing.

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“His wound may have been geography, but his legacy was generosity. That’s the takeaway from this new collection of essays honoring the late Pat Conroy. Novelist Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, the Executive Director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, pull together a who’s-who of writers from the Lowcountry and beyond for an ode to the real Prince of Tides… A fitting tribute to a unique, significant writer and man.”—Kirkus Reviews

“More than 60 writers—from Pulitzer Prize winners to Conroy relatives to Barbra Streisand—fill ‘Our Prince of Scribes’ with personal stories about [Pat Conroy’s] impact. Some address his complex personality, while others, like Nathalie Dupree, offer corrections to his ‘tall tales.’ The result is a moving, entertaining read as genuine as the icon himself.”—Charleston Magazine

“A moving tribute to the legacy of one of the South’s brightest lights.”–Garden & Gun’s Talk of the South

“Our Prince of Scribes isn’t just a collection of homages but also a delightful introduction to Conroy’s vast and talented circle of friends.”–Washington Post


9:45 to 10:00 a.m.: Welcome –  Jonathan Haupt

10:00 to 11:00 a.m.: WORKSHOP 1: The Lukeman Hurdle and How to Leap It – Sean A. Scapellato
Literary agent Noah Lukeman said agents and editors dont read manuscripts to enjoy them. Rather they read with an eye to dismiss them, to get through the pile before the next wave of submissions. In this workshop, Sean Scapellato will explain and expand on Lukemans premise by discussing the importance of beginnings (short stories and novels) and why so many writers are rejected before the end of the first chapter. He will compare and contrast the current-day novel opening with books that were popular 10, 20, 50 years ago, and how distractions of culture, social media, and binge-watching have now forced writers to be more nuanced and urgent in their storytelling. Sean will also discuss several advanced fiction techniques with printed examples that might help in getting your manuscript read beyond the first chapter. These subtleties can elevate ordinary plot and character elements in ways that will distinguish your writing from the masses and demonstrate dedication to mastery of the craft regardless of genre or commerciality.

11:15 12:15 p.m.: WORKSHOP 2: Poetry of Place – Marjory Wentworth
In his famous opening line from The Prince of Tides, “Pat Conroy wrote My wound is geography.” His lyrical descriptions of his beloved South Carolina low country are some of the most beautiful passages in American literature. Pat loved poetry and used poetic devices to bring the landscape to life. In this workshop, we will analyze the poems: Coming Home, Detroit, 1968 by Philip Levine, Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni, and Nantucket by William Carlos Williams. These poems are distinctly different in form, style, and tone. We will discuss these differences. We will also discuss the poetic devices that all three poets use successfully. Then we will write poems about a place that are significant for each of us.

12:30 to 2:00 p.m.: LUNCH & PANEL DISCUSSION of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy with Stephanie Austin Edwards, Ellen Malphrus, Alex Sanders, Sean A. Scapellato, and Marjory Wentworth, moderated by Jonathan Haupt
Lunch catered by Brown Dog Deli; books available for sale and signing.

2:15 to 3:15 p.m.: WORKSHOP 3: Nature Writing, with a Side Order of Journaling – Ellen Malphrus
Pat Conroy, in the foreword for Ellen’s novel Untying the Moon, said, “Ellen Malphrus writes about [the Lowcountry] with the osprey-eyed vision of a native  [and] possesses a raw genius for nature writing.” In this workshop, Ellen will lead us on a journey of observation, not only into the alluring landscapes of the South Carolina Lowcountry (and beyond), but also inward as we explore what the natural world can teach us about ourselves. Look deep into nature, Albert Einstein said, and you will understand everything better. Let’s do–and then let’s write about it!

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: WORKSHOP 4: Creative Organization for Writers – Stephanie Austin Edwards
Finding time for writing is a challenge for many, so lets learn to make the most of limited time through being better organized for creativity. This class offers productivity advice and tools on how to get started and keep going for maximum creative flow and minimum technical frustration. Novelist and writing teacher and consultant Stephanie Austin Edwards will guide participants through making and maintaining a writing schedule; organizing documents and files for consistent easy access; formatting work for submission to editors, agents, and publishers; discussing book genres and manuscript lengths for publication; and sorting through the abundance of online help and software available. This workshop is designed to help writers create and maintain a personal system of organization that then allows time for writing focus more impactfully on the creative act itself.

4:30 to 4:45 p.m.: Closing – Jonathan Haupt

5:00 to 6:00 p.m.: Reception and book signing at Buxton Books (2 Cumberland Street, A, Charleston)

About Conference Faculty and Presenters:

Before Stephanie Austin Edwards returned to the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and to her love of writing, she had a twenty-two-year career in New York Theater. She now writes fiction and non-fiction, facilitates writers groups, teaches writing workshops, and consults with authors. She is the author of the award-winning novel What We Set in Motion and a contributing writer to Our Prince of Scribes, an anthology about her high school friend, Pat Conroy, and Short Story America VI.  Edwards is honored to be part of forwarding the mission of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, where she volunteers and leads writing workshops.

Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the founding director of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival, and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, where he created the Story River Books fiction imprint with Pat Conroy. With novelist and artist Nicole Seitz, he is co-editor of the anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, awarded a Silver Medal for Best Regional Nonfiction by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Haupt’s articles, book reviews, and author interviews have appeared in the Charleston Post & Courier, Beaufort Lowcountry Weekly, Beaufort Lifestyle magazine, Pink magazine, Shrimp, Collards & Grits magazine, Fall Lines literary journal, and the Conroy Center’s Porch Talk blog. He serves as an associate producer and consultant to the SCETV author interview program By the River, on the board of directors of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, on the American Writers Museum affiliates steering committee, and on the South Carolina Humanities advisory committee.

Ellen Malphrus lives and writes beside the May River in her native South Carolina Lowcountry and beneath the mountains of western Montana. She studied under James Dickey and was also mentored by her beloved friend Pat Conroy. She is a professor of English and the writer-in-residence at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, as well as deputy director of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival. Malphrus fiction, poetry, essays, and articles have appeared in publications including Southern Literary Journal, Review of Contemporary Fiction, William & Mary Review, James Dickey Review, Haight Ashbury Review, Georgia Poetry Review, Essence of Beaufort and the Lowcountry, SCG Lifestyle Magazine, and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. She is most at home in nature, and her concern for wild places and creatures, particularly when it comes to coastal conservation, is evident in the fabric of her writing.

Alex Sanders is the former chief judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals and has served as the president of the College of Charleston and the Charleston School of Law. He is the coauthor of three books and numerous articles for law journals and regional publications and a contributing writer to Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.



Sean A. Scapellato is a writer of fiction and essays, a former creative writing teacher at Charleston County School of the Arts, and now a lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a contributing writer to Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.




Marjory Wentworth is the New York Times best-selling author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets (with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley). She is the coauthor of We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers, and Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, with Juan Mendez. She is co-editor with Kwame Dawes of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles.  Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. Wentworth teaches at the College of Charleston and The Citadel. She is the Poet Laureate of South Carolina and a contributing writer to Our Prince of Scribes.

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