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Event by Pat Conroy Literary Center


Tuesday May 25, 2021; 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Zoom.

The Burning Man vs. the Tortoises: Turning Memories into Stories
Led by Jonathan Haupt & Brooke McKinney

Presented in partnership with the South Carolina Writers Association

In his 2010 memoir My Reading Life, Pat Conroy shared two fascinating—and seemingly contradictory—metaphors for writerly inspiration: the burning man he encountered in Paris and the tortoises he encountered with writer Jonathan Carroll in Vienna. We’ll discuss both of those metaphors as instructive examples of how we can turn our memories into our stories. This session will include discussion of the writer’s craft and sources of inspiration as well as interactive writing prompts with feedback.

Offered in collaboration with the South Carolina Writers Association, this FREE 90-minute virtual workshop will be held on Zoom and led by Conroy Center executive director Jonathan Haupt and communications and events coordinator Brooke McKinney. Details for joining the video call will be provided to all participating writers after registering.

Learn more and register at

Website: Facebook Event Page

About our instructors:

Jonathan HauptJonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, where he created the Story River Books fiction imprint with Conroy, named by Garden & Gun Magazine as one of “the top ten things to love about the South.” Jonathan’s book reviews and author interviews have appeared in the Charleston Post and Courier, Beaufort Lowcountry Weekly, Beaufort Lifestyle magazine, Savannah Morning News Beacon magazine, Pink magazine, the Southern Review of Books, and Southern Writers Magazines Suite T blog. He is co-editor of the award-winning anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, winner of 17 book awards. Jonathan also serves on the boards of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Friends of South Carolina Libraries and on the advisory board of the South Carolina Humanities and the affiliates steering committee of the American Writers Museum. In 2020, he was recognized with the Doug Marlette Literacy Leadership Award presented by the Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the U.S.

Brooke McKinney is a poet and writer from South Georgia. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Valdosta State University and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brooke’s work was a finalist in the Key West Emerging Writer’s Contest and the World’s the Best Short-Short Story and her nonfiction has received scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Writers in Paradise. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets Awards and most recently, her poetry was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, New South, Salt Hill Journal, Potomac Review, The Southeast Review, Columbia Poetry Review, RHINO Poetry, Artemis and Kestrel. She lives in Beaufort, South Carolina, with two dogs, Jane and Arlo, and a cat named Blue.


This program and others like this would not be possible without your financial help for which, as always, Pat Conroy Literary Center gratefully thanks you.
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