Contact: Maura Connelly, 843-379-7025

Camp Conroy 2019: Build a Book

Calling All Young Writers, Artists, and Photographers

BEAUFORT, SC – The Pat Conroy Literary Center’s second annual Camp Conroy: Build a Book is a two-week summer camp to be held June 17-28, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Presented in partnership with Beaufort Middle School, the program will provide campers, age 8-15, with a hands-on program of book building from start to finish. This year’s theme is “Garbage and the 4 R’s: Recycle, Reuse, Renew, and Repurpose, Making the World a Better Place.” Participants will engage in writing, illustrating, photographing, editing and storyboarding, and producing a book. The campers will act as a team in interpreting the definition of garbage and how it can be reconstructed into different forms of art. Throughout the camp, the participants will work with instructors to create, revise, and compile their content for the book: stories, essays, poems, artwork, and photographs. The participants will also constructively critique one another’s work, a key and engaging part of the collaborative process.

The first week will include a field trip to Hunting Island State Park. Campers will have clear-cut assignments and roles, i.e., photographers, interviewers, researchers, to name just a few.

During the second week, participants will focus on editing, revision, production, and building a book mockup, preparing for its publication. Local artists will be invited to visit and share their craft to instill artistic inspiration for campers.

There will be two classes offered this year: ages 8-11 and 12-15. Space is limited to 15 per class. Camp Conroy will be held at Beaufort Middle School in adjacent rooms so that students can create and work together in a collaborative effort to produce one anthology including all campers’ works. The resulting publication will be part of an exhibition at the Pat Conroy Literary Center in downtown Beaufort that will include all the campers’ stories, poems, artwork, and photography. Family and friends will be invited to a closing celebration and reception at the Center, and the campers’ books will be available for order.

The $299 registration for Camp Conroy includes one field trip to Hunting Island State Park (transportation courtesy of Bill Reynolds of Pat Conroy’s Beaufort Van Tour) and daily snacks provided by Lowcountry Produce; students must bring their own lunch and drink each day. Scholarships are available; to apply, students should submit a sample of their work (essay, poem, artwork, or photography) by Friday, May 10, to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, 905 Port Republic Street, Beaufort, SC 29902, ATTN: Camp Conroy. Camp registration is open at

The instructors for the camp are Miho Kinnas, Lisa Anne Cullen, both published authors, and Maura Connelly, photographer and Pat Conroy Literary Center’s communication and events coordinator.

Miho Kinnas is a Japanese-born writer and translator, and the author of the poetry collection Today, Fish Only (Math Paper Press 2015). Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Miho conducts haiku workshops at many locations including Shanghai International Literary Festival, Pat Conroy Literary Center, local libraries, and schools. She holds an M.F.A. from City University of Hong Kong. She and her husband live on Hilton Head Island.

Lisa Anne Cullen is the author or editor of eight children’s books and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She holds an M.F.A degree in writing for children and pairs this passion with her love of illustration, art, photography, and screenwriting. Lisa has won awards for her artistic and written works and finds pure joy in connecting with the natural world. Her author-illustrated folktales Little Orange Honey Hood and Three Wild Pigs are being released through USC Press’s Young Palmetto Books in the spring and fall of 2018.

Maura Connelly holds a B.A. in English from Skidmore College and has also studied at UCD in Dublin and SCAD in Savannah. She was Director of Marketing Communications for Spaulding & Slye in Boston for five years before moving to Beaufort where she raised her son and two daughters. In 2007 she managed and coordinated The Fall Tour of Homes and The Lafayette Soiree, two major fund raising events for Historic Beaufort Foundation.
In 2016 she joined the Pat Conroy Literary Center team and is now communications and events coordinator. Maura has used her passion for photography and natural world in creating award-winning projects for students, including initiating the now annual Camp Conroy: Build a Book summer camp for Beaufort area children.
In 2018 Maura received the 14th Annual Achievement for Excellence in Education from Beaufort Middle School for the project the Center spearheaded working with students on the anthology River of Words.


Pictured from left to right: Miho Kinnas, Lisa Anne Cullen & Maura Connelly