Contact: Maura Connelly, 843-379-7025


Offering Young Creators the Opportunity to Produce an Illustrated Book

BEAUFORT, SC – Camp Conroy: Build A Book, a new initiative of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, is a two-week summer camp to be held June 18–29, Monday–Friday, 8am–4pm. Offered in partnership with the Technical College of the Lowcountry, the program will provide campers, age 11 to 15, with a hands-on program of book building from start to finish. This nature-inspired, collaborative experience includes research, exploration, and interpretation of the natural world. Participants will engage with writing, illustrating, photographing, editing, storyboarding, and producing a book. The campers will act as a team, producing the book and chasing the story. Each will have a vital role in its conception, editorial content, and design. In the first week, the book’s theme and overall design will be determined, as well as production team member roles: writers, poets, photographers, artists, copy editors, designers, and production editors. 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 also includes a field trip to the Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center. There the participants will explore the exhibits and talk with master naturalists about the beauty of the environment, and how to interpret and protect it as good stewards.

During the second week, participants will focus on editing, revision, production, and building a book mockup, prepping for its final print delivery. The students will visit the Storybook Shoppe in Bluffton and Alex Bell from Starbooks in Hilton Head will explain, in an interactive seminar, the anatomy of a book and the publication process. Bookshop owner Sally Sue Lavigne will share samples of published children’s books. Campers will spend the remainder of the week building their own book. David Woods of Budget Print in Beaufort will print the final book, which will be part of a final exhibition at the Mather School that will include all the campers’ stories, poems, artwork, and photography. Family and friends will then be invited to a closing celebration, and additional books will be available for order.

Camp Conroy is limited to 15 participants, and open to middle-school-aged students to rising high school sophomores. The $299 registration fee includes daily lunches and two field trips. Two scholarships are available; to apply, students should submit a sample of their work (essay, poem, artwork, or photograph) by June 10 to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, 308 Charles Street, Beaufort, SC 29902, ATTN: Camp Conroy. Camp registration forms are available online at or

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 is the communications and events coordinator for the Pat Conroy Literary Center. She holds a B.A. in English from Skidmore College and has also studied at UCD in Dublin and SCAD in Savannah. She is a photographer and master naturalist and lives in Beaufort.


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