SC Writers’ Association 2021 Literary Programming

The South Carolina Writers’ Association (SCWA) launches its 2021 literary arts initiatives in January. These initiatives include six “Become an Author” programs, 24 “Writing Conversation” programs, and the annual conference, which will be virtual in 2021. SC Humanities supported these programs with a Major Grant awarded in September 2020.

“Become an Author” events feature published authors in a live-from-home evening event. Susan Zurenda, award-winning author of Bells for Eli, kicks off the 2021 cycle on January 12th at 7 p.m. with her presentation “Family Stories: Evoking Emotion in Your Characters.” The Pat Conroy Literary Center lends their Executive Director Jonathan Haupt (editor of the award-winning anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy) in conversation with PCLC’s Communications and Events Coordinator and award-winning author Brook McKinney for “Burning Man versus the Tortoises: Turning Memories into Stories,” on February 9th at 7 p.m.

“Writing Conversations” events are casual lunchtime Zoom conferences led by a variety of literary citizens including SCWA board member and radio host of Write on SC, Kasie Whitener. Dr. Whitener kicks off the series on January 19th with “Setting Writer Goals,” followed by children’s book editor and publisher Amelia Brown on January 26th focusing on YA and children’s literature, and Lowcountry poet Derek Berry on February 2nd with “Writing as Play.”

All of the “Become an Author” and “Writing Conversations” events are free and open to the public when they are live. Recordings are available for SCWA members. To learn more about the SCWA, view a full calendar of events, and register to attend, visit

  • “Become an Author” 90-minute evening webinars – Tuesdays, 7 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 12, Susan Zurenda, “Family Stories: Evoking Emotion in Your Characters”
    • Tuesday, February 9, Jonathan Haupt & Brooke McKinney, “Burning Man Vs. the Tortoises: Turning Memories into Stories”
    • Tuesday, March 9, Maya Ribault, “Trickster’s Velocity: a Generative Poetry Workshop”
    • Tuesday, May 11, Brock Adams, “Facing Failure”
    • Tuesday, Sept 14, Jill Criswell, YA Fantasy Fiction topic, title TBA
    • Tuesday, October 12, Amy Collins, “Get an Agent: Tools and Pathways”
  • “Writing Conversation” events organized in “sprints” – Tuesdays, 12 p.m. via Zoom
    • Sprint 1 “In Hibernation”
      • Tuesday, January 19, Kasie Whitener, “Setting Writer Goals”
      • Tuesday, January 26, Amelia Brown, “Children’s & YA Publishing”
      • Tuesday, February 2, Derek Berry, “Writing as Play”
    • Sprint 2 “In Love”
      • Tuesday, February 16, Ray McManus, “How to Write a Love Poem”
      • Tuesday, February 23, Art Turfa, “Writing Collaborations”
      • Tuesday, March 2, Barbara Evers, “The Perfect Pitch”
    • Sprint 3 “In Bloom” 
      • Tuesday, March 16, Lis-Anna Langston, “Writing from the Core Wound for Depth and Insight,”
      • Tuesday, March 23, Amy Collins for an Agent Q&A
      • Tuesday, March 30, Carolyn Hartley, “Publishing, Agenting, and Authoring from Experience”
    • Summer Series
      • Sprint 4 — Amber Wheeler Bacon Hosts:
        • Tuesday, May 18, “IMAGES with Jonathan Bahr Heinen”
        • Tuesday, May 25, “BAD GUYS with Duncan Murrell”
        • Tuesday, June 1, “VOICE  with Gary Jackson”
        • Tuesday, June 8, “1st DRAFTS with David Schwartz”
      • Sprint 5 — Kasie Whitener Hosts:
        • Tuesday, June 15, “Writing Goals Check-in”
        • Tuesday, June 22, “Short Story Basics”
        • Tuesday, June 29, “Dialogue do’s and don’ts”
        • Tuesday, July 6, “Point of View”
      • Sprint 6
        • Tuesday, July 13, “Contests & Awards”
        • Tuesday, July 20, “Travel Writing”
        • Tuesday, July 27, “Memoir Jump Start — with Alexa Bigwarfe”
        • Tuesday, August 3, “Historical Fiction”
    • Sprint 7 “Back to School”
      • Tuesday, September 21, Freelancer’s Toolbox
      • Tuesday, September 28, Submissions Best Practices
      • Tuesday, October 5, Revision Nitty Gritty

The annual conference will take place April 16 – 18, 2021 and will be virtual. The presenters include: Patti Callahan Henry, Jeffrey Blount, Belle Boggs, Cinelle Barnes, Ray McManus, Agent Marly Rusoff, and more. Registration is required and is now open at Registration for non-members starts at $175 or $75 for students.

The SCWA, which began in 1990, as the South Carolina Writers Workshop, is dedicated to writers in all genres and levels of writing skill. It is led by a diversified, volunteer board of directors, all of whom are writers themselves. Many of the association’s members participate in chapters and critique groups located across the state where writers meet to support each other in structured and non-structured ways. Learn more at

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

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