By Sue Cryer

A busy year for the South Carolina Writers Association is coming to an end. We also find ourselves immersed in the flurry of activity the holiday season brings. With these two thoughts in mind, an abbreviated review of our biggest accomplishment in 2017 seemed timely and appropriate.

The “Big Dream” Conference in Pawleys Island, SC was a HUGE SUCCESS.

–        111 Attendees

–         A profit margin for SCWA.

–        Approximately one-third of participants became active SCWA members.

–        Manuscripts submitted and accepted.

–        An impressive beach side facility, The Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort.

–        Stimulating, well-attended, and thought-provoking workshops.

–        A top-notch faculty.

–        A dedicated group of Volunteers

–        Outstanding Chairpersons.

Faculty Quotes from closing conference day:

–        “The best queries don’t have to be written. Ten percent are from meeting someone, fifteen percent are general submissions, and the rest are agents.”  Dr. Kate Gale, Managing Editor of Red Hen Press.

–        Agents and publishers are “looking for a reason to pass.” Don’t give them one.” Peter Steinberg, Literary Agent with Foundry Literary + Media in New York City and our Keynote Speaker.

–        Who is representing authors in the genre you are writing in? Search them out. “Find out national distributions.” Dr. Kate Gale

–        Don’t pay “editors too much”. $500 should be the max up-front. They make the majority of the money after you are published. Peter Steinberg

–        “Have fun. This is your writer’s life. Have a good time.” Dr. Kate Gale

Some Conference survey responses on reasons for attending:

–        “It’s a real event with wonderful opportunities to pitch agents/editors; and network with other authors and industry pros. The workshops are diverse and are filled with expertise and facts to tangibly help writers. I also love the location.”

–        “Networking.”

–         “Price, location, willingness of other writer friends to attend.”

–        “Extensive classes and the chance to convene with other authors.”

–         “Agent critique. Proximity.”

–        “Information on publishing, access to agents.”

–        “Location, location, location.”

Thoughts from some of our SCWA Board of Directors:

–        “It’s been a great gift to meet and connect with other writers around the state. I’m really excited to be planning the 2018 conference and look forward to offering South Carolina writers a chance to connect with one another and learn from master writers and teachers in the field.” Amber Wheeler Bacon, SCWA Board Quill Editor and 2018 Conference Co-Chair.

–        “What I’ve enjoyed most is meeting the many diverse writers around the state.” Roger Jones, SCWA Board Member at Large.

–        “The Sunday morning panel was informative, interesting, and friendly. Conference attendees not only learned something about the importance of good book design, but also about the impact of the cover, the value of engaging in a literary community, and the do’s and don’ts of writing query letters.” Jayne Bowers, SCWA Board Membership/Publicity

–        The accomplishment I am proudest of this past year, “I can tell you it’s the way in which your Board of Directors pulled together as a team, each contributing their time and best skills to the benefit of SCWA. We are updating existing programs and introducing new ones, had a super “Big Dream” Conference, and The Petigru Review lived up to its high regard by the Kirkus Reviews. It’s been a great year!” Carol-Ann Rudy, SCWA BOD President and 2017 Conference Co-Chair.

–        “Woo hoo! So proud of us.” Torie Amarie Dale, SCWA BOD Vice-President and 2017 Conference Chairperson, speaking to members upon completion of the conference.

Post Conference messages to Torie from Faculty and Participants:

“Thank you ever so much.  The conference was wonderful.  I enjoyed teaching the two sessions, and hope the participants benefited.  It was a real pleasure to work with you, and the board and staff of the SCWA. The conference was substantive, with a full and varied slate of sessions and activities; it attracted accomplished and receptive participants.  Brava to you!  And I hope you get some time for rest and recovery.  That was a lot of people and logistics to handle, and it all came off beautifully.” Kathryn Rhett, Author.

“Thank you again for inviting me to be a part of the SCWA Conference this past weekend. It was lovely to meet your members and I’m so glad to hear of their enthusiasm for us presenters and the conference itself.” Annie Hwang, Agent

“Torie, you did a great job. The conference was rewarding to me as an instructor, and I’m pretty confident that the attendees in my workshops enjoyed themselves and came away with new ideas and insights applicable to their writing. Thank you for inviting me, for handling the transportation, and for an enjoyable weekend.” Jessica Handler, Author

“I was impressed by the planning that contributed to a successful conference. Thanks” Elaine Allcut, Former SCWA Board member

“You made it happen. You were everywhere and it was very appreciated.” Camille Sabbagh





Sue Cryer is the Blog Writer for The SCWA Board of Directors and a member of the Chapin Chapter. She is also a Freelance Writer who formerly worked as a Newspaper Correspondent and Feature Writer for news media in NY and MA.



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One Response to A TIME TO REVIEW

  1. Elaine Allcut says:

    Thanks for posting a review of the SCWA Conference. It was one of the best I’ve ever attended. You are a welcome asset to team. Elaine

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