Accomodations for Spring Conference in Columbia

Mariott Courtyard, 630 Assembly St., Columbia (803) 799-7800. $149.

Contact Hannah Kay, account manager

Aloft, 823 Lady St., Columbia, (803) 445-1900, rate $179

Group Sales contact: Alexa Lester, ext. 4604

Hyatt Place, Downtown, The Vista, 819 Gervais Street. 803 978 2013. King $159, Queen $169. Includes breakfast buffet & complimentary self-parking. Valet $22. Group sales: Stephanie Molick.


When using the link enter the arrival and departure dates, click on the book now box and book the reservation. Guests can also call (888) 492-8847; give the group code which is G-WRAS to the reservations agent when booking. Must be booked by 4/3/20.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 501 Taylor and Huger, Columbia. (803) 744-4000. $129

Choice of King bed or 2 queens. 4 blocks from Convention Center (going back way). Free breakfast. Courtesy parking. Contact Bianca Virk. The code to book the rate is SCS and the online booking link is:

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2020 Spring Conference- CANCELED

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC (commonly referred to as Coronavirus). The board of directors will be in touch regarding future event offerings.

 WHEN: CANCELLED                                        WHERE: In the heart of downtown Columbia, SC, Convention Center                                     

COST: Members- Early Bird, $275 (Register by March 15)                                                                           Members- Late Registration, $315 (Register after March 15)                                                         Non-Members- Early Bird, $325 (Register by March 15)                                                               Non-Members- Late Registration, $365 (Register after March 15)                                               DEPOSIT ONLY Registration- 2 payments of $137.50 by 4/15                                                     Student Discount: $150, includes annual membership to SCWA. (Must present                       valid student ID at registration sign-in.)

Become a member for your discount! $52 membership fee through 3/31/21.     

 MEALS: Friday hors d’oeuvres, Saturday breakfast and lunch, Sunday breakfast,   discount to Columbia Food & Wine Festival.                                                                                     TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS: These are left to your discretion. We recommend   the nearby hotels at this link:

The conference is located in  the heart of Columbia’s Vista district, and in walking distance to restaurants, art   galleries, and more.                                                           

CRITIQUES: Have your work critiqued by a professional editor, agent or writer for an additional fee:                                                                                                                                   $70/10 double-spaced pages                                                                                                                 $650/100 double-spaced pages     



SATURDAY KEYNOTE: Belle Boggs is the author of The Gulf: A Novel; The Art of Waiting; and Mattaponi Queen: Stories. The Art of Waiting was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and was named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, the Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories set along Virginia’s Mattaponi River, won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. Her stories and essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Orion, the Paris Review, Harper’s, Ecotone, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor of English at North Carolina State University, where she also directs the MFA program in creative writing. Keynote and Workshop.

SUNDAY KEYNOTE: Ray McManus is the author of ­­Driving Through the Country Before You Are Born, Left Behind, Red Dirt Jesus, and Punch. His latest collection, Punch, published by Hub City Press in 2014, won the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award. Red Dirt Jesus was awarded the Marick Press Poetry Prize. He recently co-edited an anthology with USC Press called Found Anew. He is an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Sumter and the director of the Center for Oral Narrative housed in the Division of Arts and Letters. He is Writer in Residence at the Columbia Museum of Art, and the Chair for the South Carolina Academy of Authors. McManus is the founder of Split P Soup, a creative writing outreach program that places writers in schools and communities in South Carolina, and former director of the creative writing program at the Tri-District Arts Consortium. His current outreach project is Re:Verse, a teaching initiative that works with teachers and administrators on developing effective strategies for bringing creative writing back to standard education. Keynote and Panelist.

Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the founding director of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival, and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. In 2013, Haupt established USC Press’s acclaimed Story River Books fiction imprint, edited by the late Pat Conroy and named by Garden & Gun magazine as one of the top ten things to love about the South. He is coeditor (with Nicole Seitz) of the award-winning anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. Haupt’s articles, book reviews, and author interviews have appeared in the Charleston Post and Courier, Beaufort Lowcountry Weekly, Beaufort Lifestyle magazine, Pink magazine, Shrimp, Collards & Grits magazine, Fall Lines, Southern Writers magazine’s Suite T blog, and the Conroy Center’s Porch Talk blog. He serves as an associate producer and consultant to the SCETV author interview program By the River, on the board of directors of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, on the American Writers Museum affiliates steering committee, and on the South Carolina Humanities advisory committee. Panelist and In Conversation.

Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D., is a six-time Pushcart Prize-nominated author of 16 books and audio programs of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, as well as a TEXx speaker, a Huffington Post blogger, and a columnist for Literary Mama. As Andi Buchanan, the author of the memoir, The Beginning of Everything, attests, “Cassie Premo Steele writes with poetry and power, managing to enlighten and educate even as she explores emotional depth. As insightful as it is lyrical, her work is not to be missed.” She works as a writing coach with people from around the world, combining mindfulness and innovative stress reduction techniques for a unique coaching experience, and she also offers an affordable weekly audio coaching program called JOYWORK at her website, Workshop and Panelist.

Len Lawson is the author of Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019), the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017). His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.  He has received fellowships from Callaloo, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Weymouth Center for the Arts, and scholarships from Pen Parentis and the Emrys Foundation. His poetry appears in Callaloo Journal, African American Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Len is also a Ph.D. student in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has taught English in South Carolina higher education for ten years. He received the 2020 Carrie McCray Poetry Fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Panelist and Poetry Roundtable Critique Leader.

Susan Sloate is the author of more than 20 award-winning published books, including the 2013 bestseller Stealing Fire. This book was named a Quarter-Finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. It went to #2 in its category on Amazon in its first 48 hours and was a Hot New Release for its first 90 days. Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition is a re-edited version of Susan’s original 2003 time-travel thriller that became a #6 Amazon bestseller and was optioned for film. ​Realizing You, published in September 2013, launched a new genre: the self-help novel. Susan has also written 17 young-adult fiction and nonfiction books, two produced stage plays and two optioned film works. In 2009, she discussed her book, Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz, on The History Channel’s Mystery Quest special on Alcatraz. Her children’s biography, Ray Charles: Find Another Way! won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards competition. She coaches authors in all aspects of writing, publishing and marketing their work. Her latest project is the Talk Jam podcast, on topics ranging from the Bible to history to conspiracy, which she co-hosts with fellow best-selling author Kelly Fitzgerald Fowler. Workshop and Panelist.

Alexia Paul began publishing career at the William Morris Agency in New York, then honed her writing and editorial skills at the Joy Harris Literary Agency where she worked with a client list of more than 150 authors. As an agent, she sold books to publishers such as Random House and Little Brown. More important, she became adept at supporting writers at every stage of the journey—from idea to publication. Since launching Alexia Paul Editorial over a decade ago, she has helped writers of all stripes create prose that sings. Workshop and Panelist.

Candace Thompson is a dynamic speaker on a mission to unlock the artist within you. She is an IT professional with a concentration in Learning and Development. With a BA in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, she has spent over 10 years studying human behavior and self-identity. She is the Founder of ​Canvases With Candace, LLC; ​a mobile paint event company. Utilizing her expertise in technical training and psychology, she offers a “soul therapy” session for artists—guiding them through a journey of self discovery. As a workshop facilitator for goal accomplishment, creating an action based mindset and overcoming obstacles, she teaches individuals how to climb an upward spiral. Candace is author of ​#ImpressYourself. Workshop.

John Jeter is winner of Converse College’s Above & Beyond Award in 2017. He is a journalist, novelist, playwright, and entrepreneur. In the Upstate, Jeter is best known as co-founder of The Handlebar, a concert venue he owned and operated with his wife, Kathy Laughlin, for 20 years. As a nationally published author, his books include Rockin’ A Hard Place, a Hub City Press memoir based on his experience as the Greenville club’s talent buyer; The Plunder Room, his debut novel from St. Martin’s Press; and The Lucifer Genome, a co-authored thriller from Brigid’s Fire Press. Jeter is also a contract stringer for The New York Times. He spent a month in Italy for a writing residency to work on his stage play, The Last Lynching. He has traveled to Europe, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Central America, Mexico and Canada, the Caribbean, southern Africa, the Middle East and throughout the United States. Jeter has appeared on Oprah! and in newspapers and radio, as a contributor and a subject. Workshop and Panelist.

Duncan Murrell is an editor of academic books, monographs, articles, and other projects. He also edits fiction and nonfiction intended for general audiences. As an acquisitions editor at Algonquin Books, he acquired and published dozens of books, including several bestsellers. As a freelance editor, he’s edited three New York Times bestselling novels, consulted with the University of Georgia Press on natural history books, and has worked on books on everything from sailing to parasitic zoonoses. He is also a writer living in Pittsboro, North Carolina. He is currently a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, The Oxford American magazine, and The Normal School. He also writes for The Highline @ The Huffington Post, The New Republic, Men’s Journal, Our State Magazine, and Southwest Magazine. His work has been recognized in Best American Essays and he’s been a resident at Yaddo. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing (fiction) from Bennington College. He likes to run. Panelist and Critiques.

Complete faculty list can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions


SCWA Columbia conference


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Read the Latest Quill!

april 2020 quill




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November 2019 Quill
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The Petigru Review

SCWA is proud to announce that in 2019, The Petigru Review went digital. We also opened the online publication to submissions from the public, but made sure to save space in the journal for SCWA members, too. These decisions broadened the scope of the publication, moving it from a somewhat regional Southern publication, to one where different voices and stories from all over the world enter into a conversation with those Southern voices. The result we think speaks for itself. Read Issue 13 here:

 Submissions are currently closed for our 2020 issue as we received over 500 submissions. We will be accepting work for our next issue in April 2021 in the following areas:

Short Stories (up to 5000 words; or 3 flash pieces up to 1000 words)

Novel Chapters (up to 5000 words)

Nonfiction (up to 5000 words; or 3 flash essays up to 1000 words)

Poetry (up to 3 poems per document)


We are also interested in essays on the writing life and/or critical essays to include on the TPR blog.

A note about our taste and style:

We’re a literary magazine in the South, but we’re not stuck to any antiquated idea about what that might mean. The editors are especially interested in diverse and emerging voices. What we want most is good, honest work, no matter where it comes from. Please send your poems, stories, essays and novel chapters our way. Read Issue 13, free and online, for an idea of what we’ve published in the past. 

We can’t wait to read your work!

The Editors, Vivian Bikulege and Ferguson Williams

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