The Pat Conroy Literary Center's
Our Prince of Scribes Writers Conference
Aiken, South Carolina | August 24
Our Prince of Scribes isn’t just a collection of homages but also a delightful introduction to Conroy’s vast and talented circle of friends.”— Kathleen Parker, Washington Post

Since its publication in September 2018, the anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy , edited by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haup t, has been the subject of more than 40 events in ten states, featuring (thus far) 51 of the volume’s 67 contributing writers. The essays in the collection honor Pat Conroy (1945–2016) as lifelong teacher, mentor, friend, and champion of his fellow writers. In that same spirit of mentorship, the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center will host a one-day writers conference in Aiken, South Carolina, featuring five of the collection’s writers.

Join Our Prince of Scribes contributing writers William A. Balk Jr., Tim Conroy, Jonathan Haupt, Alexia Jones Helsley, and John Warley for a lively series of four writing workshops at the Aiken County Historical Museum and a panel discussion at the Aiken County Public Library on Saturday, August 24—presented in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the South Carolina Writers Association
REGISTRATION: $40 for SCWA members and $55 for non-members, all-day registration includes all 4 workshops. (Lunch is on your own.) The closing panel discussion is free and open to the public; books by presenting workshop faculty—including Our Prince of Scribes —will be available for sale and signing.
The South Carolina Writers Association is a statewide nonprofit literary arts organization offering  a supportive environment for people to become better writers. Learn more at .
Meet Our Faculty & Presenters
William A. Balk Jr., veteran bookseller and master gardener, is a contributing writer to Our Prince of Scribes . Balk also writes for  He serves on the board of directors of South Carolina Humanities and on the advisory council of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, where he is the volunteer coordinator and a docent.

Tim Conroy is a poet and former educator. His work has been published in literary journals, magazines, and compilations, including Fall Lines, Jasper , Marked by Water, and Our Prince of Scribes. In 2017, Muddy Ford Press published his first book of poetry, Theologies of Terrain, edited by Ed Madden, poet laureate of the City of Columbia. Conroy is also a founding board member of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, established in his brother’s honor .

Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. With novelist Nicole Seitz, he is co-editor of the anthology Our Prince of Scribes . Haupt’s articles, book reviews, and author interviews have appeared in the Charleston Post & Courier , Beaufort Lowcountry Weekly , Beaufort Lifestyle magazine, Pink magazine, Fall Lines , 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
Alexia Jones Helsley is an American archivist and historian who currently serves as senior instructor of history and university archivist at the University of South Carolina Aiken. She is the author of several nonfiction books, including Beaufort, South Carolina: A History; Wicked Beaufort; Hidden History of Greenville County, SC; A Guide to Historic Beaufort; Columbia, South Carolina: History; Wicked Edisto: The Dark Side of Eden; and The Lost History of Aiken County. In addition, she is a contributor to South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times , volume 1, the South Carolina Encyclopedia, and Our Prince of Scribes. She is the recipient of the 2006 Governor’s Archives Award, USCA’s first part-time teaching award, and the Bobby Gilmer Moss Research Award (SCDAR).
John Warley , a native South Carolinian, is a graduate of The Citadel and the University of Virginia School of Law. Now a full-time writer, he divides his time between Beaufort, South Carolina, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Warley is the author of the novels Bethesda’s Child, The Moralist, The Moralist II, A Southern Girl, and The Home Guard . He is also the author of the nonfiction book Stand Forever, Yielding Never: The Citadel in the 21st Century and “The Citadel at War,” a narrative history of the college etched into the granite walls of The Citadel War Memorial, which opened to the public in October 2017. Warley is a contributing essayist to Our Prince of Scribes.
TripAdvisor’s top-ranked destination in Beaufort, the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is located at 905 Port Republic Street in historic downtown and open to the public from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays. Winner of the 2019 Civitas Award for Tourism Leadership presented by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Conroy Center is South Carolina’s first affiliate of the American Writers Museum and second American Library Association Literary Landmark. Through its interpretive center, year-round educational programs, and annual literary festival, the Conroy Center preserves and continues the literary legacy of Pat Conroy (1945–2016) as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and friend to readers and writers alike. 
Our Schedule of Events | August 24
Aiken County Historical Museum, 433 Newberry Street SW

10:00–11:00 a.m., Bookselling 101: A Conversation for Writers and Readers |William A. Balk Jr. and Jonathan Haupt
In a dialogue aimed toward the interests of writers and readers alike, veteran bookseller William A. Balk Jr. and former publisher and book marketer Jonathan Haupt will discuss the multifaceted world of book selling. Topics addressed in this session will include the economics of bookstores and distributors, successful author events (book signings), winning the hearts and minds of your local bookstores as a customer and an author, and the importance of immersion into your local literary community as reader, patron, and writer. Bring your own questions too for a lively round of Ask a Bookseller! 

11:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m., Navigating Pathways to Publication | Jonathan Haupt
From traditional models to self-publishing to hybrid, myriad opportunities for publication now exist for writers, but finding legitimate paths to publication can be a challenge for many burgeoning writers. Conroy Center executive director and former USC Press director Jonathan Haupt will offer an overview for identifying directories of vetted opportunities for publication—agents, publishers, contests, and journals—with an emphasis of pathways into small presses and regional presses. This session will also include a brief discussion—both instructive and cautionary—of how Pat Conroy’s first two books, The Boo and The Water Is Wide , came to be published.

12:20–1:50 p.m., Lunch on Your Own
Visit one of historic downtown Aiken’s many fine local restaurants. Then let’s regroup for two more afternoon sessions at the Aiken County Historical Museum followed by our closing panel at the Aiken County Public Library

1:50-2:50 p.m., Backstories, Linchpins and Launching Pads: Writing with Historical Documents | Alexia Jones Helsley
Join author and historian Alexia Jones Helsley to explore the exciting possibilities of using historical documents to inspire your creativity and enrich your story telling. Drawing on her years of archival experience, Helsley will share examples of South Carolina’s rich documentary heritage as participants delve behind the written word to discover new perspectives on the past, new understanding of the stories behind the written words and a renewed appreciation of the old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction.” 

3:00–4:00 p.m., Saying the Great Yes | Tim Conroy
Do you choose to become a poet or do currents steer you towards its shore? In this session, poet Tim Conroy will discuss his brother Pat’s commitment to the writing life at a young age and Pat’s transition from self-described “failed poet” to successful writer of lyrical prose. Tim will also discuss how, inspired by his brother and sister Carol, he too was finally able to say his own great Yes to becoming a writer. Through excerpts of poetry about writing and familial stories, this session invites participants to think about and share what has held them back and what has pushed them forward in their own creative lives. Participants will explore how choice, risk, and commitment inform our writing practices.

Aiken County Public Library, 314 Chesterfield Street S.

4:30–6:00 p.m., Our Prince of Scribes panel discussion and book signing
The award-winning anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy celebrates the remarkable legacy of Pat Conroy as teacher, mentor, friend, and champion to his fellow writers. Moderated by co-editor and Conroy Center executive director Jonathan Haupt , this lively panel discussion will featuring four of the collection’s contributing writers—bookseller and gardening writer William A. Balk Jr. , poet Tim Conroy , historian Alexia Jones Helsley , and novelist John Warley —as they discuss the inspirational roles Pat Conroy played in their own writing lives. A book signing will follow their discussion. This closing event is free an open to the public.  
Praise for Our Prince of Scribes
“A moving tribute to the legacy of one of the South’s brightest lights.”— Garden & Gun’s Talk of the South

“In Our Prince of Scribes , edited by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, a collection of writers navigate the rich and often complicated landscape that was Conroy's life.... Many of the writers have benefited from Conroy's nurturing, and through their stories, they seek to honor his memory and continue to advance his unmistakable impact on modern literature.”— Augusta Chronicle

Our Prince of Scribes is an outpouring of love and gratitude from the members of Pat Conroy’s tribe.... Once a relationship was made with Conroy, he meant to keep it going.... [W]hatever the cause, the world could sure use more of the kindness and generosity he spread wherever he went. ”— Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio

Our Prince of Scribes has been honored as the Silver Medal Winner for Best Regional Nonfiction by the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards, the First Place Winner for Best Nonfiction Anthology in the 2019 International Book Awards, a Fall 2018 Okra Pick of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, a 2018 official selection of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, and a reading list recommendation of Deep South Magazine and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Book sales of Our Prince of Scribes help support the educational mission of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center.

This October 31-November 3, SCWA is holding its first-ever Writing Retreat in beautiful Beaufort, SC--happening during the 4th annual Pat Conroy Literary Festiva l! This event is a small group of writers working directly with extraordinary faculty to hone their skills and elevate their craft. Learn more and register at the link below.
Pat Conroy Literary Center | 905 Port Republic St, Beaufort, SC 29902
843-379-7025 |