Annual High School Writing Contest

By Brenda Remmes

Immediately with the beginning of the new year, SCWW was off and running with their annual high school writing competition established for eleventh and twelfth graders throughout South Carolina. Four hundred letters went out to all public high schools, private high schools, and home schools on our list. If your school did not receive an announcement and wants to be included, please notify us so that we add your name to our mailing list.

The categories for submission include fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The deadline for entries was March 1st and our three judges are in the process now of evaluating each piece of writing. We were delighted to have the following judges agree to evaluate submissions:

Gene Fehler for poetry: Gene is a widely published poet and the author of over eighteen hundred published poems, stories and article. His work has been anthologized in college textbooks and in books published by Boyds Mill Press, Addison Wesley Longman, Hyperion Books for Children, Doubleday, St. Martin’s Press, Houghton Mifflin, Meadowbrook Press, Avon Books, Pocket Books and others. His young adult free verse novel, Beanball, was named 2008 Best Book in the Grades 7-12 Novel. Gene spends several weeks a year with students as a visiting poet in South Carolina’s Artist-in-Education Program.

Thomas Dabbs for non-fiction. Tom is currently Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance studies at Aoyama Gakuin University in central Tokyo, where he has taught since 2003. He is a graduate of Furman University, with a degree in English. He completed an M.A. in English at Claremont Graduate School and earned a Ph.D. in English, from the University of South Carolina. His publications include a book on Christopher Marlowe (Bucknell UP) and various other articles and presentations in the fields of Shakespearean studies, reception studies, and general literature. Tom is currently on sabbatical and residing in Columbia, SC, where he is conducting research at the Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina.

Kathryn Lovatt for fiction. Kathryn completed her MFA at Hollins University in Virginia and taught classes in creative writing at universities in Hong Kong and Indonesia. Kathryn has worked as both a journalist and a corporate editor. She has received fellowships at both The Weymouth Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She is twice winner of the Carrie McCray Awards, once in fiction and once in poetry, and has also received the Doris Betts Prize for short fiction and the Robert Rourke Fiction Award. In addition, she has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Awards.

Winners will be announced by Martha Greenway, our contest chair, at the end of April. Members of SCWW plan to work with each school to find an appropriate time to recognize students and present awards to the winners. In our minds, however, every student who entered is a winner. As every writer knows, you can’t get published without first submitting.

Our next writing contest will be the Carrie McCray Awards which are sponsored in coordination with our annual conference in October. Look for more information on that coming soon.

First Conference Teaser of 2011!

Am I the only person who can't believe it's nearly April? This year seems to be blowing right past me, along with the fresh pollen.

So, since it is nearly April, it's time to start letting members know what they can expect at the 2011 conference. It's seven months away, but I know you'll want to start planning now once you hear about some of our faculty.

First, our Saturday night keynote will be M.J. Rose. She's the internationally best-selling author of 11 novels. She's also a founding member of the International Thriller Writers.

We have several other publishing experts joining Ms. Rose at the conference. Here's just a sample:

David B. Coe, fantasy author
Sarah LaPolla, agent wth Curtis Brown
Eddie Schneider, agent with JABberwocky Literary Agency
Chuck Sambuchino, editor with Writers Digest Books
Alyssa Eisner, agent with Trident Media
Melissa Jeglinski, agent with the Knight Agency
Bill Starr, author and director of the Georgia Center for the Book
Stephen Barr, agent at Writers House

For more updates and information about a couple of changes to the conference, be sure to read the Conference Corner in the upcoming Quill.

Have a question about the conference or want to help? Email me at

In the meantime, keep an eye on the blog for new posts from other SCWW Board members.

Behind the Scenes

Thanks for stopping by to visit the SCWW Blog! I’m glad you’re here and I hope you find this blog entertaining and informative. If you ever have a question about SCWW, our annual October conference or anything else related to SCWW, please stop by here or go to our website: If you can’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to email any board member. Our email addresses are on the website.

As you know, we are an all-volunteer board. Most of us spend the majority of our time either working to pay the bills or writing to feed our souls. The hours we spend doing the business of SCWW are those “extra” hours that come at the end of a 40-hour work week or at the end of a day spent writing. We volunteer the hours we do because we are devoted to making this the best organization for writers that we can.

So, right now there is a lot going on behind the scenes; the new and improving website, the conference, tracking down grants to help with SCWW costs in a tough economic year and trying to build membership to name just a few.

The conference is high on my list of things to do. We’re working hard to line up faculty members and vendors. We’ve talked with the nice people at the Hilton. There are so many things that go into planning this three-day event and we are trying to get everything just right.

Last year we made some adjustments to our exhibitor area and I think the changes worked quite well. Traffic flowed much better and the vendors who joined us had front-row seats where they got to see and interact with the attendees.

We’re excited about some new additions to our vendor/exhibitor list and hope to continue to add to that list. If you’re interested in getting an author table or a vendor area, get in touch vial email at

Stay tuned here for more hints and suggestions about the conference and all things related to SCWW, the art and craft of writing as well as the business of writing. And as always, if you have a question or concern about SCWW, please feel free to contact me:

It's a New Day

I am pleased to inform you that we have a new webmaster that has brought our site current and will be working closely with the board all during the year to keep you abreast of conference activities and everything else that is of interest to our membership.

The award-winning firm is Net Studios, Inc. Their website is if you want to check out their work. And I’m just as happy to let you know their cost is less than we’ve paid in at least three years. Net Studios, Inc. is a good deal for us all the way around.

We learned from our conference exit survey that most conference goers found us through our website and other internet searches. Thus it is most important to have a webmaster that can accommodate our specific needs, especially during conference-planning season.

In addition, NSI is finding ways to heighten our cyber profile to bring us new members and increase the size of our conference and our financial viability…a must in these economic conditions. They’ve even put forth great suggestions, like making members’ works available for purchase with a link to Amazon from our website, while SCWW makes a few dollars on the transactions.

After we catch up on all the housekeeping duties that are a priority at, NSI will begin to make changes on the backside of our website. Streamlining the process required to make changes and add information so that eventually board members can handles these duties, eliminating the webmaster charges associated with these services.

Patience is a virtue, and your patience surely paid off. Thank you for bearing with the Board as we went through the processes of requesting quotes and bidding that resulted in finding the right webmaster for SCWW.