New 2011 Conference Teaser

First, I'd like to thank all of the SCWW Board members who are working on all of the non-conference aspects of SCWW, as well as many of the sub-areas of the conference. As soon as Spring begins, my mind, time and calendar seem to get tunnel vision, concentrating on October. But, that's not the only thing SCWW is concentrating on right now.

Tibby Plants is checking mail daily, organizing The Petigru Review submissions. Kim Boykin is constantly working on ways to spice up The Quill. Martha Greenway and Brenda Remmes are getting confirmations from Carrie McCray contest judges. Our new treasurer Mike Long is making sure all of us stay within our budget. Steve Gordy answers questions from any chaper leaders and sends out membership renewal notices. Kim Blum-Hyclak just rejoined us and she's gearing up to mastermind a new silent auction system, while Kia Goins is accepting applications from members who want to volunteer at the conference. Lateia Sandifer is serving as a resource of her years of experience. And Ginny Padgett -- she's keeping us all in the loop and on the straight-and-narrow!

So rest assured that SCWW is more than just an annual conference. The other pieces of the puzzle are just as vital for an oranized, well-maintained writing organization.

And now, on to my piece this year -- the conference.

On the right, you'll find a list of the faculty members who have kindly agreed to share their time and experience with us this October. Want to know more about them? Make sure you visit our website,, often for the latest facuty bios. We've included links to their websites, blogs and Twitter accounts. Take a moment and visit these areas. It's time well spent in finding out the best match for your critiques, pitches, real-time queries, etc., and will help you in picking sessions when we open registration June 15.

While you're on the conference site,, be sure to look at all of the other tabs, too. We have new details on appointment times and a new pricing list. While there is a small increase in registration fees this year, SCWW is still one of the most affordable conferences in the United States. We would have loved to keep the fees at the same rate we've had for two years, but inflation and a loss of state grant funds required that we have a slight increase. But, we're also offering more features. For example, you no longer must choose between signing up for multiple critiques or attending Saturday and Sunday sessions. Critique appointment times will be Friday, so you may enjoy every moment of the weekend sessions.

Finally, have you considered being a volunteer at the conference? Kia Goins is still accepting applications from members in good standing who would like to assist at the conference this year. There are full-time and part-time slots available. Volunteers are eligible for a discounted rate for the conference, plus, the joy in knowing they're making a difference in the writing community!

For more information on the conference, or if you have a question, feel free to email me at

What a Concept!

By Kim Boykin

I envy young writers. Their craft isn’t necessarily their lives, although for some it is, but their lives are less cluttered than a seasoned writer like myself. "Seasoned" meaning old enough to have too much “stuff” that keeps me from parking my butt in the chair. Or having too much on my plate and my mind so that when I do sit down, nothing comes out.

Last year, I took a week off from four dogs, one husband, a son who was home for the summer, and elderly parents to go to Wildacres, an artist’s retreat in the mountains run by the incomparable Judi Hill. During her address to the 100-plus campers, Judi said, “Whether you come to Wildacres or not, every writer should dedicate at least one week to their craft. It’s your time to write, to think, to read, to eat, and of course drink. And then you write some more.”

I’d called myself a writer for years, carving out time in between raising kids and a gazillion other responsibilities, waking up in the middle of the night to write something down because I knew I wouldn’t have time the next day. So as a caretaker, this concept of giving myself a week off was foreign and monumental. What would happen if all I did was tend to my craft, eat good food, and listen to bluegrass music?

Well, my husband and son didn’t kill each other, my parents missed me but did just fine, and the world as I knew it didn’t end. After a week in an almost holy place, with a bunch of creatives I was reborn, refueled, revived, whatever you want to call it, and my writing was all the better for it.

Sometimes, life is so crazy it’s hard to remember what happened between the time you woke up and the time your head hit the pillow. And in this economy, not everybody has the resources to give themselves a week or even a day to dedicate to their craft. So start with an hour. Carve 60 precious minutes out of the 168 hours you have this week and give it wholly to your process.

If you’re willing to give yourself more, come to the free workshop the Rock Hill SCWW is offering Saturday, June 11 9a.m.-5p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church. The workshop is entitled "From The Mind and The Heart To the Page." A session called, "Write Your Story," is lead by award-winning author and poet, Judy Goldman and author/Charlotte Observer reporter, Rich Rothacher. Contact Kim Blum-Hyclak at to register, but do it fast because it will fill up.

Whatever you choose to do for your craft, unplug anything that is a distraction, and tell the ones who can’t be unplugged you’re giving yourself completely to your writing. Even if it’s just for an hour. What a concept!

Carrie McCray Contest

By Brenda Remmes

We will begin accepting submissions for the Carrie McCray Contests on May 1, 2011. For specifics on submission requirements, go to the SCWW website, and click on the Contests sidebar. Keep in mind that you must be attending the SCWW 2011 conference to enter the contest. At the close of the contest, we will cross reference your entry with registrations for the conference before submitting it to the judges.

All submissions are a blind entry: no names are included on the pages. As in the past, none of the judges are Board Members of SCWW. In fact, most of the judges aren’t even members of SCWW.

Submissions are accepted in four categories: Poetry, Short non-Fiction, Short Fiction, and First Chapter Novels. Poetry is to be no more than forty lines and a limit of 4,000 words apply to the other three categories. Further details are on the web site.

We have almost completed selecting our judges for this competition. Their names and backgrounds will be forthcoming. Each judge is either a published author, an editor, or a teacher of creative writing at the college level. There will be three judges for each category who will score each entry based on a 30 point scale: 10 points for CONTENT (originality and creativity), 10 points for STRUCTURE (grammar and mechanics), and 10 points for STYLE (sentence cohesion, story arc, aesthetics success). The scores from the three judges will be added to determine the winner.

We encourage conference attendees to take advantage of this contest. There is a $200 first prize and a $100 second prize in each category. Winners will be announced at the conference.

Deadline for Conference Volunteer Applications

If you are interested in volunteering for either a full- or part-time slot at the 2011 Conference, please contact Kia Goins at for an application. Include 'Volunteer' in your subject line.

Applications will be accepted through May 7.

See this month's Quill for other Conference updates. Don't get the Quill? Join SCWW. The monthly newsletter is only one of the benefits of membership in SCWW.