Agents are now under contract for the "Big Dream" Conference.

Friday, October 27 - Sunday, October 29, 2017, on Pawley's Island.

Click on 

for additional details!

SCWA Quill


The Petigru Review receives a positive review from Kirkus!

*Kirkus is an independent reviewer that, "gives a concise, unbiased opinion that can be positive, negative or neutral." 

Directly from the Kirkus review:

This 10th-anniversary edition of a literary journal features award-winning work in multiple genres by members of the South Carolina Writers’ Association. The SCWA’s founder and board member, Carrie Allen McCray, contributed to a flush of literary activity in South Carolina before her death in 2008 at age 94. Her own interest in Southern subjects fits with the first award-winning entry here, Skip Shockley’s “Samuels’ Gold,” the lead chapter of a novel that focuses on a post–Civil War heist. Although the period details of the 1865-set narrative bring readers believably to the coast of Florida, setting them down in the midst of a murder plot, the pacing requires some patience. (Perhaps life and fiction move more quickly now.) The more contemporary stories, however, conjure vivid scenes and lessons. In Kasie Whitener’s “Cover Up,” a middle-aged woman gets her old tattoo touched up and feels a desire for the tattoo artist but ultimately finds a relationship with her wilder, vulnerable 19-year-old self. In Jayne Bowers’ “Come On, Sweet Boy,” a grandmother tells about her daughter’s experience with a difficult birth in a tale that squeezes the heart without recourse to sentiment or exaggeration. A clear bit of memoir, Bob Strother’s “Friends in the Wind,” concludes that it would be nice to hear the voice of an old friend, who would understand “that our wilting body is a joke of recent vintage, and not everything we have ever been.” However, the present day doesn’t escape scrutiny. The poem “Chatter through the Ether” by Michael Crowley, for example, worries about the cellphone generation with their “plastic talismans”; missing out on the beauty of the world, they appear crazed: “Our captains of the ether sail on / certain that constant chatter equals living. / In earlier generations only / the deranged walked helter-skelter down streets // shouting into the ether.” Many of the other entries also portray persuasive narrators and engaging revelations. Adrienne Mathues’ “The Waltz,” for example, a charming nonfiction piece on the struggle of learning the tango, dances toward a quiet but powerful exhilaration. 

An impressive, wide-ranging collection of a region’s creative voices.

You'll find The 10th Anniversary Petigru Review for sale on Amazon-



Last month I pursued the question of why this organization exists. Today, I ask why you belong to it, but that is a rhetorical question to which I wish to offer an answer.

You came from multiple routes. Perhaps you have a degree in English, or literature, or journalism, or that holy grail: the MFA in Creative Writing. Or perhaps, like me, you came unanointed from a skill set not classically connected with creative writing, but still you came, with a desire to write. As I said last month, “We [the SCWA] are all writers, you and I.” We came to this organization to become better at it; to rub elbows and listen to the advice of those other people we assume are so far ahead of us, on the journey to publication.

You bit your lip when you first shared your sentences at the writers group table, and grit your teeth as the mourning bell tolled out your transgressions. You could hardly hear the words spoken by the others at the table, because of the blood rushing up from your heart, pounding in your ears. And then one voice among the masters told you it was well written, or your voice was unique and strong, or your sentence about that man standing by the water cooler was vivid. That night you walked back to your car, rewinding and replaying that compliment again and again. Your pace quickened. Your back became straighter, and your smile beamed in the darkness. Yes!

You are better at it now, but still a long way from another Pat Conroy, or that writer you always loved reading. You remember that one? The one that planted the seed in your brain that you could write such a thing. And step by step, you came to realize that you would only bloom in the company of other writers.

Remember that newer us. That newer you, sharing your first piece with strangers. That nerdy me, standing in the corner with glasses ajar and clutching my battered journal to my chest, just below my perfectly arranged pens in my pocket protector. Look around you. Find us. Take us by the hand and introduce us to the others in the SCWA. It will make your life richer. It will make you a better writer. Because then, you must tell us all the things you have learned, since exposing your first project to the others.

Robert F. Lackey
President, Board of Directors for the
South Carolina Writers Association


Our members have been asking, and we are now pleased to take this step forward. 

The SCWA is soliciting creative short fiction, flash fiction, poetry and essays of 500 words or less.  Each month all work submitted will be judged by members of the SCWA board.

Please send your entries in a word document to


Laura P. Valtorta's short film, "Queen of the Road," has been selected for the Artemis Film Festival,April 20-23, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. Artemis is a production company.

Laura P. Valtorta
Attorney at Law/ Filmmaker

  • Chapter Highlight 
  • A pleasant email exchange with Florence Chapter Leader Dianne Poston Owens introduced me to a unique critiquing method that is definitely "share-worthy." Per Dianne-

"It all started because we email items to be read/critiqued prior to our meeting. Usually items arrive Saturday but no later than Sunday. Some of our group like to print out and edit hard copy, while others edit the document on the computer. We then email critiques, suggestions, ideas, etc., back to the person before we meet on Thursdays. On Thursdays we go over critiques, see where we all agreed/disagreed etc. and then are free to write if critiquing doesn't take too long. 

Also, we had a member who moved, and he sends items electronically to us to peruse and we send back our thoughts. 
Because we meet weekly, sometimes folks just email items if they are going to miss a meeting.."

Does your chapter have its own method of critiquing.  Email me at and let me know!

The "Big Dream," Conference

 Photos of Litchfield Beach on Pawley's Island

You will have the opportunity to


Meet our Agents:

Kerry D’Agostino joined Curtis Brown, Ltd. in 2011 as assistant to Tim Knowlton and Holly Frederick in the Film and Television Department. Before Curtis Brown, she received her certificate in publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course, her masters in Art in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her bachelors from Bowdoin College, where she majored in English, minored in Education and gained a lifelong appreciation for the importance of commitment to the common good. Kerry currently assists Peter Ginsberg, handles audio rights for Peter and Katherine Fausset, and is actively seeking literary fiction and upmarket commercial fiction that is voice driven, accessible, and authentic. Above all, she is drawn to work that either introduces her to something new or makes her see something old in a new way. Kerry grew up in Manhasset, New York and lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Annie Hwang represents a range of fiction for adults and select nonfiction projects. She gravitates towards literary fiction with commercial appeal, and feels particularly drawn to braided narratives and layered plots, especially when populated by complex characters with deep emotional resonance. Commercially, she’s looking for both upmarket historical fiction and visceral literary thrillers that depart from the norm of the genre. The most important thing to her, beyond concept or pitch, is breathtaking storytelling that stretches its genre to new heights. A California native, Annie worked in journalism before making the transition to the publishing world, where she digs for stories that keep her reading late into the night and stay with her long after she puts them down. 


 a life long obsession with books, a career in business management/ownership including bookstores and community writing centers, and a few years with small presses in an editorial 

After a life long obsession with books, a career in business management/ownership including bookstores and community writing centers, and a few years with small presses in an editorial capacity, Michelle Johnson is now in her fourth year as a literary agent, where she represents many NYT Bestsellers, debut authors, and indie authors alike.

The face of publishing is ever-changing, and bending and shifting with the times and staying ahead of the curve are key for Michelle and her agency, Inklings Literary Agency.

Michelle is actively seeking books with diversity, and authors with diverse backgrounds. She’s a strong advocate for equality across the board.

In adult, NA, and YA, she looks for Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Romance, Horror, Fantasy and light Sci-Fi. She also will look at the occasional MG if it has a phenomenal hook and voice.