Pat Conroy Literary Center Festival

Join Us in the Storied Lowcountry for the 8th Annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival – October 26-29, 2023

The Pat Conroy Literary Festival began as Pat Conroy’s 70th birthday celebration in October 2015 and now continues as an annual signature event of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center. The 8th Annual Conroy Festival will be held on Thursday, October 26, through Sunday, October 29, as a series of free and ticketed events in Beaufort, SC, featuring author discussions, writers workshops, a poetry reading, a screening of the film The Lords of Discipline, and a musical performance. The ribbon cutting for the new Witness Tree Park has been postponed to 2024.

Presenting writers, poets, and instructors include bestselling authors Ron Rash (The Caretaker), Mary Alice Monroe (The Summer of Lost and Found), Mary Kay Andrews (Bright Lights, Big Christmas), Victoria Benton Frank (My Magnolia Summer), Cassandra King (Tell Me a Story), Homeira Qaderi (Dancing in the Mosque), and Mitchell Zuckoff (The Secret Gate); screenwriter Tom Pope (The Lords of Discipline); Gallery Books executive editor Carrie Feron; poets Jennifer Bartell Boykin (Traveling Mercy), Freya Manfred (When I Was Young and Old), and Tim Conroy (No True Route); English professors and literary scholars Valerie Sayers, Sean Heuston, and Ellen Malphrus; and many more.

The 8th Annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival is made possible by the generous support and collaboration of

  • Robert S. Handler Charitable Trust
  • South Carolina Arts Commission
  • Oyster Cay Collection
  • Eugene A. Rugala & Associates
  • Patricia A. Denkler
  • Hahn Family Wines
  • Lowcountry Real Estate
  • The Cunningham Team – Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
  • Bank of America
  • Bay Street Jewelers
  • Grayco
  • Nadine O’Quinn, Real Estate
  • The Greenery, Inc.
  • Mike McFee, Real Estate

Festival Schedule

Festival Schedule
Schedule subject to change

Ticketing Information

See Ticketing Page (Tickets will be available for all events but the workshops at the door

The nonprofit Conroy Center is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. (with extended hours during the festival weekend) at 601 Bladen Street in historic downtown Beaufort.

Presenter Spotlight

Ron Rash

Ron Rash is the author of the PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to the critically acclaimed novels The RisenAbove the WaterfallThe CoveOne Foot in EdenSaints at the River, The World Made Straight, and, most recently, The Caretaker. He is also the author of five collections of poems and seven collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, Nothing Gold Can Stay, a New York Times bestseller, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Three times the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, his books have been translated into seventeen languages. He teaches at Western Carolina University.

Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven books, including the bestselling The Beach House series and its most recent novel, The Summer of Lost and Found. Monroe also writes children’s picture books, and a middle grade fiction series called The Islanders. She was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing; the South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence; the SW Florida Author of Distinction Award; the RT Lifetime Achievement Award; the International Book Award for Green Fiction; the Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award; and her novel, A Lowcountry Christmas, won the prestigious Southern Prize for Fiction. The Beach House was adapted as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Andie MacDowell. She is the cocreator of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. Monroe is also an active conservationist and serves on several boards. She lives on the South Carolina coast, which is a source of inspiration for many of her books.

Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House Cookbook and more than twenty novels, including The Weekenders, Ladies’ Night, Spring FeverSummer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, Savannah Blues, and, most recently, Bright Lights, Big Christmas. A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mitchell Zuckoff

Mitchell Zuckoff is the Sumner M. Redstone Professor of Narrative Studies at Boston University’s College of Communication. The Secret Gate is Zuckoff’s ninth work of narrative nonfiction, including the #1 New York Times bestseller 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, which became the basis of the Paramount Pictures movie of the same name. His previous books include the New York Times bestsellers Lost in Shangri-La, Frozen in Time, and Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11. As a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting. Zuckoff’s honors include the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Winship/PEN New England Award for Nonfiction, the Heywood Broun Memorial Award, and the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. He lives outside Boston with his family.

Homeira Qaderi

Homeira Qaderi is an Afghan writer, activist, and educator, currently serving as a Robert G. James Scholar Fellow at Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Research at Harvard University. She has written seven books, including a collection of short stories and her acclaimed novel Noqra: The Daughter of Kabul River. Before leaving Afghanistan, Qaderi taught at Gharjistan University, in Kabul, and worked as a senior advisor to both the minister of education and, earlier, the minister of labor, social affairs, martyrs, and the disabled. A lifelong human rights activist, Qaderi was awarded the Malalai Medal—Afghanistan’s highest civilian honor—for exceptional bravery by the president of Afghanistan. She was a writer in residence at the University of Iowa in 2015. Her first book in English translation, Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son, was excerpted by the New York Times and chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best nonfiction books of 2020.