Date & Time: Friday, October 27, 2023 | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EDT
Location: Pat Conroy Literary Center | 601 BLADEN ST BEAUFORT, SC 29902 (limited to 20 attendees)
“Good writing is the hardest form of thinking. It involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and clear. If the writing is good, then the result seems effortless and inevitable. But when you want to say something life-changing or ineffable in a single sentence, you face both the limitations of the sentence itself and the extent of your own talent.”―Pat Conroy, My Reading Life
If you’re a prose writer, you know you’ve crafted the perfect novel in your head, written the brilliant scene from the pillow, the words still on your lips as you enter sleep. We’ve all tried to capture the perfection in the drafts (and more drafts) trying to find the story’s center, the character our readers will love, that plot that Just. Won’t. Let. Go. And we’ve all faced the reality where the pages just didn’t match the dream. Not even close.
What is a writer to do with such disappointment?
This workshop will explore that process of taking a story from bad to good to great. We’ll analyze the toughest problems in backstory, dialogue, and description (by “leaving out the parts most readers skip” says Elmore Leonard), the vexing issues of character and plot, and challenges to quality writing time. We’ll hit a couple “crafty” strategies to overcome writer’s block, improve pacing, and highlight some best practices with grammar/usage/formatting. Most importantly, we’ll try to leave the room energized with the spirit to tackle whatever awaits us next on the writing journey. Come with that story in your head. Be ready to think and later do.
This is an in-person writers workshop, held at the Pat Conroy Literary Center as part of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival. Limited to 20 participants; $45/person.
About our instructor:
Sean A. Scapellato is a current member of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center. He was a friend and devoted fan of Pat Conroy for over 20 years. His own writing has been published in various journals and anthologies over several decades. Most recently, he contributed to Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. Before that, he was a finalist in the Novello Festival Press’s First Novel Contest, a Charleston finalist in the Turner South contest “My South Speaks” as well as a selected participant in the Charleston “Listen to Your Mother” story event. Once a creative writing teacher at Charleston County School of the Arts, a place where he helped dozens of students win regional and national writing awards, he is now a full-time attorney in Mt. Pleasant, who still manages to get his pages in on weekends.
Photos as well as short bios of all festival presenters are on the Presenter Page.