tim j 2The 2018 Short Story America Festival and Conference is scheduled for the weekend of September 28-30 in downtown Beaufort. This fifth celebration of short fiction will feature top presenting authors like John Engell (San Francisco, CA), Niles Reddick (University of Memphis), Marjorie Brody (San Antonio, TX), Gregg Cusick (Durham, NC), Nancy Allen (Dallas, TX), John Newlin (Wilmington, DE), James Goertel (Rochester, NY), Ray Morrison (Winston-Salem, NC), and Beaufort-based author and editor Tim Johnston (left).

Numerous other short-story authors in the Short Story America series will also give readings and book signings, and the weekend will also mark the launch of Volume Six of the Short Story America anthology series of short stories by today’s authors. 

Visit www.shortstoryamerica.com to purchase your weekend pass, which will be waiting for you at the event. 


Friday, September 28, The Lewis Reeve Sams House (601 Bay Street)

5 pm-9 pm: OPENING RECEPTION (catered; free with pass)

Saturday, September 29, Old Bay Marketplace Loft (Downtown)

9:30-10:30 am: JAMES GOERTEL (Rochester, NY)
“Writing Between the Poles and Across the Lines,” A workshop exploring the importance of and the responsibility to preserving and defending artistic freedom in the age of agenda.

10:30-11:30 am, NANCY J. ALLEN (Dallas, TX)

“The Magic of Subtext,” Subtext as a subject is not listed in the indexes of major craft books, e.g., Burroway, Woods, and Gardner. Often invisible, subtext is slippery: now you see it, now you don’t. Charles Baxter in The Art of Subtext, says we know subtext is present when “what is displayed evokes what is not displayed.” But do we know it when we see it? Can we identify how it’s affecting an evolving narrative? How can we use it to enhance our own stories? This class will investigate various ways to accomplish the magic of subtext. We’ll look at three conventional methods, which in spite of themselves are still deliciously suggestive, and one otherworldly, outlier method. (Suggested reading: Kevin Brockmeier, “The Ceiling” in Things that Fall from the Sky or The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction (Williford/Martone, Editors, 2nd Edition) Ethan Canin, “Emperor of the Air” in the book by the same name Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays, Stuart Dybek, “Hot Ice” in The Coast of Chicago

11:30-12:30: JOHN ENGELL (San Francisco, CA)

“The Hook,” When you read a short story, what kind of opening hooks you into reading it all? When you write a short story, how do you hook both literary journal editors and readers?


1:30-2:30: MARJORIE BRODY (San Antonio, TX)

“Journey from Page to Stage to Film,” “In the Underside” made its public debut in the inaugural edition of the Short Story America Anthology in 2011. A stage adaptation followed with performances by two San Antonio theatre groups. From there, the story headed west to Burbank where it transformed into a short film. “In the Underside” is now coming full circle by bringing its movie debut home to Beaufort and this year’s Short Story America Festival. The author, director and producer welcome questions after the film.

2:30-3:30: GREGG CUSICK (Durham, NC)

“Flash Fiction: What, When, Why, How-to?” A brief description of what’s also been called “the Short-Short Story.” Its history with examples, familiar and maybe less-so. Then we’ll try it ourselves with a writing prompt. Writers interested can share their work, and positive listener comments will be welcomed. Fun and stimulating; join us!

3:30-4:30: NILES REDDICK (Memphis, TN)

“Reading the Coffee Grounds,” University of Memphis professor and vice-provost Niles Reddick, a Pulitzer nominee, returns to Beaufort with his new collection of short stories, Reading the Coffee Grounds. His brand of humor is a delight, and he will not only read from the collection, but will discuss his approach to craft as well.

Cora McCaston Newcomb and Marlena Smalls tell stories in the great time-honored oral tradition.




Sunday, September 30, Old Bay Marketplace Loft (Downtown)


10:00  John Newlin (Wilmington, DE), “First Date”                                            

10:30  Nancy J. Allen (Dallas, TX), “Stolen Boy”

11:00  Lawrence Buentello (San Antonio),“Children of the Harvest Moon”

11:30  Jon Tuttle (Florence, SC), “Letter from Effingham Jail”

12:00  Scott William Woods, “This is What We Do to Men”

12:30  Gregg Cusick (Durham, NC), “The Ways of Men”

1:00   James Goertel (Rochester, NY), “Approaching Silence”

1:30   Stephanie A. Edwards (Beaufort, SC), “On Oyster Island”

2:00   Douglas Campbell (M’town, WV), “The Rock of Peace”

2:30   John Engell (San Francisco, CA), “Request and Refusal”

3:00   Beverly Jean Harris (Rumson, NJ), “The Two-Dollar Fortune”

3:30   Katie Piccirillo Sherman , “Peanuts and Rubies”

4:00   Warren Slesinger (Beaufort, SC), “Driving to Distraction”

4:15   Estelle Ford-Williamson (Beaufort), “Between, Georgia”

4:45   John McIlroy (Bluffton, SC), “The Night Train”

5:00   T.D. (Tim) Johnston (Beaufort, SC), “Marco Polo”

Short Story America is grateful to our lead sponsor, The Beaufort Inn, which has been a strong supporter of the literary arts since the inception of Short Story America since SSA’s founding in 2010.