The Pat Conroy Literary Center’s second annual Children’s Book Fair will be held Saturday, October 12, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Santa Elena History Center, 1501 Bay Street. One of Pat Conroy’s passions in life was to foster in every child a great love of books, and this day is dedicated to encouraging a lifelong companionship with books and realizing the Conroy Center’s mission of transforming lives through stories. This project if funded in part by SC Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event is free and open to the public.

            Open to readers of all ages, but focused on children ages 4-12, the Children’s Book Fair is a day-long event of interactive workshops, readings, and book signings. Some of this year’s events will include a treasure hunt led by Susan Diamond Riley, author of the recently released The Sea Island’s Secret; face painting; book give-aways throughout the day; a Beaufort County Library System bookmobile, offering young attendees a chance to get their first library cards and to check out books; and, a “banned book jail cell” featuring children’s books that have been banned in the past. Incarcerated books will include Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Where the WildThings Are by Maurice Sendakand The Lorax Tree by Dr. Seussto name just three. Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina’s poet laureate will lead a discussion on the history of banned books. Lunch will be available for purchase on-site during the Children’s Book Fair.

            Interested attendees are encouraged to register in advance at

            The authors participating in this year’s fair are: Michael Bassett (Batrocks andGreenie); Patricia Bee (Tryumsee’s Wings); Lisa Anne Cullen (Little Orange Honey Hood, Three Wild Pigs); Rebecca Chamberlain (Maralee and the Turtles of the Sea); Delores B. Nevils (Amadeus, the Leghorn Rooster); Chelsea Rowe (Ebenezer Has a Word for Everything); Susan Diamond Riley (The Sea Island’s Secret); Miho Kinnas(Today, Fish Only and Move Over, Bird); Marlena Smalls and Marianne Rice (Anire’s Adventure); Helen Wilbur (Lily’s Victory Garden); Marjory Wentworth (Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets); student writers from Camp Conroy.


Pat Conroy Literary Center’s Children’s Book Fair Workshops

  • • 10:00-10:30 a.m.-Miho Kinnas –Haiku Tanka, Linked Haiku, and Halibu Prose– From a Haiku to a book with audience participation, participantslearn the stages of creativity and production of the poetic form of Haiku. Ages12 and older.
  • • 10:30-11:00 a.m. – Lisa Anne Cullen – Illustration in Picture Books:

Participants will explore how an artist determines what to illustrate in picture book stories. Illustrating always starts with knowing as much as possible about the characters. This workshop highlights the fun artistic process of picture book illustration.

  • • 11:00-2:00 LUNCH
  • • 12:00-12:30 p.m. – Rebecca Chamberlain – Telling Stories Through Pictures: This workshop touches on the process of illustrating a standard 32-pagepicture book for children. Participants preview thumbnail sketches and original artwork from Maralee and the Turtles of the Sea as they create quick one-inch thumbnail sketches from a story idea. Discover how to develop a character and explore how to add movement, emotion, and action into illustrations. A picture book template is provided to each participant. This course is suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to experienced artist. Standard pencils and erasers are needed for this workshop.
  • • 12:30-1:00 p.m. – Helen Wilbur – Write Your Garden: Participants work on their skills with a hands-on exercise using their five senses to build a word garden. In this session for budding writers, author Helen Wilbur shares her story of a young girl’s determination to grow her garden in Lily’s Victory Garden. With the right tools, discover how an idea as small as a seed can be nurtured to grow into a story. Young writers will build a word garden. Ages

8 and older.

  • • 2:00-3:00 p.m. – Susan Diamond Riley – Find Your Lost Treasure: Following a reading from her newly published chapter book, The Sea Island’s Secret, Susan Diamond Riley will send participants on a treasure hunt to find previously hidden messages in bottles. Once found, the messages will be decoded to reveal their hidden meanings. Ages 8 and older.
  • • 2:00-3:00 p.m.- BOOKMOBILE
  • • 3:00-4:00 p.m. – Marlena Smalls – Readings and Stories in Song:


TripAdvisor’s top-ranked destination in Beaufort, the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is located at 905 Port Republic Street in historic downtown and open to the public from noon to 4:00 pm on Thursdays through Sundays. Winner of the 2019 Civitas Award for Tourism Leadership presented by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Conroy Center is South Carolina’s first affiliate of the American Writers Museum and second American Library Association Literary Landmark. Through its interpretive center, year-round educational programs, and annual literary festival, the Conroy Center preserves and continues the literary legacy of Pat Conroy (1945-2016) as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and friend to readers and writers alike. To learn more about the Conroy Center, please visit