SouthernWriters CoverThe South is often misunderstood on the national stage, characterized by its struggles with poverty, education, and racism, yet the region has yielded an abundance of undeniably great literature. In the newly published anthology Southern Writers on Writing, editor Susan Cushman collects 26 writers from across the South whose work celebrates southern culture and shapes the landscape of contemporary southern literature. Contributors hail from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.


            On Sunday, September 9, from 3 – 4:30 pm, the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s Visiting Writers Series will host a discussion of Southern Writers on Writing with Susan Cushman (below) in conversation with her contributing writers Cassandra King Conroy, Patti Callahan Henry, HarrisonSouthernWriters Susan Cushman Scott Key, and Nicole Seitz. Free and open to the public—and followed by a book signing—this event will be held in the Rotary Community Center in Bluffton’s Oscar Frazier Park (11 Recreation Ct, Bluffton). This program is sponsored in part by a grant from South Carolina Humanities, a nonprofit organization inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.

            Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, offered this thoughtful praise of Southern Writers on Writing: “Insightful, inspiring, and sometimes contentious, Southern Writers on Writing is as complicated and diverse as the South itself. This collection is required reading for anyone who hopes to understand our fraught and blessed region.”


Cassandra King Conroy is the award-winning author of five novels, most recently Moonrise. She was selected as a 2017 Alabama Humanities Foundation Fellow. She is honorary chair of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center established in honor of her late husband.

Susan Cushman was codirector of the 2013 and 2010 Creative Nonfiction conferences in Oxford, Mississippi, and director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop. Cushman is editor of the anthologies A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be and Southern Writers on Writing, and author of the novel Cherry Bomb.

Palmetto Bluff resident Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels include, most recently, The Bookshop at Water’s End and Becoming Mrs. Lewis (forthcoming). She has been short-listed for the Townsend Prize for Fiction.

Harrison Scott Key is the author of the memoirs The World’s Largest Man (winner of the 2016 Thurber Prize in American Humor) and Once I Was Famous (forthcoming). He teaches writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Nicole Seitz is the author of seven novels, most recently The Cage-maker. She is co-editor of the anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. Seitz lives in Charleston.