Short-story-mathieu-caillierThe 2017 Short Story America Festival and Conference will be held in Beaufort for the fourth time, during the weekend of February 24th-26th. This three-day literary celebration of the short story will begin with a catered opening reception on Friday, February 24th, from 5 pm to 8 pm at the historic Lewis Reeve Sams House overlooking the water in downtown Beaufort.

            This year’s featured presenters include returning authors Mathieu Cailler of Los Angeles (above), discussing and signing his award-winning story collection, Loss Angeles, and Gregg Cusick of Durham, NC, discussing approaches to writing historical fiction. New presenters at the SSA Festival include author and San Jose State University professor John Engell of San Francisco, author and professor Niles Reddick of the University of Memphis, and for the first time: local storyteller Cora Newsome and a succession of prominent visiting and local storytellers presenting the time-honored oral tradition of storytelling. These presentations and discussions, along with a large author panel on process in writing stories, will take place all day (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) on Saturday, February 25th at the beautiful Old Bay Marketplace Loft in downtown Beaufort, along with the launch of the fifth volume in the acclaimed Short Story America anthology series of short fiction, which now numbers over 200 stories by authors around the country and the world (authors in Volume Five will be on hand to sign copies of the new collection). Also taking place all day that Saturday will be other book signings by visiting and local authors, on site at the Old Bay Marketplace Loft.

            For the film lovers out there, John Engell (professor of Film and Creative Writing at San Jose State University) will be giving a lecture on short stories adapted as feature and short films. And producer-director Dan Healy will be visiting from Green Valley Lake, California, where his film production company is adapting Beaufort writer Tim Johnston’s “Friday Afternoon” as a feature film. The San Bernardino mountains and the Lowcountry are both being considered as the shooting locations for the film, so please plan to attend and “lobby” Short-Story-Timthe director for the movie to be shot here. If you have ever read Tim Johnston’s story, you know that what the film’s setting needs is a lonely two-lane road and an eccentric, creepy old house in the woods. “The Lowcountry has plenty of both,” said Tim Johnston (right), who has been urging the film crew to consider Beaufort and the surrounding area. If you have location ideas, call Tim at 843-597-3220 and he will pass them along to the director, who will scout various locations while in town. The director also invites local residents to give him suggestions and photos in person at the SSA Festival.

            On Sunday, Feb. 26th, festival authors and attendees are invited to the home of local author and Short Story America editor and publisher Tim Johnston (author of Friday Afternoon and Other Stories), for a chance for readers and authors to gather socially and enhance new and old friendships, all around a common passion for reading, writing and literature.

            “Beaufort is the perfect place for fans and writers of short stories,” said Tim Johnston. “We price the event passes at just $40 to make the entire weekend affordable for anyone who wants to help celebrate this great literary art form.”

            To register to attend, go to With questions, call 843-597-3220.