Hosted by the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, Camp Conroy is a two-week day camp build-a-book experience for young writers and artists, ages 8 to 14. Participants create independently and collaboratively as they research, write, illustrate, edit, design, and ultimately publish a book together. The fourth annual Camp Conroy will be held July 12 to 23, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Drop off 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., pick up 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.) A closing reading will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, July 24. Learn more and register at https://campconroy2021.eventbrite.com.
Presented in partnership with Beaufort Middle School, Camp Conroy will creatively explore the theme “Free to Be” through writing and artwork, under the guidance of experienced instructors and a rotating cast of guest presenters. The camp will be using the COVID safety protocols established by the Beaufort County School District. The 2021 camp experience also includes a virtual participation option for campers not able to attend in person.
During the first week, campers are invited to immerse themselves in creative exploration as they respond to the theme and experiment with different genres and artistic styles. In the second week, campers will refine their stories, essays, poems, artwork, and photography as they build their anthology together. Participants will also constructively critique one another’s work, forming thematic connections as they combine their selected works into a cohesive, collaborative publication.
The $300 registration fee includes two weeks of instruction, camp activities, and daily healthy snacks. Campers must bring their own lunches and drinks each day. (This is a day camp; overnight lodging and meals are not included.) After the camp, participants will each receive a copy of their published anthology. This year’s Camp Conroy will also include an opportunity for our campers to help select, edit, and publish submissions we’ll be receiving from young writers elsewhere.
In the 2004 Pat Conroy Cookbook, Pat describes his “Bill Dufford Summer” spent between his junior and senior years on the campus of Beaufort High School (what is now Beaufort Middle School, the site of last year’s Camp Conroy). It was a transformative summer for Pat and for his principal, mentor, and surrogate father figure, Bill Dufford. As Pat writes at the end of his recollection, “I had everything—the best summer of my life.” That has been and remains the goal of Camp Conroy, to give young writers and artists the best summers of their lives.
Scholarships: A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. To apply, interested students should submit a sample of their work (story, essay, poem, artwork, or photography) with a brief letter about their interest in the Camp Conroy experience by Friday, June 11, to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, Attention: Camp Conroy, 601 Bladen Street, Beaufort, SC 29902. Scholarship recipients will be contacted by June 28.
Meet the Camp Conroy Instructors
Lisa Anne Cullen is the author or editor of eight children’s books and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She holds an M.F.A degree in writing for children and pairs this passion with her love of illustration, art, photography, and screenwriting. Lisa has won awards for her artistic and written works and finds pure joy in connecting with the natural world. Her author-illustrated folktales Little Orange Honey Hood and Three Wild Pigs were published by USC Press’s Young Palmetto Books.
Miho Kinnas is a Japanese-born writer and translator, and the author of the poetry collections Today, Fish Only and Move Over, Birds, published by Math Paper Press. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Miho conducts haiku workshops at many locations including Shanghai International Literary Festival, Pat Conroy Literary Center, local libraries, and schools. She holds an M.F.A. from City University of Hong Kong. She and her husband live on Hilton Head Island.
Robin Prince Monroe is a children’s book author, teacher, artist, and public speaker. She previously led a book-building summer camp in the South Carolina upstate before moving to the lowcountry. Robin’s children’s books include three volumes in the Comforting Little Hearts series and the children’s mystery novel The Silent Glades. Robin now lives and writes on Fripp Island.
Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, and co-editor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, winner of 17 book awards. In 2020, he was awarded the Doug Marlette Literacy Leadership Award by the Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the U.S.
To learn more about the year-round educational mission of the nonprofit Conroy Center, visit www.patconroyliterarycenter.org, or 601 Bladen Street in Beaufort, where the Conroy Center is open for public tours from noon to 4:00 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and other times by appointment.