margaretAs editor, I’ve received a lot of comments about Lowcountry Weekly over the years – mostly good, occasionally otherwise. In the “good” category: People tell me they love our design, enjoy our photography, find our ads tasteful and attractive, swear by our maps, can’t live without our “What’s Happening” calendar, and so on and so forth. In the “otherwise” category? Well, let’s just say there are lots of armchair proofreaders out there. If I had the budget, I’d love to hire one of them. But as this is not the case, I must rely on your mercy and forbearance. Typos happen. And believe me – it hurts me more than it hurts you.


But back to the “good” stuff people say: By far, my favorite comment – and I get it pretty regularly – goes something like this:

“Lowcountry Weekly is such a good read…”

“There’s just so much to read in there…”

“It’s a real reader’s publication…”

“I always read it cover to cover…”

I love that! I love the idea of someone curled up on the couch – or in a comfy chair, or a hammock, or bed – reading this publication cover to cover! I secretly swoon every time I see somebody poring over a Lowcountry Weekly in a restaurant or coffee shop… though I quickly avert my eyes in horror if they notice me noticing. (I’m like that teenage girl who spends hours getting ready for the prom – picking out just the right dress, curling her hair, applying the perfect shade of lipstick – only to feel suddenly, deeply embarrassed when her date arrives with admiration in his eyes.)

Most of the time, I just feel so lucky that this is what I get to do for a living – give people something to read! Not just useful information and pretty pictures and helpful maps and calendars… but something to read. Outside of my family, reading is probably the great love of my life, and I can’t imagine any work more satisfying than getting to create – and give to the world – a good read.

So this issue of Lowcountry Weekly is particularly exciting to me. I’m calling it the “Summer Reading Issue,” which didn’t come to me ‘til late in the production cycle, as I was looking over the content. This edition is particularly meaty – or read-y, if you will – even for us. And there’s a “books and reading” theme running through these pages that happened rather organically… you might even say accidentally. (As much as I’d like to take credit for careful planning, often times, the issue has a mind of its own and I just go with it.)

First and foremost, I’d like to direct your attention to the winner of our Tricentennial Short Story Contest, “Israel’s Pig.” This haunting story, set in the Lowcountry in the 1950s, was written by Guy J. Tirondola, who hails from… New Jersey! (Our contest was open to anybody from anywhere, but the story had to be set in our area.) You’ll notice we’ve illustrated the tale with bold, beautiful paintings by the incomparable Jonathan Green, who generously said “of course!” when we asked.

For our Short Story Contest, we partnered with the Beaufort-based website Short Story America, which has just published its first print anthology. “Israel’s Pig” appears in the anthology, along with 55 other pieces by some of America’s finest contemporary short story writers. Beaufort’s Gail Westerfield has a story in the book, and founding publisher Tim Johnston has a few, too. You can join them – along with “Israel’s Pig” author Guy Tirondola – on Friday, June 24th for a launch party/booksigning at Lowcountry Winery on Bay Street. To read more about that – and my interview with Tim Johnston – go here.

Have you discovered USCB’s Lunch with Authors series, yet? They’re bringing in some real heavy-hitters. This month, they welcomed best-selling southern writer Dorothea Benton Frank, touting her new book “Folly Beach.” Next month, it’ll be John Hart, also a NY Times best-seller and the unprecedented two-time winner of the prestigious Edgar Award. He’ll be debuting his new novel, “Iron House,” at a luncheon at Sea Pines… and you can be there! Those in the know are calling the book “the absolute game changer of Hart’s career,” promising to make him a bona fide literary superstar. Read all about it right here.

If you’re a voracious reader living in Beaufort – and a bargain hunter, like me – you know all about the Friends of the Library Used Book Sales; the big one happens in the fall and a smaller one in the spring. We frugal bookworms count the days ‘til these events, where we can stock up on a year’s worth of reading materials for the price of a month’s worth. Well guess what? We don’t have to wait anymore! The Friends have opened a Gently-Used Book Store right on the premises of the Library. Seriously! Currently, it’s open two days a week, but they’re hoping to expand those hours. Read all about it at this link.

Along with all that “books and reading” information, this issue offers all the usual delicious-and-nutritious fare. Fitness tips, business advice, fashion guidance, instructions in etiquette, cooking secrets, wine wisdom, gardening lore, and lots, lots more… all lovingly served up by your friends and neighbors right here in the Lowcountry. This is an extraordinary place we live in, with extraordinary people and extraordinary opportunities.

Here’s hoping you’ll fold up this issue of Lowcountry Weekly, stick it in your beach bag – or your gardening bag or your overnight bag or just your back pocket – head out (or in) to your favorite summertime spot.… and read all about it.


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