FORT MILL --
Aspiring writers from around the Carolinas will converge in Myrtle Beach Oct. 19 for the 22nd annual South Carolina Writers Workshop.
The conference is designed to give writers on all levels the opportunity to learn from professionals and improve their craft.
The SCWW was established in 1990 to provide an environment for people to become better writers. The literary arts organization supports nearly every form of writing, including poetry, novels and non-fiction.
Claire Iannini of Fort Mill plans to attend the conference. Iannini, 68, said she spent most of her career as a secretary with little time to dedicate to writing. After she retired and moved to Fort Mill in 2008, she began meeting with the Charlotte Writer’s Club in South Park where she could discuss and share ideas with other local writers.
Iannini attended the SCWW conference in 2010.
“It’s such a great, great opportunity,” she said.
At the conference, Iannini met with various professional authors, editors and agents. She had the opportunity to attend workshops where small groups of aspiring writers could meet with professionals in the field for critiques. Iannini said there were more workshops available than she could take advantage of.
Iannini spent the time since the conference in 2010 working on her own short stories. She submitted a story to the SCWW and learned in July that the organization will publish her story.
“Oh it’s very exciting. I can’t imagine that I won,” Iannini said. “Now I can’t imagine that I’m going to see it in print.”
The SCWW collects various writing samples from members of the conference and publishes it in a collection called the Petigru Review. Everyone who attends the conference will receive a copy of the collection.
Iannini said the organization tries to keep the cost of attending the conference low by holding a silent auction. This year, members will sell everything from wine and chocolate baskets to boat rentals.
The conference runs from Oct. 19-21 and costs $225 for SCWW members to attend and $275 for non-members to attend, though attendees can choose a more expensive package that includes lunch and dinner.
People can register for the conference online at myscww.org. There, people can reduce the cost of accommodations for the weekend by requesting to share rooms with other attendees.
Iannini said the conference is immensely valuable to new writers.
“If you’re sitting there and you don’t know where to start, this is where to start,” she said.