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Governor’s School announces 10th U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Amber Magnuson among just 20 nationwide


Amber Magnuson, a creative writing senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, was selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Amber Magnuson headshotMagnuson is the Governor's School's 10th student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the creative writing department. She will travel to Washington in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center. "This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Governor's School President Dr. Cedric Adderley. Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida in 2017. In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York City. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.
For more information about the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and their creative writing programs, visit www.scgsah.org.

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series heads to Newberry

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Newberry on Saturday, Jan. 19 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newberry Arts Center (1200 Main St., Newberry). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Newberry Opera House through Feb. 3, 2019. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

Denmark, Voorhees to be next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop hosts

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Denmark on Saturday, Dec. 1 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wright-Potts Library at Voorhees College in Denmark (look for it in the first floor student lounge, see map here). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Voorhees College through Dec. 9, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.  

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop coming to Union

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to debut Communal Pen, a writing workshop in Union on Saturday, Oct. 6 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. And they have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union County Carnegie Library, 300 E. South St.) draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Union County Carnegie Library through Oct. 21, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

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North Charleston seeks teaching artists for elementary after-school program

Application deadline: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 Thanks to the dedication of Mayor Summey and city council, North Charleston has been committed to providing after school programs in public elementary schools within city limits since 2008. One component of these programs is to provide arts enrichment classes through the city’s cultural arts department. The department provides a multi-disciplined roster of artists to teach these classes and is currently seeking artists to offer instruction in the program for the 2018/19 school year. Local artists in all disciplines with a willingness to share their talents and an ability to instruct elementary age students are invited to apply for the part-time, contracted positions by Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. There is a particular need for teaching artists in dance, music, theatre, and creative writing. The parameters for the After School Arts Enrichment Program are as follows:

1) Time Commitment: Program dates are Sept. 4, 2018, through June 6, 2019. Teaching artists offer instruction at their assigned site twice a week for two months, which equals 16 days of class activities. Instruction takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Timeframe includes one (1) hour for class activity and 30 minutes prep/clean-up time for a total of 1.5 hours each visit (3 hours total each week). Cultural Arts requests a minimum two-month commitment from participating artists. Artists able to serve longer are rotated to a new site after each two-month term and may serve up to two sites each term, depending on need/availability.

2) Site Details: Eleven elementary schools in North Charleston are identified program sites. Class size will vary at each site. Teaching artists should anticipate working with an average of 30 students at a time. Each site has at least one staff member in the class to assist with the children.

3) Rate of Pay: $20/hour. Cultural Arts provides materials. A limited supply budget is available depending on the needs of the arts discipline. All disciplines are approved for 1.5 hours per day for a total of 3 hours per week.

To ensure the safety of the children, background checks are required for all teaching artists selected to participate in the program. Interested artists should submit samples of their work (images, sound clips, videos, etc.) along with a current résumé or CV by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Application materials may be emailed to kyeadon@northcharleston.org or mailed to the attention of Krystal Yeadon at City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016. For more information about the After School Arts Enrichment program, or the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the city’s website or call 843-740-5854.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Simmons, Deputy Director City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department 843.740,5854 | culturalarts@northcharleston.org

Tuning Up: Writing workshops for girls + 1858 Prize + Twitter

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Writing workshops for girls.  Big opportunity here for high school girls (grades 9-12) who are serious about honing their sci-fi and fantasy and/or poetry-writing skills: Columbia College is to offer two workshops June 18-22 on its campus, one on each topic. We don't cross-post much, but take a quick peek at Arts Daily for more information. The poetry workshop will be taught by Dr. Ray McManus, who pitched in as one of the judges for the Poetry Out Loud state finals this past March. Good enough for government work. It's not mentioned in the story, but just so you know, an additional $100,000 appropriated to the S.C. Arts Commission's budget by the Senate is among the differences to be reconciled by a General Assembly conference committee next month. While the budget was not sent to Gov. McMaster by the legislators' self-imposed deadline, this story claims a government shutdown is unlikely. The Hub and SCAC, along with other dedicated state employees, are grateful. Follow us. Do you follow us on Twitter? We'd hate to think you'd miss such social media goodness as this (right). Social media, for all its ills, is also one incredible tool. We're hoping to improve our Twitter presence, while (clearly) not taking ourselves too seriously. Last call for 1858! Applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awarded by our friends at the Gibbes Museum will be accepted through May 31! The 1858 Prize awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Learn more here.

SCGSAH creative writing student gets prestigious honor

Aidan Forster was already having an amazing-beyond-belief senior year. [caption id="attachment_35108" align="alignright" width="200"] Aidan Forster[/caption] A National Merit Finalist, he received college acceptances from Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Penn, and Cal-Berkeley, among others. (He chose Brown University, and will enroll in the fall.) But then the U.S. Department of Education came calling and gave the creative writing senior from Taylors studying at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) further plaudits to his credit by naming him a U.S Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of only 20 in the nation. Aidan was nominated by the National YoungArts Foundation and will represent our state as the only arts scholar selected from South Carolina. "Aidan is a rare combination of talent and fearlessness and intellect. With his writing, he is unafraid to push himself into unexplored areas, places that aren’t necessarily in his comfort zone. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a writer who worked as hard to get the most out of his talents ... I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the years ahead," Creative Writing Department Chair Scott Gould said. Aidan will be the 8th U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts from the Governor's School's Creative Writing Department. In addition, he:

  • was the inaugural recipient of the 2018 YoungArts Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award, which provides a $50,000 scholarship,
  • is a 2018 YoungArts Finalist, one of 19 selected nationally for Creative Writing, and attended YoungArts Week in Miami in January,
  • received two Gold Medals, one silver medal, and a Silver Medal with Distinction for his writing portfolio in the 2018 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition,
  • was included in the 2017 Best New Poets annual anthology of 50 poems from emerging writerspublished by the University of Virginia,
  • and his poetry chapbook, Exit Pastoral, was selected to be published by YesYes Books as a winner in the Vinyl 45's Chapbook Contest. He is the youngest author to be chosen.

I-Park accepting applications for 2016 artists-in-residence program

Application deadline: January 25, 2016 I-Park, located in rural East Haddam, Conn., announces its 2016 multi-disciplinary artists-in-residence program. The program is open to those working in the following creative disciplines: visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, architecture, moving image and landscape/garden/ecological design. Self-directed residencies are being offered from May through November 2016. Most residencies are four weeks in duration. International applicants are welcome. I-Park provides to each artist private, comfortable living quarters in a renovated 1850s-era farmhouse, a private studio space and a food program. In addition to attentive staff support, shared workshop space and an array of tools, equipment and site materials are available on request. Work samples are evaluated through a competitive, juried process. A $30 application fee helps defray the cost of the independent selection panels. Accepted artists are responsible for their own work materials as well as transportation to and from the area. The program is otherwise offered at no cost to invited artists. There will also be two special programs scheduled for 2016: a Composers + Musicians Collaborative Residency as well as a Family Friendly Residency, an experimental program focused on artists with dependent children. Details to be announced on the I-Park homepage and in a mailing to the I-Park database in early January. Program details, application form and comprehensive FAQ are available online at www.i-park.org. For more information, write to info@i-park.org or call (860) 873-2468 (M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Via: I-Park

Governor’s School creative writing students continue to excel

From the Greenville News: Student writer adds to Governor's School storied winning streak, takes $10,000 prize

For the fifth year in a row, a South Carolina student has seen her name go from the first line of a school essay to the top of an acceptance letter from the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and then to a truly remarkable place — the “pay to the order of” line of a $10,000 check. Jackson TriceSeventeen-year-old Jackson Trice is the latest in a years-long run of Governor’s School creative writers who have taken home one of the most prestigious and coveted awards for young authors — the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards gold medal for writing portfolio. Eight such medals were awarded this year. In past years, that number was seven. From a creative writing department of fewer than 30 students, the tiny residential school tucked on a hillside overlooking Falls Park has had at least one top winner every year since 2010 and a total of 10 winners over the last nine years. Read the complete article.
  From SCNow.com (Florence Morning News): Florence student receives prestigious creative writing award nomination
A local student has been nominated for the country’s most prestigious art award for artistically gifted high school students. Shelly HucksFlorence resident Shelly Hucks, a senior at South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) in Greenville, has been nominated in the area of creative writing and said she is “very grateful and honored to be chosen” as a candidate for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts honor. “It means that everything that I have been working for has really been paying off,” Hucks said. “Being named a candidate for this honor has given me the confidence to pursue creative writing as a career option.” Winners of the Presidential Scholar in the Arts honor will be announced in May. Read the complete article.

Governor’s School Creative Writing students featured on The Atlantic website

Three South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) Creative Writing students are featured in new essays on The Atlantic website. Atlantic contributor Deborah Fallows requested the essays after visiting and writing about the school in January as part of the site’s “American Futures” series. “I asked Scott Gould, a creative writing teacher at the school, if he would ask his students to write me a short essay about their school,” Fallows wrote. “This was a wide-open request; I wanted to hear whatever perspective the students wanted to offer about their experience at the school.” The essays were written by Cameron Messinides (Camden), Shelley Hucks (Florence) and Jackson Trice (Simpsonville). They were published “unedited and untouched.” Founded in 1857, The Atlantic is one of the nation’s oldest publications. Its digital properties receive millions of hits per month. The following are snippets of the three essays. Cameron Messinides – “Long Distance” My family walked among the carcasses--once white, now bloodstained and caked with rain-softened clay. We wanted to find life, my mother said. They gave up at four in the afternoon, and my father and brother made a pile of the bodies in the woods, to be buried later. Phone calls like this are common now. I've been in a boarding school since August, and every weekend my mother seems to find something new to break to me. It's not always bad. The weekend before, she called to tell me my brother enrolled in a birding retreat on the South Carolina coastline. And before that, she told me about the new color she picked for the living room walls. I'm still not used to this kind of communication. I miss immediacy. A year ago, when I still lived with them, I would know all this. She wouldn't have to tell me two or three days later. I'd like to say I've adjusted, but I haven't. Shelley Hucks – “Florentine” At the Governor’s School, I’ve studied under excellent teachers. I’ve been exposed to new authors and genres, learned to be curious, analytical, to believe in the deliberation of every line of poetry and each line of dialogue in a short story. I’ve learned to put my personal life into artistic context with the help of professionals. I’ve learned to become aware. To make something strange, beautiful, something important. And, something particularly valuable to me because of my immense pride in my hometown, I’ve learned to appreciate a strong sense of setting, the way characters can function in so many complex ways. I’ve learned how to convey Florence in words. Jackson Trice – “Outside the Lines” I forget how strange my school sounds to the rest of the world until I leave it. On a card at the front desk inside a college admissions building, I am told to write the name of my high school. The full name, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, does not fit on the dotted line, and I have to draw an arrow to the back of the card, and write the rest there. When I say my school’s name out loud to family members, it sounds prestigious, almost regal. But on the first day of school here it is made clear that I was chosen based on potential, and not necessarily talent. It’s this ego smashing that happens throughout junior year that creates the atmosphere of Governor’s School. You don’t get “good,” you just make progress. You are not special, you’ve just been given an excellent opportunity. Read the complete essays here. Via: South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities