← View All Articles

$5,000 grants to reward literary, dance excellence in S.C.

  • S.C. Arts Commission opens applications for FY21 Fellowships
  • Deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3 September 2019 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is accepting applications for $5,000 FY21 individual artist fellowships for South Carolina resident artists working in prose, poetry, dance performance and dance choreography. Four awards of $5,000 each will be given to one artist working in those four different artistic disciplines. The deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists, according to Executive Director David Platts. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic excellence only. The fellowship awards bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. (There is a long list of accomplished fellowship recipients here.) [caption id="attachment_41713" align="alignright" width="175"]Flyer for FY21 Individual Artist Fellowships Click to view the info flyer.[/caption] “These are unrestricted awards the Arts Commission uses to recognize artistic achievement by South Carolina’s exceptional artists,” Platts said. “Artists can use the award to invest in their work with additional learning or supplies or they can pay bills or buy groceries.” The panel of judges comes from other states, but applicants must: be 18 years of age or older, be U.S. citizens and South Carolina residents with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying, and plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2020 through June 2021). Applications may only be submitted online by midnight Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Further questions about applying can be answered by Senior Deputy Director Milly Hough (mhough@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8698).

About the S.C. Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Submitted material

Columbia poet laureate makes call for poems

Call for poems from South Carolina poets!


[caption id="attachment_17625" align="alignright" width="175"]Ed Madden Photo by Forrest Clonts[/caption] COMPOSED: a hospital poetry project Many of us have taken a moment to collect ourselves before visiting someone in the hospital. We stop and wash our faces, look in the mirror. compose ourselves. Using this moment as the inspiration for our next Prisma Health poetry project, we are looking for poems that fit that moment. We want to use local voices about health, healing, comfort, and courage in spaces where they can make a difference.  

Submitted material

Govie Writing Award winners announced

Inaugural event awards prizes for fiction, poetry


The S.C .Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Govie Writing Awards, a new, statewide contest for South Carolina students in grades 6-12. Sponsored by the Governor’s School’s Creative Writing Department, the awards—the George Singleton Prize in Fiction and the Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry—are named for the department’s founding faculty members who are also the contest judges. All winners receive gift certificates to their local independent bookstore.
In the High School Division, Autumn Simpson, a student at White Knoll High School in Lexington, won the George Singleton Prize in Fiction for her short story, “The Author.” The winner of the Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry is Luisa Peñaflor, a student at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, who won for her poem titled, “Chandler Lake.” Tyler Kellogg, a student at Daniel High School in Central, received an honorable mention for his poem, “Desafinar.” In the Middle School Division, Olivia Bussell, a student from Pleasant Hill Middle School in Lexington, won the George Singleton Prize in Fiction for her story, “Limitless,” and Katherine Toellner, a student at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, received an honorable mention for “A Million Stitches.” Roger Brown, a student from League Academy in Greenville, won the Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry for his poem, “Yellow Moon.” An honorable mention went to Grace Gibson, a student from the Coastal Montessori Charter School in Pawleys Island for her poem, “Ode to My Coonhound.” “Our judges were pleased not only with the quantity of entries this year, but with the high quality as well,” said Scott Gould, creative writing chair. “There are so many good, young writers across our state, and we’re just happy to give them a new platform to showcase their talents.” For more information about these winners and to read their work, visit www.scgsah.org/writingawards.

About S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. As a public, residential high school, serving juniors and seniors, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

Governor’s School introduces Govie Writing Awards

Statewide writing contest for students

Submission deadline: Friday, March 15, 2019
The Govie Writing Awards is a new, state-wide contest for South Carolina students in grades 6-12. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Department at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, the awards are named for the department's founding faculty members—Jan Bailey and George Singleton—and recognize student works in fiction and poetry. Prize winners will receive a gift card from a local indie bookstore. Teachers of the winning students will also be recognized. Guidelines and more are here. Good luck!

Jason Rapp

New mixed media feature at CMA combines art and poetry

The Write Around Series with Ed Madden and Ray McManus, the latest initiative in the Columbia Museum of Art's new Writer-in-Residence program, launches Sunday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. Award-winning poets Madden (left) and McManus (right) open the series with work they have written inspired by the dynamic themes of the newly redesigned collection galleries. “By grouping the art thematically rather than chronologically, the new collection galleries create conversations, not just among the works of art, but also among patrons,” says McManus. “Writing that responds to the artwork—some of it displayed now for the first time—is another kind of conversation across forms of art, and one that can only amplify and extend the conversation created by the new gallery designs.” As writer-in-residence, McManus is charged with creating programs that promote literary art as a way to contemplate and connect with visual art. The Write Around Series is year-long program that invites writers to create and share original poetry and prose inspired by the art in the CMA. An associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Sumter, McManus teaches creative writing, Irish literature, and Southern literature. He is the director of the Center for Oral Narrative housed in the Division of Arts and Letters. In 2014, he joined the editorial board for the Palmetto Poetry Series, and he maintains partnerships with the S.C. Arts Commission and local arts agencies. McManus is the founder of Split P Soup, a creative writing outreach program that places writers in schools and communities in South Carolina, and the director of the creative writing program at the Tri-District Arts Consortium. His current project is Re:Verse, a teaching initiative that works with educators and administrators to develop effective strategies to bring more emphasis to creative writing in standard education. Madden is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Ark, a memoir in poetry about helping with his dying father’s hospice care. He is a professor of English and director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. He has been the inaugural poet laureate for the City of Columbia since 2015. He received the Arts Commission's 2011 prose fellowship. “I’m excited to launch The Write Around Series, and I’m especially excited to launch this program with the poet laureate of Columbia, Ed Madden,” says McManus. “I can’t wait to see what we come up with together!” The event is free with CMA membership or separate admission. The program is supported by South Carolina Humanities. For more information, visit ColumbiaMuseum.org.

Jason Rapp

Marcus Harris Foundation launches poetry fellowship

Application deadline: Sept. 30, 2018 The Marcus Harris Foundation is pleased to announce the launching of the Marcus Harris Poetry Fellowship. Established by internationally renowned poet and philanthropist Marcus Harris, the fellowship is designed to encourage young poets to pursue further writing and publishing efforts. One (1) $500 fellowship will be awarded based on the quality of the applicant’s writing sample.


Application Guidelines

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and no older than 30 years of age as of June 30th.
  • Applicants must include 10 typed self-standing poems highlighting at least 3 different topics (e.g. politics, love, current events, etc.). Previously published poems may be submitted.
  • Poems must be accompanied by a cover sheet featuring your name, address, email address, brief bio (no more than 3-4 lines), and a statement of how you intend to spend the fellowship funds.
  • Materials must be received by no later than September 30th.
  • Please email all application materials to info@marcusharrisfoundation.org.

Thanks to SCAC's own Sara June Goldstein for the tip!

Poet Kwame Dawes back in Columbia this Saturday

Poet and Verner Award recipient Kwame Dawes returns to Columbia for a workshop presented by Allen University on Saturday, Aug. 18. Dawes, a former USC professor now working as Chancellor's Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, will lead a workshop titled "The Art of Spoken and Written Word/Poetry in the Bible." The workshop will be held on Saturday at Bishop Memorial AME Church (2221 Washington St., Columbia) from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served. The workshop is free and open to the public, but you must register online first. The workshop will explore poetic moments in the Bible and turn them into spaces of inspiration for new poems. Spoken Word poets, page poets, anyone interested in exploring their creative side are welcome. Kwame Dawes will create spaces to explore language and lyric that will result in forms of creative expression that will be “as urgent and vulnerable as true prayer,” says Dawes. Allen’s year-long project titled "Standing in the Need of Prayer" focuses on the use of art in worship and prayer and is partnering with four neighborhood churches: Bishop Memorial AME Church, First Calvary Baptist Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church. Born in Ghana in 1962, Dawes spent most of his childhood in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of the country, citing in a recent interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius (2007) remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley. Read his full bio on PoetryFoundation.org. In 2008, the South Carolina Arts Commission presented him with the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in the individual category. In 2009 he was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

Photo courtesy of PoetryFoundation.org.

Four artists honored with S.C. Arts Commission fellowships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 June 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina artists in Charleston, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg counties representing four arts disciplines received individual artist fellowships after approval by the S.C. Arts Commission board in Columbia. All individual artists working in prose, poetry, and theatre acting and playwriting were invited to apply for awards for fiscal year 2019. The S.C. Arts Commission board approved $5,000 fellowships based on recommendations made by out-of-state review panelists, who select these fellows after  reviewing anonymous work samples:

  • Rutledge Hammes of Charleston County for prose,
  • Stephen Tulloh of Spartanburg County for poetry,
  • Paul Kaufmann of Richland County for theatre acting,
  • and Kevin Ferguson of Horry County for theatre playwriting.
Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. They are awarded through a competitive, anonymous process and based solely on artistic excellence. Recognition from fellowship awards often lends artistic prestige and opens doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “Past fellows are quick to share stories about the transformative difference award dollars make and the positive effect on their spirits and their self-perception,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “It can truly be a life-changing experience. South Carolina’s artists are indispensable contributors to quality of life in our communities and make up the core of our creative economy. A fellowship is one of the best ways the people of South Carolina thank them, and our agency is proud to deliver these tokens of gratitude on their behalf.” The panelists who judged each discipline’s nominees work in those disciplines elsewhere. This year’s prose judge was Jamey Hatley of Memphis, Tenn., an author who received a prose fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016. The poetry judge was poet Shane McCrae of New York City, an NEA poetry fellow and writing professor at Columbia University. Nancy Rominger of Montgomery, Ala., director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, served as the theatre acting judge. The theatre playwriting judge was Betty Peterson, an English professor at Somerset (Ky.) Community College. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists who work in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual arts, craft, and music performance or composition, will be honored in fiscal year 2020. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the S.C. Arts Commission. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grants/artists/fellowships.shtml.

About the FY2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship Recipients

PROSE F. RUTLEDGE HAMMES | Charleston County “What I write, at its very best, is some illegitimate hybrid of South American magical realism and Southern Gothic I like to think of as Southern Fabulism,” Rutledge Hammes says of the sum of his prose. Hammes, who lives in Charleston, is the writer-in-residence and creative writing teacher for the Charleston County School of the Arts. His students, throughout a 10-year tenure, have accounted for more than 3,500 regional and national writing awards. The city’s 2011 “Best Up-and-Coming Writer” is co-author of two published novels. His first solo novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, is to be published under his name this September. He is the winner of six ADDY Awards for copywriting and winner of the Cypress Dome Fiction Awards. His talent extends to poetry, where he was a finalist for both the Montage Poetry Award and the Paul Laurence Dunbar Award for Poetry. POETRY STEPHEN TULLOH | Spartanburg County Stephen Tulloh received his MFA in creative writing from the University of South Carolina. The Spartanburg resident has spent time as a tutor and instructor on the collegiate level, where he develops and implements subject- and student-centered courses which nurture creativity, empowerment, self-actualization. As a writer, though, Tulloh considers himself versatile and meticulous as he creates essays, books, and articles for traditional or digital publication. He blogs and has three credits to his name: two out-of-print collections of essays, activities, and lectures on communication and writing; and 2009’s Symmetry, described as “retrospective, introspective, emotive, and somewhat innovative, the poems and drawings in Symmetry focus on two siblings' relationships – with nature; with one another; with family, friends and foes.” THEATRE: ACTING PAUL KAUFMANN | Richland County Though an actor for most of his life, Paul Kaufmann is a multi-faceted artist: playwright, songwriter, fiction and copy writer, and a visual artist. A resident of Columbia with a bachelor’s in communications from Florida State University, he is a veteran of the city’s theatre scene, serving as a cast member in stage productions at Trustus Theatre and at USC. His resume includes appearances in productions in New York City, Wales and on screen in Third Reel, a Jason Stokes film. He has been the principal at Kaufmann Forensic Actors for 12 years. His company contracts 20 actors from across the U.S. to provide actors to the FBI, ICE and other federal and state agencies for use in scenario-based training, where they portray victims of myriad crimes. THEATRE: PLAYWRIGHTING KEVIN FERGUSON | Horry County He describes himself as a son, friend, actor, counselor, teacher, mentor, playwright, dramaturg, and a literary manager, but “not always in that order,” says Kevin Ferguson of Little River on his website. He is credited with writing six plays: five original, and an adaptation of Dickens’ famed A Christmas Carol. His work was included in a short play anthology in 2015 and he contributed to a nine-vignette collection of works with other playwrights. Ferguson teaches playwriting and dramaturgy at Coastal Carolina University. He earned an MFA in playwriting with a concentration in dramaturgy from Hollins University. He is playwright-in-residence, literary manager, and resident dramaturg at Atlantic Stage in Myrtle Beach. He is also the resident Dramaturg at the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

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.