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S.C. literary giants to participate in 2018 Deckle Edge Literary Festival

Have you ever caught yourself wondering whether South Carolina has successful artists? Famous artists? Any making a mark in their medium or genre? Then consider Deckle Edge Literary Festival 2018 and wonder no longer. [caption id="attachment_33843" align="alignright" width="200"] Photo by Kathy Ryan, courtesy of TerranceHayes.com[/caption] The festival announced Columbia native Terrance Hayes (right, top) as its keynote speaker this year, and Conway native and current Columbia resident Nikky Finney (right, bottom) is to receive the inaugural Deckle Edge Southern Truth Award. Among Finney's accolades is being an Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award recipient from the Arts Commission, and she also received the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry and 1996 PEN American Open Book Award. Hayes is the current poetry editor for New York Times Magazine and has won Guggenheim, MacArthur, National Endowment for the Arts and U.S. Artists Zell fellowships. His Lighthead won the 2010 National Book Award, and How to Be Drawn was a finalist for the same. Got all that? Because we're not quite done. [caption id="attachment_33844" align="alignright" width="200"] Photo by Forrest Clonts, courtesy of NikkyFinney.net[/caption] Further Arts Commission connections abound among the authors, poets, and songwriters scheduled to participate in the scheduled panels or presentations. Julia Elliott, Scott Gould (twice), and Ed Madden are all S.C. Arts Commission Fellows, and other writers have received grants or won awards from the agency as well. In fact, it would probably be easier simply to list those who lack Arts Commission ties - but then we don't want anyone to feel left out. Go here for more information on Deckle Edge Literary Festival 2018, and go forth with the knowledge that, yes, South Carolina has amazing, accomplished artists of all disciplines. And as we continue our focus on Arts Advocacy Week, remember that public support of the arts has played a role in getting them there.

Cayce fiction writer Julia Elliott receives $30,000 award

South Carolina fiction writer and 2008/2009 South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow Julia Elliott is a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, which is given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. The 2012 Awards were $30,000 each and were presented to the six recipients in New York City last fall. Julia ElliottElliott’s story “Regeneration at Mukti” received a Pushcart Prize and will appear in the 2013 anthology. Her stories have been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, The Georgia Review, and other journals. She describes her recent work as “examining emerging technologies and the production of scientific knowledge through the lens of experimental fiction.” The Jaffe Selection Committee found her work “incredibly imaginative, sharply observed and totally original.” Elliott plans to use her Writer’s Award to take at least two summers off and pay for child care so she can work on two novel projects. The first novel, The New and Improved Romie Futch, is about a South Carolina taxidermist who, after serving as a research subject and receiving brain downloads of “complex humanities disciplines,” returns to his hometown to confront his failed marriage. Her second novel project is based on her own field study of Hamadryas baboons. She says, “Rethinking the role of gender in scientific research, I plan to write a novel narrated from the perspective of a female primatologist who is observing a troop of baboons and residing at a decadent research institute in the desert where she encounters scientists of diverse gender identification and sexual orientation.” Elliott received her M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia. She teaches English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina, where she also received her B.A. She lives with her husband and young daughter in Cayce, South Carolina.

About the Awards:

Now in its 18th year, the Rona Jaffe Awards have helped many women build successful writing careers by offering encouragement and financial support at a critical time. Celebrated novelist Rona Jaffe (1931-2005) established The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards program in 1995. It is the only national literary awards program of its kind dedicated to supporting women writers exclusively. Since the program began, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to emergent women writers, including several who have gone on to critical acclaim, such as Elif Batuman, Eula Biss, Judy Budnitz, Lan Samantha Chang, Rebecca Curtis, Rivka Galchen, Kathleen Graber, Frances Hwang, Aryn Kyle, ZZ Packer, Tracy K. Smith, Mary Szybist and Julia Whitty. Via: The Rona Jaffe Foundation