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Lowcountry writer wins S.C. Novel Series with debut work

A look at blue-collar Lowcountry life

Hub City Press announced today that Robert Maynor was selected as the winner of the 2022 South Carolina Novel Series for his debut novel, The Big Game is Every Night.

Hub City Press will publish the novel in the fall of 2023. The South Carolina Novel Series publishes a novel by a South Carolina writer biennially. Writers selected for publication in this series are awarded $1,500 and book publication, including marketing and tour support from Hub City Press and the series partners. The novel also receives placement in all South Carolina state libraries and readings/events with presenting sponsors. The Big Game is Every Night is told in the keen, honest voice of a young high school football player growing up in rural South Carolina Lowcountry and gives readers a glimpse into the cultural forces that shape contemporary blue-collar America. “The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud to provide South Carolina’s artists with career development opportunities like this one. We are excited to read a novel that is set in our state and is by a South Carolina author. Congratulations to Robert on this achievement, and we thank Hub City Press for being our partners,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts said. “Hub City Press is thrilled to publish Robert's debut novel as the inaugural selection of the South Carolina Novel Series next year, and to continue the great work we have accomplished in our 15-year partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission,” said Meg Reid, director of Hub City Press.

About Robert Maynor

Robert Maynor is from the Lowcountry of South Carolina. He lives and writes in a patched-up fish camp on the bank of the Edisto River, the longest free-flowing blackwater river in North America. His fiction explores the spectrum of complexities and contradictions in the contemporary American South. His short stories have appeared in Blood Orange Review, BULL, the Carolina Quarterly, and CRAFT, among other outlets. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the past recipient of the Larry Brown Short Story Award and the Coker Fellowship in Fiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. The Big Game Is Every Night is his first novel.

About the S.C. Novel Series

The South Carolina Novel Series is open to writers of all levels who have lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to submission of their manuscript. Co-sponsors include the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities. Submissions for the series will open on Jan. 1, 2024 and close April 15, 2024. No submission fee is required.

Series Partners

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. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content. Founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995, Hub City Press is the South’s premier independent literary press. Focused on finding and spotlighting extraordinary new and unsung writers from the American South, our curated list champions diverse authors and books that don’t fit into the commercial publishing landscape. The press has published over ninety high-caliber literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, memoir, and books emphasizing the region's culture and history. Hub City is interested in books with a strong sense of place and is committed to introducing a diverse roster of lesser-heard Southern voices. The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources. For more information, please visit www.statelibrary.sc.gov or call 803.734.8666. South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. South Carolina Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflect sensitivity to a diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations. For more information, visit www.schumanities.org or call 803.771.2477.

Jason Rapp

Communal Pen marks in-person return next month in Aiken

[caption id="attachment_50054" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Naturalization at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, July 4, 2013; ©
Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.[/caption]

Communal Pen Voices & Votes: Aiken County

  • Saturday, Aug. 13
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Aiken County Historical Museum (433 Newberry St. SW, Aiken)
  • Lunch provided at no cost. You will make your menu selection on the registration form.
  • Local hosts:
    • Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum
    • Second Baptist Church of Aiken
  • Click here to register now!

Voting. It’s our most cherished form of civic engagement as U.S. citizens.

As the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition Voices and Votes: Democracy in America winds its way through South Carolina, the Communal Pen writing workshop series wants to know:
  • What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  • What does it mean to participate in the civic life of our community and nation?
  • What roles, rights, and responsibilities connect us with our fellow citizens, family, friends, and neighbors?
Come learn how to capture those thoughts with Communal Pen. Let's celebrate and explore our connections to place and community through the lens of our experience of civic life and identity.
Communal Pen is a writing workshop presented by South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. It is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, on display at the Aiken County Historical Museum from July 23 to Sept. 3. 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 South Carolina Humanities.

Who we are

Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator EboniRamm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

Communal Pen celebrates ‘Voices & Votes’ in Laurens County

[caption id="attachment_50054" align="aligncenter" width="949"] Naturalization at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, July 4, 2013; ©
Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.[/caption]

Communal Pen: Voices & Votes

Voting. It’s our most cherished form of civic engagement as U.S. citizens. As the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition Voices and Votes: Democracy in America winds its way through South Carolina, the Communal Pen writing workshop series wants to know:
  • What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  • What does it mean to participate in the civic life of our community and nation?
  • What roles, rights, and responsibilities connect us with our fellow citizens, family, friends, and neighbors?
Let's celebrate and explore our connections to place and community through the lens of our experience of civic life and identity. Come and learn how to capture those thoughts with Communal Pen, a two-part virtual writing workshop on June 11 and 18, 2022. No previous experience is necessary, and the workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is required and spaces are limited. Communal Pen is presented by South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. This version of the writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, on display at the Laurens County Museum from June 4 to July 16. Communal Pen is returning to its two-part format with Voices & Votes:
  • June 11, 2022, noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • June 18, 2022, noon to 2 p.m.
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call Abby to register on 803.734.8680. This format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen: Voices & Votes. 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 South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator EboniRamm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

Communal Pen: Voices & Votes

[caption id="attachment_50054" align="aligncenter" width="949"] Naturalization at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, July 4, 2013; ©
Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.[/caption]

Hub readers like you know all about Communal Pen.

The creative writing workshop you know is presented by the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) and South Carolina Humanities in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute's Museum on Main Street traveling exhibits in rural parts of South Carolina. It took a hiatus briefly, but it's back—and so is a counterpart version of Communal Pen!

Communal Pen: Voices & Votes

It’s our most cherished form of civic engagement as U.S. citizens. As the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition Voices and Votes: Democracy in America begins a tour through South Carolina, the Communal Pen writing workshop series wants to know:
  • What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  • What does it mean to participate in the civic life of our community and nation?
  • What roles, rights, and responsibilities connect us with our fellow citizens, family, friends, and neighbors?
Come and learn how to capture those thoughts with Communal Pen, a two-part virtual writing workshop on May 21 and 28, 2022. No previous experience is necessary, and the workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is required and spaces are limited. This writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, on display at the Williamsburgh Historical Society from April 16 to May 28. Communal Pen is returning to its two-part format with Voices & Votes:
  • May 21, 2022, noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • May 28, 2022, noon to 2 p.m.
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call Abby to register on 803.734.8680. This format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen: Voices & Votes. 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 South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator EboniRamm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

Hey writers: One more week to finish up your manuscripts

S.C. Novel Series submission deadline is April 15

Frustrated woman writer lost concentration feeling lack of creative ideas

If this is you, we're sorry. But...

You have ONE WEEK to finalize that manuscript for the South Carolina Novel Series. The Hub brought you updates for the partnership this past December, so you have surely been hard at work ever since. We felt a reminder was in order just in case. Here's the program in a nutshell: Every other year, the South Carolina Novel Series recognizes one of South Carolina’s exceptional writers. Writers selected for publication in this series are awarded $1,500 and book publication, including marketing and tour support from Hub City Press and the series partners, as well as placement in all South Carolina state libraries and readings/events with presenting sponsors. The series is open to writers of all levels who have lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to submission of their manuscript. Submissions for the series opened Jan. 1 and will close next Friday, April 15. Good news: they require no submission fee. The South Carolina Novel Series is a partnership of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina State Library.

Jason Rapp

‘Communal Pen’ returns to Lowcountry in February

Two-part writing workshop 'visits' McClellanville

[caption id="attachment_44954" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area[/caption]
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for starting Saturday, Feb. 20 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? 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!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the virtual 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. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit Water/Ways, McClellanville Arts Council is co-host of this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. 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! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display at the McClellanville Arts Council from Jan. 18 through March 1.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. 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 South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

Nature to inspire next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop

Two-part writing workshop 'visits' Congaree National Park

[caption id="attachment_44954" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area[/caption]
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for starting THIS SATURDAY to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? 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!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the virtual 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. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit Water/Ways, Congaree National Park and Friends of Congaree Swamp are co-hosts of this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. 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! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display at the South Carolina Maritime Museum from Nov. 13 through Jan. 13, 2021.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. 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 South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

‘Communal Pen’ virtual writing workshop is back in October

Two-part writing workshop continues S.C. tour

[caption id="attachment_44954" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area[/caption]
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for more on Saturday, Oct. 24 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? 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!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the virtual 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. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit, Water/Ways, the South Carolina Maritime Museum in Georgetown is hosting this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. 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! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display at the South Carolina Maritime Museum from September 28 through November 8.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. 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 South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.
 

Jason Rapp

Award-winning S.C. poet to lead workshops in Georgetown Co.

Award-winning poet Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul, will lead a series of poetry writing workshops this October and November in her native Georgetown County.

[caption id="attachment_45489" align="alignright" width="251"]Close up facial image of Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul[/caption] The workshops are scheduled for Wednesdays in October and November 2020 from 10-11:30 a.m. for the Georgetown County Library System (GCLS). Due to COVID-19, all sessions will be conducted online with the video-conferencing program, BlueJeans. The program is free and open to the public. However, space in the workshop is limited in order to give proper attention to all participants. To register, please contact, Dr. Dan Turner at 843.545.3363 or dturner@gtcounty.org. If you’re interested, don’t let technology stand in your way. GCLS has laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots available for patrons to check out.
The overall theme for the sessions is “Writing Wherever You Are” and offers a unique approach to writing poetry, one that can be of equal value for beginning and experienced poets. Dekine will bring in a selection of poems by accomplished and emerging South Carolina poets and then guide participants through key elements of these works. She will then discuss ways participants can incorporate these techniques into their own writing. Each individual session of the overall “Writing Wherever You Are” series has a distinct focus to provide participants with a diverse range of approaches and tools for creating poems. Individual session topics are listed below:
  • October 7: “The Blank Page”: Techniques to start writing
  • October 14: “Healing through Writing”: Cathartic approaches to generating individuality
  • October 21: “Voice & Tone”: Immersion in literature to speak truthfully and well
  • October 28: “Sound & Noise”: Consideration of the musicality of words
  • November 4: “Before We Wrote, We Spoke”: Vocal ways to recall oral traditions
The workshop series is funded by a Fast-Track Literary Grant from SC Humanities and the SCAC. The sessions are supported by the Friends of the Library groups at each of the four GCLS libraries: Georgetown, Waccamaw, Andrews, and Carvers Bay.
Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul is a poet and author from Plantersville. Her work has appeared in Emergence Magazine, Screen Door Review, Flycatcher Journal, Spark & Echo Arts, TEDxGreenville, and elsewhere. Previously, Marlanda studied in Paris with NYU’s Low-Residency MFA program and was a 2019 Fresh Voice of the Year, awarded by SC Humanities. Currently, she is an MFA candidate at Converse College. Marlanda believes in the power of being with poetry for collective healing and liberation.

Submitted material

2020 S.C. Novel Prize goes to Upstate writer

Winning manuscript publishes in 2021


The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina State Library,  and South Carolina Humanities are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2020 South Carolina Novel Prize is Maris Lawyer for her manuscript The Blue Line Down.  

Lawyer’s winning manuscript will be published in 2021 by Hub City Press of Spartanburg.

Maris Lawyer (right) grew up in Oconee County and hasn’t strayed far since. Graduating with a degree in Creative Writing from Anderson University in 2017, she then moved into a tiny apartment in Greenville with her husband, where she spent her evenings hunched over a laptop writing stories. Maris and her husband (and two cats) are now homeowners in Easley, where she still catches a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains every day.

Stephanie Powell Watts, author of We Are Taking Only What We Need and No One is Coming to Save Us was the judge of the biennial prize this year. Of the winning manuscript, Watts wrote, “Readers are always looking for the topic that both feels familiar until we scratch the surface a little and realize we know almost nothing about it. In the clear light of the present, movements, protests and even revolutions of the past can seem obvious and inevitable. History loves to condense the story, connecting dots to make the narrative cohere. However, there is turmoil, angst, and great human suffering in between those dots. This story shows us how a decent enough person might be compelled to aid and abet bullies and killers. The story also shows us the main character's remarkable path to possible redemption.”


The South Carolina Novel Prize is funded by the following partner organizations:

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.

Hub City Press was founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995 and since then has emerged as one of the South's premier independent presses.

The College of Charleston is home not only to a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized writing faculty, but also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues in the nation. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program provides students an immersion in a world of prose and poetry and the practical aspects of establishing a career in the arts.

The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment.

South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. SC Humanities presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

For more information about the Novel Competition, visit or call http://www.SouthCarolinaArts.com, 803.734.8696; and http://www.hubcity.org, 864.577.9349.


More about Maris Lawyer

Maris Lawyer is a born and bred native of the South Carolina Upstate. She graduated with a degree in creative writing from Anderson University and has since gone to work as an HR generalist for an environmental consulting firm in Greenville. Maris lives in Easley with her husband Benjamin and two cats, Merlin and Luna. Alongside reading and writing, Maris spends much of her time fussing over the vegetable garden in her back yard. In The Blue Line Down, protagonist Jude Washer leaves his tormented childhood in the Virginian coal mines to join the Baldwin-Felts agents—the very agents who hunted down and disbanded the unionizers at his own mine camp. Instead of living a life of power and control, Jude finds himself disturbed by the brutal brand of justice dealt out by the Baldwin-Felts, and seeks to free himself and his young trainee, Harvey. An unplanned escape turns into a harrowing manhunt as Jude and Harvey flee the Baldwin-Felts, traveling down the Blue Ridge Mountains only to fall into the hands of bootleggers—who may present a greater threat than the Baldwin-Felts.

Submitted material