Conroy’s life, work celebrated at festival

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The Pat Conroy at 70 festival, held in October 2015, included such remarkable conversations and experiences about the Lowcounty writer that his life will continue to be celebrated annually at the Pat Conroy Literary Festival.

The inaugural festival will be held from Friday, Oct. 21, to Sunday, Oct. 23, with a wide variety of events.

There will be writer panels and book signings, live dramatic performances, film screenings, author lunches and receptions, readings, tours, an art exhibition and a series of instructive workshops for writers, all centered around the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Center for the Arts.

Each year the festival will highlight a different theme from Pat Conroy’s writing life.

The 2016 festival theme is “Place as Character and Muse in Southern Literature,” a concept reflected in all of this year’s programs — and also honoring host city of Beaufort and the Lowcountry, which served as Conroy’s beloved home and inspiration.

Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts at 805 Carteret St. in Beaufort.

Events include:

• Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Open House at the Pat Conroy Literary Center, 308 Charles St., Beaufort

This is an opportunity to visit the new center, to see a Pat Conroy exhibit and to learn more about the center’s plans for 2017. Visit

• 7-9 p.m. Friday

See materials on display from the USC Libraries Pat Conroy Archive and Conroy family personal collections and get a preview of Pat Conroy Literary Center programs tentatively scheduled to begin in 2017. Wine and light refreshments will be served.

Archivist Jessica Crouch will give a brief gallery talk about the exhibit. This event is free and open to the public.

• On Saturday there will be writers workshops, book signings, panel discussions and more.

Following the afternoon’s (sold-out) bus tour of Beaufort with Bernie and Maggie Schein, the Scheins will sign copies of their books.

Conroy’s’s daughter Melissa Conroy will also be at the Center signing copies of her newly released Lowcountry Coloring Book. This event is free and open to the public.

• 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Carolina Writers at Home Photography Exhibition will be held at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts Gallery, 805 Carteret St.

This event is an exhibition of Rob McDonald’s evocative photography of 25 North Carolina and South Carolina writers, from Beaufort to Boone, which captures each subject in her or his habitat, preserving the writer’s distinctive personality as well as the particular character of the writer’s home.

Included in this exhibition are photographs of Pat Conroy, Cassandra King, and festival presenters Elizabeth Cox, Josephine Humphreys, Jill McCorkle and Roger Pinckney, along with many others.

For ticketing information and a complete list of events, visit and click on Shows & Tickets.

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