Short Story America Festival was big on talent

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By Lanier Laney

Thanks to Tim Johnston, and many committed volunteers, a new annual literary tradition has begun in Beaufort! The inaugural Short Story America Festival and Conference this past weekend was a big success. Short story authors came from all over the country to Beaufort, most for the first time, to give readings,

Some of the authors. First row: Ray Morrison, Matthieu Cailler, Katherine Tandy Brown, Simon C. Larter. Standing: Warren Slesinger, T.D. Johnston, Guy J. Tirondola, Jon Zech, Douglas Campbell, Eric M. Witchey and James Goertel.

workshops on writing stories, book signings, attend two social receptions, and to enjoy a great time in beautiful Beaufort with readers, fellow writers and the many Lowcountry residents who turned out to spend time with fellow fans of literature. Writers came to our town from cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Buffalo, Chicago, San Antonio, Phoenix, Winston-Salem, Durham, and other hubs for the arts. All of them came away impressed by our community, and they plan to be back next year, along with many other authors of short fiction.
The workshops, readings and receptions took place Friday and Saturday at USCB’s Center for the Arts, Short Story America (in Beaufort Town Center), and Old Bay Marketplace Loft (the site of the beautiful opening reception).
The Saturday evening session featured great local talent like Natalie Daise, Leo Gannon, Jeff Evans, Margaret Evans, Gail Westerfield, Warren Slesinger, Teresa Bruce, Bruce Doneff, Pat Connor and others, reading classic and new short stories in the Center for the Arts at USCB.
“This session revealed the power of the story well-told,” said Tim Johnston, editor of “Short Story America” and lead organizer of the event. “What brilliant performances by everyone!”
Here are some pictures for you of the attendees by photographer Karen Peluso.