Mary Whyte

Brad Taylor

The annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival began as Conroy’s 70th birthday celebration in October 2015. Hosted by the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, this year’s festival, to be held Nov. 5-8, will be held as a series of live-streamed author presentations and panel discussions, online writing workshops, exhibits, and virtual tours.

The 2020 festival will be highlighted by appearances by Brad Taylor, former U.S. Army Special Forces officer and now New York Times best-selling author of the Pike Logan thriller series; Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award-winning artist Mary Whyte, author of “We the People: Portraits of Veterans in America”; and, from “A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South,” editor Cinelle Barnes and contributing writers Latria Graham and Gary Jackson.

Also scheduled to appear are student writers from the Conroy Center’s Camp Conroy and the Ann Head Literary Prize for Short Fiction at Beaufort High School; South Carolina Academy of Authors honorees Pam Durban, Andrew Geyer, and Beaufort native Valerie Sayers; poets Emily Davis-Fletcher, Gary Jackson, Len Lawson, and Elizabeth Robin; novelists Stephanie Austin Edwards, Dana Ridenour, Dorothy St. James, Rebecca Dwight Bruff, Joe Palmer, and Susan Diamond Riley; memoirist and travel writer Donna Keel Armer; ETV Lowcountry director and “By the River” host Holly Bounds Jackson; and USC Beaufort writer-in-residence Ellen Malphrus.

Conroy Center staff members Jonathan Haupt, Brooke McKinney, and Holland Perryman will make an appearance as well.

Headlining the festival’s Open Mic Night is Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today best-selling novelist.

The festival will also feature online workshops for writers of all levels of experience, to be held Nov. 6 and 7 and led by Pam Durban, Connie May Fowler, Andrew Geyer, Len Lawson, Valerie Sayers, and Dorothy St. James.

In addition, the Pat Conroy-inspired “Small Chapters” exhibition of art by members of the National Association of Women Artists is on display through Nov. 30 at the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island (

The Conroy Center will also host a free virtual tour, accessible from anywhere, at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 8.

Registration for all events is now open at and the Center’s Facebook page. through the festival’s Facebook page. For workshops, sign up at

The nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at 905 Port Republic St. in historic downtown Beaufort.

Learn more at