What is LILA?

The Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (LILA) is a literary outreach organization. Its mission is to nurture and promote the literary arts in South Carolina. A board of directors — authors, poets, editors, teachers, booksellers and local supporters of literature – work to fulfill LILA’s mission. They are supported by LILA’s Board of Advisors, made up of some of the South’s most distinguished and well-known authors and literary figures, including Sue Monk Kidd, Mary Alice Monroe, Cassandra King, Pat Conroy, and Dorothea Benton Frank.

Started by two poets, Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina’s Poet Laureate, and Carol Ann Davis, editor of Crazyhorse, LILA was formed in the fall of 2004 with a goal to establish a writing center in Charleston. In the process, we realized that Charleston itself is a center for writing. With so many literary events appealing to both readers and writers, we want to be the hub where you can come to discover more about low country authors and upcoming book events!

LILA has already become a center for all things literary. LILA’s executive board now includes poets, fiction writers, spoken-word artists, and journalists. We feel fortunate to have our brick and mortar home at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston and look forward to seeing you at our Readings, Literary Events and Writing Workshops there!

Our Mission

LILA’s mission is to nurture and promote the literary arts in South Carolina. LILA is dedicated to developing programs that enrich the area’s literary communities and to diversifying the opportunities open to students, writers, and readers. It approaches this goal by connecting, educating, and promoting writers and readers at every stage of development, from the novice to the professional.

LILA’s current makeup includes members (anyone who wants to join and participate), committee members, committee chairs, and an executive board made up of the committee chairs and officers.

Committees undertake ongoing work/strategies; board (including officers/committee chairs) will meet periodically to share info and discuss ongoing progress/needs of the organization.

Executive Board

President — Shari Stauch
Vice President — Marcus Amaker
Secretary — Matthew Dix
Treasurer — Heather Richie
Ex Officio Immediate Past President — Marjory Wentworth
Member At Large — Joseph Gorman
Member At Large — Mary Hutchins Harris
Member At Large — Mary Ann Henry

Advisory Board

  • Pat Conroy
  • Dorothea Benton Frank
  • Harlan Greene
  • Jo Hutcheson
  • Sara June Goldstein
  • Bret Lott
  • William Louis-Dreyfuss
  • Sue Monk Kidd
  • Cassandra King
  • Mary Alice Monroe
  • Harriet McDougal Rigney
  • Anne Rivers Siddons
  • Gary Smitharts-alliance

LILA is a proud member of the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts

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