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News Release

Date: October 12, 2005
Media Contact: Michelle Beadle, 301-309-9461; Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970

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Best-Selling Author Pat Conroy To Be Honored at Montgomery College on Oct. 22
10th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference Will Feature Workshops, Discussions

Noted author Pat Conroy will accept the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature on Saturday, October 22, at the 10th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference at Montgomery College in Rockville.  Conroy, author of the highly acclaimed novel The Prince of Tides, which led to a hit movie, joins a prestigious line of American writers that have come to Rockville over the past decade to receive the award named for one of the greatest writers in U.S. history.

In addition to his 1986 best-seller The Prince of Tides, Conroy, an Atlanta native, is also the  author of  The Boo, Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, Lords of Discipline, Beach Music, My Losing Season, and most recently, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipe of My Life

The F. Scott Fitzgerald conference will start with registration at 7:45 a.m. and run through the evening honors that will begin at 6:30 p.m. In addition to a reading from Conroy and a screening of The Great Santini, another movie based on one of his novels, the conference will be a great source of learning for budding and amateur writers. The conference will feature 16 panelists and presenters offering advice in creative writing and telling of their experiences in the literary world. 

Since its inception in 1996, when William Styron accepted the first F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award, the conference’s annual honorees have included a list of some of the greatest American writers. Other recipients include John Barth (1997), Joyce Carol Oates (1998), E.L. Doctorow (1999), Norman Mailer (2000), Ernest J. Gaines (2001), John Updike (2002), Edward Albee (2003) and Grace Paley (2004).

The conference will continue its tradition of introducing two talented writers to one of the Mid-Atlantic Region’s most significant literary events of the year. The winners of the prestigious F. Scott Fitzgerald Open Short Story Contest and the Montgomery County High School Short Story Contest will be announced at the conference. The short story contests allow writers to showcase their talents and have their works reviewed by panels of esteemed judges. Last year’s contests generated more than 500 total entries.

Among the topics to be featured at this year’s conference will be “African American Writing in the 21st Century” and “A Gathering of New and Aspiring Writers: Successes, Failures, Thoughts and Ideas on Getting Published.” Workshops will focus on poetry, fiction, children’s literature, creative non-fiction, memoirs and magazines. At 1:30 p.m., Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, the organization dedicated to preserving the City’s past, will conduct a tour of sites relating to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is buried in Rockville’s St. Mary’s Cemetery.

The conference is sponsored by the City of Rockville, Montgomery College, Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Woodfin Suites Hotel, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, and The Gazette Newspapers. The short story contests are sponsored by the Rockville Cultural Arts Commission and Riderwood.

Pre-registration for the conference is strongly recommended to ensure a spot for the day full of workshops, book signings, readings and presentations.

For more information on the conference and registration information, call 301-309-9461 or visit  www.peerlessrockville.org/FSF/.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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