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In Conversation with Mary Alice Monroe

Spring Event

The annual “In Conversation with Mary Alice Monroe” event, part of the Wild Dunes Literary Series, is a distinguished and eagerly anticipated springtime gathering that has been enriching the literary community for 20 years. Each year, this event shines a spotlight on a unique and special author, handpicked to join Mary Alice Monroe, a renowned author herself, in a focused and engaging discussion about their latest book.

This intimate event goes beyond a mere book presentation; it offers an exclusive opportunity for guests to delve deep into the creative process of the featured author. Attendees get to explore the inspirations, challenges, and stories behind the books that have captivated readers worldwide. The authors, in turn, provide personal insights and share their journey in crafting these narratives, making the event not only a celebration of new literature but also a platform for an in-depth understanding of the art of storytelling.

Featured writers have included best-selling authors Elizabeth Berg, Signe Pike, and many more.

Spring 2024 Event

about vivian howard

Vivian stars in the hit TV shows on PBS Somewhere South and A Chef’s Life, for which she has won Peabody, Emmy and James Beard awards. Howard owns and operates two restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina– Lenoir and its sister cafe Handy & Hot, along with two restaurants in her home state of North Carolina– The Kitchen Bar at Chef & the Farmer (Kinston) and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria (Wilmington).

about the event

Join Howard and Monroe for this special spring event Thursday, April 18th, 11:30 a.m. at the beautiful Indigo Room & Rooftop, in the Sweetgrass Inn at Wild Dunes Resort for a luncheon and author talk featuring Howard’s latest cookbook, This Will Make it Taste Good (2020). Her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South (2016), is a New York Times bestseller and was named “Cookbook of the Year” by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Both books will be available for sale at the event.

During the spring luncheon, guests will enjoy a menu by the Wild Dunes culinary team that is inspired by recipes featured in Vivian’s cookbooks, promising to be a true Southern treat to be savored.


The Wild Dunes Literary Series spring luncheon offers two tiers of tickets:

  • VIP tickets: $70 per person. Includes a signed hardcover of This Will Make It Taste Good, a seat at a front table with author (Vivian Howard, Mary Alice Monroe), a delicious lunch inspired by Howard’s cookbooks, a beverage, and author talk. Only 18 VIP seats are available, first come first served.
  • General Admission tickets: $40 per person. Includes a delicious lunch inspired by Howard’s cookbooks, a beverage, the author talk, and $5 book coupon that can be used at the on-site bookstore. Buxton Books will be on-site and authors can personalize books. 

Seating is limited.  First come, first serve. There is an option to reserve an entire table to seat 6, 8, or 10 people (the perfect way to celebrate with a group of friends or bookclub).

Spring Reflections: Celebrating Past Events

The 2023 Spring Wild Dunes Literary Series event, “In Conversation with Mary Alice Monroe,” proudly welcomed New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg to Isle of Palms, South Carolina. This special event, held on Thursday, May 25th at 11:30 a.m. in the Indigo Room & Rooftop of the Sweetgrass Inn, offered a unique opportunity to engage with Berg over a luncheon. The focus was on her latest novel, “Earth’s the Right Place for Love,” a touching narrative set in Mason, Missouri, exploring the life of Arthur Moses, a character cherished by readers from “The Story of Arthur Truluv.” Elizabeth Berg, acclaimed for her bestselling novels like “Open House” (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), “Talk Before Sleep,” and “The Year of Pleasures,” has seen her work published globally and adapted into television movies and stage performances. As the founder of Writing Matters and a renowned speaker, Berg’s participation in this event offered guests an insightful glimpse into her creative process and the stories that have resonated with readers worldwide. This gathering not only celebrated Berg’s latest contribution to literature but also provided an intimate platform for literary discussion and connection.