Young Voices

  • And So I Come to the End at the Beginning Again

    The first time I heard of the Alabama Writers’ Forum was at Briarwood Christian High School. At the time, I was finishing my senior year. I was busy with extra-curricular activities and college applications. If it weren’t for my creative writing teacher, Jon Carter, I might have missed my chance entirely. He had always been a supporter of my writing, and he never missed an opportunity to help me improve. He called me aside in the hallway one day and reminded me of a scholarship contest I said I would enter. It required a portfolio of my creative writing, and the postmark deadline was that day. Of course, being the thinly spread high school student I was, the contest had entirely slipped my mind. However, instead of admonishing me or leaving me to drown in my own inadequacies and failures, Mr. Carter stayed after school to help me compile the required portfolio. We talked through my writings and I printed the strongest pieces on the library printer from my flash drive. We compiled the stories in an envelope and filled out the proper forms, and, at the eleventh hour, I submitted to the contest. In a turn of events that surprised no one more than me, I won a scholarship. Read More

  • Get Out of Alabama or Die Trying?

    By Lindsay Hodgens

    I could start by telling you about where I come from. I could tell you about the small, unincorporated community from which I sprang, about the twenty minute drive to the next town over's post office, about graduating in a class of 99 (about ten of which went on to university). I could tell you about all of the afternoons I spent looking out of my bedroom window at the thirty-six acres behind my house, how I counted the days until I could get out of that house, which was at least one step closer to getting out of Alabama. Read more

  • Alabama: A Thriving Lifeline for the Arts

    By Jonathan Rutan

    With my return to school as a graduate student seeking a Master of Arts in English at the University of Montevallo, I desired only a few things: To increase my knowledge of the written word, to broaden my horizons as a student of the arts, and to make connections with teachers, students, and staff that would further allow me to gain insight into a world I already understood that I knew very little about. However, I expected only to succeed in all of this through studies of different subjects, through texts from authors long dead or just beginning in their careers—perhaps through a nice lunch or two with a new friend. Never did I think that by becoming an intern for the Alabama Writers’ Forum would I ever be offered an even greater chance to learn more about myself—and about the world—than I ever imagined. Read More