• November celebrates Alabama’s Poet Laureate Andrew Glaze

    The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) presents an exhibit of photographs and memorabilia of Andrew Glaze, Alabama’s Poet Laureate. The exhibit opens on November 6 and runs through December 31 at the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place.

    Further celebrating Glaze’s newest published collection of poetry, local poets will honor Glaze in two readings in November: BPL’s Bards & Brews Open Mic on November 6, 2015, at the Central Library (honorary readings during half-time) and The Nitty Gritty Magic City poetry group on November 8, 2015, at The Desert Island Supply Company. READ MORE…

  • WOS helps students discover their inner-artist

    Addressing the Writing Our Stories audience, DYS Executive Director Steven Lafrenier said, “Having arts programs in the schools is important. These programs give students a chance to take a break from academics to discover what they have inside that they may not have known that they had before. It’s important that we're here today. It’s important to celebrate these young writers. ” READ MORE…

  • Christopher Thomas advises WOS writers to read and to mentor

    “How do we pull this thing off called ‘life’?” asked Christopher Thomas, a self-described entrepreneur, addressing the assembled students, guests, faculty, and staff in the Chapel on the Department of Youth Services Mt. Meigs Campus for the eighteenth annual Writing Our Stories (WOS) anthology release on October 22. “Successful people read.”

  • Writer, educator Wade Hall dies

    Writer, educator, and literary philanthropist Wade Hall died on September 26. He was 81. A native of Union Springs, Alabama, Hall moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1962 after serving a two-year stint in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. In Louisville, he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He has also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He holds degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M. A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). In 2006, he retired to Union Springs with his longtime partner, Gregg Swem. Hall is the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher’s Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge. Other writings include hundreds of articles, poems, essays and reviews published in historical and scholarly journals as well as popular magazines and newspapers.

    "Dr. Wade Hall made his commitment to the appreciation of Southern literature visible by endowing the Hall-Waters Prize, named after his parents, at Troy University,” said Kirk Curnutt, Forum Board member and chair of the English Department at Troy, Montgomery. “Every time it was my honor to organize the event honoring the recipient, I looked forward to working with Dr. Hall. His enthusiasm for great writing, readily apparent in his own work, was infectious. I'll miss him deeply."

    Hall was featured in the Fall 2007 issue of First Draft.

    (photo by Jamie Martin)


  • Ashley M. Jones to receive a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award

    Alabama poet Ashley M. Jones will receive a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. Celebrating its 21st year, the Rona Jaffe Awards have helped many women build successful writing careers by offering encouragement and financial support at a critical time. The Awards are $30,000 each and will be presented to the six recipients on September 17, 2015, in New York City. READ MORE…

  • Alabama Power Foundation produces film on WOS in Shelby County Schools

    This past spring marked the fifth year for the Shelby County Arts Council’s Writing Our Stories (WOS) program. Presented in partnership with Alabama Writer’s Forum, the 10-week program reached 150 students from Montevallo Middle School and Columbiana Middle School. The students enjoyed creative writing instruction from published authors.

    The Alabama Power Foundation awarded the Shelby County Arts Council an Elevate grant to help support Writing Our Stories in the Shelby County schools and to produce a short film about the program. READ MORE & VIEW THE FILM…

  • Alabama Booksmith celebrates Harper Lee with literature and art

    Jake Reiss called and asked if I would design a special dust jacket for Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman,” said the artist Nall inside Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham. “‘Well, what’s it about?’ ‘No one knows, he said.’ Having been born in Pike County and traveling the world and seeing how other people see Alabama I knew what it was about. Living here was my source of inspiration.” READ MORE…

  • The Next Chapter brings hundreds to Birmingham’s Southside

    People of all ages mingled, nibbled on heavy hors d’oeuvres, and listened to the blues of Gip Gipson inside Iron City on Birmingham’s Southside on July 14 for The Next Chapter, a celebration for the release of Harper Lee’s “new” novel, Go Set a Watchman. Books a Million and the Alabama Media Group, cosponsors of the event, received 400 reservations prior to the event and accepted non-ticketed walk-ups as they arrived.

    “This is the biggest literary event in Alabama in a very long time,” said David Magee, director of news for the Alabama Media Group. “Book sales have been extremely dense.” READ MORE…

  • Alabama Writers Hall of Fame celebrates 12 inaugural inductees

    At a gala dinner recognizing twelve renowned authors, some 280 people celebrated the induction of the inaugural class of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame. The event was held on June 8 at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa. Prior to the induction ceremony, attendees mingled in the reception area and had a meet and greet with the inductees, their families, and friends. READ MORE…

  • Join us at the beginning of an era!

    Tickets are now on sale for the Inaugural Alabama Writers Hall of Fame event on June 8, 2015, at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa. The celebration includes a reception and gala dinner, with presentation of the twelve inductees. Individual tickets are $125; sponsored tables are $1,500 (seats 10). Anyone interested in sponsoring an inductee’s table should contact Jeanie Thompson at 334-354-0881.

    If you would like to receive a printed invitation package with reply card, please e-mail Or phone 205-348-5543 for further information or to order tickets by phone using a credit card.

    For more information about the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, including a list of inductees, visit the Hall of Fame online.

  • Hall-Waters Prize to be awarded to PRINCE OF TIDES author Pat Conroy

    Troy University will award its Hall-Waters Prize to renowned author Pat Conroy at a private ceremony during the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery on April 11. One of the most popular Southern writers in the past forty years, Conroy's work includes the bestselling novels The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, published in 1986 and adapted to the screen for the 1991 Academy Award-nominated film by the same title. Conroy is a featured author at the Festival. READ MORE…

  • Explore RED DIRT ROADS & FEET OF CLAY at the Alabama Writers Symposium

    The Alabama Writers Symposium celebrates its 18th anniversary in Monroeville, Alabama, Thursday, April 23—Saturday, April 25, 2015. Exploring the theme Red Dirt Roads & Feet of Clay, the 2015 Alabama Writers Symposium program looks below the surface to see if things really are what they seem. Some of Alabama’s most celebrated writers and scholars—including Rich Bragg, Chantel Acevedo, and Ravi Howard—will lead discussion sessions, readings, and workshops. Participants should register for the event by April 3. READ MORE…

  • AWF to host Reading and Writing with Students, a teacher workshop

    On April 10, 2015, the day before the 10th annual Alabama Book Festival, Alabama teachers in grades 7-12 from public, private, and home schools are invited to join three festival authors, Harry Moore, Marlin Barton, and Reed Farrel Coleman, at Troy University, Montgomery Campus for an exciting day of writing workshops free of charge. Two and four-year college teachers—both full and part-time—may register as space is available. These workshops are designed to introduce teachers to new strategies for integrating creative writing into language arts and English curricula. Teachers will write in both workshop sessions, share what they have written, and meet other Alabama educators. READ MORE…

  • Alabama Book Festival announces 2015 author lineup

    More than thity-five authors fill the lineup of the 10th Annual Alabama Book Festival on April 11 in Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town. Among them will be bestselling author Pat Conroy, festival organizers announced today. In addition to presenting at the festival, Conroy will accept the Hall-Waters Prize from Troy University. The award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to Southern heritage and culture in history, literature or the arts. READ MORE…

  • ASCA names State Champion for Poetry Out Loud

    On Monday, February 16, 2015, students from high schools all over the state converged on Montgomery to compete in the Alabama finals of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition . Students, teachers, and parents arrived at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to recite and hear poetry. These students, already winners in their own regions, gave moving renditions of poetry from well-known poets such as Langston Hughes, C.S. Lewis, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Jean Valentine. The students also performed their original poems about truth and friendship, personal identity, and tragic life experiences. It was a day filled with laughter, thoughtfulness, and tears, proving to all that Alabama students have the power to speak with voices very much worth hearing. First place went to Nicole Louw, a senior at Holy Spirit Catholic High School in Tuscaloosa and a student of Jonathan Loper. Elizabeth Balch-Crystal of Auburn High School won the original poetry category, sponsored by the Forum. READ MORE…

  • Warren St. John named recipient of UA Cason Award

    The University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, along with the journalism department, has named best-selling author Warren St. John winner of the 2015 Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing. St. John, a native of Birmingham, and a graduate of Columbia University, wrote the national bestsellers Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey into the Heart of Fan Mania and Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference. READ MORE…

  • Poet Hank Lazer chosen as 2015 Harper Lee Award recipient

    Hank Lazer of Tuscaloosa has been selected to receive the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2015. The award is made to a living, nationally recognized Alabama writer who has made a significant, lifelong contribution to Alabama letters.

    “When I received the phone call telling me that I had been named the recipient of the 2015 Harper Lee Award, I was stunned, shocked, and very pleased,” said Lazer. READ MORE…

  • AHF names new chair, board members

    Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) has elected its new chair and three new members to its board of directors. Nancy Sanford, executive director of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, is chair of the board. New members include Edgar Welden, chairman of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; Ann Florie, executive director of Leadership Birmingham; and Sally Greenhaw, retired Montgomery County circuit judge.

    “I am proud to be serving as chair of AHF,” said Sanford. “I have been working with the organization for a number of years—on the board and through its programs that benefit the library and so many other organizations throughout the state with which I am involved. This is truly an honor for me.” READ MORE…

  • ASCA Literary Arts Fellowships deadline approaches

    The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) reminds writers that the deadline for Literary Arts Fellowships is rapidly approaching. Applications must be submitted electronically via eGRANT by 4:45 p.m. on March 2, 2015. ASCA makes cash awards to individual writers in the literary arts based on merit of work, career achievement, career potential, and service to the state. READ MORE…

  • Alabama readers, writers weigh-in on “Go Set a Watchman”

    Alabama readers and writers have expressed surprise and delight over HarperCollins’ announcement that it will release Harper Lee’s novel Go Set a Watchman, a sequel of sorts to her Pulitzer Prize-winning and only novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The book will be released on July 14 and already tops Amazon’s best-seller list.

    “I think the discovery of Harper Lee's new novel is incredible, wonderful, magnificent,” said eminent historian Wayne Flynt.... To have such an event constitutes a minor literary earthquake." READ MORE…

  • Alabama Book Festival to celebrate 10th anniversary

    Alabama’s largest literary event will celebrate its 10th anniversary on April 11, 2015. The Alabama Book Festival will host more than thirty-five authors and exhibitors in Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town. The family-friendly, free event includes book-related activities for children and adults. Among the exhibitors will be publishers, authors, schools, and literary and arts organizations. In keeping with the Alabama Tourism Department’s designation of 2015 as the Year of Alabama Barbecue, some books and vendors will be barbecue-related. READ MORE…

  • Al Head to celebrate thirty years as ASCA executive director

    Albert B. “Al” Head celebrates thirty years as executive director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) on February 4, 2015. Long hailed as a visionary arts leader, he is responsible for groundbreaking initiatives that have made ASCA one of the foremost state arts councils in the U.S. His leadership has provided funding growth, long-range planning, support for individual artists, and innovative services to its constituents in all arts disciplines. READ MORE…

  • Newly-established Alabama Writers Hall of Fame to induct 12 authors

    Two statewide literary arts entities that announced a joint initiative to launch the state’s first comprehensive Alabama Writers Hall of Fame in June 2014 have announced the first class of inductees. The twelve Alabama authors will be inducted during a gala dinner at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa on June 8, 2015. Tickets will go on sale in January. READ MORE…

  • HSLAA 2015 deadline announced

    The Alabama Writers’ Forum invites Alabama high school students to submit their work for the 2015 Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards and Scholarship Competition (HSLAA). The competition is open to Alabama high school students in grades 9-12 in public, private, and home schools. Categories include poetry, short fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, portfolios, and literary magazines. Cash awards are available to high school seniors through the senior portfolio competition. The postmark deadline date is January 12, 2015. READ MORE…

  • ASPS meets, holds workshops, elects officers

    The Alabama State Poetry Society (ASPS) held its Fall 2014 meeting on October 24-25 on the campus of the University of Montevallo (UM). The weekend's activities included workshops, readings, contest awards, games, networking, food, and fun. ASPS also installed its new officers for 2015-2016, and outgoing president Barry Marks received recognition for his past work with the group. READ MORE…

  • ASCA Fellowship winner encourages young writers

    Addressing the newly published Writing Our Stories (WOS) authors, Department of Youth Services (DYS) Executive Director Steven Lafreniere said, “Young men, this is an exciting day, a day that you should be proud of. Your work goes beyond these walls, beyond the fence to touch people that you don’t even know. I congratulate you.”

    The audience of students, faculty, staff, and guests assembled in the Chapel of the DYS Vacca Campus on October 30 to celebrate the release of The Long Road Home, the new anthology of poems and short fiction edited by teaching writer Tony Crunk. Jason McCall, one of two 2015 Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship winners in literature, delivered the keynote address. READ MORE…

  • Poet to students: Write through adversity

    “‘Adversity introduces a man to himself,’” said poet and educator Stephen Bray, addressing the assembled students, guests, faculty, and staff in the Chapel on the Department of Youth Services Mt. Meigs Campus for the seventeenth annual Writing Our Stories anthology release. “Many people argue that Albert Einstein said that; others say differently. The fact is that it really doesn’t matter who said it. Every man and woman who’s faced some type of adversity in their lives knows this statement to be true.” Bray, a decorated U.S. Marine Corp veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving two combat tours in Iraq, encouraged the student writers to turn to their notebooks in times of adversity. READ MORE…

  • Nominations open for 2015 Harper Lee Award

    The Alabama Writers’ Forum invites nominations for the 2015 Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. The award will be made to a living, nationally recognized Alabama writer who has made a significant, lifelong contribution to Alabama letters. The honor recognizes those who primarily write , or a combination of these. This is not an award for journalistic, historical, or scientific writing, nor is it an award for service, scholarly research, or teaching. Nominations must be received by November 19, 2014. READ MORE…

  • UA hosts two language themed exhibits this fall

    The University of Alabama (UA) hosts two language themed exhibitions this fall. From September through January 2015, Wade Hall’s Library: The Poetry of History is on display in the Pearce Foyer of the Gorgas Library. Curated by Amy H. Chen and designed by Muzel Chen, the technologist of the Alabama Digital Humanities Center, this exhibition explores the books collected by Wade Hall, a major donor to the University Libraries and the Division of Special Collections.

    From September through November 2014, Grammar-land: Learning to Write in America (1700-1930) is on display in the lobby of the W.S. Hoole Library on the second floor of Mary Harmon Bryant Hall. Curated by Russ McConnell and designed by Amy Chen, this exhibition explores the history of grammar instruction in the United States. READ MORE…

  • Forum to co-sponsor poet Vijay Seshadri at BMA speaks

    The Indian Cultural Society and the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) present an evening in honor of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, Gandhi Jayanti (officially October 2) on October 17, 2014, 7-9 p.m. at the Museum. The evening begins with a program honoring student participants in the Gandhi Jayanti poster and essay contest. Following the poster contest, BMA will hold its quarterly BMA Speaks spoken word event. During BMA Speaks, the museum will welcome Vijay Seshadri, a Pulitzer Prize-winner poet. READ MORE…

  • AWC to present “Abide”: A Memorial Celebration of Jake Adam York and His Work

    The annual Auburn Writers Conference (AWC) brings together students, faculty, and many regional writers for creative writing workshops and readings. Its theme this October is The Inspired South. For the opening event of the conference, AWC will hold a reading and celebration in honor of alumnus Jake Adam York, whose four collections of poetry address the Civil Rights movement in Alabama. This reading is part of the Third Thursday Poetry Series at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

    On Thursday, October 16, 2014, at 7 pm, poets and friends Dan Albergotti, Jeanie Thompson, and Brian Barker, along with York’s long-time editor Jon Tribble, will present a tandem reading from York’s posthumously published collection, Abide. Joining them will be Amanda Gunn, the winner of the Southern Humanities Review’s Auburn Witness Poetry Prize in Honor of Jake Adam York. This is the first year that Auburn’s storied national literary magazine has offered the prize, and the editors are proud to be able to honor York’s legacy in this way. Read more

  • In Memoriam: Diann Blakely, June 1, 1957-August 5, 2014-July 10

    Eminent poet and Gadsden native Harriet Diann Blakely died on August 5 in Brunswick, GA after complications from a chronic lung disorder. She was 57.

    Her official biography states that Blakely is the author of Hurricane Walk (BOA Editions, 1992), named one of the year’s ten best poetry collections by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Farewell, My Lovelies (Story Line, 2000), featured by the Academy of American Poets Book Club; and Cities of Flesh and the Dead, winner of the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award (1999) for a manuscript-in-progress and the 7th annual Elixir Book publication prize (2008). Read more

  • Alabama Power chief to give keynote address at AHF awards luncheon

    One of Alabama’s leading business executives, Mark Crosswhite, will deliver the keynote address at the annual awards luncheon of the Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) October 6 at The Club atop Red Mountain.

    The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. and will include honoring the winners of the Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship for excellence in teaching; Alabama Humanities Award for contributions to the humanities in the state, Betty McMahon; Wayne Greenhaw Service Award for a past or present board member for outstanding service to AHF, Jack Hawkins; and Charitable Organization to the Humanities, AAA Cooper. Read more

  • AAN Announces new CEO

    Shannon Ammons of Birmingham has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits (AAN), according to the organization's Chairman of the Board, Johnnie Aycock, following unanimous approval by the organization's thirty-member Board of Directors. She took office effective August 4, 2014, and succeeds Billy Baxter, who retired effective June 30 due to health issues.

    The Forum is a member of AAN.

    "We are absolutely thrilled to have a leader of Shannon's caliber and experience join us at AAN in this leadership capacity," said Aycock. "Our goal was to employ a top-notch, experienced and committed professional that truly understands the critical role of nonprofits in Alabama, and we are delighted that goal has been achieved."Read more

  • The fifth annual Auburn Writers Conference scheduled

    The fifth annual Auburn Writers Conference, The Inspired South, will be held October 17-18, 2014, at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

    Despite its title, the conference will discuss more than a geographic location. Whether local, global, or diasporic, the writers living in the South, and those whose roots are in the South, find in this place a particular richness that keeps the neurons firing and the ink running. Read more

  • Alabama Launchpad announces first annual poetry contest

    In partnership with the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) Foundation is holding a state-wide poetry contest. Contestants are asked to submit an original composition on the theme of innovation and creativity in Alabama. Three finalists will be asked to present their work at the Innovation Awards Ceremony Dinner, September 25, where the evening’s attendees will vote on the winner. The winner will be announced the following day at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center, named Poet Laureate of the 2014 conference, and asked to read his/her winning entry as part of the day’s activities. Deadline: August 29, 2014. Complete Guidelines

  • ABF announces 4th annual Student Readers Group

    The Outreach/Education sub-committee of the Alabama Book Festival (ABF) planning committee invites high school students and university undergraduates to participate in the fourth annual Student Readers Group. This program for the Festival selects one Alabama-related book per year for participants to read prior to meeting the author and discussing the book at the festival in April at Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town. The Student Readers Group seeks to engage high school and college students in Alabama’s culture, literature, and history by encouraging the reading of books that connect to or discuss the realities of living in the state.

    The subcommittee is pleased to announce Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days by Sheyann Webb-Christburg and Rachel West Nelson as this year’s selection. Published in 1997 by the University of Alabama Press, this memoir of the Selma-to-Montgomery March offers a youthful perspective on the era’s turbulent events. Read more

  • In Memoriam: Julia “Judy” Oliver, July 7, 1929-July 10, 2014

    Founding Alabama Writers’ Forum Board member, long-time fiction reviews editor for First Draft, and reviewer for AWF Book Reviews Online, Julia “Judy” Oliver died on July 10. A concert pianist as well as talented author, she studied piano performance and piano pedagogy at the University of Alabama, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree. She also studied at the Julliard School of Music and at Randolph-Macon Women’s College.

    “This week Alabama lost another beloved literary figure,” said Forum Executive Director Jeanie Thompson. “Judy was a founding board member of the Forum from back in the days before we were even incorporated, and she always brought great suggestions to my attention. We are all sorry to have lost Judy.” Read more

  • NEA Selects Amy Stolls as Director of Literature

    The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce that Amy Stolls has been appointed director of literature. Since May 2013, Stolls has served as acting director of literature. She will continue to oversee the NEA's grant awards in literature, which includes grants to organizations for publishing and audience and professional development projects, as well as for fellowships to individual poets, prose writers, and translators. Read more

  • Landmarks Foundation appoints new interim director

    Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the Montgomery Advertiser on June 17, 2014 as a Staff report.

    Marion Baab, an active board member of the Landmarks Foundation, has been appointed to serve as interim director of Landmarks. Baab will be taking over the duties of longtime director Bob McLain following his recent retirement. Baab will have a range of duties, including coordinating upcoming special events such as the Alabama Book Festival. Read more

  • Chancellor, McCall named ASCA Literary Arts Fellows

    At its June meeting in Montgomery, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded fifteen fellowship grants, including one arts administration fellowship, and five Arts and Cultural Facilities grants. This year’s Literary Arts Fellowship recipients are Bryn Chancellor of Montevallo and Jason McCall of Tuscaloosa. Read more

  • Help pick the winner of the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

    The three finalists for the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction have been announced by the ABA Journal and the University of Alabama Law School, co-sponsors of the Harper Lee Prize. They are Ronald H. Balson for Once We Were Brothers, John Grisham for Sycamore Row, and Elizabeth Strout for The Burgess Boys. You can help choose the winner. Read more

  • CMS students become published writers through WOS

    Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Shelby County Reporter on May 19, 2014. Byline: Phoebe Donald Robinson / Community Columnist

    Something very special happened at Columbiana Middle School (CMS) [recently]. Fifty-eight seventh graders became published writers with their new poem anthology, Wildcat Dreams, edited by Tony Crunk. Read more

  • HLA holds 46th annual student awards ceremony

    On May 4 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Huntsville Literary Association (HLA) held its 46th Annual celebration of student winners in its Young Writers’ Contest. YWC is composed of elementary and middle school divisions in Huntsville and Madison County and a high school division. The high school division has expanded to over 130 public and private high schools over all of North Alabama and allows online entries to its partner, The Ardent Writer Press, in short story, poetry, and artwork categories. Read more

  • Alabama’s creative writers to be honored in new Alabama Writers Hall of Fame

    Two statewide literary arts entities announce a joint initiative to launch the state’s first comprehensive Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

    According to Lou Pitschmann, Dean of Libraries at the University of Alabama and director of the Alabama Center for the Book, and Jeanie Thompson, executive director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, the time has come for significant recognition of Alabama’s literary talent in creative writing. Read more

  • AWF Board member Michael Morris honored in Panama City

    Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in The (Panama City) News Herald on May 14, 2014. Byline: Tony Simmons.

    The Alabama Library Association [recently] honored [Michael Morris’] Man in the Blue Moon, a 2013 novel set in Millville, Apalachicola, and Wewahitchka, among other Panhandle venues.

    The 53rd annual author awards recognized books deemed the best of the year by the nonprofit advocacy group made up of school, public, and university librarians.

    [Other winners were Rev. Dr. Carolyn Maul McKinstry for While the World Watched (nonfiction), Laura Golden for Every Day After (juvenile), and Jennifer Echols for Dirty Little Secret (young adult).] Read more

  • BCRI Names former WOS teaching writer Priscilla Hancock Cooper Interim President and CEO

    The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) has named Priscilla Hancock Cooper as Interim President and CEO effective May 20, 2014. Cooper will replace Lawrence J. Pijeaux, who is retiring as BCRI’s President and CEO on May 30, 2014. Cooper served as a teaching writer in the Writing Our Stories (WOS) program at the Department of Youth Services Chalkville Campus from 1998-2012, when the facility was closed due to tornado damage. Read more

  • Bryn Chancellor and Harry Moore win Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

    Poets & Writers announced recently that fiction writer Bryn Chancellor of Montevallo and poet Harry Moore of Decatur are the winners of the 2014 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), Elaine Beale (Another Life Altogether), Sandra Beasley (Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei), Fae Myenne Ng (Bone), Mona Simpson (My Hollywood), and others. Read more

  • Childress, Flynt honored in Monroeville

    On the dais, they made quite a contrasting pair, Mark Childress flamboyant in his yellow sequined sports jacket, Wayne Flynt distinguished in his black business suit. They do hold in common, though, a keen intellect and a sharp wit. The two men had come to the 17th annual Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville on April 25 to receive the state’s highest literary and scholarly honors, Childress for the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year and Flynt for the Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Scholar of the Year. Read more

  • 2014 Alabama Book Festival announces lineup of writers

    Some fifty-five authors will converge in Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town on April 19th for the 9th Annual Alabama Book Festival. During the free, daylong, family-friendly festival authors will read excerpts, answer questions, and be available to sign books. Local independent bookseller Capitol Book & News provides books for the festival at an onsite store in the Grange Hall.

    According to coordinator Gail Waller, the Alabama Book Festival also offers something for aspiring writers this year. “For those wishing to write and publish their own work, festival-goers can sign up in advance for two free, hands-on workshops,” Waller said. Read more