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From the President

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From the President

For more than a decade, it has been my privilege to sit on the board of the Alabama Writers Forum. I’ve observed and participated in lively board and staff discussions about how the Forum can fulfill its mission to support the State’s literary community and those who benefit from its creative product.

Over the past 20 years, this organization has created a national model for how to use the literary arts to improve the quality of life in communities across the state. With support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, a dream became reality to elevate literary arts to its rightful seat at the table with visual and performing arts.
Importantly, you don’t need to be a writer to join, participate and benefit from membership. The Forum is made up of readers, writers, educators, librarians, students, retirees, business executives, publishers and others with interest in good books and the success of our writers and our literary community.

The initiatives that leverage creative writing for the benefit of citizens are noteworthy. We encourage writers to devote themselves to the craft through numerous programs—from a high school literary arts awards and scholarship program to helping recognize our best contemporary writers through selection of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. The Forum places teaching writers in two of Alabama’s Department of Youth Services campuses in an anti-violence creative writing program to help at-risk youth express themselves better and envision a brighter pathway in life.

Most recently, the Forum has played a major planning and coordinating role with great partners in creation of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame. And there is so much more you can discover here about conferences, workshops and literary festivals...
I encourage you to browse the website to see the many ways that your personal involvement, generous donations and faithful memberships are hard at work. With your support we are fostering a thriving literary community and a better place to live, work and raise families. If you are not yet a member, I invite you to join us in doing well by doing good.

Philip Shirley

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