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News & Reviews

February-March 2012

February-March 2012

Jimmy McLemore elected to Forum’s board of directors

James H. “Jimmy” McLemore, a Montgomery attorney, was recently elected to the Alabama Writers’ Forum’s board of directors. He will serve through fiscal year 2014.

“To be joined with AWF is an honor for sure,” said McLemore. “More, it is a beautiful means by which I look forward to help us make neighbors and to help all grow into the fullness of humanity.”

McLemore said he found inspiration in the Forum’s Writing Our Stories program.

“Some time ago I stumbled across Writing Our Stories,” he said. “Stories of troubled youth appear regularly in the news—one reason a wall encircles my neighborhood. But when I read these same stories in verse, firsthand accounts by detained youth tutored in creative writing by AWF, I came to know them as my neighbor. They found more than a new voice; they found themselves…and me.”

Photo: Jimmy McLemore (photo by Robin Cooper)



2012 Poetry Out Loud champions named

On February 20, a group of twenty-two highly dedicated students traveled from all over the state with their teachers and supportive family members to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery to participate in the state finals of Poetry Out Loud. Alabama’s new State Champion is Margaret “Peggy” Payne from St. Peter’s Academy in Limestone County. Last year’s Alabama champion, Youssef Biaz from Auburn High School, traveled to Washington, D.C., to become the National Poetry Out Loud Champion. Payne said that she hopes to follow Biaz as 2012 National Champion.

Doris Anne Darbouze of Auburn High School placed first in the Original Poetry category. The Alabama Writers’ Forum underwrites two cash awards – First Place for $150 and First Runner-up for $75. First Place, First Runner-up, and Honorable Mention winners in Original Poetry receive a complementary one-year student membership in the Forum. All eight top winners in Poetry Out Loud receive contemporary poetry collections.



From Our Newsroom

First Draft Newsroom keeps you current on the people, events, and other topics of literary interest in the state and beyond. Top stories in February include:

Gov. Robert Bentley appoints Rachel Brown Fowler to Arts Council board

2011 ASCA Annual Report details arts support statewide; impact of Alabama’s creative economy


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Catch up on your reading with books by Alabama writers

First Draft Reviews Online can help match the right book with the right reader. Whether you prefer poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or children and young adult literature, browse the page to see what your favorite Alabama authors are publishing these days.



AWF Opportunities page offers literary options for writers at all levels

Got a manuscript? A handful of poems or stories? Feel the need to travel? Our AWF Opportunities page offers a broad range of options for writers at every stage of their careers. From calls for submission to writing contests, from writing workshops and writers groups to national and international conferences, this page keeps you informed.

Check often to see new postings.



Upcoming Literary Events

Do you need to attract a larger audience than those people on your e-mail list? Post your literary function on the Forum’s Events calendar. Some 1500 book lovers receive Literary News each month, and a number of these readers check our calendar for literary events in their areas and beyond.



Alabama Arts Radio brings you outstanding interviews with your favorite Alabama authors

Each week on the Alabama Arts Radio Series, staff members of the Alabama State Council on the Arts visit with writers, musicians, visual artists, and other individuals who contribute to our state’s rich artistic traditions. Recent literary interviews include Jessica Lacher-Feldman, Augusto Soledade, and Jim Hilgartner.

Listen Sundays 5-5:30 p.m. on WTSU 89.9 (Montgomery-Troy), WRWA 88.7 (Dothan), and WTJB 91.7 (Columbus-Phenix City). Those farther south may listen Saturdays 2:30-3 p.m. on WHIL 91.3 (Mobile-Biloxi-Pensacola). Broadcasts are also streamed live and archived on the Web.



Support the Arts, Support the Forum

Proceeds from the sale of the Alabama Support the Arts license plate help fund arts education programs. Next time your car tag needs renewal, purchase one of these colorful plates to help support the Forum and other arts education projects.

LEARN MORE…"Support the Arts" License Tag


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The Alabama Writers’ Forum

The Alabama Writers’ Forum, a partnership program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, promotes writers and writing in Alabama, with an emphasis on arts education programs for young writers.


The Alabama Writers’ Forum
P.O. Box 4777
Montgomery, AL 36103-4777
Toll Free: 866-901-1117
Fax: 334-265-7828
© 2012 The Alabama Writers’ Forum, Inc.

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