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News & Reviews

March 2013

March 2013

State legislators visit young constituents at HSLAA

Some thirty-two student writers representing twelve high schools gathered in the Old Supreme Court Archives Chamber in the State Capitol on March 13 to receive their honors in the 19th annual Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards and Scholarship Competition. This year, the Alabama Writers’ Forum, sponsor of the competition, presented a total of eighty-four awards to students from around the state.

Prior to the ceremony, state legislators took a break from committee meetings to congratulate their young constituents. Senate Majority Leader J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner (R-District 16, Jefferson, Shelby), Sen. Cam Ward (R-District 14, Bibb, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby), Sen. Linda Coleman (D-District 20, Jefferson), Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R-District 2, Limestone & Madison), Sen. Gerald Allen (R-District 21, Hale, Pickens, & Tuscaloosa), Sen. Bryan Taylor (R-District 30, Autauga, Butler, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, & Pike), Rep. John Knight (D-District 77, Montgomery), Rep. April Weaver (R-District 49, Bibb & Shelby), Rep. Alan Baker (R-District 66, Baldwin & Escambia), and Rep. Paul Beckman (R-District 88, Autauga & Elmore) posed for photographs with students and teachers from their districts. In her absence, Rep. Patricia Todd issued legislative resolutions honoring her young constituents at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Photo: Senate Majority Leader J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner (R-District 16, Jefferson, Shelby) (right) congratulates the Alabama School of Fine Arts students & Executive Director Michael Meeks (center). (photo by Terry Bruno-fotowerks) WFA 15



Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Forum

Celebrate National Poetry Month in the Poetry Tent at the Alabama Book Festival on April 20 in Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town. Sponsored by the Alabama Writers’ Forum, the Poetry Tent will play host to eight poets, including Alabama Poet Laureate Andrew Glaze. The venue will also welcome Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Jeremy Downes, Juliana Gray, Derrick Harriell, Carolyn Hembre, Lita Hooper, and Barry Marks.

Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, this year’s National Poetry Month offers the Dear Poet Project; 30 Days, 30 Poets; Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 18); and Poetry & the Creative Mind. In addition to the new content features on, the Academy offers a variety of resources for local event planners, including a search-by-state National Poetry Calendar where planners can submit poetry event listings for free.



The Alabama Book Festival is right around the corner

Celebrating its eighth year, the 2013 Alabama Book Festival will be held Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Old Alabama Town, 301 Columbus St., Montgomery, AL 36104. The grounds will open at 9 a.m., and a special performance of Harper Lee’s Now Is the Time for All Good Men by the Alabama Readers Theatre, 4 - 4:45 p.m., will close out the day. The theme this year is food, in recognition of the Year of Alabama Food as designated by the Alabama Tourism Department. The event is free and open to the public.

The Festival has become known for attracting Southern authors with a connection to Alabama, either through the author, the subject, or the publisher. Past festivals have featured up to forty-five authors. This year’s headliners include Allen Barra, Carolyn Haines, Sena Jeter Naslund, and many more.

The Alabama Book Festival…


Retribution: The new novel from K.T. Archer.



Spots remain open for the Forum’s teacher creative writing workshops

Alabama teachers still have time to register for the Forum’s teacher creative writing workshops. Held in conjunction with the 8th annual Alabama Book Festival, the workshops will be held on Friday, April 19, at Troy University, Montgomery Campus. The workshops will feature Book Festival authors Juliana Gray, Kathleen Driskell, and Lila Quintero Weaver.

According to AWF executive director Jeanie Thompson, “All teachers attending the workshop will take home lessons to use with their students, made more meaningful by examples of what they themselves have written.”

For more information or to register, phone 334-265-7728 or e-mail



Volunteers needed for Alabama Book Festival

The Alabama Book Festival is looking for 200 volunteers to help with the festival that attracts thousands of visitors and dozens of authors. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Most volunteer shifts are two hours. A complete description and a volunteer form are available on the ABF website. Volunteers should register through this site.



Alabama’s literary family reunion.



Alabama Writers Symposium to celebrate 16th anniversary

The Alabama Writers Symposium will celebrate its sixteenth anniversary in Monroeville, Alabama Thursday, April 25-Saturday, April 27, 2013. Exploring the theme Literary Quilting, the 2013 Symposium pays tribute to the stunning variety of Alabama literature.

Some of Alabama’s most celebrated writers and scholars will lead discussion sessions, readings, and workshops. Writers and scholars participating in the event include 2013 Harper Lee Award winner Gay Talese, Rick Bragg, Cassandra King, Chantel Acevedo, Marlin Barton, Kirk Curnutt, Anita Miller Garner, Peter Huggins, Nancy Dorman-Hickson, Randall Horton, Jay Lamar, Lisa Graves Minor, Jim Murphy, Don Noble, Wendy Reed, Jeanie Thompson, Adam Vines, Sue Walker, Lila Quintero Weaver, Margaret Wrinkle, songwriter Tom Kimmel, and visual artist Betty Kennedy.

All events take place in Monroeville. In 1997, the Alabama legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the Literary Capital of Alabama in recognition of the region’s remarkable literary heritage. Among the writers who at one time or another have called Monroeville and Monroe County home are Truman Capote, author of such classics as In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird; Mark Childress, author of seven novels including the bestselling Crazy in Alabama; and Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker.



Fitzgerald museum to host Sunday tea and Q & A for Therese Anne Fowler

The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum will host a Sunday tea and Q & A for Therese Anne Fowler, author of the recently published Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (St. Martin’s Press), on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at the museum at 919 Felder Avenue in Montgomery. The event will follow Fowler’s appearance at the Alabama Book Festival the previous day and is free and open to the public.

Z retells the love story of the Fitzgeralds, who met in Montgomery in 1918 before going on to become one of the most famous couples of the 1920s and the literary incarnation of the Jazz Age. The novel contains a significant number of scenes set in Montgomery.

For more information on the event, phone 334-207-5241 or 334-264-4222.



Associates’ News

Former AWF board member Ruth Cook recently guest blogged at Media

AWF board member Jim Murphy published three poems in the Winter 2013 issue of Steel Toe Review: Contemporary Southern Arts and Literature.


Catch Alabama’s best literature in Book Reviews Online

April is literary festival month in Alabama. It offers the Montevallo Literary Festival on April 12, the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery on April 20, and the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville, April 25-27.

In keeping with these excellent gatherings, Book Reviews Online will attempt to review as many books by the festivals’ featured authors as possible. Throughout the month, the Forum will post reviews as they come in rather than once during the month. Follow us on Twitter @ writersforum and Facebook @ Alabama Writers’ Forum Friends to learn of the latest review postings.



Visit our Opportunities page

Our Opportunities page keeps you informed on publishers and organizations who want your work. Here you’ll find Calls for Submission and Writing Contests. The page also includes links to Writers Groups, Writing Workshops, and National Conferences—excellent places to network.



Upcoming Literary Events

Attract a larger audience on the Forum’s Events calendar. Some 2200 book lovers receive Literary News each month, and a number of these readers check our calendar for literary events in their areas and beyond.



Hear 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 Adam Vines, Rick Bragg, and Virginia Gilbert.

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 supports the Forum

Proceeds from the sale of the Alabama Support the Arts license plate help fund arts education programs. The 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


Friend the Forum on Facebook and follow on Twitter

For late-breaking news, follow us on Twitter @ writersforum and friend us on Facebook @ Alabama Writers’ Forum Friends.!/home.php?sk=group_95957334400


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
© 2013 The Alabama Writers’ Forum, Inc.

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