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News & Reviews

November-December 2011

November-December 2011

Forum announces 2012 HSLAA deadline

The Alabama Writers’ Forum invites high school teachers to submit their students’ creative writing to the 2012 High School Literary Arts Awards and Scholarship Competition (HSLAA). The postmark date is January 18, 2012.

The 2012 HSLAA is open to Alabama high school students in grades 9-12. Cash awards are available to high school seniors through the senior portfolio competition. Categories include poetry, short fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, portfolios, and literary magazines.

Published Alabama writers will choose the winning entries. Judges remain anonymous until the awards are announced.

Complete guidelines, including mailing address and entry forms, are available on the Forum’s Web site. Please note: Each entry form must be completely filled out, including addresses, zip codes, and teacher’s e-mail address. Incomplete entry forms may cause the entry to be disqualified.


Photo by Robin Cooper


Alabama Book Festival announces Student Readers Group

The Outreach/Education sub-committee of the Alabama Book Festival planning committee invites the state’s high school students (grades 9–12) and university undergraduates to participate in the first Student Readers Group. This new program of the Alabama Book Festival (ABF) will select one Alabama-related book per year for student participants to read prior to meeting the author and discussing the book at the festival on April 21, 2012, at Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town.

This interdisciplinary program seeks to engage high school and college students in Alabama’s culture, literature and history by selecting and encouraging the reading of books (of nonfiction, fiction, or poetry) that connect to or discuss the realities of life in the state. Jim Crow and Me: Stories from My Life as a Civil Rights Lawyer by Solomon Seay Jr. is the inaugural selection for the Student Readers Group.



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 November include:

USA’s Jesmyn Ward wins the National Book Award for Fiction

Alabama Humanities Foundation executive director announces retirement

ACETA calls for submissions, nominations

Lillian E. Smith Foundation announces second Annual Writer-in-Service Award

New Big Read grants available

Vacca Campus welcomes Rep. Oliver Robinson for Writing Our Stories book release

Rep. Barbara Boyd inspires Writing Our Stories Chalkville students



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First Draft Blogs inform, enlighten, and entertain

Read what our members and other notable writers are blogging about. First Draft Blogs offer features and columns from people in the know. Recently posted blogs include Jeanie Thompson’s essay on the founding of Black Warrior Review, “The Value of the Printed Word.”

More Blogs…


Advertise with us

Digital ads on and in Literary News help you reach the literary audience you deserve. Our new, digital Advertise with Us feature is quick and easy. And our rate sheet offers advertising values to fit all budgets.



Deck the halls with books by Alabama writers

Stuck on what new books to give as gifts this holiday season? First Draft Reviews Online and our New Releases feature can help. Browse the page to see what your favorite Alabama authors are publishing this holiday season.



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“Kismet” is a delightful book, and K.T. Archer left me looking forward to her next adventure. —Marianne Moates Webber, First Draft Reviews Online



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 Jim Hilgartner, Virginia Gilbert, and Jake Adam York.

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
© 2011 The Alabama Writers’ Forum, Inc.

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