Ala. Writers' Forum Literary News Feb. 2010
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IMPORTANT: Please use the Alabama Writers Forum promotional code AWFMNE to receive $50 OFF PER GUEST when registering. Additional group discounts are available.
No prerequisite training required.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) is now accepting applications for the 2010-2011 Artist Fellowships and Fellowship in Arts Administration Program. The application deadline is Monday, March 1, with awards being made at the June 2010 Council meeting.
Council Fellowships provide direct assistance to Alabama artists and arts administrators across a range of disciplines to recognize exceptional work and to support further development of their talents. Fellowships give individuals the financial ability to hone and deepen their craft. The program supports artists and administrators in all career stages, including emerging and mid-career as well as well established artists and administrators. These highly competitive awards also provide artists and administrators with recognition and affirmation from their peers and the public.
ASCA awards Fellowships of $5,000 for artists and arts administrators working in crafts, dance, design, media/photography, music, literature, theatre, and visual arts. The program does not provide funding for academic study in pursuit of a college degree. An applicant must be a legal residence of Alabama who has lived in the state for two years prior to the application deadline.
The fifth annual Alabama Book Festival will be held in historic downtown Montgomery at Old Alabama Town on April 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The free public event is the state's premier book festival-with more than 4,000 people from around Alabama converging in the capital to meet with and hear from their favorite authors and scholars.
Featured authors for 2010 will include literary greats such as Harper Lee Award recipients Rick Bragg and Carolyn Haines, while Alabama's next generation of writers will also participate through poetry readings and the presentation of writing awards to emerging wordsmiths as young as age five.
Again this year, the Alabama Writers' Forum will sponsor the Poetry Tent, featuring readings by eleven renowned poets, including Alabama Poet Laureate Sue Brannan Walker and Alabama State Council on the Arts 2010 Literature Fellowship recipients Mary Kaiser and Virginia Gilbert. Poetry Out Loud and Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards winners will also read.
The Forum will sponsor its popular writing workshop on April 16 at Troy University-Montgomery. Featured festival writers DéLana R.A. Dameron, Sean Hill, and A.M. (Anita) Garner will conduct these free workshops, and Irene Latham will read from her new young adult novel Leaving Gee's Bend during the lunch break. (Contact Nancy Hutcheson at 866-901-1117 for early registration.)
Other programs and activities will include author appearances from approximately fifty prominent writers, book signings, musical performances, and an exhibit area featuring literary organizations and vendors selling books and other items of interest to booklovers. A children's activity area organized by Alabama Public Television is sure to make this a day of fun for the entire family.
(l-r) Mary Hamilton, Chambers County Library; Marsha Sanson, Lewis Cooper Library; Amanda Gaston, University of Alabama PR Student; Patty A. Pilkerton, UAB; and Kati Behrens, Chambers County Library deliver copies of Tom Sawyer. (photo by Whitney Mork)
Alabama readers dove into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with the kickoff of The Big Read program, held on February 2 on the steps of the State House in Montgomery. Lt. Governor Jim Folsom began the initiative by reading the first page of Mark Twain's classic novel, surrounded by legislative representatives and librarians. Sponsored by the state libraries of Alabama, the event inaugurated Alabama's first ever Big Read program, highlighted by the publication of a special edition of Tom Sawyer produced by NewSouth Books of Montgomery.
Kickoff participants included Rebecca Mitchell, State Librarian; Mark Dixon, Deputy Policy Director; Rep. Greg Canfield (R-District 48, Jefferson-Shelby); Dr. Alan Gribben, Twain scholar and author of the foreword to the special Alabama Big Read edition of Tom Sawyer; Randall Williams, NewSouth Books co-founder and editor-in-chief; and Brian Seidman, NewSouth Books managing editor.
Seidman described the kickoff event as "a nice way to get all the librarians and participants excited about this endeavor. It really showed the support of the Alabama legislature behind the Big Read. What a great start!"
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite retail or online bookseller.
Leslie E. Banks (photo courtesy of MLAG)
The Multicultural Literature Advocacy Group (MLAG) will host its first annual literary conference at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, March 19-21.
Conference presenters include Leslie E. Banks, author and screenwriter; Miguel Figueroa, Director of Diversity at American Library Association; Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor, Arthur R. Levine Books; and others.
MLAG's mission is to ensure adequate exposure and availability of literature written by and about people of color in schools and libraries, to provide training and to disseminate information to level the playing field for people of color, and to eliminate racial bias in the publishing and book-selling industries.
Mary Ward Brown (photo by Kevin Glackmeyer)
On Saturday, March 20, Marion will celebrate the Perry County debut of Ashes of Roses, a play written by Norman McMillan and based on the stories of Mary Ward Brown. A Hamburg resident and Judson College graduate, Brown is a PEN/Hemingway Award and Harper Lee Award winner who has published two collections of short stories as well as her recent memoir Fanning the Spark.
Marion Military Institute will host a 6:30 p.m. reception at the President's Quarters. The 8 p.m. theatrical program will follow at Judson's Alumnae Auditorium. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance by calling 334-683-2394 or e-mailing mthompson@....
The Layman Group is always excited about any opportunity to recognize the work of young artists. The POSE Awards are its means of doing so, while providing Alabama's young artistic community with another source of incentive to further its crafts. These awards will recognize young artists of all mediums-including literature, dance, theatre, film, visual art, and graphic art-who display extraordinary dedication, insight, and passion towards their work. Nominees should be between the ages of fifteen and nineteen.
Deadline for submission is May 1. For more information, contact Doc Waller at 206-338-3930 or doc@....
The Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA) presents its twenty-second annual "Let's Write" Literary Contest. Five categories are being sponsored this year: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, color photography, and black and white photography, with an entry fee of $8 each. Prizes include $80, $50, and $20 in each division with total prize money of $750. Deadline: April 15.
For more information, contact Philip L. Levin, contest coordinator, at writerpllevin@....
Lorian Hemingway (photo by Tom Corcoran)
Entries are now being accepted for the 2010 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, created to enthusiastically support the efforts and talent of emerging writers of short fiction whose voices have yet to be heard.
Writers will compete for a $1,000 first-place prize, $500 second-place prize, and $500 third-place prize in this internationally-acclaimed competition. Several honorable mentions are also awarded each year. As an added prize, The Saturday Evening Post will publish the first-place winner. Payment by The Saturday Evening Post for publication of the winning story will be in addition to the $1000 first-place prize.
Stories in all genres of fiction are welcome. Maximum length is 3,000 words, and writers retain all rights to their work. Winners will be announced at the end of July. Final deadline is May 15.
Graeme Harper (photo courtesy of Bangor University)
Dr. Graeme Harper has recently joined the University of Montevallo (UM) family as the Vacca Professor of Liberal Arts for the Spring semester. Harper comes to Montevallo from Australia by way of Wales, where he is Director of Research in the College of Arts and Humanities at Bangor University. He holds doctorates in creative writing form the University of East Anglia and from the University of Technology, Sydney.
A fiction writer, Harper has published many novels and short story collections, including Camera Phone, Moon Dance, and Small Maps of the World (under the name of his alter ego Brooke Biaz). He is also a widely published advocate of critical thinking in the creative arts, is the director of the international Creative Writing Conference, editor-in-chief of the Routledge New Writing series, and chair of higher education for the National Association of Writers in Education in the UK.
At UM, Harper is teaching a course titled "Creativity: Actions, Artefacts, and Them Apples," which explores the interplay of creative knowledge and critical understanding. He will participate in this year's Montevallo Literary Festival on April 23.
Native Alabamians or Alabama residents who have made substantial contributions to the humanities-or other living persons who have made substantial contributions specifically to the humanities in Alabama-are eligible nominees. Individuals, groups, or organizations may submit a letter of nomination. The letter should not exceed three pages in length and should describe the contributions of the person nominated. A vita must also be included. Self-nomination is permitted. Nominations remain active for one year.
Send nominations to Alabama Humanities Foundation, 1100 Ireland Way, Ste. 101, Birmingham, AL 35205.
Also, AHF announces the eighth-annual Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship, benefiting kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers. This scholarship is a professional development opportunity for teachers to receive a $1,000 scholarship to enhance their teaching about Alabama/American History and citizenship and to encourage civic involvement by students in their community. The application deadline is May 28.
Applications with a short essay should be mailed to Alabama Humanities Foundation, Attn: Riley Scholarship Selection Committee. Visit the AHF Web site or phone 205-558-3993 to receive a copy of the application and examples of past projects.
Kickoff The Big Read with the Alabama edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, reviewed in this issue. Celebrate the Crimson Tide's thirteenth national championship with Alabama Football: Stallings to Saban: A Roller Coaster Ride. February also features reviews of poetry by Hank Lazer and nonfiction by Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Whit Gibbons, and David T. and Linda Royster Beito. Also included this month are Books Noted to keep you current on the latest releases from Alabama authors and publishers.
Each month First Draft Reviews Online features reviews of books by Alabama authors, books about our state, and books by local publishers. Each review offers a Web link to authors, publishers, and reviewers when available. The page also features a searchable archive to benefit readers, students, and scholars.
When you finish reading, share your issue of the Fall 2009 First Draft with others. Featured are Pam Kingsbury's informative interview with poet Joy Harjo and a visit with New Orleans' post-Katrina Alabama expatriate community by Christopher Chambers.
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