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Dear Members,

I've been so grateful to local booksellers and public libraries over the past few months--these are the local spaces inhabited by books. How can we support strong writing communities without shared spaces that hallow the act of reading?

Two great ways to spread the love for books locally:
  • Did you know that you can order books for placement in local independent bookstores without picking up a phone or sending an email? Visit Indiebound  and order your friends' books--then share them with other friends to doubly support local businesses and writers.
  • Did you know that you can order a book for placement in your local library by visiting the library website and making a request for a particular book? All you need is the ISBN number and a title. 
In an effort to shine a light on our local bookstores and booksellers, I'm compiling An Alabama Bookstore and Library list that will be available to members on the AWC website. Hopefully, you can use this list to plan reading tours, organize workshops or writing groups, and conduct local signings throughout the state. 

Please take a moment to add your beloved bookstores and librarians--doing this supports their work as well by connecting other writers and increasing patronage.

Oh, and if you notice a snail at the top of this email, that's because there is a whole new type of bookstore inching around Alabama. A mobile bookstore named Snail on the Wall. It's a fascinating model for the future.

We are thrilled to welcome Little Professor Books in Homewood as an organization member of AWC. Make sure to follow them on Facebook for a fantastic list of readings, signings, and local events. 

I've mentioned our innovative experiment that involves opening up membership to nonprofits, publishers, book stores, community groups, and various associations through our
Organization Membership. What does this mean? How will this expand and enlarge the benefits to Alabama literary community?
  • Connect writers to bookstores or libraries seeking readings and events
  • Publicize events at organizations and bookstores
  • Offer new platforms for collaboration
  • Provide a ready-made pool of reviewing talent for publishers or authors with recent books
  • Publicize news books by Alabama publishers
In the meantime, please keep sending your wonderful publications, writings, inspirations, and current activities to me at Be sure to send any links to recent journal publications, especially those online publications that we can all enjoy for free. And thank you so much for making Alabama a more writerly place.

Best wishes,
Alina Stefanescu, Newsletter Editor, Publicity Chair, Web Manager, and Tireless Web Jockey

P.S. Next month's email will be full of goodies so please email me and send them along. The more links and images you send, the easier it is for me to devote time to other members and make sure the newsletter catches a little bit of everyone.
  1. Meet Bob McCough, a new AWC member who runs the Books, Beards, Booze podcast and writes steampunk lit! Learn more from his website. You can show your support by sharing and listening.
  2. The Magic City Poetry Festival is less than two breaths away! Take the time to explore all the incredible events and opportunities in Birmingham this year.
  3. Bob McCough's podcast, "Books, Beards, and Brews" is available for free listening online. Don't miss this chance to hear men with beards discuss books and brews. (If you enjoy it, take a minute to support them on Patreon.)
  4. Ashley M. Jones has several poems about Harriet Tubman in the Spring 2019 issue of Oxford American as well as an interview online. 
  5. Lana K. Austin won third prize in the 2018 Hackney Literary Awards for her poem, 'Impossible Things'."
  6. Jim Owens' recent thoughts on fear, shame, and anger are a perfect morning-coffee read in Elephant Journal.
  7. Little Professor Book Center in Homewood has joined AWC as an organization member. We are excited to welcome them and coordinate readings and events and opportunities with them in the future.
  8. Anne Markham Bailey's Green Bucket Press will print copies of the 2018 Awarded Writers' Collection (formerly Alalitcom). The online version is available to read now. As soon as print copies become available, the AWC website front page will banner the book's availability for purchase. So keep your eyes peeled for this exciting gift to purchase for friends and family. 
  9. Learn more about Janet Johnson Anderson's new book that chronicles the life of women in Nepal from the AWC blog
  10. And keep your eyes on the AWC blog because it will be featuring interviews with poet Jessica Smith, author David Hornbuckle, and poet laureate Jennifer Horne, all of whom have new books coming out this year.
  11. Navigating the world of publishing is difficult. Writer's Relief just published an informative article, "13 Dangers of Working With an Author Mill (And How to Spot Or Avoid Them)". We want to make sure to help our members understand the various forms of publication, and to make decisions based on a full understanding of the literary landscape. If you have experience with an "author mill", we'd love to hear about it and share your experience with members in the newsletter.
We're currently assembling the 2019 online Bookshelf page featuring book publications by AWC authors so please share your latest or forthcoming publications by filling out this handy online form

Don't forget to check our web calendar for other events near you. If you have something to add to the calendar, take a quick minute to give us details here. We can't share cool things if we don't know about them.
In Memory of Charlotte Miller

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alabama author, Charlotte Miller as a result of the terrible tornadoes that tore through Lee County earlier this month. She was the author of three novels (published by New South Books) that explored intimate aspects of local history. Our hearts are with her family, especially her surviving son.
Poetry Writing Prompt from Member

 "My favorite is actually a prompt I was given in a workshop taught by Jane Hirshfield. She had us write a poem in which the pronouns follow the pattern of conjugation: I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they. It was great fun, and as with all good prompts, it helped me discover a poem I would not have otherwise written, “Family Photograph: A Conjugation.” 

- Jacqueline Trimble in interview with Negative Capability Press
Laura Hunter's first novel, Beloved Mother, will be available in bookstores from Bluewater Publishers in early 2019. You can learn more about the book and purchase an early copy by emailing Laura at

If anyone would like to read and review a copy for the AWC website, please contact Laura and email a review (under 1500 words) to

The Age of the Storyteller is an eight-session online course designed by Lisa Weinert that teaches writers how to market their work. It is totally free and intended to help authors navigate the complicated post-publication landscape. 

In eight modules, consisting of videos, resources and optional assignments, writers will learn how to navigate the various publishing options open to them based on their specific projects and goals, as well as practical tools and strategies to market and promote their work before, during and after the launch. You can enroll for the modules online or you can sign up to attend the video question session. 

BOOKSHELF: New From Members
YOUR SUBMIT LIST: Journals Currently Open for Submissions
  • The Helix seeks fiction, nonfiction, and art.
  • Oyster River seeks fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for its theme issue on "The Delta". 
  • Tahoma Literary Review is accepting fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions through March 31st. 
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Alabama Writers' Conclave · 7296 Bayberry Road · Helena, AL 35022 · USA

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