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We want to thank everyone who attended the 2018 AWC Annual Meeting and Conference! We had such a great time in Orange Beach learning from our faculty and sharing work with each other. In order to help us make next year's conference even more full of fun and literary goodies! Please fill out our survey and let us know what you loved and what you'd like to see next year!

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, and General Web Jockey
2018 AWC Conference Survey
9 cool things that just happened
  1. Caleb Johnson toured around Alabama to promote his fascinating first novel, Treeborne, published by Picador. Learn more about Caleb and his childhood in Arley, Alabama from this exclusive AWC feature interview
  2. Jason McCall's fabulous poem, "Trayvon's Hill School Reunion," was published in Verse Daily! That's pretty big news. 
  3. Tina Mozelle Braziel's two poems, "Fadeaway Girl" and "I've Learned", were published in Pidgeonholes Journal
  4. Mike Burrell's short story, "Before They Wake," was published in the current issue of Still.
  5. Ashley M. Jones' poem "Xylography" was published in the current issue of DIAGRAM.
  6. Kwoya Fagin Maples shared thoughts on history, persona poems, and sonnet coronas in advance of the release of her poetry collection, Mend, by University of Kentucky Press.
  7. Shanti Weiland's blog, "The Poets That You Meet," continues to feature lovely intersections of poetry and life. Consider contacting Shanti if you think you're a poet she should meet. 
  8. Alina Stefanescu's short story, "The Difference Between a Window and Mirror," was published in current issue of Wraparound South.
  9. Carolyn Breckenridge's short fiction collection, Kaleidoscope Jane, is available for purchase online and at local booksellers, including Tuscaloosa's Ernest and Hadley.
We're currently assembling an online Bookshelf page featuring book publications by AWC authors so please email a link to your book to Don't forget to check our web calendar for other events near you. And email to let us know if there is something to add. We can't share cool things if we don't know about them.
UC San Diego researchers have recently demonstrated that spoilers don’t spoil. In many cases, spoilers actively enhance enjoyment. Learn how this applies to your fiction. 
2018 Annual Membership Meeting

At our first annual membership meeting held atop the ocean, members agreed on a long-term planning initiative for AWC that promises to put some steam in the engine. 

  • Selecting a new name for the Alabama Writer's Conclave that reflects its dedication to inclusivity and openness. We believe in nurturing a strong, inclusive community that supports the diversity of Alabama's literary landscape.  We believe this diversity and variance makes Alabama great. As a result, the membership agreed to keep the initials "AWC" while finding another word to replace "Conclave".
  • Drafting a mission statement for the organization that clearly defines its philosophy, its constituency, and its overarching aims.
  • Developing a five-year plan for the organization, including establishing a plan for acknowledging the AWC’s 100-year anniversary in 2023.

We are grateful to Co-Chairs T.J. Beitelman and Ashley M. Jones for their efforts and dedication in the moving us towards a long term planning initiative and we salute the efforts of President T.K. Thorne, who has made it a mark of her leadership to fashion an AWC that reflects the best of us and among us. 

Learn more about the meeting and new officers from the 2018 AWC Conference Recap.

A brief note from our new 2nd Vice President, Ashley M. Jones:

It's my pleasure to accept this position as 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair. I'm still quite new to AWC, but I'm passionate about growing this organization to reach all corners of our state through literary programming, outreach, and resources for members.

I am grateful to outgoing 2nd VP Nina Donath for trusting me with this very big job, and for preparing me so well to take it on! I'm looking forward to the future of AWC--it's bright!
From the Bookshelf: BOOKS BY MEMBERS

Writer's Residencies: The Necessary Idyll

Ahhhhh, the residency. Summer is a time when many writers steal a few weeks from the demands of daily life to focus completely on their writing. Several AWC members are currently off in various parts of the United States or even Italy refurbishing their writing and losing themselves to the page. If you aren't one of these people, here are a few ways to make sure you become one of these people next year:  And hey, if anybody wants to help me, I'd love to imagine a Write A House Residency in Birmingham. There are so many houses that need to be made homes... Let's imagine what we can bring to Alabama that would make residencies more possible for those of us with small children and demanding family schedules. 
Joy is elusive, sudden, unexpected, gradual, and sometimes grotesque. The week after my mom’s death, I remember a hideous joy on the fifth day at 3:47 pm when the sun burned my shoulders and all the world—the dogwoods, the warm pavement, the mockingbirds near the porch—was implicated in her presence. I could feel her laughing, smell her apple-tinged perfume, watch the red of her hair burn their way across the yard. Just one single minute of exuberant impossible and then back to the banality of living lies, telling others I was fine, negotiating the absurdity of death and imagining someone could be erased, gone, eternally absent. Joy is so many flavors of awe. There are joys we fondle—memories we pick up and unspool in private. There are public joys—a friend’s description of holding her girlfriend’s hand for the first time on a public playground, the relentless joy of a gay pride parade. And yet, despite countless publications that swear to deliver it if you put your knees over your head and eat only almonds, there is no formula for joy on this planet. By its nature, joy is unsustainable, untenable, hard to hold, impossible to coerce. What surprise is lovelier than joy? So give us your public joys, your private joys, your foolish fondles. Give us your transient, shameless, vulnerable, wimped-out absurdities. Give us the harrows of joy, its horrors. Give us your smallest joys, your childhood joys, your most monumental. Give us the elusive object that lacks a template. We can’t wait to read it. However it looks. However it haunts. Whatever it touches. Submissions due 9/14/18. Guest Editor Alina Stefanescu. Issue live 10/31/18. Submit online.
Alina Stefanescu is currently serving as Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes, a journal that nominates for all the big literary prizes and focuses on writing that cuts close to the bladeFor poetry, send up to 5 poems, no longer than 50 lines each, in a single document. We’ll consider anything from unrhymed couplets to haibun to prose poems. Invented and experimental forms are encouraged. Submit online
If you attended the AWC 2018 Conference, we desperately need your feedback. The only way we can improve a conference is by knowing what you liked and what you'd like to see change. Please fill out the survey below--it's only a small request that makes a BIG difference. 

2018 Conference Survey
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