Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

13th Annual Alabama Writers Symposium


What could be a better way to wind down a hectic week of shuttling four children to and from school and baseball games, than to rub shoulders with the very best amongst Southern writers, including Carolyn Haines, the 2010 Harper Lee Award winner?

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to go, relax, and pose questions with some of the state's most elite authors at the 13th Annual Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville, Alabama. The picture above is myself posing cheerfully next to Phillip Shirley, author of Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and the Louisville Slugger. Mr. Shirley was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the publishing industry and sign a book for my nephew's upcoming birthday.

After listening to nonfiction author, Eddie Curran (gentleman at the bottom left in the photo above), deliver a highly entertaining powerpoint about his first book, The Governor of Goat Hill: Don Siegelman, the Reporter Who Exposed His Crimes, and the Hoax that Suckered Some of the Top Names in Journalism, Jessica Ross (my wonderfully talented, super cool library director friend at the top right) and myself felt under no circumstances could we return to Washington County without a signed copy of his book. Wasting no time at all, Jess and I dashed to the bookstore, purchased a ton of books, and stalked Mr. Curran in order to steal a few minutes of his time. His personality is a mixture of comical charm and clever sarcasm, but by far, Mr. Curran is the funniest author we encountered during the day.

The distinguished gentleman at the bottom right, Mr. Ted Dunagan, is the author of The Yellow Watermelon, an Accelerated Reader book, which fits the bill for any avid young book lover. Mr. Dunagan was extremely approachable and very encouraging of my writing endeavor. I came home with a signed copy of his fascinating novel as well.

After a splendid hour of booksigning and refreshments, Jess and I headed over to the Monroeville Community House for the Harper Lee & Eugene Current Garcia Award Presentation/Luncheon. Elegance is not the word to describe the lovely decorations, floral arrangements, and stylish table settings placed inside the dining hall of the community house. For the next hour, we ate like queens and enjoyed listening to Carolyn Haines and Ralph Voss deliver such eloquent speeches after accepting the Harper Lee & Eugene Current Garcia Awards.

The afternoon in historic Monroeville could not be complete without paying tribute to the critically acclaimed author, Harper Lee. With the 5oth anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird, it only felt natural to end the day by driving past the old courthouse located in the downtown square and paying homage to the woman who's writing inspired me the most. This experience was one like no other, and I will forever remember where I was when To Kill A Mockingbird turned the BIG 50! Happy Anniversay, Harper Lee!

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful "you are there" style recap of the Alabama Writers' Symposium. Your feedback is just the sort we need for future planning. Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it all. And please plan to come back next year!
    Jeanie Thompson
    Executive Director, The Alabama Writers' Forum

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  2. Tory...looks like you win the prize for working the hardest to get most benefit from the symposium. Keep working on that YA title....Philip

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  3. Wow, what an awesome experience. I've always wanted to go to a writer's conference. Maybe someday. Glad you had such a neat time.

    Just to let you know, I've got a book giveaway on my blog today. :)

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  4. Sorry Tory, it looks like my first attempt at commenting didn't stick:-) This is a wonderful post and it looks like the whole event was a great experience. Way to get out there and take a conference by storm!

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  5. Hi Tory. I followed you over here after seeing your comment on my blog. I've become a new follower and will be back to read more soon.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Jeanie, Phillip, and Matthew, WOW! I'm thrilled you stopped by Head in the Clouds and hope you'll come back again soon!

    Emily and Lindsay, I wish you gals could have been with me. It was so much fun! Thanks so much for checking out the symposium post. See you both, soon!

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