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James E. Cherry comments on his experience reviewing new talent in fiction for the Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards

“If the submissions are any indication of the future of creative writing, the State of Alabama has a bright future indeed. Emma Camp's third place story, “Grace”, had characters who were well developed and identifiable. Second place winner, “Sunset on the Cloud Kingdom” by Cecelia Poehlman, possessed trenchant dialogue that advanced the narrative. Jane Ann Baggett's first place winner, “A Policeman and a Man in a Hazmat Suit Walk into a Building”, leaped from the page with originality and panache. Unfortunately, only three winners could be chosen. But all who submitted work will carry bright literary lights wherever graduation leads them.”

James E. Cherry is the author of a poetry chapbook, two full collections of poetry, a collection of short fiction and two novels. His novel, Edge of the Wind, was a 2016 Foreword Review Book of the Year Finalist for Fiction. He has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, a Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cherry has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and resides in Jackson, Tennessee where he is Artist in Residence with an after-school program for at-risk youth.

  • ASCA
  • AHA
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  • DYS