Creative Writing at Alabama School of Fine Arts
Wielding words for change
At ASFA, Alabama’s best young writers receive a foundation in the literary arts, exploring form and genre in an MFA-style workshop model. By reading a wide range of texts and authors, they gain a grounding from which to grow a distinct voice and literary identity.
How to live in your own head..
Our faculty aim to help students develop a sustainable, autonomous writing life that lasts beyond their years at ASFA. They learn to make use of the protected writing time that ASFA affords them, and how to make such time for their creative work in college and beyond.
—and know when to get out of it
Rejecting the notion of the solitary author locked in her room, ASFA students learn what it means to be part of a creative community and the importance of the arts and artists in society. They work together to produce ASFA’s literary magazine, Cadence, and take part in literary outreach events at Birmingham-area elementary schools. In the process, they gain a deep appreciation for the responsibility of authors to shine a light on injustices and write a more equitable world into existence.
Preparation for publication
ASFA students prepare and submit their best pieces for consideration by top literary journals and competitions, and many have had great success with their submissions. Faculty guide them through this process, while also engaging students in honest discussions about finding a balance between individual creative fulfillment and the desire to publish and promote their work.
Learn from top talent
TJ Beitleman, ASFA Creative Writing Chair, is a published writer, educator, and manuscript consultant. A recipient of fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, he has served on the board of the Alabama Writers' Forum and as President of the Alabama Writers' Cooperative.
Iris Rinke-Hammer has taught creative writing at ASFA since 1989, was named one of ten teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award in 2017, and received the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program’s Teacher Recognition Award as a US Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teacher.
Corey Craft teaches New Media at ASFA, is the lead features programmer and former short programmer for Sidewalk Film Festival, is on the Sidewalk Film board, and co-hosts SideTalks, the official podcast of the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema.