Alabama Writers’ Forum and Huntsville Literary Association meet for the first time in joint endeavor for their high school writing contests.
The Alabama Writers’ Forum and Huntsville Literary Association met for the first time in a joint endeavor to increase the support of the literary arts in the state. The Forum is the only literary/writers’ group with both a statewide presence and a staff of paid professionals. HLA has been in existence for over 45 years, supporting the literary arts in numerous ways, including the Dorothy Diemer Hendry Award for Literary Achievement that Ardent Writer Publisher Steve Gierhart chairs as part of his membership with HLA. Gierhart is also a member of the board of directors for AWF. As a key member in both organizations, Gierhart orchestrated the meeting as a way of synchronizing efforts, especially their high school writing competitions.
They met in the conference room of the University of Alabama Huntsville’s Presidential Suite, Shelbie King Hall on Friday, July 26.
By the end of two hours of discussion, a plan had emerged toward helping each others’ efforts, including digitizing the registration system of AWF’s Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards. They also discussed ways to obtain funding to improve and expand their projects.
Attending for AWF was Executive Director Jeanie Thompson and Anita Garner, English professor at UNA and chair of AWF’s Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards. Eloise Alexander, new president of HLA, Mary Beth Walker, Nancy Corbeille, and Carol Roach attended for HLA. Steve Gierhart, Ardent Writer Publisher, attended as a member of both organizations.
Dale “Steve” Gierhart is a retired business manager for the United States Army. Based in Huntsville, Alabama on Redstone Arsenal, his career lasted from 1975 to 2010 in which he managed contracts, finances/accounting, and cost estimating for several missile defense systems, among which were Stinger, Avenger, Chaparral, Sentinel, JLENS, SLAMRAAM, and Non-Line of Sight. The author wishes to thank the many co-workers, peers, and contractors who made these programs successful. It is their tireless work that brought these systems to the soldier that needed them. While budget constraints made it difficult for some of their work to see its full potential, they never blinked, they adjusted. They persevered.
Steve hails from Shawnee, Oklahoma; but most of his adult life has been spent in the beautiful hills of North Alabama where he lives with his wife, Bonny, who raises Tennessee Walking Horses.
Between them, Steve and Bonny have 5 children and 7 grandchildren, and another grandbaby is on the way.
Steve enjoys writing now that he is retired and plans more excursions of the imagination.
He and Bonny, a retired engineer who worked as a contractor on several NASA and Army programs, will travel in their retirement though 15 horses, 4 dogs and 3 cats can crimp the best of plans.