HLA’S Young Writers Contest has a few more proponents in North Alabama, thanks to several successful visits to North Alabama high schools in December.
The students at New Century, New Century Technology, Austin High, Red Bay, Grissom, Cullman and Madison Academy had a rocking good time as they discussed the art in writing short stories and poems with Huntsville Literary Association’s Mary Beth Walker, Nancy Corbeille, Steve Gierhart (member of HLA and publisher of The Ardent Writer Press) and Marcia Scarborough. It was clear that many intended to enter HLA’s The Dorothy Diemer Hendry Award for Literary Achievement, the high school division of Young Writers Contest.
The contest opens January 15 and closes February 28, 2014. It is open to any public, private, parochial or home schooled high school student in North Alabama, over 130 high schools.
Below are photos taken at some of the venues. At New Hope High HLA found the model for last year’s winning art prize that graces the cover of Expressions 2013: Student Voices from North Alabama. Billy Martin, who modeled for his friend Throy Bond, is in the photo from New Hope below, second from the left. Throy won with his artwork, Restlesss Times.
Presentations are planned after the holidays at Decatur High, Grissom High, Lauderdale County High, Russellville High, and West Point High. During the presentations, Steve Gierhart, HLA co-chair for the high school competition, also talked to the Alabama Writers’ Forum and its state-wide writing competition, The Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards and Scholarships competition.
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.