Birmingham's skyline from it's highest point
Image by Andre Natta via Flickr/Creative Commons

Monday morning I received an email that made my day. Actually, it made my week.

The message was from a young woman who is a senior at Harvard University interested in journalism. She contacted me because after she graduates she wants to move to… wait for it… Birmingham!

She came across my name and contact information via the See Jane Write blog and said that she’s eager to get involved in See Jane Write once she moves to the Magic City.

The fact that a student at Harvard (who’s originally from the D.C. area) wants to move to Birmingham may come to a shock to some, but not to me. This young woman has figured out something that, unfortunately, took me three decades to learn — Birmingham is a good place for writers.

This month’s issue of Birmingham Magazine features a list of 22 reasons to love the city. This list, along with the aforementioned email, inspired me to create a list of my own — 22 reasons women writers should love Birmingham.

Read on to see if your favorite things about Birmingham made this list.

Snapshot from the See Jane Write event Blogging and the Future of Community Journalism
Photo Credit: Sherri Davidson Ross

Writers in Birmingham believe in building community. Some local organizations for writers,
journalists, and bloggers include:

1. See Jane Write (Of course, I had to include this group!)
2. Alabama Bloggers
3. Alabama Media Professionals
4. Write Club
5. Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

Believe it or not, Birmingham has a thriving magazine scene. If you want to break into the world of glossy publications but don’t want to deal with shoveling snow or living in a studio apartment that costs you more than $1,000 a month, the Magic City is the place for you.

6. Southern Progress Corporation (home to magazines such as Southern Living, Health, and Cooking Light)

7. Birmingham Magazine

8. B-Metro

Most writers know that one of the best ways to improve your work is to spend time reading the works of others. Birmingham is for lovers — book lovers, that is. Some of our best bookstores include:

9. Jim Reed Books
10. Little Professor
11. 2nd & Charles

Studies have shown that crowded coffee shops can actually help fire up your creativity. Birmingham has plenty of great coffeehouses to get your mojo going. 

12. Church Street Coffee and Books
13. Urban Standard
14. O’Henry’s Coffees
15. The Red Cat Coffee House

In Birmingham writers don’t just sit home alone writing behind closed doors. In our city writers take the stage with spoken word nights and storytelling events.

16. Bards and Brews, presented by the Birmingham Public Library
17. Arc Light Stories

Smart writers know it’s good to get inspiration from all of the arts, including the culinary arts . In Birmingham we have a great art museum and wonderful performing arts centers such as the Alys Stephens Center, but we also have grassroots festivals and conferences and locally owned galleries to set our imaginations to work too.

18. Naked Art Gallery
19. FoodBlogSouth
20. Sidewalk Film Festival
21. Eat Drink Read Write Festival

We creative types typically don’t do well working a traditional 9 to 5 job and we tend to want to strike out on our own. If you’re ready to set your entrepreneurial spirit free, Birmingham is eager to help you do just that.

22. REV Birmingham

What do you love about Birmingham?

Cross-posted at The Writeous Babe Project

7 Comments on 22 Reasons Women Writers Should Love Birmingham

  1. Nanci Scarpulla
    February 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm (5 years ago)

    I love that the universal greeting for “Hello” is a smile and I see it all the time in Birmingham. I love that my children are able to love and be friends with anyone. The diversity is exceptional and the opportunities are endless when it comes to introducing them to international influences in Birmingham. I love that we have a city full of history, imagination, and dreamers and we celebrate that often.

    • javacia
      February 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing what you love about Birmingham, Nanci. I too think our city is a great place for dreamers and I can proudly say I’ve finally fallen in love with my hometown.

  2. Hunter
    February 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm (5 years ago)

    This is what I think, JNHB: 🙂 I love it. Please do tell Edd-money that I see him up there at the far right of the panel (in the picture).

    (And btw, the name “See Jane Write” reminds me of what Jane Says )

    It’s a great article. Hope you’re doing well! Give EB my best too, plz.

    • javacia
      February 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much for the pin, Hunter! And that Jane Says video just gave me an idea for something I’ve been brainstorming…

    • Hunter
      February 14, 2013 at 8:54 am (5 years ago)

      Hey, hey, Jai! Glad to hear that. Thanks for such a cool article (and for including BPL too). You and Edd have a great Valentine’s Day! Best!

  3. Nancy
    February 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm (5 years ago)

    Hoffman Media, the company I work for, should be included with items 6-8, too. It was founded by a Birmingham native nearly 30 years ago, and its headquarters have always been here. We publish Cooking with Paula Deen, Taste of the South, The Cottage Journal, TeaTime, Victoria, Celebrate, Southern Lady, and Louisiana Cookin’–all nationally distributed but locally produced magazines.

    • javacia
      February 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm (5 years ago)

      Yes! More proof that Birmingham is the place to be for people wanting to break into magazine without going to New York.


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