Month: July 2013

The Simple Booth is simply awesome at See Jane Write Magazine Launch Party

Sponsor Spotlight: The Simple Booth

Thursday’s launch party, presented by Hamer Law Group, was amazing! More than 75 people came out to Aloft Hotel Birmingham to help us celebrate. My friends and family members and even people I’d never met before came to show their support. Some even drove in from cities like Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Jacksonville, and Guntersville.
The food was delicious, our signature drink — The Jane — was yummy, and the party was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. And none of this would have been possible without our great sponsors.
The highlight of the night, however, was The Simple Booth. The Simple Booth takes photo booth fun to a new level offering an open play area that includes you, a camera, a remote, and a bunch of your closest (or soon-to-be close) friends as you see just how crazy you can act!
The Simple Booth is run by Lynsey Weatherspoon, a very talented Birmingham-based photographer.
Below you’ll find some of my favorite Simple Booth photos from the night, but you can view all the pictures and even download and purchase prints here.
And if you’d like to book The Simple Booth for your next event, visit for more information.

Lynsey Weatherspoon of The Simple Booth

See Jane Write founder, Javacia Harris Bowser

Keith Lee of Hamer Law Group, our presenting sponsor
Alan Duke of Hamer Law Group, our presenting sponsor
Christy Turnipseed and Tanya Sylvan, two See Jane Write Magazine contributors
Darlene Millender of Designed by Didi, one of our great sponsors

Read more about the See Jane Write Magazine Launch Party here. 

Join Us at Sketches & Scribes

I can’t draw to save my life.

Nonetheless, I am immensely inspired by visual art.

Though I don’t fancy myself a great fiction writer, I can look at a portrait of a woman — be it a photograph, painting or sketch — and create a character. I can look into her eyes and imagine her name and whole life story.

In April I traveled two and a half hours to the High Museum in Atlanta to see the exhibit Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics & Painting because Frida Kahlo inspires me like none other. Her self-portraits motivate me to write personal essays.

Frida once said, “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”

And Frida inspires me to be bold in my writing.

She once declared, “The only think I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

I don’t need a fancy art museum exhibit, however, to get inspired by visual art.

I find inspiration in offbeat art galleries too, in places like Naked Art Gallery.

Naked Art Gallery is all about making art accessible by focusing on functional art and funky wall art too.

Naked Art Gallery, located at 3831 Clairmont Ave., is one of our July sponsors and to show our appreciation we’ll be hosting a mixer at the shop on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.

At Sketches & Scribes we’ll browse the shop, eat some snacks, and chat. Also, we’d like to challenge those who attend to go home and write something inspired by a piece of art seen at Naked Art Gallery. Then, if you’d like, submit your piece or a link to your blog post to and your work may be featured on our new online magazine.

I hope you’ll join us. You can RSVP via Facebook here.

Sketches & Scribes will also be a See Jane Write membership drive. Find more details on SJW membership here.

Check out Christmas In July: Great Gifts for Writers for a preview of the great functional art at Naked Art Gallery.

Why Writers Need Social Media

Sponsor Spotlight: Mitzi Jane Media

What’s your social media strategy?

If you’re having trouble answering that question or perhaps even wondering what a social media strategy is, you may need to give Mitzi Eaker of Mitzi Jane Media a call. 

Mitzi Jane Media is a small organization of social media strategists and content providers that work with small businesses, nonprofits, and bloggers to make their creative vision of growth a reality.

Writers and small businesses need social media to stay connected to their readers and/or customers,” Eaker says. “Social media not only allow for writers and small businesses to share what is important to them with their following, but most importantly, they hear directly from their customers as they engage them in community online.”

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, and online forums and polls are just a few of the ways writers and business owners can see firsthand how their followers engage with their work or purchase their products. 

At Mitzi Jane Media, “we work hand-in-hand with each client to establish a strategy that really fits their brand, their purpose and goals, their skill set, and the time they have to do social media within the budget they have allocated,” Eaker says.

Head over to See Jane Write Magazine for 5 Mistakes You May Be Making On Social Media.

3 Reasons Writers Should Love WBHM

Sponsor Spotlight: Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM

My love for Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM is no secret. This year on Valentines’ Day I posted an open love letter to Birmingham’s NPR station right here on this blog. 

And when WBHM volunteered to be a July sponsor for See Jane Write Birmingham and See Jane Write Magazine, I began to appreciate the station’s dedication to support its community even more. 

But there are reasons that you, women writers of Birmingham, should love our local NPR station too. 

1. At Thursday’s See Jane Write Magazine launch party WBHM is giving away two 15-oz. glasses that feature a custom, public radio-inspired “Listen & Be Transported” painting by local artist Bethanne Hill. 

2. NPR features so many author interviews there’s a whole page dedicated to them on the NPR website. WBHM marketing manager Audrey Atkins, who is also a writer and blogger, said, “Personally, I learn a lot from hearing about other authors’ creative processes, what drives them, what inspires them, why they wrote what they wrote, how they wrote what they wrote, how long it took them, their frustrations, their victories.”

3. With its Crime in the City series NPR focused on one piece of the writing process — location — and created an entire series based on it.  Crime in the City focuses on different cities that were used as the setting for a detective novel. This summertime series is sure to get you mystery writers inspired.

Why do you love public radio?

Five Steps to Saving the World

Sponsor Spotlight: Kuumba Community Art

Deidre Clark, founder of Kuumba Community Art

One of the things I love most about organizing See Jane Write programs and events is working with such wonderful women. Many, if not most, of the women who participate in See Jane Write activities are also busy working on doing something to improve Birmingham. Case in point — Deidre Clark is not only a writer but also a photographer and visual artist who is using her artistic talents to better Birmingham’s Ensley neighborhood. 

Deidre is the founder of Kuumba Community Arta program based in the Ensley neighborhood that seeks to increase art awareness and appreciation by teaching children how to express themselves through photography and art.

Below Deidre offers advice for those of you considering starting a community program of your own. 

1. Count the cost. “Be sure you’ve considered the assets and liabilities before beginning,” Deidre says. “Try to get as much of your idea out of your head and on paper so you can see exactly what you’re in for.”

2. Get help. “Consider partnering with a community recreation center, a local nursing home/assisted living facility or school,” Deidre recommends. “You may also consider researching if there is already a group of people with your talent that have the same heart. If so, link up with them. If not, blaze the trail!” Deidre also recommends recruiting a team to help you with your project. “It’ll make things easier for you and your chances for burnout will decrease.”
3. Get the word out. “Connect with your neighborhood association and tell as many people as will listen about what you want to do. Intrinsic to this is knowing what you want to do, what problem or issue you wish to address and what you hope to accomplish. Create a mission and vision statement. It will guide your efforts and keep you from getting off track.”

4. Be willing to take risks. “You may have to make some cold calls, request meetings with people you’ve never met, but if you are blazing a trail this is important,” Deidre says. 

5. Be committed.  “If you’re not sure you can be consistent don’t do it,” Deidre says, frankly. “Consider supporting an organization that may be doing what you want to do or something close to it. You’ll begin some great relationships as you seek to begin your work and a lack of commitment can undermine those relationships.”