Writers Hall of Fame to induct Rick Bragg

Writers Hall of Fame to induct Rick Bragg

University of Alabama professor and Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Rick Bragg will be inducted into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame's first class of inductees on June 8. Photo Courtesy of Tom Mason

Alessandra Delrose

The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame will honor University of Alabama professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg, along with 11 other local writers, into its first class of inductees on June 8.

Last June, Executive Director for the Alabama Writer’s Forum Jeanie Thompson and Director of the Alabama Center for the Book Lou Pitschmann decided to co-sponsor the first ever Alabama Writers Hall of Fame with the purpose of 
recognizing literary talent in Alabama.

“Because we were both state-wide organizations, we thought this would be a good partnership and great for the state of Alabama to have such an award program,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the upcoming class of inductees, which can be found at writersforum.org, includes some talented writers from the state 
of Alabama.

“In order to qualify for this award, writers would have to have been born in Alabama or moved to Alabama and had written most of their critical works in the state and writers would have to have established a strong literary presence,” she said.

Overall, Thompson said she is excited about this upcoming induction and is pleased with how the whole process went.

“I’m thrilled that we have such a diverse group of outstanding writers and I’m looking forward to introducing them to people in the state who may know some of the names, but not all of the names,” she said.

Bragg said it is an honor to be placed into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame and he is happy to be in such good company.

“Many of the writers who are being inducted are people like Harper Lee, whose work I read as a boy and overall helped shape me and helped inspire me to be a writer in the first place,” he said.

Although Bragg has won many awards throughout his literary career, he said this accolade is a momentous one.

“It means a tremendous amount to be recognized with this award,” he said. “Alabama is home, and it is the recognition of the people of home that honors me to be regarded as an author who is deserving of such rewards.”

UA associate professor of journalism and Assistant Dean George Daniels said the school is proud of Bragg’s continuous accomplishments. He said he feels it is an honor for the University to have one of its professors inducted into the first class of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

“It shows the caliber of the faculty who we have working with our students, and it also speaks to the familiarity that people around Alabama have with Professor Bragg’s work, and it’s an honor to work with someone like that in our department,” Daniels said.

In regards to his induction, Daniels said he believes it is the originality and quality of Bragg’s work that has contributed to him being 
recognized with this award.

“I think he has established himself as one of the best writers anywhere,” he said. “I mean, we recognized him with the Cason Award several years ago and people understand that he is not just [a] reporter. He’s not just writing books. But he is crafting messages about people who don’t 
otherwise get attention.”

With the induction date approaching, Thompson said she hopes the new program will gain the attention and support of the people across 
the state.

“I would like the people of Alabama to be as excited about their talented writers as much as they are excited about Alabama football,” she said.

Thompson said her hope for the future is to establish a strong program in the state that inspires aspiring writers.

“I hope that the Hall of Fame, where we honor the best of the best, will serve as a catalyst for new writers,” she said. “It will be something that they can aspire to. So I hope this program encourages young writers to read, study and try to be the best writers that they can be.”