Alabama Writers Conclave
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What’s happening in the Alabama writing world…

Meet the AWC Conference Faculty: Johnnie Bernhard.

Johnnie Bernhard at her writing desk.

Johnnie Bernhard at her writing desk.

A former teacher and journalist, Johnnie Bernhard is passionate about reading and writing.  Her work(s) have appeared in the following publications: University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, World Oil Magazine, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, The Mississippi Press, the international Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, The Texas Review, Southern Literary Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, “The Last Mayberry,” received over 7,500 views, internationally.  

A Good Girl was shortlisted in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition, as well as featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals. It was represented by Texas Review Press at the 2017 Texas Book Festival.  A Good Girl was shortlisted in the 2017 Kindle Book Award for Literary Fiction, a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, a 2018 nominee for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction of the Year Award, and shortlisted for the 2017 Lone Star Literary Review, Bloggers’ Choice Award in best Literary Fiction. 

Johnnie’s second novel, How We Came to Be was a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.  Named a “Must Read” by Southern Writers Magazine, the novel was featured for panel discussion for the 2018 Louisiana Book Festival and Mississippi Book Festival. It was represented by Texas Review Press at the 2018 Texas Book Festival.  It was shortlisted by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for 2019 Fiction of the Year, as well as the recipient of the Summerlee Book Prize, HM by the Center for History and Culture at Lamar University. 

How We Came to Be was selected by the international Pulpwood Queens Book Club as a 2019 reading selection.  Both novels were chosen for the Advance Placement English Classes at private high schools in Mississippi.

Her third novel, Sisters of the Undertow debuts February 2020.  It was shortlisted for Novel-in-Progress by the 2018 Faulkner-Wisdom competition.  

Johnnie supports young writers as a judge for the annual Center for the Book of Texas, Letters about Literature Competition.   Learn more about her writing at Johnnie’s website.

The idea for Sisters of the Undertow comes from viewing the rescue of a little girl who was struggling to keep her head above water when she ventured out into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Grand Isle, Louisiana. I witnessed that dramatic rescue over twenty-five years ago and have never forgotten it.
— Johnnie Bernhard on her latest novel

At the AWC Annual Conference this year, Johnnie will conduct two workshops for writers, including:

What It Takes to Be an Author will take writers step by step through the acquisition process: finding the right literary agent, writing a query letter and synopsis for a potential publisher, and developing a professional profile as an author.

Developmental Editing and Content Editing will guide writers through the differences in developmental and content editing, using literary elements and plot tips to improve writing.

If you haven’t registered for the Conference, today is a great day to do it.


Alina Stefanescu