Archived here is a list of past SPARK Writing Festival community events linked to their recordings on our YouTube stream.

Welcome to the SPARK Writing Festival
August 1st – 6th, 2022

SPARK is a community based creative writing initiative by the UAB Department of English designed to spark inspiration and bring writers together. As always, there’s a variety of programming to choose from as well as multiple methods of participation.

Morning Craft Talks with Halley Cotton

Start your day with informative and encouraging craft talks with SPARK Writing Festival’s director, Halley Cotton.

(in person on UAB’s Campus and streamed live via Instagram)
9am-10am (cst)

August 1: Finding Inspiration
August 2: The Writing Process
August 3: Editing
August 4: Publishing
August 5: Forming Community

Immersive workshops

Have you really wanted to dig in and commit to your writing? Then the immersive workshops are for you. We have 3 in-person workshops hosted on UAB’s campus as well as one virtual option. Choose one workshop and you’ll get to spend time building community and practicing your writing through 4 days of intentional study. Workshops are held from 10am – Noon (cst) August 1st – 4th with a reception on the 5th.

Fiction (via Zoom) with Will Walton

Two time novelist (I Felt a Funeral in my Brain and Anything Could Happen), Will Walton will create a space for imagination and exploration for those interested in fiction writing. His online worksop connects SPARK writers from all over into one vibrant community.


tina headshotPoetry (in person) with Tina Mozelle Braziel

Phillip Levine Prize poetry winner and fellow of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Tina Mozelle Braziel guides participants through the poetic process with prompts and a greater awareness of the world around us.


Rani Pink

YA Literature (via Zoom) with Randi Pink

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author, Randi Pink will walk workshoppers through how to construct and shape writing literature for young audiences.


Memoir (in-person) with Salaam Green 

Known for her transformative healing work and ability to bring out the depth of others’ writing, Salaam Green is an award-winning artist and writer. Her workshop will help unlock the writer within and guide writers through the process of putting their life stories down on the page.



Registration fee is $80 but scholarship opportunities are available through the Juliana Wu Fund.

Click Here to Register for an Immersive Workshop

Community Events

These free virtual events are open to the public and hosted via Zoom. They’re a perfect fit for you if you need a little more flexibility in your learning schedule. Each session is around an hour long and starts at 7pm (cst). Come to one or catch them all! One Zoom link supports all sessions.

August 1: Ben Bush – an incredible designer and Associate professor at Auburn, Ben will lead participants through organizing their writing flow with sketching and design tools.

August 2: Javacia Harris Bowser – Award-winning freelance journalist and author, Javacia is set to help SPARKers learn how to set and achieve their writing goals with planning and execution

August 3: Jared Nelson – Fantasy writer and gamer, Jared will unlock character and world building exercises by using classic gaming tools

August 4: Michelle Little – Oral historian and audio producer, Michelle will lead attendees through helpful ways of gathering the stories of those around us

August 5: Imani Williams ­– Poet and educator, Imani will create opportunity for writers to experience and practice spoken word poetry

August 6: Keynote Panel (presented at 1pm) – ever wanted to know the who’s who of Alabama writing groups? We have you covered as we invite a variety of Alabama based writing organizations  to chat all in the same space at the same time.

Click here to register for the Community Events Zoom link


schedule of SAPRK events

SPARK July 2021

SPARK January 2021


SPARK August 2019

August 5th, 2019

Reading and Memoir Mini-workshop with Salaam Green

1:00-3:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


“How to Navigate the Writing Life” with Lanier Isom

3:00-4:00pm , UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


August 6th2019

Reading and Poetry Mini-workshop with John Saad 

1:00-3:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


A Talk about the Editing and Revision Process with Adam Vines

3:00-4:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


August 7th, 2019

Reading and Faith-based Writing Mini-workshop with Charlotte Donlon

1:00-3:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, Alumni Theater


Presentation on Publishing Methods by Angela Broyles

3:00-4:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, Alumni Theater



August 8th, 2019

Reading and Fiction Mini-workshop with Kwoya Maples

1:00-3:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


A Talk about Literary Journals with Lauren Slaughter

3:00-4:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


August 9th, 2019

“Building Community: A Roundtable Talk” with Halley Cotton

1:00-2:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


Writing Skill Building Mini-Workshop with Halley Cotton 

2:00-3:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318


 “Oral History for Writers: Collecting New Stories” with Michelle Little

3:00-4:00pm, UAB Hill Student Center, room 318