‘See Jane Write’ founder advises about writing professionally

HOOVER – Birmingham-based writer, educator and entrepreneur Javacia Harris Bowser told Jefferson State Community College students on Tuesday, March 6, how to “Write Like a Boss.”

Bowser

Bowser, founder of the See Jane Write resource organization for women writers, offered a free reading and workshop that were open to the public at Jefferson State’s Shelby-Hoover campus as part of the Red Mountain Reading Series.

“I’m so pleased we’re able to have Javacia as one of our visiting writers this year,” said Katie Boyer, English instructor at Jefferson State and director of the Red Mountain Reading Series. “Her experience in encouraging young writers, especially young women, will surely be of value to our students and guests from the community.”

Bowser earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked for several years for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky before returning to her hometown of Birmingham in 2009 to teach at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, where she teaches English and has created an elective called Women and the Media to train students how to write for the web and how to examine representations of women in the media.

Bowser continues her professional writing career as a freelance journalist, columnist, and blogger. She has written for USA Today, Birmingham’s NPR affiliate WBHM 90.3 FM, and a number of other media outlets.

Bowser told those in attendance at the Jefferson State workshop that her presentation was intended as practical advice for writers who are not sure how to promote their work and themselves, and how to earn compensation for their efforts.

Bowser said she decided as a fifth grader that she wanted to be a writer.

“It just stuck with me, and I kept writing,” she said.

After moving back to Birmingham to teach, Bowser found it difficult to continue writing with so many other responsibilities and sought a support group—to no avail.

She founded See Jane Write in 2011.

“It just continued to grow,” Bowser said about the community that includes about 1,000 women and a paid membership of about 100. “It turned into a business, which was not my initial goal.”

Bowser addressed topics including personal branding, a writer’s ideal reader, email marketing, setting and attaining goals, and more.

The Red Mountain Reading Series hosts three to four visiting writers per year for conversations on humanities topics in a collegiate atmosphere. The series seeks to provide students and members of the communities the college serves with opportunities to interact with first-class scholars engaged in a variety of literary arts.

Each year, guests address significant concerns in our culture, and the series aims to be accessible and to appeal to a broad audience.

These events as part of Jefferson State’s Red Mountain Reading Series are co-sponsored by Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society and made possible with funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

For more information about the Red Mountain Reading Series, contact Boyer at kboyer@jeffersonstate.edu.