Rockets, Coal Mines, Lighthouses and the Dreams of Boys

The University of Alabama’s College of Communication & Information Sciences and the journalism department have announced that Homer Hickam is the 2013 recipient of the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing.

Hickam will headline the journalism department’s annual J-Day on March 14, 2013. His talk, “Rockets, Coal Mines, Lighthouses and the Dreams of Boys,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Reese Phifer, Room 216. Hickam, a native of Coalwood, W. Va., has written 14 books, including the acclaimed No. 1 New York Times memoir Rocket Boys. That book was made into the film October Sky and is being developed as a Broadway musical with Hickam as co-writer.

The rest of the J-Day line-up:

Alabama Media Group: The First Six Months
9-10:30 a.m., Reese Phifer, Room 338
Alabama Media Group Vice President of Content Kevin Wendt will headline this panel of AMG editors and staff. The panel will assess the new statewide media operation’s first six months, discuss challenges faced, and talk about plans for the future.

The Power of the Crowd
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Reese Phifer, Room 338
A panel of entrepreneurial journalists will discuss the growing trend of “crowd-funded” journalism, which uses websites such as Kickstarter and to raise money and attention. The Classical‘s David Roth will be on campus and other participants will join by Skype.

Innovations in Community Journalism
1-2 p.m., Reese Phifer, Room 338
Students in the Community Journalism Master’s Program will showcase innovative online approaches to addressing community problems.

Barnett Wright: How the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement Changed America and the World
4-5 p.m., Gorgas Library, Room 205
Birmingham News reporter Barnett Wright will discuss his new book, 1963: How the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement Changed America and the World. This is a joint session with the Diversity Forum.

College Journalism and the Law
5-6 p.m., Reese Phifer, Room 216
Dr. Clay Calvert, director of the Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida and co-author of Mass Media Law, the nation’s top undergraduate textbook, will speak on current student press law and its impact on college journalists.

Homer Hickam: Rockets, Coal Mines, Lighthouses, and the Dreams of Boys
6:30 p.m., Reese Phifer, Room 216
Homer Hickam, author of 14 books including Rocket Boys and The Coalwood Way, will speak about writing and storytelling. APR News Director Pat Duggins will introduce. A Q&A will follow Hickam’s talk. See full details here: