A.L. Mitchell Competition for Short Fiction
Hillbilly Savants strives to encourage new Appalachian artists/writers to produce and share ideas within the internet blog community. This year we at HS hope to encourage even more participation with the 1st Hillbilly Savants A.L. Mitchell Composition for Short Fiction. Please submit an unpublished story of no more than 3,000 words. Applicants must reside within the Appalachian Mountains for at least three consecutive years prior to the deadline. Send an SASE along with a bio and the selected entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 20, 2007. Notification of the 2007 recipient of the A.L. Mitchell Composition for Short Fiction takes place on November 5th on the HS website. The winning work will be featured on Hillbilly Savants.
Mr. Arthur L. “Al” Mitchell, 1927- 2007,
A graduate of Richlands High School, Al Mitchell graduated with a BA degree from Emory & Henry in 1946. While a student at E&H, his activities and honors were numerous; he was President of the student body, Editor of the campus newspaper, a member of the Calliopian Literary Society, and a member of Beta Lambda Zeta Fraternity.
In 1950, he received his Master’s degree from Columbia University, and went on to teach in public schools in Charlottesville, Bristol, and Marion. In 1958 he joined the Emory & Henry College staff, and served there until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure he held positions of Director of Admissions, Director of Publicity, Sports Information Director, Financial Aid Officer, English Professor, and Registrar. He was a mentor and sponsor for the brothers of Beta Lambda Zeta Fraternity.
A faithful community servant, Al was a volunteer for United Way and a Trustee for the Washington County Public Library from 1966-1978; he served as their treasurer from 1974-1978. He was active in the Washington County Democratic Party in the 1970s, also serving as their treasurer. In the 1950s, he was president of the Smyth County Young Democrats. He was a former member of the Marion Lions Club and the Marion Rotary Club. He was an active member of Emory United Methodist Church, where he served as a Sunday School teacher for more than 30 years.
He won numerous awards from Emory & Henry College including the Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Award in 1990 and The DeFriece Award in 1996, and he was the first person to ever receive the E&H Alumni Association Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award, 1993. In 2005, the Alumni Association honored him by naming one of their awards for him, the A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year Award.
Known for his avid enthusiasm for E&H athletics, he was inducted into the E&H Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. In 1994, the college celebrated “Al Mitchell Day” during basketball season and gave Al his own referee’s jersey and whistle. In 1987, the football program at E&H named him their “Twelfth Man” for devotion to the team.
He was a prolific writer, with a published book of poetry and several entries in magazines, journals, and The Upper Room devotional.