TAMPA WRITERS ALLIANCE LITERARY CONTEST WINNER
for 2008 AND 2009!!
***Charlie won 5 awards at the 2009 TAMPA WRITER'S
ALLIANCE WRITING CONTEST ON JANUARY 15, 2009:
FIRST PLACE for "Grandfather's Guitar" in the Fiction category;
FIRST PLACE for "Surviving the Florida Marathon" in the Non-Fiction
SECOND PLACE for "Sentinel" in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category;
SECOND PLACE for "Tracts" in the Ed Hirschberg Excellence in Florida
HONORABLE MENTION for "I Am Gone" in the Poetry category!
***Charlie was notified on Friday, January 18, 2008 that he'd
won 3 literary prizes: 2 first place and 1 second place!
FIRST PLACE for "Remembrances of Five" in the POETRY category;
FIRST PLACE for "Werewolves of Westshore" in the Fiction/Fantasy category;
SECOND PLACE for "The Handshake" in the Short Story category...
Since Charlie was unable to attend, the Treasurer James Young explained to the
'As Charlie is currently in prison I will read "The Handshake" and Judge Warner
Conarton will read "Remembrances of Five".' James Young: "I could tell the
banquet attendees were moved by what they heard. I think a few people may
have had their perspectives 'adjusted' that night!"
"I feel honored that TWA has chosen my works for recognition and reading. I'm
sorry I can't be there to attend, but as the Jewish people used to say: 'Next
year, in Jerusalem!' I will say the same, next year, in Tampa.
For me writing is crucial to my survival in prison, a harsh and merciless
environment. It allows me to think, to dig deep into my being, to be honest with
myself and to communicate my feelings to others.
As a reader (I've read over 4,000 books in prison), I get to know the person
who writes in a way that not only reveals that person to me, but mirrors a
reflection of myself through that person's work.
Imprisonment and captivity strips away the humanity of the captors as well as
the captives. Perhaps by reading my words you will be able to see past that
and decide that I am WORTHY of your respect as a human being.
Good friends, help and encourage me AND OTHERS! They are trying hard to get
my case heard - another one of those AWFUL 'wrongful convictions' that you
see on TV - CONSTANTLY.
AGAIN, THANK YOU AND PLEASE KEEP WRITING AND SUPPORTING ME..."
| AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR...
Charlie was asked to be a keynote speaker in New York City for the PEN World
Voices Festival of International Literature on April 28, 2011. Unfortunately the
Florida DOC prevented this from happening.
***BREAKING NEWS! CHARLIE WON 5 MORE AWARDS IN JANUARY 2009 AWARDED BY THE
TAMPA WRITERS ALLIANCE!! SEE BELOW...
***2009 The PEN AMERICAN CENTER in New York awarded Charlie the OUTSTANDING
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in the 2009 PEN Prison Writing Contest.
***01-21-08 THE TAMPA WRITERS ALLIANCE NAMED CHARLIE THE WINNER IN 3 WRITING
***2008 The PEN AMERICAN CENTER in New York awarded Charlie FIRST PLACE in the 2008 PEN
Prison Writing Contest 'MEMOIR' category for 'Fighting The Ninja'.
***SEE BELOW TO VIEW CHARLIE'S WRITINGS***
|LINK TO 'PEARL GOT STABBED' -
FOREWORD BY SISTER HELEN
PREJEAN, AUTHOR OF 'DEAD MAN
WALKING' - PEN AMERICAN CENTER
|WE WANT TO GRACIOUSLY THANK KIM
WOZENCRAFT, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF
PRISON LIFE MAGAZINE, FOR
PERMISSION TO USE THEIR MATERIAL.
|LINK TO: 1ST PLACE DRAMA AWARD
WINNER 'TATTOO BLUES' IN PRISON
LIFE MAGAZINE - Copyright 1995 by
|THIS IS THE ONLY PICTURE KNOWN
TO EXIST OF THE 'LEGENDARY
'MAMA HERC' CIRCA 1985
PHOTO BY CHARLES NORMAN
|LIFE PRISON EXPERIENCE WITH 'MAMA HERC'
MAMA HERC: by Charlie Norman
In April, 1985, 'Mama Herc' was getting ready to be released
from prison, after a lifetime. I was running the Jaycee Photo
Project from Zephyrhills Correctional and asked Mama Herc
to pose for a photo for historical purposes so years later
people would know what the real Herc looked like. I made 2
copies, one for me and one for Herc. This photo was taken by
the greenhouse at Zephyrhills CI.
When I first met Mama Herc at Raiford in 1980, the original
setting for 'Fighting The Ninja,' he was perhaps 40 pounds
heavier and solid muscle. In between 1980 and 1985, Herc
daylight to dark on the road crews which burned him down to
240 pounds or so - a shadow of his former self. He was still
Mama Herc was released shortly after the photo was taken
and went to St. Petersburg, FL. The 'prison grapevine'
reported that he didn't last long on the outside and was
killed. Mama Herc, whose real name was Alphonia Smith, a
true chain gang legend, lives on in countless apocryphal
stories of his prison exploits.
PLEASE READ 'FIGHTING THE NINJA'