Chilton County a great place to learn the “write” stuff

When I first began searching for places to do an internship, I knew that I wanted to work for a small-town paper. I think the inner Kerouac in me wanted to see that Americana was still alive and kicking. I wanted to go to a place that I could really get to see human interest stories up close and personal.

Well, that, and I knew I didn’t want to be a coffee boy for a hotshot reporter at a big paper. I wanted to learn about journalism, not the proper sugar-to-cream ratio for an entire sports department.

After a little guidance from Ms. Cynthia Shackleford, the wonderful public relations coordinator at the University of Montevallo (to whom I’d like to wish a “get well soon”), I set out to try and get an internship at The Clanton Advertiser. She informed me that there would be no better place to begin in journalism than in Chilton County.

I’ll admit, I was nervous. I’m from Montgomery, so while I’m not from a huge city, I’m not exactly a big expert on small-town life either. I wasn’t sure if people would take kindly to me or not. But still, I knew Ms. Shackleford had a lot of experience in journalism, and I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong.

Everything she told me was spot on.

Since I began writing for the Advertiser in January, I have had nothing but fun. I’ve covered a lot of different things, some sweet, some sad, some funny, and others just downright zany. But I’ve had fun, and it’s been a great place to start a career. I’m pretty sure I find a slice of Americana every day here. Whether it’s an old barbecue shack tucked on a county road somewhere, a church with witty proverbs on its marquee, or kids playing baseball in their front yards, it can be found here. It’s cool to see those things still exist, and places like Chilton County do exist.

I’ve met a lot of wonderful people, too. I have yet (knock on wood) to interview anyone who has been anything less than accommodating and cordial. I have also (again, knocking on wood) not had anyone rip my head off for a misspelled name, silly question, or anything that a rookie journalist might do.

I was pretty excited when I was asked to come back for this summer. I’ve heard great things about that Peach Festival. I want to see it first hand.

I guess the whole point I’m trying to get to is that as a young journalist, I am having a blast being here writing some of the human interest stories I do. I don’t know how long I’ll be around these parts, but I plan to enjoy the time I do have because from where I’m sitting, Chilton County is a pretty cool place for a 22-year-old learning the ropes of journalism.

Clanton

Scenes from the opening of the Blackwood Brothers exhibit in Clanton

Clanton

CCS providing free breakfast, lunch for all students for 2024-25 school year

Clanton

Clanton 6U All Stars win World Series in Albertville

Clanton

Connell presented key to Clanton, receives own day for MLF achievements

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Photos, results and more from the 2024 Chilton County Peach Festival recap

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Relay Queens read to children at the Maplesville Public Library

Clanton

Exhibit held for 70th anniversary of Blackwood Brothers plane crash in Clanton

Clanton

Junior Deputy Academy returns to Chilton County

Clanton

Parole denied for Chilton County offender

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Vaith to serve as Alabama 4-H Ambassador

Clanton

Pass the crown: Deavers ready for fifth year as a Peach Queen

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Rain on our parade: Soggy Peach Parade does not dampen peach spirit in Clanton

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Chilton County Peach Auction sells 33 baskets for over $80,000

Clanton

Applications now open for Leadership Chilton 2025

Clanton

New Peach Queens crowned in Chilton County

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Clanton youth softball teams heading to World Series

Clanton

Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton Hospital among those included in UAB acquisition  

Clanton

Deavers named new Miss Peach Queen for Chilton

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Two Chilton offenders denied parole by board

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Six Isabella FFA students earn state degrees, two win proficiency awards

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Pizza Hut returns to Clanton with new building, familiar faces

Clanton

Crumpton wows judges to win Junior Miss Peach crown

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Harrison crowned as Young Miss Peach Queen

Clanton

Bradley wins Little Miss Peach crown