#3 A.E. Bayne
Haley Hendershot, a poet featured in Feels Blind Literary’s inaugural issue, nominated our third honoree for our 40 Over 40 project, A.E. Bayne. Bayne is a freelance writer, publisher, visual artist, and veteran educator who lives just south of Fredericksburg, Virginia in Bowling Green, though in her nomination, Haley emphasized Bayne’s substantial influence as both a writing and teaching mentor to her over the years.
I am most familiar with A.E. Bayne’s previous work as the founder, editor in chief, designer, and publisher of Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review (FLAR), a gorgeous journal featuring work from new and established writers and artists from across the globe. The journal’s reach seemed to expand with each issue as more and more readers and writers discovered its magic. FLAR still is available online through Issuu and also can be purchased through Peecho.
Haley spoke more to Bayne’s community building in and around the Fredericksburg region, however. She maintains The Write Stuff - Virginia, a writing blog for
educators she hopes to relaunch in a refreshed format this summer, as an offshoot to her consulting work for the Northern Virginia Writing Project. The blog serves to equip teachers with concrete ideas for how to incorporate meaningful writing and reflection into their courses. Bayne has been teaching for eighteen years and has been teaching 8th grade English and creative writing in Prince William County for the past five. While there are many talented writers and artists, that talent doesn’t always translate to the classroom in quite the ways it has for Bayne. Additionally, when one is as gifted of an educator, this doesn’t always translate to being willing to serve as a mentor for other educators in the ways that she has been committed to doing for years.
While she serves as a mentor for other educators, Bayne also invests a great deal in nurturing the literary community in and around Fredericksburg. She was an organizing partner in the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival, one of the largest literary events in the state celebrating self-published or independently published authors. While she describes FLAR as a project that was “so close to my heart,” her work with the festival grew out of that in conjunction with her co-partners, James Noll’s and Chris Jones’, visions for their own writing and work. As described by the event’s site, their goal is to “present the public with an array of authors spanning over a dozen or more genres to promote literacy and share what local, regional, and state authors have to offer.” Although she has moved on to other projects, the festival still is in the capable hands of James and Chris as it continues to grow.
Bayne also writes her own poetry and creative nonfiction, as well as educational content for Newspapers in Education. Her features work and interviews have been included in Fredericksburg Parent Magazine, The Health Journal, and Front Porch Magazine. Since 2013, her photography and visual art has been shown publicly. You can find more information about her shows and images of her artwork here.
We hope our readers can draw inspiration from the ways Bayne mentors others and commit to doing the same. -LC