Storytelling school

Writer Sean Dietrich brings his brand of Southern storytelling to the Library of Birmingham event « The Official Website for the City of Birmingham, Alabama

By Chanda Temple

On a recent Tuesday morning at a Birmingham-area park, Sean Dietrich trains his newly adopted, but blind, dog.

Her name is Marigold the Magnificent and she has become something of a celebrity. She was blinded by abuse and left behind a tire shop in Mississippi. When Sean discovered her last month, he welcomed Marigold. Since then, Sean has written about the rescue and rehabilitation of Marigold, earning thousands of likes about it on his social media pages and website,

“I have a thing for the underdog, literally, because I’m the underdog,” he said. “Watching a creature that has been trivialized, finding itself, if you will, all of a sudden becoming something very precious, very special, not just to me but to others, it means a lot to me. prove the person who hurt her wrong.”

Sean, novelist, columnist and podcast host, commonly referred to as “Sean of the South”, offers commentary on life in the American South. He not only writes about Marigold, but also about her love for Waffle House, the people who write to her for advice and more. In March 2022, he and his 18-year-old wife, Jamie, moved to Avondale. New to town, Sean even wrote about getting a library card at the Birmingham Public Library.

On Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m., Sean will return to the Downtown Library to share some of his stories, bring Marigold, and sign copies of his recently released book, “You Are My Sunshine.” details on how Sean and Jamie cycled from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC and the interesting people they met along the way. (Reservations for this free event are sold out.)

“Libraries, for me, they saved my life,” said Sean, 39. never stop reading. And the reason I never stopped reading is because the librarians encouraged me to keep reading. ” (He eventually mastered high school and earned a college degree.)

“I walked into a library and I knew I wouldn’t receive any judgment from these good people. I knew I wouldn’t feel any less than,” he said. library.”

“You Are My Sunshine” covers a lot of topics, including Jamie’s cancer scare and how not to be paralyzed by fear. For most of his life, Sean has been afraid of things – big things and small things. He tried his luck doing something he had never done before, which was riding a three-wheeled bicycle for nearly 400 miles. He hopes his book will encourage people to be brave enough to explore a new frontier of their own.

“I feel real power when I’m able to do something that I never thought I could do, no matter how small,” he said. “Do things you don’t think you can do.”

When Sean moved to Birmingham, he found a love for the city’s cuisine, breweries and hiking Ruffner Mountain. It was at Ruffner Mountain that he formulated what to put in his next unpublished book, a novel called “Kinfolk”. Her advice for writers and aspiring writers is to learn to be comfortable with yourself and write how you speak. He does it in the way he writes about Marigold, and he does it for so many other projects.

“No matter your flaws or your strengths, make it your goal to be comfortable with yourself and your voice,” he said. “You’re not trying to write the perfect book or blog. You’re just trying to be comfortable with who you are.