meet the best of 2024

Chad Hutson

Storytelling is our species’ way to communicate, preserve human history, inspire, and connect.

I have been a storyteller from a very young age, starting with an overactive imagination as a young boy growing up in Spokane, Washington, to my move westward working as a newspaper reporter with Washington daily newspapers and the Associated Press. Being too opinionated, I left journalism and went into marketing/communications for the private sector and for the last 15 years, the federal government.

A couple of years ago fate intervened and I received an unsolicited flyer from the University of Washington for a screenwriting class. One year later I typed "Fade In" for the first time and found my true calling. Since then, I've won the Northwest's Bigfoot Screenwriting competition and the Santa Barbara International Screenplay Competition. I have also been named as a two-time second rounder at the Austin Film Festival and have placed in the finals of another ten screenwriting competitions for various features and pilots. Someday, when I grow up, I'd like to be a full-time screenwriter.

Theresa Ann James Shotwell

Dr. Taj Shotwell, aka Theresa Ann James Shotwell, educator, author, poet, screenwriter, playwright and songwriter. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee by a career Army Sargent and a gospel singer/homemaker during segregation as the sixth child of eleven children. Obtained former education in San Francisco where she taught business at colleges and universities while working as an accountant.
Later joined the faculty at FAMU in the business school and later in education. She taught accounting, professional development, educational leadership courses, and Chaired a department before retirement. She has written and published non-fiction and fiction books including a 3-part coming of age in Memphis based on her life called Middle Child. Founder/President of the upcoming day and boarding school called the, Business of Arts Academy International for 7-12th graders.
The keystone for the school is the book she wrote Professional Development for Preprofessionals… She wrote a dramatic faith-based book Maggie: Never Bitter which she adapted as a musical and won awards. The related album of 16 songs is sold on iTunes. Her book Family and Faith, is an inspirational memoir of fifty short stories/poems about several generations of family and friends in Memphis and her international travels. On her birthday in 2019, Taj humbly received a “Memphis Living Legends Award. “ Taj currently lives in Tallahassee. Has one daughter and two grandchildren.