Sean of the South
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Sean Dietrich, a columnist, novelist, and radio show host, is known for his commentary on life in the American South. His daily column on his blog, "Sean of the South," is littered with stories of frequenting front porches, grocery stores, church socials, weddings and funerals, bars, baseball games, classrooms, and other venues he visits as he searches for stories about everyday people: "The unrecognized, who think they're nothing. People you'll never hear about. The unpopular, unknown, and under-appreciated."
Something we can definitely get behind.
A full-time writer and self-proclaimed “adopted son of Alabama,” his work has appeared in Southern Living, The Tallahassee Democrat, Good Grit, South Magazine, Alabama Living, the Birmingham News, Thom Magazine, The Mobile Press Register, and he has authored seven books.
After losing his father to suicide at age 12, he had to quit school by eighth grade to help support his mother and younger sister. He made a living working construction and doing other odd jobs, like delivering newspapers, catering, cooking and working as a maintenance man. He’s also been playing music for money all over the Southeast since he was 17.
Dietrich has channeled the grief, loneliness, and shame that followed him through his teenage years into his writing. "I spent the first half of my life feeling ashamed of what I went through," he said. "Now I'm proud of the immense suffering and pain." He loves to talk to middle- and high-school students to show them there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
His stories touch on hope, goodness, redemption, and kindness, relating an appreciation for the slower, sweeter pace of Southern life in the towns and farming communities his readers call home.
Why do we love Sean?
Sean’s exemplary creativity affords him the opportunity for endless outlets for storytelling, yet, time and time again his stories are often of rural, everyday people and the magic they possess to impact those around them.