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Rita Aiken Moritz









     Pell City, Alabama's culture became richer when Rita Moritz moved here ten years ago from Virginia. As well as bringing her love of poetry and writing with her, she also brought fresh ideas to the artists and poets of Alabama. The only thing she loves more than the Arts is bringing hope and encouragement to hurting people. She does that both through her speaking and her writing.

Perhaps her best biographical information was best given in a recent article about her that was published in the local newspaper.

A Precious Gift:
Author Spotlight on Rita Aiken Moritz

By Urainah Glidewell

?How do you know you can?t if you have never even tried?? These are the words that encourage me at the end of every email Rita Aiken Moritz has sent me over the past three years.

Mrs. Moritz is a writer, poet, blogger, editor, and inspirational speaker who often speaks at churches, civic groups, and ladies? conferences. She is also the founder and president of Writers Anonymous, a local group of creative poets who meet the first Thursday of every month in Pell City. Collectively, they have garnered over 75 poetry awards during the past year. They have organized the Mid-Winter Writer?s Conference held in Pell City for the past three years. The conference has grown in attendance and offers an array of workshops for writers of every genre and level of experience. Moritz is the fearless leader, the perpetual cheerleader, the gentle guide, and tenacious teacher of this inspired group.

?I love words and the people who write them. I consider it a privilege to be able to encourage them and be a part of their success,? Moritz stated.

Rita Aiken Moritz is the author of Precious Poems: A Journey of Hope which was published in 2013. She has been published in Educational Leadership, Indeed magazine, and Open Windows, and has won numerous awards for her poetry. She has recently published her second book, So You Love a Prodigal. Inspired by her personal journey which she chronicles in her blog ?A Way in the Wilderness Blog? that reaches over 25,000 people from all over the world every month, her newest endeavor has been years in the making.

According to her website, ritamoritz.com, the mission of Precious Prodigal is ?to provide help, hope, and encouragement to the families of prodigals so those families can grow spiritually and find peace, serenity, and even joy in their lives. God uses broken things, and we believe God will use people in spite of and perhaps even because of their circumstances.?

In her book, Rita meets the readers where they are, in their brokenness, and walks with them through the heartbreak of loving a prodigal. With a conversational approach, she dares to address questions like: ?Why my family?? and ?Who?s to blame?? Encouragement, hope, and a call to action are the central themes of So You Love a Prodigal. Readers are assured with simple words and Biblical examples that God is still in control, their story isn?t finished, and they are not alone.

?I am overwhelmed by the people who have lined up to support and promote this book,? Rita stated. Her book has been endorsed by David Bennett, editor of ?Homelife? and by Jennifer Rash, editor-elect of ?The Alabama Baptist.? Moritz has been a consummate supporter of all of those around her, encouraging and revealing in their successes, so it is natural to support and encourage her in return.

Mrs. Moritz has lived in Pell City for eleven years with her husband, Harry Moritz. She has taught in the Alabama Court Referral Program for the past ten years, while pursuing her love of writing. She is a member of Alabama Writers? Conclave, Alabama Writers Forum, Alabama State Poetry Society, along with other state poetry societies. She and her husband are also the editors of the Alabama State Poetry Society's monthly newsletter, the Muse Messenger.

She will be attending an author expo and book signing at Chelsea General Store, 14555 Highway 280, Chelsea, Alabama on Saturday, December 10 from 10 am-2 pm. She will be featured along with other local authors, including Stephanie Rodda, Cabot Barden, Trailon Johnson, Ellen Sallas, Betty Smith, William Thornton, Marian Powell, Karen Allen, Shirley Aaron, Audrey Pitt and myself.

If you would like more information on her book So You Love a Prodigal please visit:

She is a member of the Alabama State Poetry Society. Retirement hasn't slowed Rita down, and, among her other accomplishments, she is the founder of Writers Anonymous, a poetry group that meets monthly to share their poetry and both challenge and encourage other poets. Rita's first poetry book "
Precious Poems: A Journey of Hope," was published in July, 2013.

     In 1993, Rita's article "Tough Love for Kids at Risk" appeared in "Educational Leadership." Since that time she has continued to be involved with and concerned about families that are hurting. Rita is an instructor in the North Alabama Court Referral Services, Inc. She also mentors and encourages women from a half-way house. She has continued to write poetry and other things and has published two non-fiction books entitled "So You Love a Prodigal" and its "So You Love a Prodigal Supplemental Workbook" and is posting to the A Way in the Wilderness Blog. She also speaks at churches and other organizations and institutions on a variety of subjects.
  • Accreditation: Alabama Office of the Courts: Certification as Court Referral Education Program Instructor -
         State of Alabama; 2006 to Present.
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen, born in Massachusetts.
  • C.E.U.'s as needed annually to maintain Alabama Office of the Courts Certification.
  • Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts Training: Court Referral Program Instructor.
  • Self-taught programs and procedures for internet web design.
  • College courses in Substance Abuse Treatment and group counseling techniques as well as undergraduate core classes in
         English, Math and other required classes.
  • Work-related training including "constructive 360 degree feedback," conflict resolution, communication skills, written and oral presentation, and communication, personal computers, spreadsheets, plain language, speaking, problem solving and
    writing adult training.
  • Betz Business College: Presidents List; 4.0 GPA; graduated with highest honors.

  • "
    Precious Poems: A Journey of Hope," published in July, 2013.
  • One of three featured Poets for a community-wide "Night of Poetry" on April 21, 2012.
  • The Greenville (AL) Standard Newspaper. A local newspaper that in 2011 published some of Rita's Poetry.
  • The Grapevine. Quarterly Christian magazine. Poetry appeared in several issues.
  • Educational Leadership. Article: "Tough Love for Kids at Risk" November, 1993.
  • 360 Degree Feedback. Assisted in the development of and participated in the production of this training film on how to give and receive constructive feedback.
  • Was invited and appeared in a television presentation of my poetry.
  • RitaMoritz.com - Blogging on A Way in the Wilderness Blog started June, 2011. Website at RitaMoritz.com and associated Electronic Social Media Platform established in April, 2012.
  • Writers Anonymous - A small non-profit website for a local writing group founded by Rita. This group focuses on poetry
         and other genre and sponsors local community writing contents. Assisted in preparation and provided input to pages
         specifically aimed towards writers and poetry. Design, preparation, and implementation of content, display and
         linkage relationships with ongoing maintenance. 3 Years Experience.
  • NewHopeBaptistPC.org- A small church website. Assisted in preparation and provided input to pages specifically aimed
         towards ladies. Design, preparation, and implementation of content, display and linkage relationships with ongoing
         maintenance. This was a volunteer position. 4 Years Experience.
  • Help-With.us - A small business website. 35+ pages w/ many graphics and internal and external links. Continue to assist
         with comprehensive page and website design as well as preparation and implementation of content, display and
         linkage relationships.
         12 Years Experience.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Superior knowledge of customer service skills and practices.
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving skills.
  • Advanced knowledge of business processes and services.
  • Mother of six now adult children experienced and addressed the many difficulties that raising these children entailed.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse level of employees with confidence, empathy, and diplomacy.
  • Experience with teaching, directing, supervising, evaluating, and organizing.
  • Extensive experience with Quality Control in regard to written correspondence and data-base verification and data entry.
  • 2012 - Present: Founder and member of Writers Anonymous, a poetry group formed in St. Clair County, Alabama.
  • 2007 - Present: Community Adult Education Instructor for St. Clair County Board of Education.
  • 2006 - Present: State of Alabama Court Referral Education Program Instructor as an independent contractor for the
         Northern Alabama Court Referral Service.
  • 2000 - Present: Founder and Owner of "Help-With.us" an Internet-based business that provides training in personal
         computer use and maintenance; personal finance; plain language communications; life skills; and training in
         computer operations and maintenance.
  • 1992 - 2000: Financial/Membership Services Project Assistant: Quality Control, training, mentoring of fellow data entry
         staff and assisting in evaluation of department training needs. Primary staff person responsible for problem solving
         and communicating with ASCD Affiliates, evaluating training needs. Responsible for composing and editing letters
         for department and for streamlining functional processes.
  • English and Business Education Teacher: Taught business education and English to high school students in a Christian
         school. Subjects included shorthand, typing, accounting, business math, business English, telephone etiquette,
         resumes, and other business-related subjects.
  • 1980-1981: Administrative Assistant, Education Department: Hillsborough County (FL) Correctional Facility. Interacted
         with young inmates and acted as liaison between Director and inmates as well as between Director and staff teachers.
         2 Years Experience.
  • 1979-1992: Full time and Part time Administrative Assistant to Dr. Walter S. Beebe, founder of Beebe Publications and
         Beebe Evangelistic Association and a respected, nationally known leader in the Independent Baptist community.

   o  Outstanding Administrative and Case Management Experience:

  • Administrative Assistant to the Director of Education Department of a minimum security state (FL) prison for first time youthful
         offenders. 2 Years Experience.
  • Facilitating and co-facilitating a unipolar depression support group on the premise of self determination and being pro-active in one's own recovery. 2 Years Experience.
  • Teaching English and Business Education to high school grades 10-12. 2 Years Experience.
  • Assisting in training of peers in customer service and use of computer technology in Financial Services Unit of a national educational association. 2 Years Experience.

       o  Superior Computer, Internet and Software Expertise:
    Assisting Using the internet for technical research and information gathering. 13+ Years Experience.
    Assisting in internet web page design. 10+ Years Experience.
    Using Computers: 16+ Years Experience with Windows System programs including:
    Text Programs: MS-Word; WordPerfect; Acrobat Reader/Writer; and MS-NotePad
    Spreadsheets: Excel and Lotus
    Internet Use: AdAware/tracking programs; malware; anti-virus; cookies; and searches
    Explorer Search Tool: Disk and file maintenance and management
    E-Mail: Email Security; E-Mail handlers; identity theft; credit card fraud; and phishing

    o  Outstanding Program and Personnel Management:
    Teaching technical and vocational subjects to teenagers and adults with diverse academic backgrounds and abilities. 6+ Years Experience.
    Developed and taught courses in relationships, financial management, and drug and alcohol abuse for parents for St. Clair County Community Education. 4 Years Experience.
    Developed and taught a curriculum for high school business classes to include shorthand, typing, business math, and bookkeeping. 6 Years Experience.
    Developed and conducted poetry workshops for both elementary and special needs students. 4 Years Experience.

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