Publisher Bishop Chavers said she saw the need for a statewide general interest publication when she and her husband returned to their native Alabama eight years ago.
“It was a void that I thought would be great to fill. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re having a ball with it,” Chavers said.
“Alabama Magazine” debuted in January. New issues are released bimonthly, and it is available through subscriptions and major booksellers.
Its articles profile Alabama’s unique culture, from Mobile’s Mardi Gras to AquaPalooza on Lake Martin.
Chavers said the magazine is designed to be geographically diverse so it will appeal to urban and rural readers alike.
Walker County is featured twice in the July/August edition of “Alabama Magazine.”
Leo & Susie’s Famous Green Top Bar-B-Que made the cut in “Bama’s Best B.B.Q Joints” and Tallulah Bankhead is the subject of the “Heritage” section.
The Bankhead House and Heritage Center in Jasper, which has a room filled with pictures and mementos from the actress’s life and career, receives a mention as well.
Chavers said that she was not aware of Bankhead’s ties to Alabama before the “Southern siren” was selected to be featured in the magazine.
She said she has enjoyed learning new things about Alabama, and readers have seemed to like what they have seen so far as well.
“The feedback has been awesome. People really enjoy having something that showcases their home state,” Chavers said.
Chavers added the magazine benefits from the talents of two publishing veterans.
Editor-in-chief Sarah Brueggemann grew up in Weeks Bay and spent years along the shores of the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America writing for Time Inc.’s “Coastal Living.”
Art director Lane Gregory formerly worked in art departments at “Southern Living,” “Southern Accents” and “Coastal Living.”
The four issues of “Alabama Magazine” that have been published have already become collector’s items.
Chavers said readers frequently call the magazine’s Homewood office to request back issues.
“Each time we publish, I think there is no way that we can top it, but we do every time,” Chavers said.
The September/October issue includes articles on two Southern fall favorites — pumpkins and tailgating.
A premiere bridal issue of “Alabama Magazine” is scheduled to be released in February 2012. Applications for featured weddings are being accepted at www.alabama-magazine.com.
Chavers said although “Alabama Magazine” is a new publication, it has already developed its own identity.
“You won’t find any opinions in here. There isn’t anything that would alienate anybody. It’s an escape, which is why people want to read magazines like this,” Chavers said.