The 2018 Workshop will be held

Friday and Saturday, June 8-9

Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala., at First Baptist Church

Time: Registration will start at 11 a.m. Friday, and sessions at 1:00 p.m.

On Saturday, doors will open at 8:00 a.m. The workshop will end at 4:00 p.m.

Four of our SCWC staff members — Joanne Sloan, Cheryl Wray, David Sloan, and Christopher Sloan — all of whom are successful published writers, will also give presentations. You can check them out by clicking here.


TESSA HALL  -  Topic: “How To Submit to an Agent”

Tessa Hall is an author and Jr. agent for Hartline Literary Agency. She works with authors in general and Christian markets. She also has been YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Books imprint) and is the founding editor of PursueMagazine.net.

Hartline, which has more than 200 author clients, describes itself as “one of the longest established agencies serving the Christian book community, and though we specialize in that market we do work with general interest books as well….

“We work with many award winning authors and seek to add both published and promising new authors to our list. Our core strength is representing inspirational fiction and non-fiction books for adults…. We represent most genres in inspirational or commercial fiction except science fiction and fantasy….

“Hartline ... strives to be accessible. Our brand is ‘The Agency with Heart.’ Our clients often tell us that we are friendly and service-oriented, and that they enjoy being represented by Hartline. We’re proud of our reputation, and also of the rapport we’ve built with major publishers.”

Along with agenting, Tessa has published two novels, Unwritten Melody and Purple Moon (a 2014 Selah Award Finalist in Debut Novel and YA Fiction).

She blogs at http://christiswrite.blogspot.com


KEYNOTE ADDRESS:   “Everyone Has a Story — How Will

You Tell Yours?”

WORKSHOP SESSION: “Working with a Magazine Editor”

David Bennett is managing editor of HomeLife, the flagship magazine of LifeWay Christian Resources, and content editor for Open Windows, LifeWay’s longest running devotional publication. He also has served as editor of LifeWay Christian Resources.

He joined LifeWay as an editor and specialist, training student leaders throughout the country. Prior to taking over as editor of HomeLife and Open Windows, he was responsible for ideas, design, and production of Lifeway’s student ministry resources and programs.

He has worked as an editor and writer since 1988. Along with his work at Lifeway, he is author of Critical Decisions: Clarity in the Journey (Serendipity House) and co-author of Share Jesus Without Fear (LifeWay Press). For the past eleven years he has been a contributor for The Athlete’s Bible (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). For the past three years, he has written the curriculum for Chic-fil-A’s WinShape Camps for Boys.

He edited the first Beth Moore student resource, co-hosted the Experiencing God Youth Video Series with Henry Blackaby, and coordinated the First Place youth health program. He also led in the production of youth Vacation Bible School resources, the Positive Impact Teen Violence Intervention Campaign, and materials for new Christian assimilation.

He worked in professional student ministry more than thirty years in South Carolina and Tennessee, directing regional and national youth events and communicating with key leadership. He has served as camp pastor for CentriKid Camps and taught creative dramatics, Bible, and mixed woodwinds.

He attended Clemson University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


KEYNOTE ADDRESS: “Never, Never Give Up”

WORKSHOP SESSION: “Investing in Your Writing”

Austin Boyd is an award-winning author who writes extensively about faith issues related to technology, business, and Islam. He has published award-winning poetry and more than two dozen technical articles and papers during his career as a Navy pilot, NASA astronaut finalist, and spacecraft engineer. 

He is well known within the Christian writing community for a concept he calls “invest in yourself,” teaching authors how to invest in their writing craft and in the marketing and sales of their work.

The author of seven novels, he is a Christy Gold Medal finalist (for The Proof, 2007) and the winner of the Mount Hermon “Pacesetter Award.”

He has written for AMG Publishers, Zondervan, the B&H Publishing Group, and NavPress, the publishing arm of the Navigators in Colorado Springs, Colo.

He has novels in progress based on themes tied to faith dilemmas in bioethics, a Christian layman’s guide to Islam, and a forthcoming suspense series titled The Enemy Within. His other novels include Nobody’s Child (book #1 of The Pandora Files), H2O and its sequel, O2 (the first books in The Eternal Elements series), and a Mars Hill Classified trilogy.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Whitespace Innovations, Inc., a business growth consulting company based in Huntsville, Ala.

He is active in local ministry activities with Choose Life of North Alabama, the nation’s third busiest crisis pregnancy center, and with First Baptist Church of Huntsville, where he has served as a teacher, deacon, and evangelist.


KAREN MOORE  -  Topics: (1) “Writing Children’s Books”

(2) “Writing Devotional Books”

Karen Moore is an award-winning author of more than sixty books.

Her inspirational and devotional books cover a wide range of topics and include daily devotionals and gift book formats. She is a regular author with Christians Art Gifts and has published with Simon & Schuster, Faith Words, Thomas Nelson, and Abingdon Press.

Her numerous books for children include How Noah Knew What to Do, illustrated by the renowned artist Pete Kersten, and two books for the “Little Angels” series with Roma Downey. She works to develop children’s books and specialty concepts for several publishers.

She also utilizes her writing talents as a greeting card professional. She teaches greeting card writing and has published nearly 10,000 greeting cards. She works with American Greetings, DaySpring Cards, and other publishers to develop card lines and concepts.

She also has written several books for teens and tweens, including one for Joyce Meyer.

She is a much sought after conference speaker and a mentor for authors and other aspiring artists. She addresses a variety of inspirational, mo-tivational, and practical writing tips to writer’s groups and other specialty groups across the country.

Her work in all the areas of publishing has served her well as a mentor and coach for authors. She listens with her heart, writes with compassion, and filters out what’s important. Karen’s goal is always to create the best possible work for her readers and her clients.

She has an M.Ed. degree and has taught in both grade schools and colleges.

JENNIFER DAVIS RASH Topic: “Working with Christian

Editors” (small-group Q&A)

Jennifer will be holding small-group meetings with individuals who might be interested in writing for newspapers or developing a relationship with a faith-based publication. You do not have to make an appointment. The sessions will be held at three times on Friday. She also will be available to meet individually with attendees.

Jennifer Davis Rash is editor-elect of The Alabama Baptist (TAB), the newspaper serving Baptists affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and other Baptist and evangelical Christian groups.

She oversees the weekly production of TAB in all its formats (print, digital, social media, etc.).

She has worked at TAB since 1996, filling roles such as news writer, news editor, managing editor (2002-2011), executive editor (2011-present), and now editor-elect.

The Alabama Baptist has the largest circulation of all Southern Baptist state papers in the nation and one of the largest circulations of any publication in Alabama. It has won more than 200 national awards during Jennifer’s tenure, including top regional Christian newspaper in the nation for more than 20 years.

She has personally won national writing awards for investigative reporting, news writing, feature writing, blog writing and for online, broadcast, and video work. 

She is an honors graduate of the University of Alabama, where she won the Outstanding Journalism Student Award, and has a master’s of theological studies from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham.

Jeninfer has served in leadership positions with Baptist Communicators Association, Associated Church Press and Religion Communicators Council.

You can follow her @RashionalThts on Twitter or at www.rashionalthoughts.com

GEORGE DANIELS  -  Topic: “Using Social Media in Your Writing”

George Daniels is a professor at the University of Alabama, where he serves as Assistant Dean for Administration in the College of Communication and Information Science.

He specializes in media convergence and multimedia.

Prior to going into academia, he worked eight years as a writer and producer for television stations in Richmond, Va., Cincinnati, and Atlanta. He also worked as a freelance writer and edited a campus ministry magazine. He is a member of Cornerstone Full Gospel Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he produces a weekly e-newsletter and works as part of the technology ministry.

He received his B.A. degree from Howard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

SHEREE MARTIN  -  Topic: “Copyright and Other Legal Issues

for Writers”

Sheree Martin is a freelance writer, podcaster, and attorney, among other things.

She is a member of the Alabama state bar and an inactive member of the Florida bar. She received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1987 and the LL.M. from the University of Florida in 1989.

She also has a Ph.D. in mass communication and a B.A. in broadcasting from the University of Alabama.

Along with practicing law, she spent 10 years as a college professor and has taught such courses as media law and writing at Oklahoma State University, the University of Alabama, and Samford University.

Along with law and writing, she specializes in internet technologies, web analytics, social media, and social networking.

BRUCE R. BARBOUR  -  Topic: “Writing Your Book-and-Marketing

Proposal to Land (1) an Agent and (2) a Publisher”

Bruce Barbour is one of the world’s most notable names in Christian publishing.

    He is the fourth generation of a publishing family that has served authors and publishers for more than 140 years. In 1870, his great-grand uncles, Fleming H. Revell and Dwight Moody, started publishing Christian books.

   Among his various activities, he co-founded Barbour and Company and served as its executive vice president from 1983 to 1986. Today it is a leading Christian publisher. He has held executive positions at several publishing houses, including Fleming H. Revell Company (family-owned business sold in 1979), Barbour and Company, Thomas Nelson (VP, Publisher, 1986-1993), and Random House (VP, Publisher, 1994-1996).

    In 1997, Bruce founded Literary Management Group, Inc., a full-service literary agency and publishing consulting firm that has represented best-selling authors and properties including Zig Ziglar, Sandra Felton, and The Beginner’s Bible and consulted with publishing houses including Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Gospel Light, Pneuma Life, Legacy, New Hope, White Stone Books, and others. His expertise in editorial, sales, marketing, and management provides superior counsel and ad­vice for both authors and publishers.

    At the SCWC, he will be available for free, individual consultations.

Three LITERARY AGENTS will be available throughout the conference for individual sessions with attendees.

One is Tessa Hall of the Hartline Literary Agency. You can find detailed information about her below.

Bruce Barbour and Karen Moore (husband and wife) of the Literary Management Group in Nashville, Tenn.,

also will be available. You can find detailed information about them above.

Bruce Barbour in 1997, drawing on his extensive background in publishing, founded Literary Management Group, a full-service literary agency and publishing consulting firm that has represented many best-selling authors and properties.

Karen Moore has held executive positions at Thomas Nelson, American Greetings, DC Cook, and Gibson Greetings. She has agented, written, and published children’s and a variety of other books.

JOE McKEEVER  -  Topic: “Writing Effective Blogs”

Joe McKeever is a pastor, writer, cartoonist, and speaker. His weekly Internet article — which goes to a list of more than 3,000 — is often reprinted by Baptist Press and various other publications.

Baptist Press also runs one of his cartoons daily on its website (www.bpnews.net/cartoons), and from there it gets a worldwide audience.

He also writes a series on “My Favorite Deacon” for Lifeway’s Deacon Magazine, blogs daily for church leaders at www.joemckeever.com, and has published a number of books. They include several collections of cartoons and, most recently, Help! I’m a Deacon.

He also writes for pastoral magazines such as Leadership, Preaching, and Pulpit Helps and illustrates books.

After many years as a church pastor in North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, he served as Director of Missions for New Orleans. Retired from that position, he frequently serves as a guest preacher for numerous churches.

Along with his daily blog, he has a very large following on Facebook.

For registration information, click here.



GRETCHEN COOK  -  Topic: “Writing for Regional


Gretchen Cook is owner and editor of Parents & Kids Magazine. She founded it in 2003. Since then, the magazine has grown from six to 60 issues a year, with five regional editions.

She began her career as a librarian and, as librarians sometimes are prone to do, believed she could write at least as well as the authors of the materials she was handling. That led to her launching a freelance writing business, which led to her becoming an editor, which in turn led her to become a publisher.

She considers Parents & Kids a writers’ incubator and is willing to work with new writers. She says that some of her proudest moments have been when she has had to part ways with writers because she could no longer keep them!

She conducts annual writers’ summits to advise new writers on how to get published. Additionally she has taught “Get your words in print” workshops in the enrichment program at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. 

She believes it is important for Christians to seek publication in all types of publication — both secular and Christian. “The more we can get our values in print,” she says, “the greater an impact we can have on culture.”

LARRY CLAYTON  -  Topic: “Writing Essays for


Larry Clayton writes a weekly column on current events for the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. He is a professor emeritus of history from the University of Alabama, where he taught for 42 years.

Along with writing his weekly column, he has published numerous books. Many of them are historical or about Latin America, but he also has published several on Christian themes, including Cleared for Landing: On Living a Christian Life and Work and Wealth in Scripture. He is a leading expert on Bartolomé de las Casas, a notable 16th-century Spanish missionary to the Americas. For his contributions to the study of Latin American history, in 2015 Larry was inducted as a Knight Commander of the Imperial Order of Charles V in Spain, and in 2017 he was inducted into Spain’s Royal Hispanic American Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.

While teaching at the University of Alabama, he directed the Latin American Studies Program from 1980 to 1992 and served as chair of the Department of History in 2000-2007 and as Interim Chair in 2009-2010. He also held two Senior Fulbright Lecturing Awards, one in Costa Rica and one in Peru, and a year-long Pew Evangelical Scholars Fellowship.

In addition to writing, he has participated since 2000 in a Christian jail ministry program at the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a weekly basis.

After graduating with a B.A. from Duke University, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He received his Ph.D. in history from Tulane University.

CHANDRA SPARKS SPLOND  -  Topic: “How To Write

a Novel”

Chandra Sparks Splond is an editor, blogger, speaker and award-winning author of novels that empower and inspire young adult and middle-grade readers.

Her young adult novel Spin It Like That was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and The Pledge was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.

She is also the author of He’s Got Game, The Promise, The Greatest Gift of All, You’ve Gotta Have Faith, Make It Work, and a book of poetry, Lessons in Life: Poems about Love, Laughter and Loss.

Her editing clients include New York Times, USA Today, and Essence best-selling authors. In addition to working for Kensington Publishing as its consulting editor for Arabesque romance, she has also done work for Random House, Moody Publishers, Kimani Press (formerly known as BET Books), and Hyperion. She has also worked for Good Housekeeping, Black and Married with Kids, Brown Girls Books, Brides Noir, Weddingpages, Newsday, The Morning Call, and Romantic Times.

She is the owner of West End Publishing, LLC.

Her blog, Book of Splond, shares original content that helps women balance faith, family, and fiction.

JULIE MORRIS  -  Topic: “How To Write a Nonfiction


Julie Morris is an internationally recognized author of 12 books and a popular motivational speaker.

Her books include Guided By Him…to a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You — a 12-week weight-loss program and Bible study. Guided By Him has recently been translated into Spanish.

She has also written nine books in her Step Forward series, published by Abingdon Press, and two books published by New Hope, From Worry to Worship and From Worthless to Worthy.

She has been a Bible teacher for more than 30 years and works as a lay counselor at her church. She previously worked as a secretary at the Pentagon, Spanish teacher, Coronary Intensive Care nurse, and supervisor of a large hospital medical-surgical unit.

Her passion, she says, is sharing the encouraging message that she learned the hard way: God changes weaknesses to strengths and misery to ministry. She has received encouraging e-mails, from as far away as New Zealand and South Africa, saying how life-changing her words have been. "Thanks to Julie's teaching,” a typical one said, “I have grown spiritually in ways I never thought possible.”