Infected With a Passion For Writing at First Baptist Tuscaloosa

More than 200 people are in attendance at the Southern Christian Writers Conference at First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa.

Even though I teach journalism year-round at The University of Alabama, I rarely am in a setting like the Southern Christian Writers Conference (SCWC) where there is such a passion and enthusiasm for writing.

We’re only through the first two rounds of breakout sessions and the enthusiasm is bubbling over from how to use the Web for communicating our messages to capturing a person’s experience in a personality profile.

Doyce Powell from Dallas, Ga. urged the nearly 200 people in attendance to lift up their hands with every word they write.

“Nothing ever happens if we let things deter us from lifting our hands,” he said.

Powell was one of four previous SCWC attendees who told their stories to kick off the two-day gathering. “These four stories show how different we are as writers,” said Joanne Sloan, SCWC coordinator.

Sloan and her husband, my University of Alabama Journalism Colleague David Sloan, along with their daughter, Cheryl Wray and son, Chris have made this conference a labor of love to which so many of us look forward each summer.

Packed Out for Opening Session

If I had been a few minutes later, I might not have gotten a seat at the opening session this afternoon here in the Fellowship Hall at First Baptist Church in downtown Tuscaloosa. Writers from across the Southeast are here for what is billed as one of the nation’s top gatherings for Christian writers.

So far I’ve met school officials from South Alabama, Children’s book writers from right here in Tuscaloosa metro area. Along with the new friends excited about writing, I also got some sage advice on writing.

“Procrastination is nothing but wasting God’s time,” said Marlaine Peachey of Mandeville, La.

This year many of those speaking at the opening session talked about their experiences at the conference and what it does for their writing

One of Alabama’s Best Profile Writers

He says he once wrote 532 personal columns in a row for a newspaper in Columbus, Miss.Today Delbert Reed shared his secrets to success at a session on Profile Writers.

“I was so busy churning out columns doing my job that I didn’t realize how I might impact a life,” Reed said as he told the story of a woman from nearby Memphis, who wrote to tell him how one of his columns helped her reverse her decision to take her own life.

The stories of writing for impact will be plentiful this weekend.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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