Get to know SCWC leader John Phillips

John Phillips is one of the most prolific writers you'll ever meet, and he'll be sharing some of his "secrets" to success in his workshop at the 2020 Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference.

His SCWC workshop is titled "How to Sell Your Writing 4 Ways" and will provide easy ways to expand your writing--and moneymaking--scope.

I recently talked to John, who is an accomplished outdoor writer and owner of Nighthawk Publishing, about his writing, his faith, and what he hopes to bring to SCWC attendees on July 24-25 at the conference.

How did you get involved in writing?

Writing was  something I always wanted to do. I loved telling stories, But I knew I didn’t have the knowledge or the skill to become a writer. So, I prayed to the Lord, “I know You’re in the miracle-working business, and I know this will be a giant miracle if You help me become a writer. I’m willing that my writing may not be Your will, and if that’s true, I’ll accept it. However, I’m going to start and count on You to show me, if writing isn’t what You want me to do.”

What projects are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m working on six magazine articles I need to send with photos next week. I have 10 daily uploads to webpages to do. I’m also working on four different books to publish on Amazon before the end of the  summer. I’m hoping to send the first book by the end of next week.

Your workshop for the Virtual SCWC will be on how you can sell your writing in multiple ways. Without giving away your "secrets" ahead of time, what do you hope to provide to attendees of your workshop?

When people write books, they often feel they have knowledge or experiences or have learned  something that will help others. However, if that information isn’t published, it cannot reach a broad audience. The more times  that info is sold, the more people it will  reach and help, and the more money the writer should earn. In my workshop, I plan to explain to the attendees how to sell their work multiple times, like I do.

You don't write Christian or religious works, so how does faith play a part in your writing?

I depend on the Lord for ideas not only for the articles and books I write but for ways to market and earn my living for my family from my writing. I depend on the Lord to introduce me or let me learn about folks whose stories need to be told. Neither my wife or I have other jobs or have any other incomes other than what my writing produces. The Lord has navigated us through the mine field of writing and publishing for the past 45 years and has taught us Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and Luke 12:48 – “From everyone to whom much was given, much will be expected.”

We’ve  been able to live a dream far bigger than we ever could have dreamed. We feel the responsibility to give back to others who dream of one day creating jobs for themselves as writers and creating jobs for others. We’ve had 50 interns through the years, and of that 50, at least 80% of them have found and secured their dream jobs. We believe that  the responsibility of a creative person is to not only create a job for himself/herself but also to create jobs for others by teaching others how to go after their dreams and succeed. We’ve learned the importance of persevering from our Christian lives, and if you don’t quit, you have a very good chance of winning. 

What else might people want to know about you?

Our entire family lives near Birmingham, Ala. Our three children and our seven grandchildren live nearby. Our daughter has two degrees from Samford University, our oldest son has two degrees from Samford University and a master’s degree in language arts from the University of Montevallo besides being a Nationally Certified Teacher, and our special-needs son who lives with us is the heart of our entire family.

All my hobbies are also my work. I enjoy learning all I can about the outdoors and sharing what I learn with my family and my readers. However, I’m not limited to just learning and writing about the outdoors.

I’ve written articles on “How to Raise Better Beef Cattle,” How to Make  Tooth Fairy Pillows,” etc. and books and articles on the brave people whose faith has pulled them through unbelievable tragedies. Although these folks may be disabled, they’ve often lived richer and fuller lives than they’ve ever thought possible without their disabilities - see “Moving Forward:  The Stories of Hometown Heroes” and “Courage.”

I’m also a seeker of wisdom, and when I find any – often in usual places – I keep the wisdom, and that’s what one of  my books. “The Briarpatch Philosopher” contains. Often it’s uncommon wisdom from the people I’ve met along my life’s journey. (Check that book out here:


Join John and the rest of our outstanding faculty at the 2020 Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference on July 24-25. The weekend includes two keynote sessions, 15 live workshops, breakout sessions, a virtual book room, and much more! It costs just $50, and you can still register.

Email for more information.

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