We are excited to introduce you to the professionals who will be leading workshop sessions at the 2020 Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference.
You will have access to two keynote addresses and 15 workshops (in addition to panels, breakout sessions, and other sessions)--all on a variety of topics of interest to aspiring and published writers alike.
Our session on podcasting will be led by communications strategist and writer Terry Wilhite. His passion for communicating his faith is infectious, and his session on podcasting will get you even more excited about the possibilities for communicating in today's world.
I recently talked with Terry about his background, his faith, and his excitement about this year's conference.
Tell me a little bit about your writing background, and what you're doing now.
Communication has always been a passion. In going through stuff at my home recently, I found a third grade report card that read I would learn more if I didn’t think I had to be the center of attention. Speaking, writing and … not enough, listening, has been my life.
I earned a Broadcast Journalism and Political Science degree from Troy University, went on to produce news at WSFA in Montgomery, Alabama, for a short time. Then I had a 19 year run as communications director for Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Greenville, Alabama. There I was a local editor for Alabama Living, a rural electric magazine. I was writer, photographer and designer. I really learned a lot. One day I found myself in the middle of a crisis and had no idea that the experience would be the foundation on which I would specialize in crisis communication, helping leaders of organizations strategically connect at the worst possible time. I was was then the communications director for Baldwin County, Alabama Public Schools, with 4,000 employees and 30,000 plus students.
Now I am making a dream come true; I have my own communications business. Over the years, I’ve written music and technology magazine articles for pastoral and worship magazines. Today, as a communications strategist, I am able to combine all of my life and work experiences and offer them in my own business to help others, and I am thrilled and blessed.
How does faith intersect with your writing? I am absolutely convinced that we are living in a unique time, at least in modern history, where God is working in a global way to point people to redemption through the Lord Jesus. For a recent podcast, I interviewed the head of Jesus.net, who reports that more than 7,000 people EACH DAY indicate, online, that they want to trust Jesus as Savior. Thousands more are literally Googling for relief each day.
Everything within me wants to be a part of the work God is doing. We have not only the best message of all-time, we have the ONLY message that provides true peace, true hope, true joy, true purpose. He has uniquely gifted each of us, as writers, for this very time. In regards to your SCWC workshop: why is podcasting important these days? First, let me shout to high heaven how much of a blessing the Southern Christian Writers Conference has been for me. I’ve attended almost since its start. I’ve learned more about writing from the conference than I have any other place, including college, which was really good. The time together is as much a spiritual revival for me as it is a learning experience.
I believe in demystifying whatever it is I’m teaching. Podcasting is simply an audio show online, plain and simple. Sound is recorded, edited if you choose, and posted on a web site. It’s fun and can be nearly free to do. Writers often interview people for their columns. Those interviews could easily be edited and posted as a podcast.
My podcast is called I LOVE FLIP.com, which comes from my family nickname. I announce on my show, when you say, “Hey Flip!,” that you’re part of the family. Flip also stands for Faith. Life. in Play. Putting into play, faith in Jesus Christ, in life and in work. My show helps listeners through the crazy work day and through difficult times in life.
What do you hope to teach workshop attendees at this year's SCWC? It is my prayer to excite folks that while writing is our “common denominator” – our common ground – is the wonderful truth that God has invited us and even commanded us to “go ye therefore” and share the Good News. We, as Jesus communicators, need to absolutely saturate life with the Good News of Jesus, in every possible format and every possible venue, using our gifts of writing and creativity.
There is a thirst like never before – largely created by Corvid-19 – for a sure foundation, for peace, hope, joy. A future. Many don’t even see a future. We have THE only message that delivers and it never stops delivering.
I’m afraid often we want the “big gig” – the bestseller – and we forget we serve a big God who specializes in small things. Who would, after all, send a baby to be the Savior? Our small thing may be a card or letter, a podcast or a prayer that is berthed into stinkyness of life and changes a soul now and for eternity.
What do you think about the SCWC going virtual this year?
I’m excited about the SCWC and will miss seeing everybody in person; but then again, who would have ever imagined in their wildest dreams I’d have “everybody over at the house” for my session. I’m looking forward to having y’all over.