We're so pleased to have University of Alabama journalism professor Dr. George Daniels joining us at the 2020 Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference. He will lead a workshop on the important topic of "Social Media for Writers."
George lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but is originally from and still calls Richmond, Virginia home. He loves bowling, although he hasn't done much of it during the last few months,
I recently had the chance to talk with George about his background, how faith can intersect with writing (especially during this unique time), and what he hopes to impart to SCWC attendees this year.
Tell me a little bit about your academic background, and what sort of writing you've done over the years. This fall, I will be starting my 18th year on the faculty at the University of Alabama. In the Department of Journalism and Creative Media, I teach students how to write basic news stories (for print or online platforms) and those news items for television or electronic platforms. This comes from my professional background in local television news where I worked for eight years in three media markets. I have degrees in news-editorial journalism (Howard University) and journalism/mass communication (University of Georgia) Your workshop will be on social media. What is the importance of social media for writers today? My answer to this question has changed in the last three months. Before the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, I viewed social media for writers as a good thing to have to reach new audiences for your writing. Engaging with readers is important in all areas of writing and media. Now, in the age of social distancing, social media has become a vital link for bridging the gap introduced by physical distance. It is a necessary component for functioning in our current technological environment. This our writing must take this into account.
If you could give one piece of advice on social media or other modern tools for writers, what would that be?
Identify at least one social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and make it your primary focus. Don’t try to be an expert in all platforms to the point where it consumes a disproportionate amount of your time. Writers today excel best when they can understand the conventions of the various platforms and choose one or two that work best for them. You can have a presence on others, but not focus on them. My favorite social media is Twitter. You can follow me there @BamaProducer
What do you hope to instill in your workshop attendees this year?
My workshop will focus less on “how to” for all of the various platforms and more on the WHY for the Christian writer. We are saved, sanctified and social on social media. What does that mean? God is a seasonal God. He tells us “to everything there is a season.” I believe this is the season for us as people of faith to be engaged on social media, but also to recognize it’s just one tool for what God has called us to write.
Join George and the rest of our outstanding faculty at the 2020 Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference, which will take place online on July 24-25. Registration is just $50 and includes two keynote sessions, 15 workshops, panels, awards ceremony, breakout sessions, optional pitch sessions with agents and publishers...and more!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.