SWA Presenter Spotlight: Sheila Hudson

As I announced in December, I will be teaching a workshop on journalistic writing at the 35th annual Southeastern Writers Association conference in June 2010.

To gear up for that, I am featuring some interviews and spotlights with this year’s presentersFor more SWA Presenter Spotlights, click the appropriately-named category in the right-hand sidebar.

Next up is freelance writer and short fiction expert Sheila Hudson.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Long-time board member of the Southeastern Writers Association, Sheila Hudson is published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Chocolates for Women series, God Allows U-Turns series, Stories from the Heart series, Taking Education Higher, Stories from the Border, and God’s Vitamin C.

Not only is Hudson a correspondent for Athens Banner-Herald, but she also contributes profiles, features, essays, humorous takes on life, how-to, and travel articles to several print and online publications such as The Christian Standard, Lookout Magazine, Athens Magazine, and Athens Parent.

For more information about Hudson or to see samples of her work, please visit her Web site.

THE INTERVIEW

RS:  How did you get into writing?

SH: I was recovering from surgery and writing in my journal when I decided to write about a significant family event.  It was very personal, so it took me some time to write it and submit to a magazine.  I had had a few publications before coming to SWA in 1993.

Hudson

RS:  What keeps you writing?

SH: I think the most significant thing is that I want to share thoughts and experiences with others.  I write primarily nonfiction, so I use my own experiences to hopefully benefit others, such as “how to coupon” and “travel tips.”

I also write for newspapers, women’s magazines, and Christian periodicals.

RS:  What do you do when you’re not writing?

SH: I live 45 minutes from my seven grandsons—the magnificent seven.  Whenever possible, I am with them.

My husband is a certified meeting planner, so I travel with him on business to seek out sites that he is responsible for.  We enjoy traveling for business and/or pleasure.

I knit, crochet, and sew.  We collect movies and enjoy serving on the Southeastern Writers Association board.  I became a member of SWA in 1993 and a board member in 2003.

Hudson, her husband Tim, and the "Magnificent Seven."

RS:  What draws you to writing for anthologies?

SH: The anthologies are popular because of their brevity, which is a strong suit for me.  Also, these essays tend to be inspirational and/or humorous, which is my favorite way to write.

RS:  What are you currently working on?

SH: My writing partner, Amy Munnell, and I are working on a nonfiction book titled 13 Decisions That Will Change Your Life.

Our agent is Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.  I am also a contributor to Athens Magazine, Christian Standard, and Athens Parent.

RS:  What’s one genre or type of writing in which you’d like to dabble but haven’t yet—and why?

SH: I have written a few children’s stories and poems, which, sadly, are not published, but I would like to write a cozy mystery.  I have started a few of them and ran out of steam.

Mysteries are my favorite books to read, so I would like to write one.

RS:  What book(s) currently adorn your nightstand?

SH: Just finished Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Steve Berry’s The Romanov Prophecy.

I like to read adventuresome mysteries and marvel at the research details.

Dan Brown's latest Robert Langdon novel

RS: Name an author that helped shape who you are as a writer and how he or she had that effect on you.

SH: Amy Munnell, my writing partner, has had a profound impact on my writing. She was my first contact with SWA; we have served on boards together and complement each other’s style.  She is a valued editor, confidant, writing partner, and friend.

Cec Murphey was one of my first writing instructors.  His encouragement kept me going in the early days.

RS:  Can you give us a quick teaser about the course you’ll be teaching at Southeastern Writers Association?

SH: Amy and I are teaching four days on Bright Ideas: Tips to Make Your Writing Shine.

Monday is B&E: Beginnings and Endings, Tuesday is Shiny Tools, Wednesday is the Five Rs, Thursday is critique day for the students.

THE PLUG

For more information about the Southeastern Writers Association conference in June, please see their registration page as well as my recent post.  Don’t wait to sign up—and you must be registered by April 1 in order to participate in contests and manuscript evaluations, so reserve your spot today!

To learn more about the workshop I’m teaching, click here.

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