John, the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Phillips has been a contributor to many national magazines, has been affiliated with 27-radio stations across Alabama serving as their outdoor editor and wrote for a weekly syndicated column, "Alabama Outdoors," for 38-Alabama newspapers for more than 13 years. Phillips was Outdoor Editor for the "Birmingham Post-Herald" for 24 years. Phillips was also the executive editor for "Great Days Outdoors" magazine for 3 years.
In July of 2012, John was honored with the "Homer Circle Fishing Communicator" award, presented by the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the American Sportfishing Association. This award recognizes a journalist who exemplifies the spirit, dedication to fishing, extraordinary talent, and commitment to mentoring the next generation of sportfishing communicators as displayed by outdoor journalist legend Homer Circle, aka Uncle Homer, during his storied career.
The author of almost 30 books on the outdoors, Phillips is a founding member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and an active member of the Southeastern Outdoors Press Association (SEOPA). Phillips also is the owner of Night Hawk Publications, a marketing and publishing firm, and president of Creative Concepts, an outdoor consulting group.
Phillips conducts seminars across the nation at colleges in freelance writing, photography and outdoor education besides teaching courses in how to sell what you write to writers' groups. Phillips received his photography training as a still-lab photo specialist for six years in the Air Force. He was the chief photographer for Mannequins, Inc., a Birmingham modeling agency, for 11 years.
While serving as 2nd Vice President of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, Phillips was in charge of all press releases for the organization as well as serving as Chairman of Alabama's Big Buck Contest, which he founded more than 30 years ago. He also was president of the Alabama Sportsman's Association for three years.
Phillips is the recipient of a Certificate of Merit from the Governor of Alabama and the Department of Conservation for his work in the outdoor field. Phillips is vitally interested in the outdoors and travels the nation collecting personalities, stories and how-to information for his articles and features.
EDUCATION: B.S. degree from the University of West Alabama with a physical education major and a history minor.
EXPERIENCE: 10 years parttime and fulltime physical director for YMCAs and 34 years as a freelance writer, photographer, editor, book author, lecturer and daily-content provider for websites. Currently, Phillips is a field editor for Game and Fish Publications; serves on the editorial board of Grandview Media; is a regular contributor to 12 internet magazines and a daily content provider for 8 websites.
WRITING AWARDS: Runnerup - Best Outdoor Magazine Feature - 1981 - SEOPA; Certificate of Merit - Awarded by Alabama's Governor for writings on conservation; Most Outstanding Sports Writer in Southeast - 1983 & 1984; Best Outdoor Feature in Alabama, 1987 - Alabama Sportswriters' Association 3rd Place; Best Book of the Year - 1989 - SEOPA; 2007 - inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Communicator; 2008 - received award naming him 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the Year from the Crossbow Manufacturers' Association; 2009 - GAMMA Honorable Mention for Consumer/Paid Best Essay for July/August 2008 in "Southern Sporting Journal."