Contest Judges – 2021

Keith Goodnight

Keith Goodnight was born in Dallas, TX. He studied Biology at Rice University and has a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior, but always had writing in mind. Keith began developing his own science fiction universe when he was still in high school, and kept working on it all through the years he was supposed to be working on something else. He is an alum of Southwestern Methodist University’s Writers Path, and former instructor in that program, specializing in applying Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey to story structure. He is a proud past member of Rice University’s Marching Owl Band (MOB), and a devotee of all things Dr. Who. Keith has authored one novel, The Child (The Red Light and Shadow), in 2013, and enjoys posting hilarious snippets of Dialogue Unlikely to Be Used (#DUTBU).  To find out more,




Award-winning author Henry McLaughlin lives in North Texas where he writes, edits, teaches, and coaches.

He is a winner of the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. His winning novel, Journey to Riverbend won several other awards and was published by Tyndale House in 2011. Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, his most recent works, Journey to Riverbend, Riverbend Justice and Riverbend Reunion, are stories that take readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice to a dark world. He has also published short fiction.

Book Life says this about Henry, “[His] prose is meticulously detailed and rich with memorable imagery. [Henry’s] characters experience an inspiring amount of growth over the course of his novel; the nuanced evolution of relationships new and old will keep readers riveted to the pages.”

Henry writes a weekly blog on his website, He also blogs regularly for American Christian Fiction Writers, The Write Conversation, Write Well Sell Well, and The Write Editing.

He speaks and teaches on the storytelling craft at conferences and workshops. He has led writers groups and continues to coach and mentor individual writers. He is also a free-lance editor and a published ghost writer.

Writers’ workshop and writing group