The Well Writers Guild

Teaching young talent the craft of writing

Well Writers Guild Founder, Joe Maxwell, is an 

award-winning & nationally-known 

writer, editor, publisher and educator.


Other veteran writers mentored me and so I have always tried to "give back." I learned more in mentoring sessions with older journalists and authors than in graduate school! The Well Writers Guild was formed to offer your child this same dynamic. Too many top young Jackson-area writers go without the extra instruction they deserve and need to become their very best. My fellow mentors and I love teaching writing. I draw on more than 25 years of experience writing articles and books, as well as more than a decade teaching in various settings. For more about my for-profit publishing company, visit LifeStory Publishing. Joe also created and operates Mississippi Matters, a news and culture blog featuring top writers from around Mississippi. 



— Writing honors I have won include:


Independent Publisher’s Book Award, Honorable Mention, history

Miss. Institute of Arts and Letters’ Non-Fiction Book of the Year, nominee

Suburban Newspapers of America, First Place, coverage of breaking news

Inland Press Association, First Place, coverage of breaking news

Copley News Association, First Place, investigative reporting

Illinois Press Association, Honorable Mention, investigating reporting

Florida Magazine Association, Third Place, feature story

Evangelical Press Association, Fourth Place, reporting

Evangelical Press Association, Fifth Place, reporting

Evangelical Press Association, Award of Merit, youth writing


— Teaching and marketing experience I have includes:


• Duke University Guest Lecturer

• Wheaton College Guest Lecturer

• Belhaven University Chapel Speaker, twice

• Belhaven University 2002-Present Journalist in Residence; Adjunct Professor

• Jackson (Miss.) Academy 2010-2012 Director of Marketing; created department

• Jackson (Miss.) Academy Created and taught Interactive Media class


— Education


  • Bachelors of Arts, English & Psychology, University of Mississippi, 1985
  • Masters of Communications, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, 1988


— A sampling of well-known people I have profiled includes: 


Frank Deford (top sports writer); Fred Barnes (managing editor, The Weekly Standard and Fox commentator); Trent Lott (then-U.S. Senator); Thad Cochran (U.S. Senator); Steve Forbes (Forbes magazine & then-presidential candidate); Alan Keyes (U.S. ambassador, cultural commentator); Cal Thomas (conservative columnist); Michael Medved (film critic and author); Frank Reich (NFL quarterback); A.C. Green (NBA star); Bill McCartney (Colorado football coach and Promise Keepers founder); Amy Grant (singer); Michael W. Smith (singer); Johnny Hart (B.C. and Wizard of Id cartoonist); Jeff Shaara (historical novelist); J. I. Packer (theologian); Carl F. H. Henry (theologian and cultural critic); John Piper (theologian/pastor); John MacArthur (pastor/author); and many others.


— Publishing/writing positions I have held include:


The Daily Journal newspaper 1988 &1989 Beat Reporter

Carol Stream, Illinois


The Daily Herald newspaper 1990 & 1991 Beat Reporter

Arlington Heights, Illinois


Christianity Today magazine 1991 to 1995 Assistant News Editor;

2000 to present Contributing Writer

Carol Stream, Illinois


World Magazine 1995 to 1999 National Editor and correspondent;

2004 to present Correspondent

Asheville, North Carolina


New Man magazine 1996 to 1998 Contributing Editor/Writer

Lake Mary, Florida


The Southern Charity Ledger 1998 to 1999 Editor

Palmer Home for Children

Columbus, Mississippi


re:generation quarterly 1996 to 2001 Editor

Cambridge, Massachusetts


The Veritas Classical School 1998 Founding board member;

2000-2002 Headmaster

Jackson, Mississippi


LifeStory Publishing 2002 to present Founder and President

Jackson, Mississippi


— National publications to which I've contributed include:


The Washington Times

The Chicago Tribune

The Clarion-Ledger

Christianity Today magazine

World magazine

Philanthropy, Culture & Society

New Man magazine

Charisma magazine

Reconcilers magazine

Urban Family magazine

The Christian Reader

Current Thoughts & Trends

Stewardship Journal


— I have ghost-written books for seven clients


— Other books that I have written or published include:


  • A Courageous Cause: Modern Republicanism’s Birth in Mississippi (with Wirt A. Yerger Jr.; LifeStory Publishing)
  • Mississippi’s Kennedys: How the Irby Family Built a Worldwide Electrical Empire and Changed the Christian Face of Mississippi (LifeStory Publishing; not yet in print)
  • Amidst the Fray: My Life in Politics, Culture, and Mississippi (with William D. Mounger; Quail Ridge publisher)
  • Camp DeSoto: A History (LifeStory Publishing)
  • Sister Love: The biographical histories of the sisters of St. Dominic's Health Care System (currently being researched and written)
  • Pressing Toward the Goal: A History of Reformed University Ministries (LifeStory Publishing)
  • The Story of Gulf States Canners: How Mississippi's Coca-Cola Bottlers Created a National Model of Container Excellence (soon to be released)
  • The Enduring Community (Reformed University Press)
  • The Almanac of the Christian World (Tyndale House)
  • Talk Football (LifeStory Publishing)
  • Twister (a children's book) (LifeStory Publishing)
  • Walking with Limps (currently being shopped by agent)


— Praise for my work includes such comments about a   

     biography I wrote entitled A Courageous Cause:


Political commentator Andy Taggart:

"An extraordinary book detailing the rise of the Mississippi Republican Party during the tumultuous years of 1956-1966. Regardless of one's level of interest in politics, this book is highly recommended reading. . . . This is a book you'll want to read, and see to it that your teen-aged or college-aged children read." 


Northside Sun newspaper publisher Wyatt Emmerich: 

“Northsider Joe Maxwell, co-author, does a masterful job of illuminating the passion of the day. It is fascinating reading for those interested in politics. The book is full of new insights into Mississippi's tumultuous 1950s. It is a significant contribution to our state's history.” 


— Personal


  • 54 years old
  • Married 27 years
  • Five Children