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Keynote Speakers

Curtis Higgs, Liz

Liz Curtis Higgs

Liz Curtis Higgs has one goal: to help people embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon. Her messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny. Liz is the author of 37 books, with 4.6 million copies in print, including her latest, The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene. In her best-selling Bad Girls of the Bible series, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most famous women in scriptural history. Liz’s award-winning Scottish historical novels, Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night, transport the stories of Rebekah, Rachel, Ruth, and others to eighteenth-century Scotland, inviting readers to view biblical characters in a new light. Louisville, Kentucky, is home for Liz, her husband, Bill, and their grown children, Matt, Lilly, and daughter-in-law, Beth. Liz admits she’s a lame housekeeper, a marginal cook, and a mediocre gardener, but home is her favorite place to land. Follow her monthly Bible study at LizCurtisHiggs.com/blog.

Arnold, Allen

Allen Arnold

Allen Arnold is the author of The Story of With, an allegory about creativity that fuses together elements of identity, imagination, intimacy, and creative fellowship with God and fellow bohemians. He knows first-hand how common it is for writers to become disheartened, isolated, and overwhelmed—as well as the freedom that comes by making the "shift to with" into truer identity and calling. As the founding Fiction Publisher for Thomas Nelson, Allen oversaw the development of more than five hundred novels that spanned every genre. He now oversees content at Ransomed Heart, a ministry in the mountains of Colorado founded by John Eldredge, the New York Times best-selling author of Wild at Heart. His favorite way to spend the day is with his family—in whatever that day's adventure may hold. He loves blue oceans, black coffee, hot salsa, and big ideas.

Literary Agents

Flegal, Diana

Diana Flegal

Hartline Literary Agency

Diana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for eleven years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, issue fiction, and formula romance. When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains or kayaking the many lakes of her home state, North Carolina.

Goetz, Adria

Adria Goetz

Martin Literary Management

Adria Goetz is an Associate Literary Manager with Martin Literary & Media Management. Prior to that position, she served three years as an intern and assistant at Martin Literary with Sharlene Martin and Clelia Gore. Adria is a 2016 graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, a six-week intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. She is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle with a BA in English with a creative writing emphasis. Adria also worked for Washington’s Pierce County Library System for two years.

Kobobel Grant, Janet

Janet Kobobel Grant

Books & Such Literary Management

Janet Kobobel Grant founded Books & Such Literary Management in 1996. The agency consists of five agents who represent more than 275 clients. Janet’s clients include numerous best-selling authors and winners of the Gold Medallion, Christy Award, Holt Medallion, and RITA. Previously she was a book editor for more than 12 years, an imprint editor at Zondervan, managing book editor at Focus on the Family, collaborator on 17 books, and writer of two books. As a result, Janet knows the publishing world from the perspective of a writer, an editor, and an agent.

Harrison, Nick

Nick Harrison

Senior Editor  |  WordServe Literary

Nick Harrison is a literary agent with WordServe Literary and the author of ten books. For fifteen years he served as a senior editor at Harvest House Publishers, acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Nick has a long history of championing new and unpublished writers. Nick and his wife, Beverly, are the parents of three grown daughters and grandparents to two boys and two girls.

Laube, Steve

Steve Laube

The Steve Laube Agency

Steve Laube, president and founder of The Steve Laube Agency, is a 36-year veteran of the publishing industry. He began his career in the book-selling arena, and his store in Phoenix was named the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) store of the year in 1989. He then spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers, rising to the position of editorial director. In 2002 he was named the AWSA Golden Scroll Editor of the Year. The next year he became a literary agent and soon after formed The Steve Laube Agency. He was named the ACFW Agent of the Year. He is married with three grown children and one grandchild.

Ruchti, Cynthia

Cynthia Ruchti

Books & Such Literary Mangement

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories “hemmed in hope” through her more than 20 novels, novellas, nonfiction, and devotionals, and through speaking events for women and writers. Her books have been recognized by many industry honors. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. Cynthia and her grade-school sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin.

Lawton, Wendy

Wendy Lawton

Books & Such Literary Management

Wendy Lawton is an agent with the much-respected agency Books & Such Literary Management. She represents some of the finest writers in the industry, including many best-selling authors. She has served on the faculty of several major writers conferences, won the infamous Bulwer-Lytton competition, and authored thirteen books.

Traditional Book Publishers

Barela, Sandra

Sandra Barela

Celebrate Lit Publishing and Publicity Group

Sandra Barela, wife and mom of three adult children, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education at the National University and was awarded her master’s in English with a focus on Creative Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University in the summer of 2016. During her program at SNHU, she took a publishing class and fell in love with the industry. That infatuation sparked Celebrate Lit Publicity Group, where she helps authors publicize their books through Facebook parties and blog tours. In the summer of 2016, she opened Celebrate Lit Publishing to help Christian authors bring their books to the reading world. An avid Christian fiction reader and author, she enjoys helping other great Christian authors succeed, one book at a time. She lives with her family in beautiful sunny Southern California. www.celebratelit.com.

Barnes, Jessica

Jessica Barnes

Bethany House Publishers

Jessica Barnes is a fiction editor at Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. She has been editing fiction for over 10 years and has worked with best-selling and award-winning authors. Life has taken her from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains to Asia to New York City, but she’s currently based in the Twin Cities.

Clymer, Tamara

Tamara Clymer

CrossRiver Media Group

Tamara Clymer is a television and newspaper journalist as well as a speaker and publisher. Born and raised in the Midwest, she earned a journalism degree from Kansas State University and soon after began working in television and newspaper newsrooms, covering everything from local school board meetings and barbecue competitions to the Oklahoma City Bombing and presidential elections. In 2010, she founded CrossRiver Media Group, a Christian publishing company that has produced several award-winning books, including Christian Small Publishers Books of the Year and SELAH Award winners. Tamara has been married to her high school sweetheart, Shad, for nearly 30 years. Along with their four kids and two dogs, they live in western Kansas, where they keep busy with their kids’ sports, church activities, and family camping trips to the mountains.

Doering, Andrea

Andrea Doering

Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Andrea Doering is an executive editor with Revell Books, acquiring both fiction and nonfiction titles. She is the former editor-in-chief of Crossings Book Club. She holds an MA in English/creative writing from the University of Maine and has published several children’s books and short stories.

Brumbaugh Green, Renae

Renae Brumbaugh Green

Armonia Publishing

Renae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA best-selling author, award-winning humor columnist, and wannabe superhero. In 2014 she and her husband, Rick, began Armonia Publishing, a traditional publishing company with emphases on special-needs families, picture books, and middle-grade and young-adult fiction. Renae is a sought-after speaker and musician, and when she grows up she wants to be a 1940s doo-wop girl. She lives in rural Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, her nearly perfect children, and far too many animals.

K. Stewart, Susan

Susan K. Stewart

Elk Lake Publishing

Susan K. Stewart teaches, writes, and edits nonfiction. She is known for practical solutions to real-world situations. Susan is senior nonfiction editor with Elk Lake Publishing and content manager for the Mount Hermon Writers Conference blog. She has published three books, including the award-winning Formatting e-Books for Writers: Convert Your Word File to Kindle. Susan teaches writing and editing workshops online and in person. She lives in central Texas with her husband, Bob, three dogs, three cats, nine chickens, and a donkey. The Stewarts have three children and five grandchildren. You can read more of Susan’s practical solutions at www.practicalinspirations.com.

Subsidy Book Publishers

Bylo, Justine

Justine Bylo

Key Account Sales Manager, Author Acquisitions  |  IngramSpark, Ingram Content Group Inc.

Justine Bylo has a passion for working with independent authors and publishers, getting their books into the world. She has worked with Ingram Content Group for 5 years in various parts of the business. She currently works with IngramSpark clients to help grow their businesses and expand their platforms. Justine is committed to the innovation behind IngramSpark so that customers always have the most cutting edge services.

Justine started her career in television, getting her start as a writing intern for The Colbert Report. Later she worked in reality TV development at Oxygen and Bravo before making the switch to publishing. Justine is a graduate of NYU Tisch in Dramatic Writing and continues to work on her romance novels during her free time.

Cowell, Cheri

Cheri Cowell

EABooks Publishing

Cheri Cowell, owner and publisher of EABooks Publishing, brings a unique blend of publisher and author experience to her company, which benefits new, aspiring, and accomplished authors. As an author and speaker herself, with four traditionally published books including 365 Devotions for Peace by Zondervan, and Parables and Word Pictures, a Bible study by AMG, she understands the traditional publishing world. She also has several books published by EABooks Publishing, including One Story, One Mission, One God Bible study, and Living the Story: Reaching Outside the Church Walls, so she is well versed in both sides of the partnership publishing world. Cheri is also a frequent contributor to several writers' magazines and blogs. Cheri says, “Whether your vision is e-books, print, or audiobooks, we can help you expand your reach with the message God gave you.” To date, EABooks Publishing has published 150 projects representing 90 authors. For more information: www.EABooksPublishing.com and www.CheriCowell.com

Logelin, Inger

Inger Logelin

Redemption Press

Inger J. Logelin is the senior editor of Redemption Press, a hybrid custom publisher. Author funded and traditionally managed, Redemption Press was founded by Athena Dean Holtz, pioneer of the independent publishing movement in the Christian market. Inger is an author, copywriter, speaker, book coach, and ghostwriter. She is a former staff writer for The Sentinel Group and Creative Resources Inc., coauthor of Triumphant Faith with Susan Mackrill, and collaborator with Athena Dean Holtz on Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God. She has taught writing classes at Seattle Bible College, been a retreat speaker, hosted a women’s radio magazine program on KJNP, North Pole, and produced the interview format for World of Women on KCIS radio, Seattle. Be sure to pick up a free copy of Redemption Press’s new magazine, Storylines, on the freebie table.

Lottig, Beth

Beth Lottig


Beth Lottig, co-founder and owner of AuthorSource, has a passion for working with authors to bring their works to publication. As a freelance writer and editor for over 15 years, Beth thrives on the process of creating content that resonates with readers and moves them to action. The breadth of her work includes proofreading, editing, and ghostwriting books, as well as book production and design. Her growing company focuses on serving authors who choose the indie publishing route with a high level of integrity and excellence. When she is not wrestling with words or connecting with authors, she can be found reading, hiking, or exploring the coastline with her husband and four children in San Diego. For more information, visit www.authorsourcemedia.com.


Magazine Publishers

Keife, Becky

Becky Keife

(in)courage by DaySpring

Becky Keife is the Community Manager for (in)courage, a vibrant online community for Christian women that publishes faith-based, “me-too” stories every day at incourage.me. Founded in 2009 by DaySpring, the Christian products subsidiary of Hallmark, (in)courage reaches thousands of women daily. In 2016, (in)courage began a multi-resource publishing partnership with LifeWay and B&H.

In addition to her work with (in)courage, Becky is a writer and speaker. Her writing has been featured in The Gift of Friendship (Revell, 2016), A Moment to Breathe (B&H, 2017), and the upcoming (in)courage devotional Bible (LifeWay, 2018). Her work has appeared in Hello, Dearest, HomeLife, and Clubhouse Jr. magazines as well as on popular websites. Becky has a B.A. in Creative Writing and will complete an M.A. in English this spring from Azusa Pacific University. Becky resides in Southern California with her husband and three spirited sons. They enjoy hiking sunny trails in their local foothills.

King, Susan

Susan King

The Upper Room

Susan King has been with The Upper Room magazine for over 23 years. She taught English and feature-writing classes at Lipscomb University, Biola University, and Abilene Christian University for over 27 years. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, Susan and husband, Joe, have three grown children and two young grandchildren (both perfect, of course!) While Joe and their children are whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River, Susan can be found with her daughter-in-law and the grandchildren at a children’s museum or aquarium.

Taylor, B.J.

B.J. Taylor

Editorial Representative  |  Guideposts Magazine, Angels on Earth, Mysterious Ways

B. J. Taylor has sold forty stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul, two dozen stories to Guideposts and Angels on Earth, numerous articles to Writer’s Digest, Romantic Homes, Victorian Homes, John Gray’s Mars and Venus in Love, and many other publications. B. J. is the representative for the following magazines: Guideposts, Angels on Earth, Mysterious Ways, and All Creatures. She is the author of the memoir Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love, and Second Chances, and a book to help writers titled Writing True Stories: Using the Winning Formula P MS to a T. She lives in Southern California half the year and in Northern Idaho the other half. She enjoys walking her scruffy dog Charlie Bear, golfing, aqua classes, traveling, and helping writers reach their goals.


Ball, Karen

Karen Ball

Karen Ball has been a publishing professional for over 30 years, having overseen fiction for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group and working as a literary agent with the Steve Laube Agency until 2017. Karen is currently owner of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC,; an award-winning, best-selling author; and the co-creator with Erin Taylor Young of From the Deep, LLC, which teaches and encourages writers through podcasts and the website. She is also a popular speaker and teacher. She’s worked with such notable authors as Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Brandilyn Collins, Ginny Yttrup, Robin Jones Gunn, Terri Blackstock, and many others. Karen lives in Oregon with her husband and their four-legged, furry kids.

Bischof, Joanne

Joanne Bischof

Joanne Bischof, a Carol award and three-time Christy Award finalist, writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon writers conference. Her 2014 novella, This Quiet Sky, broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. To Get to You, her 2015 release, was the second. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK from Romantic Times Book Reviews and was also chosen for RT's Reviewers Choice Award. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children and is currently working on a two-book series for Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian (releasing 2018).

Bogart, Lisa

Lisa Bogart

Lisa Bogart got her start writing for The Upper Room daily devotional, appearing nearly a dozen times. She went on to write Come On In: Taking the Hassle Out of Hospitality, Knit with Love: Stories to Warm a Knitter’s Heart, and Knit Purl Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul. In 2016 Lisa rode the coloring-book craze, writing and drawing three devotional coloring books, including Drawn from the Heart. Lisa won the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest in 2010 and has appeared in the magazine five times since. For four years she wrote for Daily Guideposts. With an infectious laugh and encouraging words, Lisa loves to hang out with writers. If there’s not a pen in her hand, there are a pair of knitting needles.

Christianson, Laura

Laura Christianson

Laura Christianson helps pre-published writers to best-selling authors establish a vibrant online presence. She owns Blogging Bistro, a business that builds custom websites and provides website education. She has partnered with publishers such as Revell, Bethany House, Franciscan Media, Moody Publishers, and Simon & Schuster to promote their authors. The author of several books and thousands of articles, Laura serves as Marketing Director for West Coast Christian Writers. When you can drag her away from her computer, you’re most likely to find Laura swimming laps, rollerblading, or bicycling. Laura and her husband live in the Seattle area and are the parents of two young-adult sons.

Clare, Linda

Linda Clare

Linda Clare has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. In addition to teaching writing, she coaches writers. Her blog, Linda Clare’s Writer’s Tips, focuses on providing weekly “writer’s tips you can actually use.” She is the award-winning author of six books and many articles, short stories, and essays. She coauthored a nonfiction book, Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them (Waterbrook, 2002) with Melody Carlson and Heather Harpham Kopp, wrote two nonfiction books with Kristen Johnson Ingram, and has published two novels, The Fence My Father Built (Abingdon 2009) and A Sky without Stars (Abingdon 2014). She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is represented by Nick Harrison of Wordserve Literary

Coli, Andrea

Andrea Coli

Andrea Coli has been described as “having the ability to transform a room into a fun atmosphere while tempering it with the truth of God’s word.” She uses her background in improv comedy and her biblical knowledge to inspire others to discover God’s unique call for their lives. Having earned her master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, her scriptural insights are both grounded and enlightening. After relocating to Las Vegas she had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the cast of an all-improvised show. She wrote about it in her book Scriptless: What I Learned about God on the Las Vegas Strip. Andrea is a teaching pastor at CrossWinds Church and partners in ministry with her husband, Chris, who is the senior pastor. She also leads in the Creative Arts Ministry. Chris and Andrea live in Livermore with their two daughters. Connect with her at www.andreacolispeaks.com.

Dittemore, Shannon

Shannon Dittemore

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She attended Portland Bible College, has performed with local theater companies, and has an affinity for mentoring teen writers. Since 2013, Shannon has taught mentoring tracks at a local school, where she provides junior high and high school students with an introduction to writing and the publishing industry. She blogs weekly for Go Teen Writers, posting instruction and encouragement for aspiring authors while emphasizing the importance of community. Shannon, her husband, Matt, and their two children make their home in Northern California.

Dixon, Xochitl

Xochitl Dixon

Xochitl (pronounced SO-Cheel) E. Dixon serves is an Our Daily Bread writer. Her short story “The Biggest Step” won the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers’ Contest and will be published in LIVE magazine (2019), along with “Emma’s Dancing Socks.” Xochitl contributed “In Lieu of Flowers” to My Amazing Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and “Beautifully Imperfect” to Second-Chance Dogs (Revell). She had articles published in ENCOUNTER, The Upper Room, and Devo ‘Zine for Teens. Xochitl enjoys serving as the SoCal Christian Writers’ Prayer Team Coordinator, encouraging writers on her Write to Worship Facebook page, and sharing weekly devotions and prayers at www.xedixon.com.

Flory, Susy

Susy Flory

Susy Flory is the best-selling author or coauthor of 13 books. Her newest book is The Sky Below with NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski, the only man ever to both fly in space and summit Mount Everest. A graduate of UCLA, Susy has a background in journalism, education, and communications. Her best seller, Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero (Thomas Nelson, 2011), co-written with Michael Hingson, hit the New York Times best-sellers list in both hardcover nonfiction and e-book nonfiction the first week of release. A breast cancer survivor of four gnarly surgeries, Susy celebrates life by chasing great stories in places like Cuba, Haiti, Turkey, Israel, and her own backyard. She loves riding a crazy ex-racehorse named Stetson, hiking in the High Sierras, and skiing black diamond runs.

Franklin, Lindsay

Lindsay Franklin

Lindsay A. Franklin is an award-winning author, award-winning freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. She spends a lot of time in made-up worlds, and she’s passionate about sparking imagination through stories of infinite possibility. Her debut fantasy novel, The Story Peddler, releases in May. When she’s not exploring the fantastical, she’s exploring the Bible and encouraging young women through her devotional books, Adored and Beloved. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her husband (master of the dad joke), their awesomely nerdy kids (Star Wars super-fans, all three), two thunder pillows (AKA cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following (@therealwombatman). You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. www.facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.

Hanscome, Jeanette

Jeanette Hanscome

Jeanette Hanscome is an author, speaker, freelance editor, and busy single mom. Her book Suddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and Promise was published by Worthy Inspired in March 2016. She has written four other books, hundreds of articles, devotions and stories, and contributed to Kathy Ide’s Fiction Lover’s Devotionals 21 Days of Grace and 21 Days of Love, as well as Ellie Claire’s Just Breathe. In 2012, she coauthored Running with Roselle with blind 9/11 survivor Michael Hingson.

Though she has been visually impaired since birth, Jeanette refuses to allow her limitations to hold her back from doing the things she loves. When she isn’t writing, Jeanette enjoys teaching writing workshops, speaking, and mentoring writers. She pours her leftover energy into singing, knitting and crocheting, and dabbling in new areas of creativity. Jeanette is the mother of two wonderful sons—one young adult and one teenager.

Harrel, Kelly

Kelly Harrel

Kelly Harrel writes inspirational fiction and Christian romance that deal with real-life struggles in the light of God’s love and grace. Passionate to inspire others into a deeper faith, she enjoys speaking at women’s events, writers conferences, and to audiences of all genders and ages about overcoming depression and anxiety. After several decades in education, publishing six novels, and leading a multigenerational women’s ministry, Kelly still claims that her biggest accomplishment is homeschooling her children. She resides in Southern California with her husband, two teens, and desert tortoise named George.

Hoss, Christy

Christy Hoss

Christy Hoss caught the writing bug in second grade when she won a prize for a story about her dog. Her true story is fictionalized in Cry of the Night Bird (2012). She has written for Focus on the Family and Guideposts magazines. She writes sweet romance for adults and fun children’s stories about playing with Jesus using Bible accounts. She started Type One Editing and Writing Consultations to help writers pursue their dreams using her editing experience and advice. Christy lives in Northern California with the love of her life, Kevin, and they have three adult children.

Halls Johnson, Lissa

Lissa Halls Johnson

Lissa Halls Johnson is a freelance writer, editor, and book doctor, author of novels for teens, tweens, and young adults. Among her 20 published books, the most recent is Rich in Love. She has edited more than fifty books for publishers, including WaterBrook, Thomas Nelson, and NavPress. Her latest won the 2016 Christy Award for Best Contemporary Fiction.

Kern, Jan

Jan Kern

Jan Kern, author, speaker, and credentialed life coach, is passionate about story—not only how we live it with courage and intentionality, but also how we write it with craft and finesse. She is the author of the Live Free series (Standard Publishing), launched in 2007 with Scars that Wound, Scars that Heal: A Journey Out of Self-Injury, a 2008 ECPA Gold Medallion finalist. In the series, she intertwines a narrative style with fiction techniques to tell the true stories of teens and young adults who struggle with pain and brokenness. She knows about writers in transition as she moves from the teen world into writing and ministry for women. She serves alongside her husband, Tom, at a residential ministry for at-risk youth and recently co-founded with her daughter Voice of Courage, a multi-generational organization for women.

Kyle, Sherry

Sherry Kyle

Sherry Kyle enjoys connecting faith and fiction to encourage women and children to grow closer to God. She is the Gold Mom’s Choice Award–winning author of The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, as well as the Cascade Award–winning author for her middle-grade fiction devo, Love, Lexi: Letters to God. Sherry also has four novels, both contemporary and historical romance, set along the California coast. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys taking long walks along the ocean, decorating her beach home, and having coffee with friends. She lives in central California with her husband, Doug, and their four college-aged children. http://www.sherrykyle.com

Secrest McDowell, Lucinda

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is passionate about embracing life—through deep soul care from drawing closer to God, as well as living courageously in order to touch a needy world. A storyteller who engages both heart and mind, she delights in weaving grace and mercy into ordinary life situations. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she is the author of 13 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her books include the award-winning Dwelling Places (2017 Christian Retailing BEST Award for Devotional), Ordinary Graces, Live These Words, Refresh! and Role of a Lifetime. A member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), Lucinda received the Mount Hermon Writer of the Year award. She guest blogs monthly for The Write Conversation and Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog. Whether co-directing “reNEW ~ retreat for New England Writing, pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. Lucinda’s favorites include tea parties, good books, laughing friends, ancient prayers, country music, cozy quilts, musical theatre, and especially her family scattered around the world doing amazing things. Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at www.EncouragingWords.net.

McGuire, Christi

Christi McGuire

Christi McGuire is a freelance editor, author, and consultant and has been in the Christian publishing industry for seventeen years. She enjoys working with authors at all levels and provides a full range of services. She has partnered with many notable authors in the manuscript process, including a New York Times best-selling author, and has worked with several traditional publishers. Christi is also a co-owner of the Christian Editor Network LLC, which equips and empowers Christian editors and is the parent company to four organizations. She is the director for two of those organizations: the Christian Editor Connection, which connects writers with freelance editors, and The PEN Institute, an online educational institute for Christian editors. Christi is a member of the Editorial Freelance Association and the American Copy Editors Society, and she is on faculty for PENCON, the only annual conference for Christian editors in the industry. As a freelance writer, Christi has published more than one hundred magazine articles and dozens of children’s devotionals and curriculum. In 2017 she authored her first book. When’s It My Turn? A Collection of Short Stories and Temper Tantrums, which is about the struggles and strives of motherhood (www.WhensItMyTurn.com). Christi enjoys working and playing along the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast in Florida with her husband and their two daughters. www.ChristiMcGuire.com

Meissner, Susan

Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include A Bridge Across the Ocean, Secrets of a Charmed Life (a 2015 Goodreads Choice award finalist), and A Fall of Marigolds, named one of Booklist’s Top Ten women’s fiction titles for 2014. She is a RITA finalist and Christy Award and Carol Award winner. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University. Susan is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not working on a novel, Susan writes small-group curriculum for her San Diego church. She is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.

Morris, Chris

Chris Morris

Chris Morris is the founder and managing partner for Chris Morris CPA LLC, an accounting firm focused on meeting the needs of small business owners. He has worked in accounting and finance for nearly two decades. Over the past five years he has developed niche expertise for creative entrepreneurs and specifically authors, which now represent more than 65% of his clients. Chris’s first book is Oh Snap! I’m Making Money, Now What? A Creative Entrepreneur’s Guide to Managing Taxes & Accounting for a Growing Business. He has also written Perfectly Abnormal: Uncovering the Image of God in Chronic Illness from the unique standpoint of being both a parent of a special-needs daughter and having a seizure disorder himself. Chris has also been published in a variety of online magazines and he contributed to two books: Couch Rebels: Because Stories Like These Aren’t Told by Potatoes and Father Factor: American Christian Men on Fatherhood and Faith.

Reese, Joanne

Joanne Reese

Joanne Reese launched her writing career with magazine publications after receiving a diploma from Long Ridge Writers’ Group and completing the “Articles that Sell” and “Fiction that Sells” courses through the Christian Writers’ Guild. Her devotions have been published in Light from the Word and on CBN.com. She has had articles published in The Christian Communicator, Light & Life, P31 Woman, and Vista magazines. She has written regularly for the Living Series magazine in the Central Valley of California. When she’s not busy working part time at her local library, Joanne enjoys taking long walks, spending time with her family, and commiserating with the protagonist for her next novel.

Regnier, Paul

Paul Regnier

Paul Regnier is the author of the Space Drifters science fiction series. He is a technology junkie, drone pilot, photographer, web designer, drummer, Star Wars nerd, recovering surfer, coffee snob, and a wannabe Narnian with a fascination for all things futuristic. Paul grew up in Orange County, CA, and now lives in Treasure Valley, ID, with his wife and two children.

Rivers, Francine

Francine Rivers

Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market from 1976 to 1985. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. This retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea, set during the time of the California Gold Rush, is now considered a classic work of Christian fiction; it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade. Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published more than 20 novels with Christian themes—all best sellers. In 1997, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers’ of America Hall of Fame. In 2007, the feature-length film version of her novel The Last Sin Eater was released in theaters. Francine and her husband, Rick, live in Northern California and enjoy spending time with their three grown children and five grandchildren.

Roper, Gayle

Gayle Roper

Gayle Roper has been in love with story for as long as she can remember, whether reading one or writing one. She has authored more than 50 books. She has won a Carol Award, the RITA Award, and a Romantic Times Book Report Reviewer’s Choice Award, and finaled repeatedly in the Christys. She has won the Holt Medallion three times, and twice her titles have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Her nonfiction title, A Widow’s Journey, won the 2015 Golden Scroll Award as the best nonfiction of the year. Romantic Times Book Report has given her the Lifetime Achievement Award. Several writers conferences, including Mount Hermon, Florida, and Greater Philadelphia, have cited her for her contributions to the training of writers. She lives in Southeastern PA where she enjoys her family, her friends, and eating out. www.gayleroper.com

Seither, Marci

Marci Seither

Marci Seither is a freelance writer who lives in California. She has written for local papers as well as larger publications, but mostly she tells people she is a "mom who writes." She has been married to John for over 26 years. They are the parents of six pretty awesome kids who have provided her with volumes of great material, symphonies of laughter, and loads of laundry.

Sikora, Pat

Pat Sikora

Mighty Oak Ministries

Pat J. Sikora has written books and articles about small groups, leadership training, Bible studies, healing, communication, aging, caregiving, writing, and Christian living. Her most recent book is Critique Groups that Work: A Handbook for Starting, Leading, and Participating in a Christian Writers Critique Group. Pat is the founder of Mighty Oak Ministries. She also serves as a national advisor for SmallGroups.com, a ministry of Christianity Today, which equips small-group pastors, coaches, and leaders. Pat and Bob, her husband of almost 39 years, live in Redwood City, California. www.mightyoakministries.com.

Silva, Mick

Mick Silva

Mick Silva is an author coach, speaker, writer, and editor with over 18 years of experience, including new acquisitions for Focus on the Family and WaterBrook Multnomah. Freelancing since 2010, he's worked with more than 100 authors—memoirists, novelists, pastors, counselors, and many amazing moms—including a few best sellers. His first coauthored e-book is on the art of writing inspirational memoir. He writes about the wild world of editing and publishing at www.MickSilva.com.

Marshall Strom, Kay

Kay Marshall Strom

Kay Marshall Strom is the author of forty-two books. Her writing credits also include numerous magazine articles, newspaper op eds, and devotionals. She wrote for two TV series (Murder She Wrote and The Equalizer). She contributed to various devotional Bibles as well as The Bible for Today’s Christian Woman. She has written curriculum for children’s Sunday school, children’s church, and VBS. Much of her most recent writing concerns social issues, both at home and globally. She has ghostwritten twelve books, including for Beverly La Hay and the Minirth/Meier Clinic, and one cowritten with Joni Eareckson Tada. Kay has been on faculty with Mount Hermon for as long as anyone can remember! She is our Critique Team Coordinator. We are delighted to have her keynoting for us.

Sundin, Sarah

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the adventure and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of ten historical novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.

Tangvald, Christine

Christine Tangvald

Christine Tangvald is the author of more than 90 children’s books (with two #1 best sellers on the CBA market), in 125 editions, in 13 languages, with nine publishers—and she has more than 3 million books in print. She has published articles, stories, poems, greeting card verse, curriculum, activities, and other subjects that have grown out of her working with preschool and primary age children for over 20 years. The founder of Spokane Christian Writers, Christine is a frequent teacher and speaker at writers conferences throughout the United States. She has a BS degree in elementary education from Washington State University and lives in Spokane, Washington. Many of her best friends are under five years old.

Thompson, Janet

Janet Thompson

Janet Thompson, award-winning Christian speaker, freelance editor, and author of nineteen books, is the founder, director, and God’s servant of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work (AHW) Ministries, her writing, speaking, and editing ministry. Janet’s passion and focus is one generation teaching and training God’s life lessons to the next generation. Her tagline is the subtitle of her latest book, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. She has an MBA from California Lutheran University and a MA in Christian Leadership from Fuller Theological University. Janet and her husband, Dave, moved from Orange County, California, to the rural mountains of Idaho, where Janet writes and Dave is her helpmate in ministry. She enjoys walking in the mountains, watching the wildlife play in their yard, and experiencing the four seasons. Janet also writes a weekly blog and monthly online free newsletter at www.womantowomanmentoring.com.

Thompson, Janice

Janice Thompson

Janice Thompson, an award-winning author, got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. She has published more than 100 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books, and more. She particularly enjoys writing light-hearted, comedic tales because she enjoys making readers laugh. Her tagline, “Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters,” sums up her take on life.

Janice lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. When she’s not busy writing or playing with her eight grandchildren, Janice can be found in the kitchen, baking specialty cakes and cookies for friends and loved ones. No matter what she’s cooking up—books, cakes, cookies, or mischief—she does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.

DeEtte Williams, Julie

Julie DeEtte Williams

Julie DeEtte Williams writes historical fiction, dabbles in allegory, and crafts contemporary fairy tale. Her short stories appear in several anthologies. She works as a freelance editor, typographer, and graphic artist for Inspire Press. She enjoys leading writers through their journey from first draft to printed book.

Williamson, Jill

Jill Williamson

Jill Williamson writes fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults. She is the author of nineteen books, including her debut novel, By Darkness Hid, which won several awards and was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel of 2009 by VOYA magazine. She loves giving writing workshops and blogs for teen writers at www.GoTeenWriters.com, which has been named as one of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers.” She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. Visit her online at www.jillwilliamson.com.

Carlton Willis, Kathy

Kathy Carlton Willis

Kathy Carlton Willis, God’s Grin Gal, writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. Kathy graduated with honors from Bible College and has served for 30+ years in full-time ministry. More than a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published in books, magazines, newspapers, and online publications. Her most current book is Grin with Grace. CBN features her popular bimonthly devo-study Grin and Grow with Kathy, and she’s a devotional writer for Fox News commentator Todd Starnes. She’s active as a book industry pro, and her coaching group, WordGirls, propels Christian women toward their writing goals. www.kathycarltonwillis.com.

Taylor Young, Erin

Erin Taylor Young

Erin Taylor Young is a founding member of Serenade Books—a boutique publisher focusing primarily on romance e-books in the inspirational market—where she hones her publishing skills as a co-managing editor. Her deepest passions are the Word of God and bringing His truth to readers, whether in her own books or the books of other authors. She teaches workshops about writing and publishing, produces podcasts, and is the co-creator of Write from the Deep with Karen Ball. She’s also an award-winning humor writer who has a remarkable gift for making her readers laugh out loud even as she’s delivering hard truths about living a life of faith. Her books, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe and Still Surviving Henry: The Untold Stories, have been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry. Learn more about Erin at erintayloryoung.com, where she blogs about writing, God, and her aversion to spiders.

Yttrup, Ginny

Ginny Yttrup

Ginny L. Yttrup is the award-winning author of five novels, including Home, which released April 2017. She writes contemporary women's fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny's work “as inspiring as it is entertaining.” When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry. She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult children, or spending a day reading a great novel. Ginny lives in Northern California with Bear, the Entitled Pomeranian.

Critique Team

  • Kay Marshall StromKay Marshall Strom

  • Linda ClareLinda Clare

  • Jeanette HanscomeJeanette Hanscome

  • Christy HossChristy Hoss

  • Christi McGuireChristi McGuire

  • Chris MorrisChris Morris

  • Marci SeitherMarci Seither

  • Mick SilvaMick Silva

  • Christine TangvaldChristine Tangvald

  • B. J. TaylorB. J. Taylor

Resource Team

  • Susan BeattySusan Beatty, Planning Assistant

  • Joanne BischofJoanne Bischof, Hospitality Coordinator

  • Lisa BogartLisa Bogart, Transportation Assistant

  • AJ DegrasseA. J. DeGrasse, Worship Leader

  • Jeanette Hanscome, Conference Connections Coordinator

  • Kelly HarrelKelly Harrel, Social Media Coordinator

  • Jan KernJan Kern, Boost Clinic Coordinator, Nonfiction Mentoring Clinic Coordinator

  • Ashley MaysAshley Mays, Transportation Assistant

  • Judy Gordon MorrowJudy Gordon Morrow, Prayer Team Coordinator

  • Marci SeitherMarci Seither, Transportation Coordinator

  • Susan K. StewartSusan K. Stewart, Blog Coordinator

  • Kay Marshall StromKay Marshall Strom, Critique Team Coordinator

  • Sarah SundinFiction Mentoring Clinic Coordinator & Bookstore Assistant

  • Dave TalbottDave Talbott, co-emcee

  • Lynne ThompsonLynne Thompson, Manuscript Processing Assistant

  • John VonhofJohn Vonhof, Manuscript Processing Coordinator

  • Julie WilliamsJulie Williams, Contest Coordinator

Les & Lori Beckwith, OT Studios

Bev Harrison, Hospitality Assistant

Joy Harrison, Bookstore Coordinator

Dan Kline, Manuscript Processing Assistant

Dave and Jane Olney, OT Studios